Kodak ColorPlus 200 35mm Film Review

kodak colorplus film

ColorPlus 200 sits alongside Gold 200 and Ultramax 400 in Kodak’s trifecta of consumer grade colour negative films. It’s also the first film I bought and shot after picking up my first couple of film cameras from a charity shop.

Those other two bring their own obvious attributes. Ultramax with its higher ISO and Gold just being a timeless entity in the film world. So what exactly does this lesser-loved, less iconic name bring to the table that makes it worth shooting too?

That’s something we’ll explore in this Kodak ColorPlus 200 review, along with some history and technical information on it too.

Also, plenty of example shots of what you can expect from it yourself, shot in a variety of cameras in a variety of locales and light situations. So let’s get straight into those.

What to expect from Kodak Colorplus film

As with any film review on this site, or any other you may read online, there needs to be a caveat about potential differences in the images you’re looking at and what you can expect when shooting some ColorPlus 200 for yourself.

As mentioned above, I’ve shot a few rolls of this film now, and none of them were in the same camera, on the same day or in the same light. This is why they don’t all look exactly the same.

I’d be surprised if your rolls are developed by the same lab I used too, and I know for a fact that I won’t be editing your shots like I did mine before publishing them.

All this is to say that you shouldn’t expect yours to look exactly like mine, or any you see elsewhere either. Use these words and pictures as a guide, but know that results – your results – may vary.

That said, let’s start with some from the first roll of ColorPlus 200 I shot. The one above and first three below were with the basic Olympus Supertrip point ‘n’ shoot out in Shanghai, China.

Not bad are they?

Here are some more, this time taken on an overcast day in Chongqing with the also quite basic Canon Sure Shot AF-7 point ‘n’ shoot.

I think these ones show that you don’t need always perfect light to go shoot film. That’s a reminder I sometimes need also.

I also shot a couple of rolls in the Yashica Electro 35 GSN, and was also lucky enough to be given some good light on those occasions. A few of those images are below.

In all cases, the results benefit – depending on your taste – from the film’s inherent warm tones. When it’s overcast, they make it appear less so. When it’s sunny, they don’t make the light appear cooler than it was.

It’s not a huge Instagram-filter style effect in either case, but it is on the right side of neutral if you like warm shots. Overall, the colours look more natural than you get from Fujicolor Industrial 100, for example.

Having said that, there is a certain vintage look to the photographs, which makes sense if we’re shooting with an older emulsion. This look is helped by that yellow hue but also brought on by the contrast you get and the grain, which is noticeable but never overbearing, in my opinion.

I’ve had a couple of sunny day shots come out slightly overexposed, with none of them shot on fully manual mode it should be noted, so perhaps the film doesn’t give as much leeway in that sense as others you may be used to.

What is Kodak ColorPlus 200?

Kodak ColorPlus 200 is one of the cheapest colour negative 35mm films still available. Cheaper than the other Kodak consumer grade colour films Gold 200 and Ultramax 400. But, as we’ll see later, don’t let that put you off.

It’s a stock that isn’t sold in all parts of the world although I’ve found it to be readily available in Asia and, as mentioned, the only one available in a huge supermarket in my hometown.

The subheading of this section – what is Kodak ColorPlus 200? – is perhaps more pertinent than you realise.

As you can see on the images in this post, the canister doesn’t match the box. It’s a different design and is strangely labelled Kodacolor 200.

With no mention of either of these films on Kodak’s own site alongside the Portras and Ektars of this world, there is some confusion about what ColorPlus actually is.

That’s not to say there’s no information about it floating around though, and a little digging has led me to this goldmine of knowledge.

So based on what I found there, this is a summary of what I believe Kodak ColorPlus really is. You can click the links to see the images I mention.

Kodak released a film called Kodacolor II in 1972. This was replaced by Kodacolor VR 100 in 1983. The VR range of films was based on technology used in old Kodak disc films. Because these disc films had a higher agitation rate, Kodak found the Kodacolor emulsions had their speeds doubled. The ISO 100 emulsion effectively became ISO 200.

You can see from the picture on that site that today’s ColorPlus canister matches the old Kodacolor VR box pretty well.

This table gives a chronology of the film family, from 1972 to 1990. It states the 100, 200, and 400 35mm Kodacolor VR films were replaced by Kodacolor Gold in 1987.

Below the table is an image of the film boxes, featuring a familiar-looking yellow and red one, albeit still labelled Kodacolor 200. Dating from 2001, this was the same film as the Kodacolor 200 in the more common pink and yellow packaging (which in turn was repacked Kodacolor Gold 200), just with a different design for the European market.

There’s also an all-yellow box that seems to be an early version of a ColorPlus. This is dated as being from 2007 and was apparently made in China.

It looks like somewhere along the way, the ColorPlus name and the red and yellow box were merged to create the film we’re talking about today.

It gets murky and I could be wrong, but the lineage seems to be Kodacolor II –> Kodacolor VR 200 –> Kodacolor Gold 200 –> Kodacolor 200 –> Kodak ColorPlus 200.

kodak colorplus 200

Street photography with ColorPlus 200

Kodak ColorPlus 200 seems to be a good film for your street photography for a number of reasons.

First is that price. As mentioned, it’s one of the cheapest colour negative films out there today. With the sometimes hit ‘n’ miss nature of street photography, an inexpensive film could save you a lot of cash in the long run and give you more freedom to shoot every time you go out.

Another cheap colour negative film is the aforementioned Fujicolor Industrial 100, which I reviewed here. The price is comparable to the ColorPlus and it’s another fine product for what you pay. The ColorPlus does give you more shutter speed to play with though with that higher ISO rating, which will always come in handy on the street.

Kodak Gold 200 is another film that won’t break the bank and brings that ISO 200 too, but it’s still not as cheap as the ColorPlus.

Depending on the aesthetic you’re going for with your street photography, those sunny hues can be a good thing or a bad thing. But at least you know what you’re getting before you shoot. If you want something cooler, perhaps go for Fujicolor C200.

The following five shots are from the Yashica Electro 35 GSN. As you can see, the day was sunnier than for the previous three example shots.

Kodak ColorPlus 200 specs and development

Kodak ColorPlus 200 is an ISO 200, 5500k daylight balanced, colour negative 35mm film that’s available in rolls of 24 or 36 exposures. It’s DX coded and is developed using the common C-41 process.

I don’t develop my own film but I can point you in the direction of some information regarding doing so if you need it.

First stop is the site we looked at earlier. If you start from here, it runs you through the C-41 or Flexicolor process and includes all the temperatures and times you need.

I couldn’t find a Kodak ColorPlus 200 datasheet anywhere but I did find this original Kodacolor II manual, which I believe is where ColorPlus can be traced back to in one way or another.

Where to buy Kodak ColorPlus

If you live in or are currently in a place where Kodak ColorPlus is officially marketed, you’ll have little trouble picking some up off the shelf.

It’s the kind of stock that your regular supermarket might have and that your local film and camera shop most certainly will. If either do, obviously grabbing some while you’re there would be the most convenient way to buy.

Fear not if you’re somewhere outside of the current ColorPlus distribution network though, or want to compare prices across a few sellers. Such a common film brings plenty of opportunity for buying online too

You can check the current prices and availability across a number of stores through this link right here.

4 Rolls of Kodak Colorplus 200 ASA 36 Exposure
  • 4 rolls of Kodak color plus 200 Asa 36 exposure
  • 35mm film
kodak colorplus 200

Final thoughts on Kodak ColorPlus 200

I like this film. That’s a good final thought to have, but probably not enough to end this on. So let’s expand. Also let’s get the negative things out of the way before we get to the positives.

First up, the name. I get they probably want to differentiate it from the Portras and Ektars but come on. ColorPlus is a terrible name. Even Kodacolor 200 was better.

Second, that box. I can’t think of any film with a worse box than this garish number. The canister looks great. Go back and match the box to that, Kodak.

The film itself may also suffer from what makes it great, and that is its versatility and budget price. It’s like a jack of all trades and master of none. So if you’re shooting fine portraits or tremendous landscapes, there are other more expensive films that will be better suited to the job.

For me though, as someone who does a lot of street photography, that’s a reason to like it. I want something inexpensive and versatile. I guess the stock comes from an era when everyone was using film for their holiday snaps, so it needed to handle a lot of different situations but didn’t need to excel in any single one.

That might also be why it was given the warmer yellow hues, to give people fonder memories than a cooler film would, which would encourage them to buy more. Either way, this makes it good for your travel shooting today, or just everyday snapshots wherever you are.

With Agfa Vista Plus 200 being discontinued and FujiFilm slowly reducing their offerings too, ColorPlus might be the future of cheap and low ISO colour film.

That wouldn’t be a bad thing in my opinion, as it’s never given me a reason to complain about the results I’ve got from it – especially at the price it’s available for from this variety of places online, and probably from your local film shop too.  😀

Further Kodak ColorPlus 200 reading on My Favourite Lens

If you want to see even more shots taken on Kodak ColorPlus 200 or just enjoy reading blog posts on film photography, take your pick from the selection just below.

Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for more reviews of different film stocks, why not dive into some of those in the other list instead. 🙂

written by
Hi, I'm Lee - creator of My Favourite Lens and the one whose work you're seeing whenever you read a post on here.
I shoot as much film as I can in as many different cameras as I can, and I enjoy playing with vintage lenses on digital cameras also.

Everything I do and what I learn along the way gets shared on here, to inform and inspire you to get out and shoot as much - and as well - as you can too.

10 thoughts on “Kodak ColorPlus 200 35mm Film Review”

  1. Loved reading your review of Kodak ColorPlus 200. I’ve been experimenting with 35mm film for a bit now and this film stock has definitely become a favorite of mine too. The results are always so warm and vibrant, and it’s great to know I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with it!

  2. thank you so much for such a valuable review. With vista 200 dead 2 years ago, fuji C200 in shortage or discontinued (no one seems to know) was reluctant to buy that box. But being inside a very respectful descendant of legendary VR (the colours from your pictures remind me more of VR than Gold). I missed VR when gold came and almost never used gold, turned to Agfa XRG and Kodak Ektapress. Son thank you again!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Robert. 🙂 Nice to hear ColorPlus reminds you of the old VR. Hope other people who enjoyed VR get that sense from it too. Hadn’t heard of the C200 issues btw. Huge shame if that goes though.

  3. This was a well-written article and I enjoyed reading it very much. I had shot a roll of it last week and was trying to find out some more about this film and came across this article. Nicely done!

    • Thank you Kenny. Always nice to hear people find my stuff useful! Hope you got some results you love from your ColorPlus. 🙂

  4. I found this no diffent to dearer Kodak Porta then I always shoot with cheap film and tell the local D+P shop to not auto pront on the machine soI get vivid colours also I am shooting with a Nikon F501 and 50mm F1.8 D also a 70-300 g lens I found with Nikon lenses they have good reproduction plus they are ED coated. If your using center weighted metering print film is great there is Not a best film out there its how the light set up and quality of lens you are using.
    I use this film with my F501 as a back up to My D 300 DSLR printing from both film and digital to compare there is not much if any difference apart from the slight natural effect of filmto digital
    Yes its good film even for pro use and you can get 3 rolls for the price of one roll of portia – I definatly recommend it even as a proffesional photographer as we tend to ignore fancy names its Kodak and colour plus and portia is the same film just made by some other company so its marked dofferently- so now you all know.


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.