A little background: I am not a professional photographer nor is photography a hobby of mine. I do take pictures, though, and a lot of them. My pictures are my prized possessions and I would, like many of you, be devastated if anything happened to them. It has been suggested that you keep the negatives at a friend’s house in case of some disaster happening to your house.
Recommend this product?
When my husband and I first got married we decided to buy a good camera and got a Minolta Maxim (Which I have never reviewed) and then a few years later a Yashica because it was small and lightweight. *
I am one of these people who believe that for many products the generic or store brand is the same as the well-known brand. When it comes to film, though, I won’t buy CVS brand. I have bought Fuji film, but I feel safer with Kodak and that is what I buy 95% of the time. There is a category for how to know what kind of film speed to buy, but it is impossible for me not to tell you why I am reviewing the Kodak Gold 200 speed film. I am reviewing it because up until this very moment I thought it was the best for my needs.
It says right on it “general use” and that is what I do- general stuff. I am not sophisticated enough nor do I want to be versed enough to know that film should be changed in different lights. I could never figure out exactly what people do. Do they take film out in the middle of the role and change speeds? Well I will have to read the reviews in that category to know.
Lately as I have been writing reviews I have learned, along with my readers, information that I didn’t know. This is a case in point. Looking on the back it says that Gold 200 is for bright outdoor, party sunny and indoor flash. There is no purple dot under fast action and low light. So that’s not general to me because I take pictures of my dog running and of my husband on a bike. I also take pictures in candlelight and now I know why they aren’t coming out as well as they should. So why do they say general use when in fact the 400 has a blue dot under all 4 categories?
I’m not blaming Kodak. I could have looked at the back (Unless this is a new feature on their film!) and saw that all purpose seems to be the Max 400 and for now on that is what I will buy. In the meantime I love my Kodak Gold 200-speed film and don’t blame it for some of my pictures not turning out well. I won’t rate it lower. I will take responsibility for that.
I paid $13.69 for a 4 pack of 24 exposures in each roll, which is a good price. I try to buy it on sale and it is often on sale in CVS.
Kodak has a picture guarantee and a number to call for general information. It is 1-800-242-2424. They also have a website: www.kodak.com. I called the number because I wanted to ask about the guarantee and about the use of the term “general purpose.”
A very nice man who asked for my name and phone number answered my questions. If in the event of a fire, flood any kind of water damage or damage to your pictures, they will replace them for free. Of course you have to have the negatives giving you a really good reason to get the negatives to a safety deposit box or out of the house.
More importantly the pictures had to be printed on Kodak paper using Kodak chemicals. This is something I don’t do. I save anywhere from $1.00 to $2.00 by using Stop & Shop’s (a supermarket) photo lab but from now on I will use Kodak’s because it is worth it to have the ability to reproduce my pictures if I had to.
There is a limitation of liability clause on the package that says that this product “will be replaced if defective in manufacture or packaging. Except for such replacement, this product is sold without warranty or liability even though defect, damage, or loss is caused by negligence or other fault. Since color dyes may change over time, this product will not be replaced for, or warranted against, any change in color." When I asked customer service about that he said that fire and water damage is not considered neglect and it doesn’t fall under their other fault clause which would include your 3-year old ripping up your pictures or the dog deciding to chew on your picture albums.
Regarding the general-purpose term, he agreed that the Max 400 is the most versatile of the film speeds for indoor and outdoor use so I will be going with that speed after I use up my rolls, for sure! I have said in other reviews how crucial it is to read packages before buying a product and to do research and here is another example of that. This film is for color prints and there is an expiration date on each box so check it.
The package also says to protect it from heat, radiation and x-ray but at the airports it specifically says that cameras and film are fine to go through the x-ray machine and I have never had a problem with my film. When we went out of the country to Europe we bought an insulated cover for our camera but that was the only time we used it. It is also suggested that the film be processed promptly so don’t let it sit around for months because you keep forgetting to take it to be processed.
Other than in low light, which as I said is my own fault, I love how my pictures come out. Even blown up to 11 by 17 which I often do and have two 11 by 17 pictures sitting in front of me - one of the 3 kids and one of a gorgeous sunset- they look terrific. Personally I don't see any graininess as others have suggested but maybe ignorance is bliss in this case.
I have never had a problem with the color fading in all the years I have been using Kodak film. Would I suggest Gold 200 now that I know it has its limitations? Yes I will give it 4 stars because it does what it intends to do and it does it well under the conditions it states. I won’t give it 5 stars because it is not as versatile as the Max 400.
If I can answer any questions not answered in this review, feel free to e-mail me.
If you would like to read my review of my Yashica camera, here is the url:
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