Kodak 400 Print Film. Which?

Sep 9th, 2001, 02:00 PM
  #1  
Myer
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Kodak 400 Print Film. Which?

Kodak Royal Gold 400 vs Kodak Max 400

I posted this question on a photography board and got answers that had me thinking of top-of-the-line professional film. I brought myself back down to earth and decided this is a better place to ask since I am most interested in travel photographs taken by ordinary people.
I would like to hear about experiences with 400 print film only and specifically, the difference between Kodak Royal Gold 400 and Kodak Max 400.
I know some will start with Fuji, etc and I may reconsider, but at this time I am interested in the above mentioned. Most of the photos will remain as 4 x 6 but some will be enlarged to 8 x 10. I don't use a point and shoot camera. I have a Canon elan7e with a 28-105 USM lense.
I have not used 400 film on trips yet as in the old days we looked upon film over 64 as being too grainy. I understand that film has progressed greatly in the past several years.
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 02:30 PM
  #2  
Marc David Miller
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For an (overall) educated discussion on specific film choices, you can look at

http://www.photo.net/photo/film
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 03:49 PM
  #3  
nancy
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I am very camera "unsavey", and brought all 400 film with us to italy.
It was a mix of both types of Kodak.

(My husband adviced we take 200, but did not purchase any himself, don't ask!)
I found that a good many of our pics came out dull, with greyish skies, if it was a bright sunny day. and our faces came out on the darkish side.
But, we also had some beautiful shots.
But these were the ones taken at night or when it was not "high noon" in Rome.

I am sorry I do not have much to offer, but just wanted to let you know what I found with my 1st experience with 400 film..
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 04:16 PM
  #4  
Jeannette
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I took Kodak 400 Max and Kodak 100 film to Costa Rica last June. I was extremely disappointed in the quality of the 400 Max. The photos were grainy and dull even in bright sunlight. Even in the dark rainforest, 200 would have been better. I'll never use the 400 Max again. If you use it, take two cameras so you can switch easily and use 100 in bright light.
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 04:40 PM
  #5  
Jim Rosenberg
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The two-camera approach is a good one, but let me add that I'm not a big fan of 400 speed film. It's just got too much grain in it. If you want those romantic indoor shots without a flash in natural light, I feel I am consistently better served with 1000 speed. I like 200 for an all-purpose film -- some flash, some outside. For outdoors in bright daylight, 100 is the most consistent for producing crisp, richly-colored shots.
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 04:44 PM
  #6  
Gretchen
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Jeannette, if your 400 was grainy you might check your camera settings. I have used 400 Max and have thought the results were fine. The upside is that it will self adjust to the light conditions. I do think 200 or 100 is the best however. There is much latitude in shooting print film as opposed to slide. You should just about always be able to get an acceptable print by having it re-done, if necessary. And I like Fuji better than all.
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 04:46 PM
  #7  
Jim Rosenberg
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Oh, one last thing! If you are using a zoom a lot, you will want to compensate for it with either a bit higher film speed or by using a tripod to deal with the effects. (A tripod will improve pictures incrementally a lot of the time, but it adds a hassle factor that many travelers understandably don't want to deal with, too.)
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 07:37 PM
  #8  
sandy
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I use Fuji 400 for all my photos. I like the color better than the color you get with Kodak. Also, the exposure is always perfect. i know you're thinking it might be the camera, but I've used it in a number of different cameras, and it's always been perfect. I shoot a lot of pictures. Just to give you an idea -- I shot 19 rolls of film on my last trip (3 weeks). The ones I tossed were not because of the wuality of the print.
 
Sep 9th, 2001, 08:19 PM
  #9  
Debbie
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I am Fuji all the way, just do not like the colors from Kodak film. My choice is 200 and it works in all lights. Just returned from a beach vacation for one week and shot 10 rolls and I was glad to know that 200 is the best overall speed that made all my pictures turn out in various light exposures.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 04:51 AM
  #10  
dan woodlief
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I kind of like Kodak Royal Gold 400. I don't use Max. Royal Gold is generally not too grainy. The only thing I don't like about Royal Gold is that it is often quite a bit more expensive than other non-pro films. Although I am mostly a Fuji user, I do like Kodak Supra for 400 speed. It does have trouble on sunny days, however, when it doesn't always seem to handle contrast well. It is known as a good flat light film (i.e., cloudy days). For sunny days, I tend to stick with 100 speed. It just isn't usually necessary to use a film with higher speed unless indoors, in the shade a lot, or with overcast skies, as long as you are using the camera gear you mentioned. That is, of course, unless you are shooting subjects that require a high shutter speed.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 05:00 AM
  #11  
Myer
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In the past I have always used ordinary Kodak Gold 200. The reason I'm considering switching to 400 is that I've replaced my ancient though great Canon AE-1 (50mm 1.8 lense) and now have Canon elan7e with a 28-105 f3.5/4.5 USM lense. The slightly slower lense has got me thinking of using a faster film. I'm now starting to rethink a go back to Kodak Gold 200 which I have been pleased with. I don't think the slightly slower speed will make that big a difference.
Since so many people like Fuji, I may shoot a roll or two in the next week. Leaving on the next trip the last week of Sept.
More opinions are welcome.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 05:33 AM
  #12  
Bill
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I use Royal Gold 400 and Royal Gold 100. Sometimes I go with Fuji (Reala 100 and Superia 400). It's a toss-up.

Don't bother with 100 film unless you have an SLR with a reasonably fast lens, such as the 1.8 that Myer mentions in the post above... or a slower lens in bright sunlight or you're using a tripod. You'll get much better pictures with the 100, however.

I always take two cameras -- an old Olympus SLR and a shirt-pocket Olympus point & shoot. Typically have 100 film in the SLR and 400 in the pocket camera.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 05:34 AM
  #13  
dan woodlief
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Myer, I wouldn't switch to 400 because of the lens. I have a 50/1.8 and the same 28-105 you just bought. Since you usually shoot at an aperture of greater than 4.5 for depth of field, the other lens is only going to have an advantage in very low light conditions when you have to sacrifice depth of field for sharpness due to lack of light or if you want extremely shallow depth of field for creative purposes. With my 28-105/3.5-4.5, I almost always use 100 speed film on sunny days.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 07:09 AM
  #14  
Frank
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Got great shots with Fuji Superia 400 all over Italy. Beautiful indoor and outdoor shots. 400 is recommended by the camera manufacture (Olympus) and has worked well. We initially had problems with 200 film, particularly on the zoom shots. Go with the camera manufacture's recommendation for your particular camera.

Kodak Royal Gold is a good backup but I try to steer clear of Max.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 07:38 AM
  #15  
Myer
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OK!!
Who's had experience with Kodak Gold 200 and Royal Gold 200.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 08:59 AM
  #16  
BTilke
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I have gotten some very nice non-grainy pictures with 400 speed Kodak film (although I use Fuji film as well). If you had bad luck with your photos, it might be more than just the film's fault. How old was it? Was it exposed to high heat? How good was the company that developed your film? I take our film to the best processors in town and get good results. With the same quality film shot under similar conditions but taken to a cheaper processing outfit, the films were grainy and off in color.
Of course, you could always look into a digital camera and end, as a friend says, "being a slave to the tyranny of the film companies."
BTilke
 
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