Kodak Ultra Color 400UC Film Review

August 18th, 2008

I ordered this film after I shot my three rolls of Fuji Superia 400 film as a part of my effort to take a look at a few of the more popular options in 35mm film. This was my most disappointing film to date. At first I thought that it was perhaps me who made the mistake. Perhaps I shot the film wrong or didn’t set something correctly but I looked through my images and found some Fuji Superia that I shot in the exact same way as this film. I shot one then the other at the same event. The only actual difference is I shot this film mostly with one of Nikon’s best lenses, the 14-24mm. A lens that is universally agreed to be of amazing quality.

For these images I was shooting an evening softball game in fading, but still strong light. My shutter speeds were reasonably high during the game and I was able to stop motion as well as the softball itself. I’m willing to consider the image below my fault because the sun is in frame. I have shot the 14-24 lens into the sun on my D300 and seen no problems at all but I’ll allow this one as a scratch image.

Where is the Contrast?

Where is the Contrast?

This next image does not have the sun in it, the sun was just setting behind me. I shot this with the same setup at F/8 and 100/second. As I said, it was still pretty bright at this point. The shadows in this image are just garbage. This image is a mess and unusable. Also, I should have gotten lower and closer.. but the quality of the framing doesn’t have anything to do with the film. That can only be blamed on my laziness and the newness of the lens to me.

Messy, Messy!

Messy, Messy!

This third image was cropped from the original. Still not great framing but much better in terms of image quality. This one of of the first shots made on this evening with the sun above the trees to my left. It’s the best of the bunch as far as I can tell, and I’m still not 100% with the way it looks. The film does add a certain warmth to the image but this films inability to deal with what I would consider fair light makes it an unacceptable choice for daily use.

Your millage may vary but I bought three rolls of this film and have shot them all. Wherever there are shadows this film just falls apart. The color in the shadows seems to go a bit gray or red and and is something I find quite distracting. I like the color rendition of this film though quite a bit. It appears warmer to me then the Fuji Superia, which looks vibrant but no so over the top. Even under overcast skies this film does an excellent job of really pulling out colors, it’s like cranking up the saturation on a digital camera, esp with reds which appear to almost saturate the image.

Warm Colors, Distracting Shadows.

Warm Colors, Distracting Shadows.

I won’t be buying any more of this film. Considering it’s more then twice the price of the Fuji Superia 400 film, I don’t know why anyone would.

Topslakr

One Response to “Kodak Ultra Color 400UC Film Review”

  1. […] the images taken using Kodak Ultra Color 400UC Film, which I’ve reviewed previously, and it’s night and day. I shot both films with the same camera, a Nikon N80, and I made 100% […]

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