Film Friday: Is the 'new' Fujifilm 200 film just rebranded Kodak Gold 200? Is sure looks like it
Last month, Fujifilm announced the release of Fujicolor 200, a ‘new’ film stock that so far has only shown up on the company’s North America website. While both its name and branding bears a striking resemblance to the company’s Fujicolor C200 film stock — which is still listed on its websites outside of North America and has been available since 2020 — the datasheet for the ‘new’ Fujicolor 200 film stock shows a color profile much different than that in the datasheet for its Fujicolor C200 film stock and one very similar to the datasheet for Kodak’s Gold 200 film stock.
|It doesn't take more than a cursory glance at the three charts to see the film stocks are effectively identical in their color representation. Click to enlarge.|
As spotted by Reddit user samdharmawan, all three of the ‘Characteristic Curves,’ ‘Spectral Sensitivity Curves’ and ‘Spectral Dye Density Curves’ curves on the Fujicolor 200 datasheet are absolutely identical to those found on the February 2016 datasheet for Kodak Gold 200.1 This, combined with other similarities between the two datasheets, suggests Fujifilm may very well be spooling up Kodak Gold 200 on Fujifilm cartridges and rebranding it as its ‘new’ Fujicolor 200 film stock.
In an attempt to confirm this information, we went straight to the source and asked Fujifilm to confirm whether or not the ‘new’ Fujicolor 200 film stock is indeed white-labeled Kodak Gold 200. Within 24 hours, a Fujifilm representative shared with use the following response:
‘With the welcome shift in market demand for color film driven by younger generations (i.e., GenZ/Millennials) discovering, and revitalizing film photography, Fujifilm is pleased to have introduced in December 2021 the updated release of “FUJIFILM 200” (ISO200 color film) in single roll and three packs.
To address the new target audience for consumer film, Fujifilm has updated the packaging of the film to appeal to the Gen Z/Millennial audience. The new product packaging includes friends celebrating and having fun – situations to use film to capture the everyday moments.
Fujifilm works with a pool of valued partners around the world as part of the production process to ensure we can continue to deliver high-quality imaging products to delight customers.
Fujifilm is pleased to continue the legacy of analog photography and film so all generations can experience the joy of photography.’
Reading between the lines, it seems highly likely this is indeed a rebranded film of some kind with updated packaging and marketing material to match, as Fujifilm saying it ‘works with a pool of valued partners’ confirms the company is, at the very least, using another film manufacturer’s facilities to develop its film stock — and there aren’t exactly many facilities in the world capable of producing color negative film in the quantities that Fujifilm would need to supply consumers. And even fewer who could create a film stock with characteristics indistinguishable from Kodak’s longstanding Gold 200 color negative film stock.
If you’re asking yourself ‘Well why don’t you just compare the two yourselves?,’ don't fret. We have three rolls each of Kodak Gold 200 and the ‘new’ Fujicolor 200 on its way to be put through a pair of Nikon FG cameras with identical 50mm F1.4 lenses attached. Once we get through a roll of each we’ll have it developed and scanned and post a comparison gallery in an upcoming edition of Film Friday.
|We'll find out soon enough whether or not these are indeed the same film stocks.|
About Film Fridays: We've launched an analog forum and in a continuing effort to promote the fun of the medium, we'll be sharing film-related content on Fridays, including articles from our friends at 35mmc and KosmoFoto.
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