What's the Best Colour film? Comparing Kodak, Fujifilm, CineStill and Washi Colour Film

What's the Best Colour film? Comparing Kodak, Fujifilm, CineStill and Washi Colour Film

These four films, Kodak Portra 160, Fujifilm C200, Film Washi X, and CineStill 50D, all have distinct characteristics, which make them suitable for photographing under different conditions. In our latest video for GeorgesCamerasTV, we compare these differences and identify the grain structure, colour reproduction, ISO range and ideal use cases for each film.

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Kodak Portra 160: A Classic Look

Renowned for its exceptional colour reproduction and fine-grain structure, Kodak Portra 160 is a popular choice for film lovers. It excels in mimicking skin colours with remarkable accuracy, making it ideal for portraits in mid to bright lighting conditions.

The grain structure is notably fine, ensuring sharp images that retain an authentic film feel. Furthermore, its high dynamic range allows for balanced capturing of shadows and highlights without overexposure. We recommend using Kodak Portra 160 if you are after a classic look that has a lifelike colour and a detailed grain.


Fujifilm C200: More Exposure Latitude

If you have been around film for a while, you'll no doubt have heard about Fujifilm's range of colour negative film. Take, for instance, Fujifilm's C200, characterised by its warmth and vibrancy, which gives photos a classic, vintage feel that many photographers will be familiar with.

The colour of this film stock is rich and leans towards a warmer end of the spectrum, making it ideal for enhancing landscapes and imparting a natural, warm glow to skin tones. Similar to Kodak Portra 160, there's a fine grain that ensures a sharp, clear, and professional-looking result. However, where it stacks up is with ISO 200. Compared to the other three films, you'll get more exposure latitude with this roll, making it a welcome film stock to use in lower lighting conditions.


Film Washi X: The Creative Film That Loves Light

Film Washi X stands out for its distinctive low 100 ISO and unique grain pattern. Produced by the world's smallest film company on traditional Japanese washi paper, this handcrafted film stock yields subtle, natural colours in comparison to the rest.

If you've come from a traditional Kodak or Fujifilm background, just be aware the results of this film can be experimental at best. Its handmade nature and unconventional materials introduce creative grain patterns, adding an artistic layer to images. So ensure you choose this film if you want to add an extra wow factor or artist twist to your image-making.


CineStill 50D: Great In Good Light

Unlike all the rest of the films, the CineStill 50D provides the lowest ISO in our comparison. With an ISO of 50, you'll find this ultra-low ISO daylight film stock ideal for well-lit conditions. You can also expect sharp and fine details, similar to what you get with the Porta film. 

Don't let the lower ISO fool you, though, as there is plenty of versatility when it comes to shooting under different lighting conditions. You will get mixed results, so make sure you experiment with a test roll before committing to a production-quality shoot. When looking at the results, you'll notice a good colour rendition that somewhat mimics a classic motion picture. 


Comparing the Film Stocks

When putting each roll of film side-by-side in a comparison, if you know what you are looking for, it’s easy to spot the differences. You should grab a roll of Kodak Portra 160 or Fujifilm C200 if you plan on capturing portraits. Whereas for those wanting to experiment, CineStill 50D and Film Washi X offer unique opportunities to explore your creative mindset. 

The table below summarises the main characteristics of each film stock so you know what you should expect with each roll that goes through your camera:

Film Stock

ISO Range

Grain Structure

Colour Reproduction

Ideal Use Case

Distinctive Feature

Kodak Portra 160

160 (Low)


Lifelike, natural

Portraits, general photography

Exceptional colour reproduction

Fujifilm C200

200 (Medium)


Warm, vibrant

Versatile settings, landscapes

Rich, warm colours

Film Washi X

100 (Low)


Subtle, natural

Artistic photography, experimentation

Handcrafted on Japanese washi paper

Sin Still 50D

50 (Very Low)


Classic motion picture style

Outdoor, daylight shooting

Ultra-low ISO for sharp, fine details

In summary, the choice of film stock you decide on using should depend on your specific needs and artistic vision. Whether you're seeking a lifelike colour reproduction, a warm/vibrant tone, or unique artistic effects, there's a film stock made for you. It's just a matter of picking up a second-hand film camera, loading it with film and letting your creativity do the rest. Also, once you have captured your images, bring back your roll of film to us, and we can develop and scan your negatives and email them to you.


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To learn more about film or find your next roll of 35mm or 120, speak to our experienced team who use film regularly. We're here to help.