A lot of people may not have heard of Kodak ProImage 100. Kodak only started marketing it in North America and Europe about 2 years ago, but the truth is, it’s been around longer than that.
It is only sold by Kodak in 5 packs (although we do sell single rolls!) and the packaging has photos that seem to have been taken in the 90s. Spanish and Portuguese language wordings take priority over English, giving us a hint regarding where the primary market for the film is.
Indeed, the film was actually introduced in 1997 but only sold in Asian and South American markets. On Kodak’s brochure for the film, they say that it excels in warmer and humid climates with little to no need for refrigeration. Being an older emulsion, it’s based on older iterations of Gold 100 and 200, instead of the current Gold formula. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is simply fact. But perhaps this is why the film seems to look somewhat more 90s than Gold or Ultramax.
Kodak also claims that it’s an entry level professional film, but don’t let the Pro in the name fool you; this is more along the lines of a prosumer film. This is further supported by the fact that Kodak says it has similar printing characteristics to Gold. Also, there’s one of the best parts about it – the price. It is $9.49 a roll. That is cheaper than Ultramax and is significantly cheaper than their other Professional offerings.
The other part about it that we like about it here at the store, is the colours! It has more pop than even Portra without going over the top like Ektar. It has a nice warmth typical of Kodak’s films. It has medium contrast and nice skin tones and while being grainier than Ektar 100 or Portra 160, it’s not muddy but instead provides a nice texture that is almost painterly. This is what usually separates the consumer films apart from the professional films, even in B&W. But despite that, they all tend to have different colour profiles. Ektar 100 is significantly finer grained than ProImage but it is a lot more saturated and of course, about $5 more expensive. Ektar is preferable for shooting landscapes and travel photos, but ProImage is a lot more versatile as it doesn’t render skin tones red.
I was shooting it a fair bit this past summer, due to economical reasons as well as preference for its colour profile. I’m not generally a fan of Portra due to its low contrast and saturation (except for Portra 800 but it is expensive!) I would say ProImage is very similar to Portra 800 in that regard, minus the fact that it’s on the opposite end of the speed scale. Winter is looking to be an expensive season for me as I transition to fast films or push development!
Since it’s fall, it is a good opportunity to let those colours pop while the sun is still shining. It is a good introduction to slow colour film without breaking the bank before you try out something like Portra or Ektar or even slide film. Just this Friday and Saturday, it will be 10% off so it’s even cheaper at $8.54 per roll! This weekend is supposed to be quite sunny so give it a go.
Meghan has been taking some brilliant photos with her little Konica C35 with the ProImage, and here they are.
And here’s some of mine: