A couple weeks back I received a package from FPP’s Michael Raso. In addition to the flash bracket I had ordered for my Polaroid 250 Automatic Land Camera, there were a couple rolls of film (most I recognized) but there was one curious one that caught my attention – Kodak ProFoto XL. There was also a note asking me to test the film, something I was more than happy to do.
I began to think that this was either a re-brand of Ektar 100, or maybe the film that was eventually turned into the Ektar 100 stock. But some internet sleuthing turned up something I wasn’t expecting, it was a rebrand of the Kodak Gold line of film meant for sale outside of North America. So the film was loaded into my trusty Nikon F3 and brought along to Toronto.
Sadly I was not provided with a bright sunny day to test this film, but rather a grey and wet day on the streets of the city which actually allowed the film to be tested under less than ideal conditions. The results were pretty pleasing. The colors were fairly muted, but still a natural tone to them, along with a warm tinge (a trait that I’ve found in most Kodak Gold films.) Film grain seems not not be an issue with this film either, pretty much on line with what I’ve come to expect from similar film.
ProFoto XL is a 100 speed film so it would work best under much brighter conditions but handled the dull day very well in my view. The box noted that it was a 36+ exposure, not something you see from your typical consumer grade film. I was able to squeeze 39 exposures out of the roll – which makes it a great film for a traveler.
Although this isn’t a professional film like the name implies, I don’t see any issues using it for quick shots for those on a budget and can find it on the cheap (it is available, right here in the FPP Store!) and it makes for great snap shots or just film to test out a new camera.
Like most Kodak films I found it to lean to the magenta in the shadows after scanning but I was able to quickly fix it in Photoshop using the Color Balance tool, and moving the appropriate slider to a more green bias in the shadows. Of course as with any scans play it by eye to what you remember (or think) the colors should be.
My final verdict, this is a great consumer film! So don’t expect the same level of performance as you would from Ektar or Porta. But as a film to try out that new camera you just got, or as an inexpensive snap-shot film, the ProFoto XL is a perfect choice.
Here are a few more photos from the day.
Long-time FPP listener Alex Luyckx works both in Information Technology support and as a freelance photographer. He describes himself as an analog photographer stuck in a digital world. He loves using cameras older than he is and long walks through abandoned buildings. You can follow his photo blog at: www.alexluyckx.com/blog/
FPP regular contributor Dan Domme also reviewed Kodak Pro-Foto XL 100. Read it here!
Kodak Pro-Foto XL 100 in the FPP Store!