Best 35mm colour negative films on a budget

Here’s my top 6 list of really cheap colour negative (c-41) films. I’ll keep the film descriptions short and sweet, because on a general note, they are all surprisingly capable and nice looking films. Especially for the price! I personally nowadays prefer many of these films over, for example, Kodak Ektar or Portra, just for the image quality and lower cost.


Related article: best 35mm colour negative films


1. Fujifilm C200

I’m starting the list with my favourite choice, the Fujifilm C200. A roll of 36 exposures costs only 3€. (Well, depending of course where you’re buying it) For that price, you’d think it’s total garbage, but it is actually extremely pleasant looking film. Every Fuji film has a really nice colour palette and C200 isn’t an exception. It’s not anything over the top, but not entirely boring and sterile either. It’s nicely stylised and warm, with medium speed (ISO 200), grain and sharpness. 

Somehow Fuji C200 just resonates with me more than most colour negative films. It’s hard to describe, but imagine having the nicest Instagram filter you’ve ever seen and having that embedded to the image straight from the box, but without looking like you’ve added one. Like I said, hard to explain… it just looks really nice. 

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji C200 sample by @attempts_at_35mm

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji C200 sample by @attempts_at_35mm

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji C200 sample by @attempts_at_35mm

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji C200 sample by @attempts_at_35mm


2. Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400

Fujcolor Superia 400 is another really good budget film from Fuji — almost as nice as C200. It is one stop faster (ISO 400) which is of course very practical. The colours are a bit more true-to-life compared to C200. I recently happened to grab a special deal of 24 exposure rolls for something like 1,50€ per roll. I don’t know what the typical price would be but it is none the less from the cheaper end. There’s really nothing bad to say about Superia 400. It’s cheap and it works! The only gotcha is the fact it’s now being discontinued, but there are still plenty of the stuff in stock. It’ll probably be a while until the stores run out of it so grab it while you can! 

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji Superia 400 sample by @mmatiasautio

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji Superia 400 sample by @toni_mattila

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji Superia 400 sample by @toni_mattila

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Fuji Superia 400 sample by @mmatiasautio


3. Kodak Gold 200

In my experience Kodak Gold 200 is a bit similar than Superia 400. It is also very basic film, but it’s not sacrificing image quality. It’s surprisingly sharp and my only complain would be it’s “basic” colour palette. It’s almost too true-to-life, as opposed to the stylised palette of Fuji C200 for example. The film has very little graininess and it’s very sharp. I’ve seen Kodak Gold typically around 4—5€ per 36 exp roll. As you guessed, it’s an ISO 200 film, as the product name suggests.

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak Gold 200 sample by @toni_mattila

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak Gold 200 sample by @attempts_at_35mm


4. Kodak ColorPlus 200

Kodak ColorPlus 200 is another great budget film that cost around 3€ per roll. In my opinion, it looks almost exactly the same as Kodak Gold and I really don’t know what the difference is. To me it looks exactly as good!

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak ColorPlus 200 sample by Seba Lindroos

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak ColorPlus 200 sample by Seba Lindroos

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak ColorPlus 200 sample by Seba Lindroos

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak ColorPlus 200 sample by Seba Lindroos


5. Kodak Pro Image 100

Pro Image is a new acquaintance to me and even though it’s a pro film, it’s still definitely from the cheaper end. Typical price would be somewhere around 5—6€. A bit more perhaps than Kodak Gold, but my lord how much better it looks. Pro Image 100 has amazing soft colours — calming, but yet vivid. It’s medium sharp and grainy, but the over all look is very pleasing. It somehow reminds me of Ektar, but a grainier and more distinct film look. Excellent stuff! 

Pro Image is a bit slower film (ISO 100) which is why, I’m guessing, it gets compared to the almighty Kodak Ektar so often, which is another much loved ISO 100 film. Slow films, such as Pro Image 100, are great for sunny days!

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Kodak Pro Image 100 sample by @attempts_at_35mm

cheap colour negative 35mm film

Kodak Pro Image 100 sample by Markus Larjomaa


6. Agfa Vista 200

Agfa Vista is also now being discontinued, but you can still find it. As far as I know, it is actually a Fuji emulsion, which of course explains why it has that super pleasing colour palette. Agfa Vista is dirt cheap. At the moment I’m seeing two roll packs sold at 4€. Again, the cheap price doesn’t mean bad quality. The first time I shot it, I was positively surprised about the outcome. I’d definitely grab the stuff while it’s still being sold! 

Agfa Vista is an ISO 200 film, much like Fuji C200 or Kodak Gold.

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Agfa Vista 200 sample by @toni_mattila

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Agfa Vista 200 sample by @toni_mattila

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Agfa Vista 200 sample by @mmatiasautio

cheap colour negative 35mm film

↑ Agfa Vista 200 sample by @mmatiasautio


Related article: best 35mm colour negative films