Reviewing…..Kodak Ultramax 400

We thought it would be interesting to test out a cheap and easily available roll of film. If we’re honest, we thought it would show the differences between cheap and expensive films. Whilst there is a clear difference between this film and something like Fuji Velvia, or Kodak Ektar, we were pleasantly surprised by the results.

Really surprised.

Judge for yourselves….

About the Film…

It’s an ISO rated 400 film – have a read here if you don’t know one ISO from another. ISO 400 is a good all rounder that is going to enable you to shoot in most circumstances, apart from outdoors at night time of course.

We ended up using a fair bit of our roll during evening when the light was dropping. That should have put the film at the edge of what it can handle, but we think it did pretty well.

We put our roll in a Pentax MG, and stuck on a Pentax 50mm 2.0 lens.

So a cheap camera, cheap lens, and cheap film.

The Results…


We were really impressed by the contrast on this film. Sure, there will be others out there that can offer you more contrast, but they come at a price. Probably two or three times the price in fact.

We think this Ultramax 400 offers the best contrast of any of the low cost films we’ve tried.

We also tried to see how it did in low light.

This shot was taken handheld at something like 1/60s.

We think that’s a pretty impressive range for an ISO 400 film (not to mention a good shot to show the strength of the Pentax lens we were using come to think of it).

The film also has a lovely natural feel to the colours it produces. Some films have quite a strong colourcast – which can be what you want sometimes - but this one is lovely and natural. That’s great if you want some realism to your film photography.

Final Thoughts…

This film surprised us - we really liked it; it handles plenty of different light levels well, it’s got a lovely natural feel and produces good contrast and colour saturation.

In fact, it might become our everyday film for on a budget, and we’ll probably start stocking it with our cameras at some point soon too.

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