Film Experience: KODAK VISION3 250D Color 35mm

Recently, I have gotten back into shooting with film. More so than the results of film, I enjoy the process of using it to make photographs. You can read more about my thoughts on film here. For now, I will be writing posts about different film stocks, and what I think about their look, including samples for you to make your own judgement. I won’t puke a bunch of jargon on my keyboard about the film. I will just tell you what I like and dislike, and let you see the images for yourself. There is a load of technical stuff to be said about film, grain, emulsion, and what not, but I think people know what they like when they see it. All of my images are self scanned using a DSLR or an EPSON V600 scanner. Right now have a look at Kodak Vision3 250D samples I have prepared.

KODAK VISION3 250D, which is a cinema film, is probably wonderful for just that. I bought a 100 ft roll from Film Photography Project and took a lot of it to Mexico. Let me tell you, this film is not for me. It’s rem-jet coating is there to protect it from light when being loaded into movie cameras. For still photography, and developing with C-41 chemistry, this is not practical, as there will always be remnants of remjet on the emulsion, thus making your images look like crap. Remjet is a black coating put on one side of the film to prevent light from hitting the emulsion in cinema cameras. There is a special process for cinema film which involves cleaning the film in a machine before the entire process. Home developers wont have that machine, and most likely your fingers wiping it off won’t do the trick either. I still had remjet residue stuck on the emulsion after I pre-rinsed the film with baking soda and wiped it after the blix step. The other thing to consider is with wiping a film, the more you wipe it, the more it degrades. It is inevitable that wiping it will lead to some kind of scratcing.

Now let’s be fair: I do like the vintage kind of colors this film produces, and one should naturally anticipate the results from this film to be imperfect, but the remjet simply spoils the party. Dust, small scratches, and even a little color shifting I can accept, but the remjet has ruined this film for me. If you are looking to save some money on a bulk load of color film, this is an option, but be prepared for the remjet.

remjet on 35mm film

On this shot you can really see the remjet, which I struggled to remove on the bottom left hand corner.

totally messed up negative from remjet

Markings are left over from dirty film that touched the emulsion on this one.

San Cristobal de Las Casas street scene

After a lot of work in the computer, I was able to get this (above) result. There was a big remjet spot on the right side in the shadows.

A man in his home

Remjet markings down over the cabinet….. I tried to wash this negative a second time to get the remjet out, but it got even further damaged.

man watching woman

With some frames you get lucky. There is little evidence of remjet here.

building and remjet

Remjet everywhere.

birds and tourists

A lucky negative, but if you look closely, you’ll see some.

mannequins in mexico

This is another lucky one, and I do like the colors I am getting, which really fit the retro looking scene. 

vendor in front of a church

This one is not so bad that I won’t post it. There is some color shifting around the edges, but it looks ok.

Boy hanging at the church

Boy hanging at the church. This is another one that wasn’t too affected by the remjet. I also worked on the colors of this one quite a bit.

A church in San Cristobal de Las Casas remjet

A church in San Cristobal de Las Casas. In the sky there is a lot of evidence of remjet.

Kids in Chiapa de Corzo, near Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

Kids in Chiapa de Corzo, near Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

Vendor selling fruit in Mexico

So there you have it. You can see that Kodak Vision 250D can produce some nice colors, but I can tell you with all honesty, that I won’t ever use it again because of the remjet. I was really hoping that I would have some interesting film images from my Mexico trip, but this remjet really screwed things up….

I know what you are thinking: ‘You should just shoot digital.’ And I am thinking, ‘Yeah, you are right.’

Thanks for reading.

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