Top critical review
31 people found this helpful
You should really go for Kodak's Royal Gold 400 instead
on January 15, 2001
When I first started doing more serious photography, I went to this old and time-tested reserve, Kodak Max 400. The results, I'm sad to say, were a bit disappointing. The pictures were just too grainy (too many apparent dots in the photo). If you don't know what alternatives are available, it is good enough for your typical snapshot, but I think all of us can do a little better.
As you are probably aware, film comes in various "speeds," which allow you to shoot in differing light conditions. The higher the number, the less light needed. Thus, 100 film often requires bright outdoor sunlight, whereas 400 and 800 film is used for indoor or "high speed" (sports) photography. The problem with high-speed film, however, is that it is grainy. In order to get the film to react more quickly to light, the film needs to use larger silver crystals. Result? Your pictures will tend to be comprised of "dots" rather than smoother blends of color.
Despite improvements from 400 and 800 films of the past, Kodak's current low-end consumer film (i.e. Kodak Max) still suffers from excessive graininess. With everyone switching to 4x6 and 5x7 prints nowadays, pictures shot on these low-end consumer films will often still show "dots" when observed up close. If you want pictures to be treasured for years to come, do you really want dots?
The solution I found was Kodak's Royal Gold series, and Amazon to my delight recently started carrying this line of film. Unlike Max 400, Royal Gold 400 has a remarkably small grain size, offering you the best of both worlds -- sharpness and speed. It is a real shame that more consumers don't know about Kodak's Royal Gold line of film. I would expect that most people normally buy the Gold (low speed 100 or 200) or Max (high speed 400 or 800) series of film simply because it is the only type of film sold in nonspecialty stores. Don't -- it's a mistake. "Royal Gold," even though a little more expensive, is much better, and you will certainly appreciate the difference in quality.