Situated on the south bank of the River Orwell, just on the outskirts of a village called Chelmondiston, is a place called Pin Mill. Like many of the spots I visit, this place lies within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This spot was once a busy landing point for shop-borne cargo and a centre for repairing Thames sailing barges. It also housed many small industries such as sail making, maltings (now a workshop), and a brickyard. There is a long history of smuggling on the east coast, to which Pin Mill and its public house, the Butt and Oyster, reputedly played vital parts.
Whilst home to several houseboats, there are also several wrecked, traditional vessels which, as you can imagine, are popular with artists and photographers alike.
Earlier this year, Kodak announced they were bringing back Kodak Gold 200 in 120 format. With the cost of film increasing rapidly over the last couple of years, I was excited by a new “budget” film stock and decided to give their Gold 200 offering a go as soon as I could get my hands on a box.
On getting the scans back from FilmDev, I was a little undecided. I think I’ve been so used to shooting the likes of Portra 160/400 and Pro400H that this felt a little different. By no means in the wrong way. Some have even compared it to Portra 160, but I wasn’t getting this “feel” from it. Many years back, I used Gold 200 in 35mm format and found it easily under-exposed. Usually, I tend to err on the side of overexposure, and with Portra, I get the look and feel that I’m after by shooting at half box speed and metering for the shadows. Some of these shots, however, felt a little off and were similar to my experiences with the 35mm format.
The grain structure, as you would expect from a medium format, 200 ISO film is lovely. I think for the price, it’s excellent! Though it’s not as affordable as it once was at roughly £9 a roll! Gosh, even 35mm ColorPlus 200 isn’t as affordable as it once was, but it is cheaper than Portra and whilst it isn’t the same, it has its unique look. I’ve got a few rolls left, so I will experiment further and update.