Kodak Gold is hands down the best color negative film that is only made in 35mm. It’s got a bit more grain than the Portra films. If overexposed, it’s light and airy while if shot at box speed outside of direct sunlight, it can get the punchy colors similar to that of Ektar. At the time of writing, it costs $13 for a 3-pack from B&H which is an absolute steal considering how much other 35mm films costs and just how good this film is.
Truth be told, I do struggle to really pin down a consistent color palette with Gold because of just how much the saturation changes depending on whether it’s shot at box speed or whether you’re shooting in direct sun. If it is at all shady or if you’re shooting at dusk, the colors are quite rich and very saturated, however, if you’re shooting at high noon the colors are quite muted and very lovely. It may well be my favorite color palette of all the 35mm color negative film stocks.
Because Gold is only offered in 35mm, it doesn’t get quite the heavy rotation for intentional shooting that other films get but because it is so cheap, I definitely go through it and have taken many photos of Dr H and friends here and there. It doesn’t really blow me away for skin tones but it does an alright job. In reference to the above statements, I don’t know that I’ve really given it a fair shake in all kinds of different lighting situations (at least not intentionally) which I suspect would play a large roll in how the colors come out.
I’ve not done any pushing or pulling with this film and I don’t know that I ever will. At the time of writing, my 35mm game has almost exclusively been my F100 with my Tamron 45mm and the flexibility of that lens to shoot at 1/20th of a second without even a bit of camera shake is practically a miracle. As such, I have no real need of pushing film and so long as I continue to lazily get my film processed at the local shop (which doesn’t do any pushing/pulling), it’s not something I really see myself doing anymore.
If this film was any more available (it’s often on back order) I would say that it would hands down the best 35mm film. It may well be so even with its limited availability… If you haven’t picked up a few rolls, you should definitely do so.