So now that you’ve started film photography and you have learned how to use the camera, it’s time to look more into the quality of the film you’re going to be using.
How saturated or grainy is your film going to be and what kind of film quality are you looking for. These are all things you’ll start to pay more attention once you’ve learn the film camera basics. The films covered here are all colour films for 35mm cameras.
Theres different types of films for film cameras and we’re going to go through the best ones that give you the most out of your images. Because why shoot film if the you aren’t at least a little obsessed with the graininess, saturation levels or sharpness?
The Kodak Portra is one of my absolute favourites and I know I’m not the only one. The colors come out so vivid and for a 35mm film it really gives a sharpness like no other. You’ll find this film in specific film stores rather than convenience stores, because of the professional reputation it has.
The color and grain of this film is incredibly good and pleasing, skin tones have a deep, rich colors in them. The prices have gone up lately, but if you’re ordering in bulk it’ll be less expensive.
Kodak Ektar is a very fine grained film which produces super sharp images. You’ll have deep color saturation and contrast with this film.
The film is so smooth it gives the fine detail look of digital while maintaining the otherworldliness of film. As a low speed 100 ISO it works well in all kinds of light but it’s still recommended to save it for sunny days as it can really bring out the blue of the sky while giving high color saturation.
Lomography themselves do not actually make film. Instead, they rebrand other film types and sell them under their own brand. I have heard that these are usually expired films, which gives them their signature “look” (higher grain, color shifts, unpredictable exposures).
Reds, greens, and blues are strong, with yellows being slightly muted and oranges seem optimized for skin tones.
Overall colors aren’t too saturated (though not as much as Ektar), and contrast is strong but with good dynamic range. You get great skintones even when shot at the golden hour, which is nice.
Fujifilm Superia can be used wonderfully for any weather situation and any lens (even the low laughter zoom lenses). This does not involve any loss in quality. The colors are bright and intense, an increased granularity is practically not visible. For me, a real universal film.
I wouldn’t recommend this to be pushed too much, nor shooting in real darkness. The colors are quite soft and nostalgic, the Superia is great value for money.
Kodak UltraMax is best all-around film you can get for the price. On a sunny day the colors are super vibrant, same goes for when the flash is on. On a cloudy day I would say the colors are much more muted. Super vibrant color, yet soft. Definitely a great film for outdoor explorations.
The film superbly captured the radiant color and details of these buildings. It’s also pretty forgiving if you’re not completely sure what you’re doing with exposure.
This Fujifilm Velvia 100, along with Kodak Ektar 100, are two film stocks that really wow me every time I get some photos back from the lab.
Honestly put, Fuji Velvia 100 is one of those film stocks that you want to shoot more of because of how good it is, but it costs a little bit more and it uses a different developing process, which can be seen in the developing prices too. Natural and raw colors, with amazing details.
You should at least try this film once in your life.
Kodak Ektachrome E100 truly has outstanding color accuracy and immense detail. Photographing with this film will leave you having the most realistic imagery.
If you’re looking for beautiful skin tones while having all other colors in the photo to pop, this is your film. Very smooth with minimal grain, and perfect for a fall day and all year round really. E100 is not overly saturated and you won’t get hues like you would with Fuji Provia.
Best of all, there’s no annoying magenta cast that seems to plague Fuji Provia at times. This is a natural looking film.
Film showing colors as vibrant as this Fujifilm Provia (although I hear Velvia is even better!) won’t be easy to find.
Easy to shoot with, capturing close-ups without any blur, even at surprisingly low shutter speeds. Despite what many people say about the strict exposure constraints of this film and the overruling magentas, I like the end results the film gives.
The color is fantastic, but not to everyones liking. All of the warm colors (reds, yellows, oranges, even some greens) are very saturated and make the scene pop out.
This CineStill 400D film is a fine grain film that delivers a really soft color with natural saturated hues.
With a slightly softer look than films such as Kodak Gold and Ektar, the film has a very good dynamic range. Some have said the colours and look of the film is reminiscent of Kodak Vision3 250D.
Unlike other cinematic films, the “D” doesn’t apparently stand for “Daylight” (even though it is Daylight balanced), but “Dynamic” because it has a large latitude for push processing.
Kodak Color Plus has a nice warmth, great shadow detail, and a sky blue look that many photographers are looking for. The impeccable quality of the images also makes it a wonderful film.
It has this kind of grainy feel with a strong golden tint. Really good for sunny explorations outdoors. But the best part would probably be that it’s inexpensive compared to films like Portra and Ektar, so it’s more sustainable to shoot with in the long run.
Kodak Gold 200 is a brilliant film for a lower budget.
Excellent all-around film with bright, vivid, and accurate colors. You’ll be impressed with the results. The warm colors are amazing and its truly hard not to get a good shot.
The film produces sharp detail, making it perfect for a wide range of photography subjects. It’s a reliable and high-quality, but still – don’t expect Kodak Portra like quality and you won’t be disappointed.