Best Film for the Canon EOS-1

The best film to use in your Canon EOS-1 should be based on your lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to use.

Using an ISO 400 film or faster will help you avoid being burdened with a flash or tripod.

If you would like to take images in low light, such as indoors, ensure that you have a fast lens. For lens lens suggestions check out my blog post on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS-1.

Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film
Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a multitude of lighting conditions and is a terrific option for a color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS-1 in the vast majority of scenarios.

Expect pictures to appear a bit warm with gorgeous colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that could have far better availability based on where you are in the world.

In comparison to to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a little cooler with notable blues and greens.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are only a few options if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, this is the sole choice.

In addition, if you own a medium format camera, it is also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A guaranteed means to achieve that mid-80s through 90s feeling. Use an on-camera flash to get the “authentic” look the film is known for.

To bring the ideal look out of this film, you will want to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will ensure that you get the eye-catching colors everyone loves the film for.

Box of Kodak Portra 400 ISO 35mm film
Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is without a doubt the most widely used color negative film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is highly regarded for.

There are also ISO 800 and ISO 160 emulsions of Kodak Portra. It is also offered in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

These film emulsions have reasonable prices and more than acceptable quality, making them quite popular for use in the Canon EOS-1.

The biggest appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the very affordable cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it’s great to have low-priced rolls of 35 film around for trying out newly purchased used gear.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It’s produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable due to the fact that allows this to be the most commonly sold film out of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be less difficult to acquire in Europe as the film is made inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

An ideal 35mm film to try for your first couple of attempts at home developing or analog photography. Also a good choice if you happen to be trying out a camera to check that it is operating correctly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price by getting it straight from Ultrafine.

They make developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you might have already had interactions with them.

The 2 most popular black and white films are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400. They do have numerous characteristics that are equivalent that help make them so popular, while keeping individual styles.

You can enjoy high quality photos after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. A 35mm roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite versatile.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two films, HP5 Plus is cheaper and has lower levels of contrast. A lack of contrast can be an advantage due to the fact contrast can be increased when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post processing.

The film still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also noted for having subtle grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock features a more distinctive look. To reveal the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be processed in D-76.

You’ll unquestionably notice far more contrast with Tri-X. That is ideal if it is the look and feel you want to have because it involves considerably less work when during digital processing or making a print.

Film emulsions that create a positive image can be called transparency, slide, or reversal film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to display the photos.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be seen, unlike the more widespread negative films.

Slide films are thought of difficult to shoot because slide film has less dynamic range and latitude than negative film.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors will not be seen as oversaturated. It has been color balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a sharp color balanced for daylight transparency film with lots of saturation and contrast, giving photographs a distinct look. Compared to all the transparency films offered, it has the best resolving power.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 version.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers natural and vivid colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It has ultrafine grain with a daylight color balance.

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, noted by Fomapan as having excellent resolving power, very fine grain, and higher contrast. It is also regarded as a alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.

Professional film stocks cost more because they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and increased latitude.

There’s a big difference in supply. Consumer films can frequently be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in small quantities. Professional quality film stocks should be ordered from a online or specialized camera store.

Film speed is represented by ISO, that can also be regarded as the film’s light sensitivity.

The less light available to expose an image, the higher the film’s ISO will have to be. In addition, be prepared for increased film grain.

It may be frustrating to handhold the EOS-1 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because if you do not have full sun, the shutter speeds will likely take more time than what you’re able to handhold without producing motion blur.

A tripod, flash, and/or fast lens will help you with longer exposure times. The additional gear might not be needed if you choose a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Canon EOS-1. The switch to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while still retaining tolerable images. Professional film stocks have a greater latitude paired with a slightly higher price.

Negative film has a greater amount of latitude compared to transparency film. That is one of the reasons why it is believed to be difficult to work with.

The difference between the highlights and shadows parts of an image is described as dynamic range. Sections of an image that do not fit in this range will appear as completely black underexposed shadows or completely white overexposed highlights.

A bigger dynamic range is ideal since it tends to make working in different lighting conditions easier.

  • Digital cameras 14+ stops
  • Negative film up to 13 stops
  • Slide film 6-8 stops

The constrained dynamic range of reversal film is another reason it is considered tough to shoot. The perfect time to test it out is during the golden hour.

35mm film that is sold in canisters is used by the Canon EOS-1. 35mm film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it is the most frequently used film format.

The only other type of film you are going to encounter is 120 or 220 film that is used by medium format cameras}.

Changing the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your images. This is an example of the wonderful things about using film.

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister
DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Virtually all available 35mm film offered these days has a DX code. This makes it possible for electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the film canister loaded into the camera.

ASA (ISO) on the Canon EOS-1 has to be manually selected. Which means DX-coding does not be of any use.

You will find a few options for where to get film processed. For a more comprehensive discussion of the choices check my guide on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film doesn’t get developed locally at pharmacies and big box stores. They mail the film off to be processed by a separate company. As a result, you won’t be given your processed negatives back.

  1. Develop Film at Home
  2. Use a Local Photography Lab
  3. Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
  4. Pharmacy or Big Box Store

Shipping film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the most straightforward choice if you’re just beginning to shoot film. If you regularly shoot film, this could be a downside due to the fact that it can get really expensive.

So long as you are using a medium to high volume of film, there are two actions that can be done to limit your costs.

Among the common ways to reduce costs on film is to buy a roll of 100’ of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.

Once you are done, you’ll end up getting about 18 canisters of 36 exposures each. Based on the film you will probably save 20%-30%.

Take into account that you’re going to be limited to 100 foot rolls of black & white film. This is because black and white film is less difficult and more cost-effective to process at home.

You can easily develop and scan any film yourself. In fact it is an intelligence way to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS-1.

Black & white film is by far the least complicated to process at home. Temperature and development times are both not as essential to get correct with black and white films as temperatures and time are for color negative or transparency film.