Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS-1

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 4, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon EOS-1 is going to be based on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to shoot.

To eliminate having to haul around a flash and/or tripod, select a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.

If you have a need to capture photos in low light, such as inside, ensure that you have a fast lens.

Color Film


Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - An excellent option for a plethora of lighting conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the EOS-1 in the majority of circumstances.

Expect photographs to appear slightly warm with amazing skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on where you are in the world, this film could have greater availability. It's an excellent alternative to Kodak.

When compared to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a little bit cooler with notable greens and blues.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't many possible choices. For film stocks focused on consumers, this is the single available option.

Furthermore, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also sold in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look and feel of family snapshots from the 1980s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "nostalgic" look the film is known for.

To bring the ideal look out of this film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will produce the beautiful colors people love Kodak Gold 200 for.


Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among film shooting enthusiasts online. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is well-known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equal to Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see stronger greens and blues.

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film aren't produced, but 120 is available.

Black and White Film


With reasonable costs and excellent quite popular for use in the Canon EOS-1.

The primary attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the competitive price. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it's nice to have low-cost rolls of 35 film around for evaluating newly delivered camera gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good due to the fact that makes this the most commonly sold B&W film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - This is likely to be easier to buy in Europe as the film is produced in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A very good film stock to try for your initial couple of attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also, a good choice if you are trying out a camera to make sure that it's fully operational.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the best price by buying it directly from Ultrafine.

They distribute developer kits for color 35mm film, so if you process film at home you may have already done business with them.


Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most commonly used black & white 35mm film stocks. They possess quite a few characteristics that are equivalent that makes them so well-liked while preserving unique styles.

Both emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and still deliver solid results. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably useful.

Box of Ilford HP5 Plus ISO 400 35mm Black & White Film

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The fundamental differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is less expensive when compared to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be advantageous because of the fact that contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or during digital processing.

The film stock has subdued grain and still appears great when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a stronger style. To produce the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in D-76.

You're going to unquestionably see greater contrast with Kodak Tri-X. That's perfect if that is the overall look you want because it involves much less work when editing digitally or making a print in the darkroom.

Reversal Film

Transparency film, also known as slide film or reversal film, produces a positive picture. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to view the photographs.

This is unique from the more often used negative film stocks that result in photographs that need inverting the colors for the image to be seen.

Slide films are viewed as difficult to shoot due to the fact slide film has less dynamic range and latitude than negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

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

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides signature looking shots that have highly increased amounts of saturation and contrast. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. When compared to all the reversal films available for purchase, it has the best resolving power.

There's another emulsion with an ISO of 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vivid colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It is a film balanced for daylight with an ultra-fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, claimed by Fomapan as having excellent resolving power, fine grain, and elevated levels of contrast. It is also mentioned as an alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and larger latitude, that is why they will cost more.

There's a big difference in where 35mm rolls of film can be purchased. Consumer film emulsions can usually be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Professional quality film stocks needs to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

Film speed is shown as ISO, which may also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.

The less light available to capture an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will have to be. Additionally, be prepared for larger sized film grain.

It might be tricky to handhold the EOS-1 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is due to the fact that if you don't have full sun, the shutter speeds will be longer than what you could handhold without resulting in motion blur.

To stop motion blur you are going to need to use a tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash. The extra accessories may not be needed if you get a higher speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO is set electronically by the Canon EOS-1. This is a change from previous cameras that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the amount of stops a film can be overexposed while holding onto usable photographs. Professional film emulsions have a greater latitude paired with a slightly increased cost.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons it's considered harder to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the brightest and darkest details of a photo is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a picture that don't fit within this range will appear as black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a variety of quickly changing lighting situations, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range is better.

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

Slide film is regarded as a challenge to shoot because of the small dynamic range. The golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Canon EOS-1 takes 35mm film that is in canisters. It can also be described as 135 film, and it is the best-selling type of film.

120 or 220 film, used in medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are going to encounter.

Swapping the film emulsion you are using will change the look of your photos. This is one of the best things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Almost all commercially available 35mm film distributed at this point has a DX code. This will allow cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the film is put in the camera.

The Canon EOS-1 will set the film ISO automatically. That is due to the fact that the camera will electronically read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon EOS-1 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a few options for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more complete explanation of the choices, you can check out my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get developed on location at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship the film away to be developed by a 3rd party. As a consequence, 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 photo lab to be processed and scanned is the simplest solution if you're just beginning to use film. A downside to this is that it will become really expensive if you regularly shoot film.

So long as you are shooting a moderate to high-volume of film, there are a few things that can be done to cut back on your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Ordering a roll of 100' of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is certainly one of the ideal methods to cut costs.

A 100' roll of film should fill up about 18 rolls of film containing 36 exposures. Based on the film you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you're only going to be able to get 100-foot rolls of black and white film. This is due to black & white film is less difficult and less expensive to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

You can process and scan any film yourself. It's a very good method to reduce costs so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS-1.

Black & white film is by far the easiest to process at home. Developer temperature and development times are not as imperative to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.

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