Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS-1N RS

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 3, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in your Canon EOS-1N RS will have to depend on the available light, your lens, and type of film you want to use.

To eliminate having to carry around a tripod and/or flash, get a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.

Make sure you have a fast lens if you want to take pictures in low light, conditions that are commonly encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A terrific selection for a plethora of lighting conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS-1N RS in the majority of circumstances.

The photographs will have wonderful colors and tend to be on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film could be more widely available. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak.

In comparison to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a small amount cooler with stronger blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are not very many choices. For 35mm film stocks targeted towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the sole available choice.

The emulsion can also be found in the 120 film format, to be used with a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that started production in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 produces the look of snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. For the classic photography experience have a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best the film can achieve. This will provide the beautiful colors people love Kodak Gold 200 for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

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

Plus, ISO 160 and 800 versions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also easily found.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm film that is most similar to Kodak's Portra, but with a distinctive color profile. Expect to see more vibrant blues and greens.

It is offered in 120, but not in sheets of 8x10 or 4x5.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film stocks have affordable prices and excellent quality, making them favorable to try in the Canon EOS-1N RS.

The main attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very low cost. Even if you wouldn't put yourself in that group, it's great to have relatively cheap rolls of 35 film on hand for evaluating recently delivered used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable considering that allows this to be the most commonly sold B&W film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's much easier to buy in Europe as the film is made out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

An ideal film stock to choose for your initial few attempts at home developing or film photography. Additionally, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to confirm that it is working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to get this film is straight from Ultrafine.

They sell developer kits for 35mm film, so if you develop film at home you might have previously had interactions with them.

Professional

The 2 most frequently used black and white film stocks are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both possess unique appearances, they have a number of qualities that are equivalent that help makes them a favorite.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 2 stops and still result in high-quality photos. A roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The largest differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast compared to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be good because of the fact that contrast can be changed when making a print or editing digitally.

The film stock still appears very good when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized as having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion possesses a stronger rendering to it. To bring out the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in D-76.

You are going to undeniably see considerably more contrast with Tri-X 400. That is awesome if that is the overall look you are after because it involves substantially less work when making a print or editing digitally.

Transparency Film

Film stocks that create a positive image are often referred to as reversal, slide, or transparency film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the photographs.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, unlike the more prevalent negative film emulsions.

Slide films have a lot less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film and so they are perceived as more challenging to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors don't appear oversaturated. It has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides appealing looking images that have highly elevated amounts of saturation and contrast. It is razor-sharp and balanced for daylight. It has the top resolving power of any available reversal film stock.

It is also available in an ISO 100 version.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Produces vivid and realistic colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It has a daylight color balance and ultra-fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white reversal film, described by Fomapan as having fine grain, higher levels of contrast, and high resolving power. It's also regarded as a replacement for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and larger latitude, which is why pro-film costs more.

There's a big difference in businesses that sell it. Consumer films can generally still be seen in pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic amounts. Professional quality film emulsions needs to be purchased from camera store or online retailer.

Film ISO

A film's sensitivity to light is listed as the ISO.

The less light available to get an image, the bigger the ISO of the film should be. This comes at the cost of more film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) can be hard to shoot handheld in the EOS-1N RS. They will most likely take longer than what you could handhold without causing motion blur unless you're in full sun.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to assist you with longer exposure times. The extra gear might not be needed if you choose to use a faster ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO is electronically set by the Canon EOS-1N RS. This is a change from previous SLRs that have an ISO knob.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while still keeping satisfactory photographs. Pro films have a larger latitude along with a slightly higher cost.

Slide film has a smaller amount of latitude compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons it's thought of as difficult to work with.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the shadows and highlights details of a picture is described as dynamic range. Areas of a photograph that are not in this range will appear as black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

When working in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range is better.

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

The limited dynamic range of reversal film is an additional reason why it's thought to be a challenge to shoot. The golden hour is the prime time to use transparency film.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS-1N RS. In addition, it’s the most frequently used film format and sometimes described as 135 film.

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

Swapping the film stock you are using will transform the look of your shots. This is an example of the best things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Most new 35mm film manufactured at this point has DX encoding on the canister. This enables cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded.

The ISO on the Canon EOS-1N RS will automatically be set. This is because the camera can read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon EOS-1N RS Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find limited options for where to develop film. For a more in-depth explanation of the options, check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film does not get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film off to be developed by a third party. As a consequence, you won't receive your developed 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

The least difficult option and the method I suggest using if you are just getting started using film is to mail your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. A disadvantage to this is that it gets very expensive if you're regularly using film.

So long as you're going through a moderate to high-volume of film, there are a few actions that can be done to decrease your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Getting a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is one of the common ways to lower your expenses.

A 100-foot bulk roll should fill up typically around 18 rolls of film containing 36 frames each. Count on discounts of 20-30% based on the film.

Bear in mind that you are going to be limited to 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is because black and white film is easier and less expensive to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be developed at home. It's a smart way to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Canon EOS-1N RS.

Black & white film is significantly simpler to develop yourself. Temperature and development times are both not as necessary to do correctly with black & white film as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.

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