Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS-3

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 1, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon EOS-3 should depend on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Getting an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you skip being weighed down with a tripod and/or flash.

If you need to capture photos indoors or anytime there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film works well in a wide variety of lighting conditions and is a fantastic selection for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the EOS-3 in the majority of situations.

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that may have better availability based on what country you are in.

Fujifilm images appear to have cooler tones with notable greens and blues when compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are only a few possible choices. For 35mm film focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the single available choice.

Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, it's also for sale in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film emulsion that debuted in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 has the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the "classic" look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to bring out the best the film has to offer. This will produce the attractive colors everyone loves 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 film enthusiasts online. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is well-known for.

Kodak Portra is also available for purchase in ISO 160 and 800 versions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also easily found.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm counterpart to Kodak Portra 400, but with a distinct color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant blues and greens.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable prices and excellent quite popular for use in the Canon EOS-3.

The largest draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very low price. Even if you don't put yourself in those groups, it is great to have relatively cheap rolls of film on hand for trying out 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 since that allows this to be the most widely sold film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will probably less difficult to acquire in Europe as the film is manufactured in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A suitable film emulsion to employ for your initial couple of attempts at analog photography or home developing. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be attempting to check out a camera to guarantee that it is totally functional.

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

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

Professional

The 2 most widely used black and white film stocks are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both have unique rendering, they have a large amount of capabilities that are comparable that help makes them so popular.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 2 stops and still produce professional photographs. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very versatile.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The primary differences are that HP5 Plus has less contrast and is more affordable in comparison to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be good because contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

You will clearly see more contrast with Tri-X 400. That's ideal if it's the overall look you will want because it results in substantially less work when printmaking or through digital processing.

Transparency Film

Transparency film, also known as reversal film or slide film, generates a positive image. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to view the photos.

The colors are not required to be inverted to be seen, unlike the more widespread negative film emulsions.

Slide films have much less latitude and dynamic range when compared to negative films and so they are believed to be harder to use.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for excellent skin tones and fine grain. The colors do not appear oversaturated. It has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes beautiful looking photos that have increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is remarkably sharp and color balanced for daylight. Velvia has the best resolving power of any available transparency film emulsion.

There's another version that is ISO 100.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white transparency film, described by Fomapan as having fine grain, elevated contrast, and high resolving power. It's also regarded as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock can more easily be pushed, have improved dynamic range, and latitude, which is why they cost more.

You should expect to see a big difference in supply. Consumer film stocks can frequently be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in limited amounts. Pro film needs to be ordered from an online or photography store.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to get an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will be needed. This comes at the expense of larger sized film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) can be challenging to use handheld with the EOS-3. This is because without full sun, the shutter speeds will take longer than what you can handhold without creating motion blur.

To get around motion blur you will need to use a fast lens, tripod, and/or flash. Using a high-speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film often makes the additional gear not needed.

The ISO is electronically set by the Canon EOS-3. This is a change from older cameras that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while having usable photographs. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Slide film has a smaller amount of latitude compared to negative film. That is a reason why it's regarded as more difficult to work with.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the range between the shadows and highlights parts of a photo that can be recorded. Areas of a photograph that are not in this range will appear as completely black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a better choice.

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

Reversal film is considered tough to use as a consequence of the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the ideal time to shoot slide film.

Film Type

35mm film that is in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS-3. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it's the best-selling type of film.

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

Swapping the film you are working with will change the look of your pictures. This is one of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Almost all new 35mm film for sale today has a DX code. This enables electronically controlled cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film is put in the camera.

The ISO on the Canon EOS-3 will automatically be set. That is due to the fact that the camera has contacts for reading the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon EOS-3 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a range of possibilities for where to get 35mm film developed. For a more thorough explanation of the possibilities, you can check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed on location at pharmacies and big box stores. They send film off-site to be developed by a separate company. Because of that, you will not receive 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

The least difficult choice and the method I suggest using if you're just beginning to shoot film is to send off your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. If you consistently use film, this may be a drawback because it can get very expensive.

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

Bulk Loading Film

Certainly one of the leading methods to get a better price on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.

A 100-foot roll will load typically around 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures. Based on the film stock you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you're only going to be able to purchase rolls of black and white film. This is due to the fact black & white film is less difficult and more affordable to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be processed by hand. It's an excellent way to lower your costs so you can use more film with your Canon EOS-3.

Black and white film is significantly less complicated to process. Temperature and time are not as important to get correct with black and white films as they are for slide or color negative.

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