Best Film for the Canon EOS-3

Best Canon EOS-3 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in the Canon EOS-3 will have to depend on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Getting an ISO 400 film or faster will enable you to skip being burdened with a tripod and/or flash.

If you would like to capture pictures indoors or anywhere there is low light, ensure that you are using a fast lens. For lens recommendations go to my blog post on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS-3.

Color Film


Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film can be used in a wide variety of lighting conditions and is a great option for a 35mm color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS-3 in lots of scenarios.

The photographs will have extremely good colors and leans towards the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on where you are in the world, this film may have greater availability. It’s a very good alternative to Kodak.

Fujifilm pictures tend to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens, compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are a small number of offerings if you want a color ISO 800 film. For 35mm film focused on consumers, this is the sole option.

It is sold in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - An outstanding way to achieve that mid-80s through 90s rendering. Use an on-camera flash to get the “authentic” look the film is known for.

To bring the best look out of this film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the spectacular colors everyone loves the film for.


Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is hands down the top color 35mm film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is highly regarded for.

Kodak Portra is also sold in ISO 160 and 800 versions. As well as in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film


With affordable prices and more than acceptable favorable for use in the Canon EOS-3.

The biggest appeal for photography students and budget minded photographers is the low cost. Even if you don’t put yourself in those groups, it is nice to have low-priced rolls of 35 film on hand for trying out recently obtained used cameras.

Kentmere 400

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

Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be easier to buy in Europe as the film is made out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A very good film stock to choose for your initial few attempts at film photography or home developing. Also a good choice if you’re looking to check out a camera to check that it’s functioning properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest place to purchase this film is directly from Ultrafine.

If you develop color 35mm film at home, you might have used chemicals sold by them.


The two top selling black & white films are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both have distinctive styles, they do have quite a few qualities in common that help makes them a favorite.

You can achieve professional results after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The biggest differences are that HP5 Plus is more affordable and has less contrast when compared to Tri-X. Minimal contrast can be beneficial because of the fact contrast can be adjusted when making a darkroom print or during digital post processing.

The film stock still looks excellent when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film has a more distinctive aesthetic to it. To create the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in D-76.

You are going to definitely see greater contrast with this film stock. That’s perfect if it happens to be the look you would prefer because it results in substantially less work when making a print in the darkroom or through digital processing.

Transparency Film

Film stocks that make a positive image are known as slide, reversal, or transparency film. This allows the photographs to be displayed with a projector or light box.

The colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, contrary to the more readily available negative film stocks.

Slide films have a lot less latitude and dynamic range when compared to negative films and so they are thought to be challenging to work with.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. There is no hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome has been color balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a amazingly sharp daylight color balanced reversal film with high levels of contrast and saturation, giving shots a unique rendering. Out of all the transparency films available to buy, it has the best resolving power.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 version.

Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Creates vibrant and realistic colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultrafine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more due to the fact that they have larger latitude, are easier to push, and larger dynamic range.

There’s a significant difference in where rolls of film can be purchased. Consumer films can frequently still be bought in pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic amounts. Professional film emulsions needs to be ordered from a camera store or online retailer.


The ISO refers to the speed of the film, which can also be regarded as the film’s sensitivity to light.

The bigger the ISO, the less light will be necessary to properly expose a frame. In addition, be prepared to see larger film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) might be challenging to use handheld in the EOS-3. The will probably be longer are going to take more time than what you are able to handhold without leading to motion blur unless you are out in full sun.

To prevent motion blur you’ll need to use a fast lens, flash, and/or tripod. The additional gear might not be needed if you decide to use a higher speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

As a quick note, the ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Canon EOS-3. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).


Latitude is the amount of stops film can be overexposed while retaining usable photographs. Professional films have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat higher price.

Slide film has less latitude when compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons why it is regarded as more difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the range between the shadows and highlights parts of a picture that can be captured. Sections of a photo that are not in this range will be rendered as completely black underexposed shadows or completely white overexposed highlights.

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

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

Reversal film is viewed as challenging to shoot because of the small dynamic range. Golden hour is the prime time to use transparency.

Film Type

The Canon EOS-3 takes 35mm film that comes in metal canisters. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it’s the most often used type of film.

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

One of the excellent things about film is that you can switch the film emulsion you use and get a fresh look to your photos.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all commercially available 35mm film sold today has DX encoding on the canister. This lets electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO when the canister is put in the camera.

DX-coding isn’t going to matter for the Canon EOS-3 because ISO needs to be manually dialed in.

Canon EOS-3 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

There are a few possible choices for where to have film developed. For a more in depth discussion of the possibilities see my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores have ended processing film at the store. They send the film off-site to be developed by a third party. Because of this, you won’t get 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 most straightforward method and the method I would suggest using if you are just getting started using film is to mail your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. A drawback to this is that it will become pricey if you regularly shoot film.

There are two things that you can do to reduce the expenses required to shoot film, assuming that you are using a medium to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Among the ideal methods to lower your expenses on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters yourself.

A 100 foot roll of film will load about 18 canisters of film containing 36 frames. Expect to save 20-30% depending on the film you decide on.

Keep in mind that you’re only going to find 100 foot rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is a lot easier and less expensive to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

It’s possible to process and digitize any film yourself. In fact it is a smart option to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Canon EOS-3.

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