Best Film for the Canon EOS 850

´╗┐The best film to use in the Canon EOS 850 will have to be based on the available light, your lens, and type of film you want to shoot.

Working with an ISO 400 film or higher speed will let you eliminate having to carry around a tripod or flash.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to take images in low light, conditions that are commonly found indoors. Take a look at my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS 850 for lens ideas.

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

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A fantastic selection for a variety of conditions. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS 850 in most scenarios.

Expect photographs to appear a little bit warm with amazing skin tones.

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that might have greater availability based on where you are in the world.

Fuji pictures appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens, when compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are only a small number of options if you want an ISO 800 speed color film. For film targeted towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the single option.

In addition, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also offered in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was released in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 produces the look and feel of snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. For the authentic experience use an on-camera flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best look the film has to offer. This will produce the fantastic colors people love Kodak Gold for.

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

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 look the film is highly regarded for.

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

These film stocks have affordable costs and more than acceptable quality, making them very popular to use in the Canon EOS 850.

The largest draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the low cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it is nice to have inexpensive rolls of 35 film readily available for trying out recently purchased used gear.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is the parent company of Ilford. This is great since that makes this the most broadly available 35mm film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

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

A pretty good film emulsion to work with for your initial few attempts at home developing or film photography. Also a good choice if you’re attempting to test out a camera to ensure that it’s operating properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

If you develop color film at home, you could have done that with developer produced by them.

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the 2 most popular black & white film stocks. They do have several qualities that are similar that help make them a favourite, while preserving individual looks.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still producing good quality photographs. 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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast. Minimal contrast can be beneficial because contrast can be added when making a print in the darkroom or editing digitally.

The film has subtle grain and still appears very good when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film has a stronger style to it. To reveal the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in D-76.

You are going to without a doubt notice a higher level of contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That’s very good if it happens to be the style you would you like because it involves less work when printmaking or editing digitially.

Slide film, also known as reversal or transparency film, gives you a positive picture. This allows the photographs to be displayed with a projector or light box.

This is unique from the more commonplace negative film stocks that produce photos that need inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

Slide films have a lot less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film and so they are believed to be harder to work with.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. There’s not any hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a amazingly sharp daylight balanced transparency film with high levels of contrast and saturation, giving photographs a distinct appearance. Matched against all the slide films available for purchase, it has the greatest resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 version.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

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

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

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

Professional film stock have increased latitude, are easier to push, and expanded dynamic range, that is why pro-film costs more.

You should expect a significant difference in where it can be purchased. Consumer film stocks can often be bought from pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic amounts. Pro film usually need to be purchased from a online or photography store.

A film’s sensitivity to light is represented by the ISO.

The higher the ISO, the less light will be necessary to properly expose an image. This comes at the tradeoff of more film grain.

It may be hard to handhold the EOS 850 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). The are going to take longer can take more time than what you could handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you’re shooting in full sun.

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

As a quick note, the ISO selection knob is marked as ASA on the Canon EOS 850. The move to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while still retaining usable photographs. Professional film emulsions have a greater latitude to go along with a slightly higher price.

Transparency film has a smaller amount of latitude when compared to negative film. That is a reason it is deemed to be difficult to work with.

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

A bigger dynamic range is preferable since a larger range tends to make shooting in variable lighting conditions easier.

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

Transparency film is regarded as challenging to shoot because of the constrained dynamic range. Golden hour is the ideal time to shoot reversal.

35mm film that comes in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS 850. It is also the most often used film format and occasionally referred to as 135 film.

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

One of the fantastic things about film is that you can switch the film stock you work with and get a unique look to your photos.

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

All new 35mm film manufactured currently has DX encoding on the canister. This will allow cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the canister put in the camera.

DX-coding isn’t going to change anything for the Canon EOS 850 because ISO is required to be selected manually.

There are a range of possible choices for where to process film. For a more comprehensive explanation of the possibilities go to my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn’t get developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film away to be processed by a 3rd party. Because of this, 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

Shipping your film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the most straightforward option if you are new to using film. If you consistently shoot film, this may be a downside because it can get pricey.

As long as you are using a moderate to high volume of film, there are two activities that you can do to minimize your costs.

Ordering a roll of 100 feet of film and loading in into canisters yourself is certainly one of the best ways to cut costs.

Once you’ve finished, you will end up making approximately 18 canisters of 36 exposures each. Expect to see savings of 20-30% based on your pick.

Keep in mind that you’re only going to be able to get 100’ rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and more affordable to develop at home.

Any film can be processed by hand. In fact it is a great method to reduce costs so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS 850.

Black and white film is significantly easier to develop at home. Temperature and development times are not as vital to get correct with black and white films as time and temperatures are for color negative or slide film.