Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS 850

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 6, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon EOS 850 is going to depend on the lens, lighting, and type of film you want to use.

To avoid having to haul around a tripod or flash, purchase a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.

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

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a variety of lighting conditions well and is a fantastic option for a color 35mm film. Using this film you should have the ability to handhold the EOS 850 in almost all scenarios.

Expect photographs to appear a little warm with gorgeous colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film might have greater availability. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak film.

In comparison to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a bit cooler with notable blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color film, there aren't very many possible choices. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, this is the single available choice.

The film is available in the 120 film format, for use in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look of family snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the "authentic" look.

To really bring the ideal look out of this film, you will have to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide the idyllic colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is definitely the most frequently used color film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is well-known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm film that is most similar to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see more vibrant greens and blues.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With low costs and very good favorable to try in the Canon EOS 850.

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

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is also the owner of Ilford. This is great 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 find in Europe as the film is made by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A good quality film stock to choose for your first few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Also, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to guarantee that it is working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by getting it directly from Ultrafine.

They produce chemical developer kits for color film, so if you process film at home you could have previously had interactions with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two top-selling black & white 35mm films. They have a number of characteristics that are similar that helps make them a favorite while maintaining different rendering.

You can get professional photos after pushing both films 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably versatile.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast. Minimal amounts of contrast can be an advantage because of the fact that contrast can be added when making a print or through digital processing.

The film emulsion still appears good when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion features a more distinctive aesthetic to it. To achieve the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in Kodak D-76.

You're going to clearly see greater contrast with Tri-X. That is awesome if it's the overall look you would like because it involves much less work when making a print in the darkroom or during digital processing.

Transparency Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image are commonly referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. This means the slides can be exhibited with a projector or lightbox.

Colors don't need to be inverted to be viewed, contrary to the more often used negative film emulsions.

Slide films have a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude than negative film and so they are viewed as 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 do not be seen as oversaturated. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers beautiful looking shots that have increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is astonishingly sharp daylight balanced film. Matched against all the slide films offered, it has the top resolving power.

An ISO 100 speed is also available to buy.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers natural and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It has an ultra-fine grain with a daylight color balance.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock are easier to push, have greater latitude, and dynamic range, which is the reason pro-film costs more.

You should expect to see a significant difference in businesses that sell it. Consumer film stocks can oftentimes be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Pro film emulsions should really be ordered from a specialized camera store or online retailer.

Film ISO

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

The higher the ISO of the film, the less light will be required to properly expose a picture. Also, be prepared to see increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) may be frustrating to use handheld with the EOS 850. They will likely be longer than what you could handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're shooting in full sun.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. Using a high-speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film often makes the extra equipment not needed.

The ISO is electronically set by the Canon EOS 850. This is a change from previous SLRs that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while having usable images. Pro films have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat higher price.

Negative film has more latitude compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons why it's considered challenging to work with.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a picture that can be recorded. Sections of a picture that fall out of this range will be rendered as solid white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is advantageous due to the fact that it tends to make shooting in variable lighting conditions easier.

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

Slide film is viewed as a challenge to shoot due to the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the ideal time to use reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that is in canisters is used by the Canon EOS 850. 35mm film can also be described as 135 film, and it is the most widely used film format.

120 or 220 film, used in medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are likely to come across.

Switching the film emulsion you are working with will alter 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

All available 35mm film for sale these days has a DX code. This lets cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is put in the camera.

The ISO on the Canon EOS 850 will be set automatically. This is because the camera can read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon EOS 850 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a variety of possible choices for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more comprehensive discussion of the possibilities, go to my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get developed on site at pharmacies and big box stores. They send film off-site to be developed by a third party. Because of that, 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 your film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the most convenient solution if you're new to using film. A disadvantage to this is that it will become really expensive if you consistently use film.

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

Bulk Loading Film

Considered one of the most well-known methods to get a better price on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load canisters by hand.

A 100' roll of film should load roughly 18 canisters of film with 36 frames each. Depending on the film you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Bear in mind that you are only going to be able to get rolls of black and white film. This is due to black & white film is much easier and less expensive to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. It's an intelligent method to lower your costs so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS 850.

Black and white film is by far the least complicated to develop. Chemical temperature and development times are both not as crucial to do correctly with black & white films as they are for transparency or color negative.

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