Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS Elan II (EOS 50)

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

The best film to use in your Canon Elan II will have to be based on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to shoot.

To prevent having to carry around a flash and/or tripod, choose a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.

If you would like to shoot images in low light, such as inside, make sure you are using a fast lens.

Color Film


Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A great option for a wide range of conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the Elan II in the majority of scenarios.

Expect photographs to look slightly warm with pleasant colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that could have better availability based on where you are in the world.

In comparison to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a little cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't many offerings. For film stocks geared towards consumers, this is the sole available option.

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

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 provides the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "authentic" look the film is known for.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the most popular look the film has to offer. This will ensure that you get the great colors everyone loves the film for.


Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is without a doubt the most frequently used color 35mm film. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is known for.

Plus, ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also available to purchase.

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

Sheets of 4x5 or 8x10 film aren't available, but 120 film is available.

Black and White Film


With affordable costs and excellent favorable for use in the Canon Elan II.

The largest draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the low cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it's great to have affordable rolls of film available 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 excellent considering that makes this the most broadly available 35mm film of the 3.

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

A suitable film emulsion to work with for your initial few attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Additionally, a good choice if you happen to be looking to check out a camera to guarantee that it's completely functional.

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

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


Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most commonly used black & white film emulsions. They possess many capabilities in common that helps make them so well-liked while maintaining individual styles.

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

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The major differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has less contrast in comparison to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be helpful due to the fact that contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or during digital post-processing.

The film stock still appears outstanding 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 has a stronger look. To achieve the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in Kodak D-76.

Tri-X undoubtedly has far more contrast. That is helpful if that is the look you will want because it means much less work when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post-processing.

Transparency Film

Reversal film, also known as transparency or slide film, gives you a positive picture. This means the pictures can be displayed with a projector or lightbox.

This is different from the more often used negative film stocks that result in pictures that require the colors to be inverted in order to be viewable.

Slide films have much less dynamic range and latitude than negative film and so they are perceived as more difficult to shoot.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and pretty skin tones. There's almost no hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides distinctive looking shots that have highly elevated levels of contrast and saturation. It is razor-sharp daylight balanced film emulsion. Out of all the reversal films that are available, it has the best resolving power.

There's also another emulsion that is ISO 100.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, claimed by Fomapan as having increased levels of contrast, fine grain, and excellent resolving power. It is also billed as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

There is a disparity in businesses that sell film. Consumer film stocks can commonly be purchased from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Pro film stocks often need to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to expose an image, the bigger the ISO will need to be. Additionally, be prepared for larger film grain.

It might be quite challenging to handhold the Elan II with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is due to the fact that if you don't have full sun, the exposure times are going to be longer than what you could handhold without causing motion blur.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod can assist you with longer exposure times. The additional accessories may not be needed if you pick a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO is set electronically by the Canon Elan II. This is a change from older SLRs that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while holding onto adequate images. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased price.

Negative film has more latitude than reversal film. That is a reason why it's deemed to be challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the shadows and highlights details of a photo is known as dynamic range. Areas of a picture that are not in this range will be rendered as black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a variety of quickly changing lighting conditions, film stocks with a larger dynamic range are a better choice.

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

The constrained dynamic range of reversal film is one more factor it is viewed as hard to shoot. The golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Canon Elan II takes 35mm film that comes in metal canisters. The film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it's the best-selling film format.

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

Switching the film stock you are using will change the look of your images. This is one of the wonderful things about film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Most new 35mm film offered today has a DX code. This enables cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded into the camera.

The Canon Elan II will set the film ISO automatically. That is due to the fact that the camera has electronics to read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon Elan II Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find a variety of possibilities for where to get film processed. For a more in-depth discussion of the possible choices, go to my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship film off-site to be processed by a 3rd party. Because of that, you won't get your 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 film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the most convenient choice if you are just beginning to use film. A drawback to this is that it gets very expensive if you frequently use film.

As long as you're going through a medium to high-volume of film, there are a few actions that you are capable of doing to minimize your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Considered one of the most popular ways to spend less money on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.

A 100-foot bulk roll can fill up approximately 18 canisters of film with 36 frames each. Depending on the film you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you are limited to 100' rolls of black & white film. This is due to black & white film is a lot easier and more cost-effective to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. In fact, it's a very good way to spend less so that you can shoot more film with your Canon Elan II.

Black & white film is by far the simplest to process yourself. Developer temperature and development times are not as essential to do correctly with black and white film as they are for slide or color negative.

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