The best film to use in your Canon Elan is going to depend on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.
To avoid having to carry around a flash and/or tripod, select a film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.
If you have a need to shoot pictures inside or anywhere there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a multitude of lighting conditions well and is a great pick for a color film. Using this film you should be able to handhold the Elan in the majority of circumstances.
The photographs will have great skin tones and tend to be on the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on where you are in the world, this film may be more widely available. It is a very good alternative to Kodak.
In comparison to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a little cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.
Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there aren't very many possible choices. This is literally the only 35mm film emulsion geared towards consumers.
In addition, if you have a medium format camera, it is also offered in 120 film format.
Kodak Gold 200 - A guaranteed means to achieve that mid-1980s through 90s feeling. Use a flash to get the "nostalgic" film look.
Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best the film can achieve. This will produce the spectacular colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among enthusiasts online. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is known for.
Plus, ISO 160 and 800 emulsions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available to purchase.
Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm counterpart to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect more vibrant blues and greens.
Sheets of 4x5 or 8x10 film are not produced, but 120 film is.
Black and White Film
These film emulsions have reasonable costs and very good quality, making them very popular to try in the Canon Elan.
The primary appeal for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is good to have comparatively cheap rolls of 35 film on hand for testing recently acquired used gear.
Kentmere 400 - It's manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is great considering that allows this to be the most commonly available 35mm film out of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Can be easier to acquire in Europe as the film is made in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.
A great 35mm film to use for your first few attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also, a good selection if you're looking to test out a camera to guarantee that it's totally operational.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by getting it from Ultrafine.
If you process film yourself, you may have used developer produced by them.
Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 best black & white 35mm films. They possess quite a few capabilities in common that helps make them popular while preserving unique styles.
Both films can be pushed 2 stops and provide solid photographs. A 35mm roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite flexible.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The major differences are that HP5 Plus has less contrast and is less expensive in comparison to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be advantageous because contrast can be changed when making a print or editing digitally.
The film stock still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized for having subdued grain.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film possesses a stronger rendering. To bring out the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in D-76.
You are going to clearly notice far more contrast with Tri-X. That's fantastic if it's the style you need because it results in a great deal less work when making a darkroom print or during digital post-processing.
Film stocks that make a positive image can be called reversal, slide, or transparency film. This allows the photographs to be exhibited with a projector or lightbox.
This is unique from the more prevalent negative film emulsions that result in photographs that require inverting the colors for the image to be viewable.
Slide films have substantially less latitude and dynamic range compared to negative films and so they are thought of harder to work with.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and exquisite skin tones. The colors won't show up oversaturated. It's daylight-balanced.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides unique looking shots that have greatly elevated amounts of contrast and saturation. It is sharp and color balanced for daylight. When compared with all the slide films you can buy, it has the best resolving power.
An ISO 100 emulsion is also available for purchase.
Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vivid colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It's an ultra-fine grain film balanced for daylight.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, claimed by Fomapan as having higher levels of contrast, very fine grain, and very good resolving power. It's also billed as an alternative for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Pro film stock have greater latitude, are easier to push, and expanded dynamic range, that is why pro-film costs more.
You should expect to see a big difference in businesses that sell 35mm rolls of film. Consumer film stocks can frequently be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in meager amounts. Professional film stocks needs to be purchased from a specialized photography store or online retailer.
The speed of the film is shown as ISO, that can also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.
The less light available to properly expose an image, the bigger the ISO of the film should be. Also, be prepared for noticeably increased film grain.
It might be difficult to handhold the Elan with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because without full sun, the shutter speeds will probably be longer than what you could handhold without producing motion blur.
A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to help you with longer shutter speeds. The extra gear may not be needed if you decide to use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.
The ISO is set by the Canon Elan electronically. This is different from previous cameras that have a physical ISO dial.
Film latitude is the amount of stops film can be overexposed while maintaining usable quality. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.
Negative film has more latitude compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons why it's viewed as more challenging to work with.
The range between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph is referred to as dynamic range. Sections of an image that don't fit within this range will be seen as white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.
When working in a wide variety of quickly changing lighting situations, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a much better choice.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
The limited dynamic range of transparency film is a second reason why it's thought to be tough to shoot. The best time to try it out would be during the golden hour.
35mm film that is in metal canisters is used by the Canon Elan. 35mm 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 going to encounter.
Switching the film stock you are working with will transform the look of your photos. This is one of the terrific things about shooting film.
DX Coded Film
Most available 35mm film on the market currently has DX encoding. This allows electronically controlled cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the canister is put in the camera.
The ISO on the Canon Elan will be set automatically. That is due to the fact that the camera has electronics to read the DX-coding on film canisters.
Canon Elan Resources
Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?
You will find a range of possibilities for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more extensive explanation of the choices, take a look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.
WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies do not process film on location. They mail film off-site to be developed by a separate company. That is why, you will not be given your developed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
Sending film to a mail-order lab to be processed and scanned is the most convenient solution if you are just beginning to use film. If you regularly shoot film, this may be a disadvantage due to the fact that it can get very expensive.
Assuming that you're going through a moderate to high-volume of film, there are two activities that can be done to help reduce your costs.
Bulk Loading Film
Investing in a bulk roll of 100' of film and loading it into canisters by hand is considered one of the most widely used ways to reduce costs.
A 100-foot bulk roll should fill up about 18 rolls of film containing 36 exposures. You should expect to save 20-30% based on the film.
Take into account that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black and white film is easier and more affordable to process yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
All film can be processed by hand. In fact, it is a very good method to reduce costs so you can use more film with your Canon Elan.
Black and white film is significantly less difficult to process yourself. Temperature and development times are not as vital to do correctly with black and white films as temperatures and time are for transparency or color negative.