Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS Rebel GII

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 2, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon Rebel GII is going to be based on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to shoot.

Taking advantage of an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will help you skip needing to lug around a flash and/or tripod.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to shoot pictures in low light, conditions that are commonly encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film can be used in a wide variety of lighting conditions and is an excellent option for a color 35mm film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the Rebel GII in the majority of scenarios.

The photographs will have terrific colors and tend to be on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that could have greater availability based on where you are in the world.

Fujifilm pictures appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens compared to Kodak.

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

In addition, if you own a medium format camera, it's also offered in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 offers the look and feel of home snapshots from the 1980s and 90s. Use an on-camera flash to get the "classic" film look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to reveal the most popular look the film has to offer. This will produce the idyllic colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is definitely the most widely used color negative 35mm film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is well-known for.

There's also 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 film that is closest to Portra, but with a distinctive color appearance. Expect more vibrant blues and greens.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have affordable costs and very good quality, making them favorable to try in the Canon Rebel GII.

The main attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very low cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it's good to have low-cost rolls of film on hand for evaluating recently purchased used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is excellent considering that allows this to be the most broadly sold B&W film out of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's much easier to buy in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

A good film emulsion to try for your initial few attempts at home developing or analog photography. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be trying out a camera to guarantee that it is completely functional.

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

If you process color 35mm film yourself, you might have used chemicals sold by them to develop your film.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 most widely used black & white 35mm film stocks. They do have a large amount of characteristics that are similar that makes them so well-liked while maintaining individual rendering.

Both film stocks can be pushed 2 stops and result in good quality results. 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 primary differences are that HP5 Plus has less contrast and is more affordable when compared to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be a benefit because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted when making a darkroom print or during digital processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

You will without a doubt see considerably more contrast with Tri-X. That is great if it's the look and feel you are after because it results in much less work when through digital processing or printmaking.

Transparency Film

Transparency film, also known as slide or reversal film, creates a positive image. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to display the slides.

The colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, contrary to the more widespread negative film emulsions.

Slide films have substantially less dynamic range and latitude than negative film and so they are perceived as harder to use.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

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

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a seriously sharp color balanced for daylight slide film with lots of saturation and contrast, giving shots a beautiful rendering. When compared to all the reversal films offered, it has the top resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 speed.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, described by Fomapan as having fine grain, higher contrast, and very good resolving power. It's also regarded as a replacement for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more because they have better dynamic range, latitude, and can more easily be pushed.

There's a big difference in businesses that sell rolls of film. Consumer films can oftentimes still be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic amounts. Professional level film stocks needs to be ordered from camera store or online.

Film ISO

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

The bigger the ISO of the film, the less light will be required to expose an image. Additionally, be prepared for more film grain.

It might be tricky to handhold the Rebel GII with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). They will probably take more time than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. The additional accessories might not be needed if you choose to use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO is set by the Canon Rebel GII electronically. This is different from older cameras that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while retaining good photographs. Professional film stocks have a larger latitude to go along with a slightly increased price.

Negative film has a greater amount of latitude than transparency film. That is one of the reasons why it's deemed to be challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the darkest and brightest details of an image is referred to as dynamic range. Sections of an image that do not fit in this range will be rendered as totally black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a superior choice.

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

Slide film is thought to be tricky to use due to the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the ideal time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that is in canisters is used by the Canon Rebel GII. In addition, it’s the best-selling type of film and sometimes described as 135 film.

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 transform the look of your photographs. This is an example of the marvelous things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Virtually all available 35mm film for sale today has DX encoding on the canister. This allows electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film is loaded into the camera.

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

Canon Rebel GII Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a few choices for where to develop 35mm film. For a more in-depth discussion of the possible choices, have a look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies have stopped processing film locally. They ship film away to be developed by a separate company. Consequently, you won't receive 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 lab to be processed and scanned is the simplest choice if you're just starting to shoot film. If you regularly use film, this can be a drawback since it can get really expensive.

So long as you're using a medium to high-volume of film, there are a few activities that can be done to cut back on your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Ordering a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is among the best options to reduce costs.

A 100-foot bulk roll will fill around 18 canisters of film with 36 exposures. Based on the film stock you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you are only going to be able to get rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is less difficult and more affordable to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed by hand. It's an intelligent way to spend less so you can shoot more film with your Canon Rebel GII.

Black and white film is by far the least complicated to develop. Temperature and development times are not as vital to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.

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