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Best Film for the Canon EOS Rebel S II

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Best Canon EOS Rebel S II 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in your Canon EOS Rebel S II is going to depend on the lens, lighting, and type of film you want to shoot.

Getting an ISO 400 35mm or faster will help you eliminate being weighed down with a flash or tripod.

If you have a need to capture images indoors or anytime there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens. See my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS Rebel S II for ideas.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A great selection for a plethora of conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS Rebel S II in just about all situations.

The photos will have wonderful colors and is on the warm side.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that could have greater availability based on what country you are in.

When compared to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a little bit cooler with an emphasis on greens and blues.

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are a few offerings if you want a color ISO 800 film. This happens to be the only film targeted towards consumers.

The film can also be bought in the 120 film format, for use in medium format cameras.

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. The film gives the look and feel of family snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the “authentic” look the film is known for.

To bring the best out of the film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will ensure that you get the exceptional colors everyone loves the film for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is well known for.

There’s also ISO 160 and 800 emulsions of Portra. As well as in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film stocks have affordable prices and excellent quality, making them favorable for use in the Canon EOS Rebel S II.

The biggest appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the low cost. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it is great to have low cost rolls of film readily available for trying out newly obtained used gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It is manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is excellent because that makes this the most broadly available B&W film of the 3.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Might be less difficult to get in Europe as the film is produced inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A good film emulsion to employ for your initial few attempts at film photography or home developing. Also a good option if you happen to be attempting to check out a camera to check that it is operating properly.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The best place to buy this film is directly from Ultrafine.

If you process color 35mm film yourself, you might have done that with chemicals produced by them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two best black and white film stocks. While they both have unique appearances, they possess numerous attributes in common that help makes them a favorite.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and still deliver great photographs. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most significant differences are that HP5 Plus is cheaper and has less contrast compared to Tri-X. A lack of contrast can be an advantage because of the fact contrast can be added when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

The film stock still looks outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized as having subtle grain.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock provides a more distinctive aesthetic to it. To showcase the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in D-76.

You are going to clearly see more contrast with Kodak Tri-X. That is beneficial if that is the overall look you want to have because it means considerably less work when editing digitially or making a print.

Slide Film

Slide film, also known as transparency film or reversal film, gives you a positive image. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to display the pictures.

This is distinct from the more widespread negative films that produce pictures that need inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

Slide films are regarded as very difficult to work with due to the fact slide film has a smaller amount of latitude and dynamic range when compared with negative film.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and terrific skin tones. There is virtually no hypersaturation of colors. It is daylight balanced.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a incredibly sharp daylight balanced slide film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving images a signature appearance. Matched against all the reversal films offered, it has the greatest resolving power.

There’s another emulsion with an ISO of 100.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers vivid and realistic colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It has ultra fine grain with a daylight color balance.

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Foma Fomapan R100

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock can more easily be pushed, have greater latitude, and dynamic range, this is why they cost more.

There will also be a significant difference in where it can be purchased. Consumer film stocks can generally be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Professional film will need to be purchased from a online or specialized camera store.

ISO

The speed of the film is shown as ISO, which may also be regarded as the film’s sensitivity to light.

The less light there is available to expose an image, the higher the film’s ISO will need to be. In addition, be prepared for more noticeable film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) might be tough to use handheld in the EOS Rebel S II. The can take longer are going to be longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur unless you are shooting in full sun.

To avoid this you are going to need to use a fast lens, tripod, and/or flash. Using a fast ISO 400 or ISO 800 film probably will make the additional accessories unnecessary.

As a quick note, the ISO dial is marked as ASA on the Canon EOS Rebel S II. The shift to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while still maintaining good quality. Pro films have a greater latitude along with a slightly higher price.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons why it is believed to be difficult to use.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the darkest and brightest details of a picture is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of an image that are not in this range will be rendered as completely white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is better due to the fact that it tends to make shooting in a wide variety of lighting conditions easier.

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

Slide film is thought to be tough to use due to the small dynamic range. A fantastic time to give it a try is during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Canon EOS Rebel S II uses 35mm film that is in metal canisters. It can also be called 135 film, and it’s the most often used type of film.

The only other film format you are likely to notice is 120 or 220 film that is used with medium format cameras}.

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

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

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

ASA (ISO) on the Canon EOS Rebel S II has to be manually dialed in. For that reason DX-coding isn’t going to be of any use.

Canon EOS Rebel S II Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find limited choices for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more thorough explanation of the options check my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film is not developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send the film off to be processed by a separate company. This means that, you won’t be given 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

Sending your film to a mail-order lab to be processed and scanned is the easiest solution if you’re just beginning to use film. If you consistently shoot film, this can be a drawback since it can get very expensive.

There are a couple of activities that you are able to do to cut back on the expenses required to use film, if you’re going through a moderate to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and loading in into canisters yourself is considered one of the leading ways to cut costs.

Once you’ve finished, you will get approximately 18 canisters of 36 exposures. Depending on the film stock you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you are only going to be able to purchase 100’ rolls of black and white film. This is due to the fact black and white film is easier and less expensive to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed at home. It is a smart method to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Canon EOS Rebel S II.

Black & white film is by far the easiest to develop. Chemical temperature and development times are not as critical to do correctly with black & white films as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.