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Best Film for the Canon EOS Rebel S

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Best Canon EOS Rebel S 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in the Canon EOS Rebel S should be based on the lighting, your lens, and type of film you want to shoot.

To avoid having to haul around a flash and/or tripod, get a film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.

Make sure you have a fast lens if you want to shoot images in low light, conditions that are often encountered indoors. For lens suggestions have a look at my post on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS Rebel S.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film can be used in a multitude of lighting conditions and is a very good option for a color 35mm film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS Rebel S in just about all scenarios.

Expect photos to look slightly warm with gorgeous skin tones.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film may be more widely available. It’s a great alternative to Kodak film.

Fuji photographs appear to have cooler tones with an emphasis on greens and blues, compared to Kodak.

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color film, there aren’t very many possible choices. This is the only 35mm film focused on consumers.

Furthermore, if you own a medium format camera, it’s also sold in 120 film format.

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film emulsion that was released in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look and feel of home snapshots from the 80s and 90s. For the authentic experience try a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to bring out the most popular look the film has to offer. This will provide you with the outstanding colors people love the film for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is by far and away the most widely used color 35mm film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the appearance the film is known for.

Kodak Portra is also for sale in ISO 800 and ISO 160 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also easily found.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have reasonable costs and excellent quality, making them very popular to be used in the Canon EOS Rebel S.

The major draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the affordable price. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it’s good to have comparatively cheap rolls of film on hand for evaluating newly obtained camera gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Produced by Harmon Technology, which is also the parent company of Ilford. This is excellent because that makes this the most widely available film of the 3.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It is much easier to find in Europe as the film is produced out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A pretty good 35mm film to work with for your first couple of attempts at analog photography or home developing. Also a good option if you happen to be attempting to try out a camera to check that it’s fully operational.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to purchase this film is directly from Ultrafine.

If you develop 35mm color film yourself, you could have used developer produced by them to process your film.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the two most frequently used black and white 35mm film emulsions. While they both do have distinctive looks, they possess numerous characteristics in common that help makes them so well liked.

You can enjoy very good images after pushing both film stocks 2-stops. 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 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus is less expensive and has less contrast. Low amounts of contrast can be good because contrast can be adjusted when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post processing.

The film emulsion has subtle grain and still looks very good when pushed 2-stops.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film features a stronger aesthetic. To create the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in D-76.

The film stock certainly has higher levels of contrast. That’s helpful if it’s the style you are after because it requires significantly less work when making a darkroom print or editing digitially.

Reversal Film

Film emulsions that create a positive image are known as transparency, reversal, or slide film. This allows the photographs to be showcased with a light box or projector.

This is distinct from the more prevalent negative film stocks that make images that require inverting the colors so that they can be viewable.

Slide films have less latitude and dynamic range compared to negative film and so they are believed to be challenging to work with.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. There’s virtually no hypersaturation of colors. It has a daylight color balance.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers beautiful looking photographs that have increased levels of contrast and saturation. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Velvia has the best resolving power of any available transparency film.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 emulsion.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces vivid and natural colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It’s a ultrafine grain film balanced for daylight.

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Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, described by Fomapan as having very fine grain, high resolving power, and increased contrast. It is also mentioned as a replacement for the long discontinued Agfa Scala film emulsion.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock have improved dynamic range, latitude, and are easier to push, this is why they are more expensive.

There will be a significant difference in supply. Consumer films can quite often be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic amounts. Professional film usually need to be purchased from a camera store or online retailer.

ISO

The speed of the film is represented by ISO, that can also be regarded as the film’s sensitivity to light.

The less light available to get an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will be needed. Furthermore, be prepared for bigger film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) might be tough to shoot handheld in the EOS Rebel S. This is because without full sun, the shutter speeds will probably be longer than what you can handhold without creating motion blur.

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

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

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the amount of stops film can be overexposed while maintaining acceptable quality. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude along with a slightly increased cost.

Negative film has a larger amount of latitude when compared to transparency film. That is a reason it’s viewed as challenging to shoot.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a photo that don’t fit within this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a variety or quickly changing lighting conditions, films 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 small dynamic range of slide film is a second reason it’s regarded as difficult to shoot. Golden hour is the ideal time to shoot reversal.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS Rebel S. It is also the most popular film format and sometimes called 135 film.

The only other type of film you are going to encounter is 120 or 220 film that is used in medium format cameras}.

One of the terrific things about film is that you can switch the film you use and get a fresh look to your pictures.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all available 35mm film offered these days has DX encoding. This enables cameras to auto detect and set the ISO when the canister is loaded.

ASA (ISO) on the Canon EOS Rebel S must be set manually. For that reason DX-coding is not going to make a difference.

Canon EOS Rebel S Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a range of options for where to get film processed. For a more extensive discussion of the possible choices look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is no longer developed on location at pharmacies and big box stores. They send the film away to be processed by a separate company. This means 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

The least complicated option and the method I suggest using if you are just starting to shoot film is to mail your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. If you consistently shoot film, this can be a downside due to the fact that it can get really expensive.

So long as you’re going through a moderate to high volume of film, there are a couple of things that you can do to help reduce your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Ordering a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is one of the leading ways to reduce costs.

Once you’re done, you’ll end up having around 18 rolls of 36 frames. Depending on the film you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you’re limited to bulk rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black & white film is a lot easier and more affordable to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed at home. In fact it is a great method to spend less so you can shoot more film with your Canon EOS Rebel S.

Black and white film is much less difficult to process at home. Developer temperature and time are not as critical to get correct with black & white film as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.