Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS Rebel X

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 5, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon Rebel X will have to be based on the available light, lens, and type of film you want to use.

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or faster will enable you to skip being burdened with a flash and/or tripod.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to take photographs in low light, conditions that are frequently encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a multitude of lighting conditions well and is an excellent selection for a color 35mm film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the Rebel X in almost all circumstances.

Expect photos to appear a bit warm with amazing skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on your location, this film might have greater availability. It is a top-quality alternative to Kodak film.

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

Lomography 800 - You're limited to a few choices if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. This happens to be the only 35mm film stock focused on consumers.

Furthermore, if you have a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also sold in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 offers the look of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. For the classic photography experience have an on-camera flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the most popular look the film has to offer. This will provide the exceptional colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is undoubtedly the most widely used color film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is known for.

Plus, ISO 800 and 160 versions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also easily found.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see stronger blues and greens.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable costs and excellent very popular to try in the Canon Rebel X.

The biggest draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the reasonable price. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it is great to have comparatively cheap rolls of film on hand for trying out recently acquired used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is excellent since that allows this to be the most widely sold B&W film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It is less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A great film stock 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 make sure that it's functioning properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price on this film by ordering it straight from Ultrafine.

If you develop film yourself, you may have done that with chemicals sold by them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most frequently used black & white films. While they both do have different rendering, they have numerous capabilities in common that help makes them popular.

You can enjoy professional results after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very versatile.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The fundamental differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast compared to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be beneficial because of the fact that contrast can be increased when making a darkroom print or through digital post-processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film has got a more distinctive style. To bring out the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be developed in Kodak D-76.

You will undoubtedly see a higher level of contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That is perfect if that is the style you will want because it means substantially less work when through digital processing or making a print.

Slide Film

Films that make a positive image are referred to as transparency, slide, or reversal film. This means the photos can be shown with a lightbox or projector.

This is different from the more commonly available negative film emulsions that result in pictures that require inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

Slide films have substantially less latitude and dynamic range when compared to negative films and so they are perceived as more difficult to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

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

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is an exceptionally sharp daylight-balanced slide film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving photographs a distinctive rendering. Matched against all the slide films on the market, it has the best resolving power.

There is another emulsion that is ISO 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers natural and vivid colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It's a film balanced for daylight with an ultra-fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, described by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, very fine grain, and elevated levels of contrast. It's also billed as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro films cost more because they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and larger latitude.

There is a big difference in businesses that sell film. Consumer film stocks can usually still be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Pro film emulsions has to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

A film's light sensitivity is displayed by the ISO.

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

It might be challenging to handhold the Rebel X 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 shutter speeds will probably take more time than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur.

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

The ISO is set by the Canon Rebel X electronically. This is different from older SLRs that use a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining adequate results. Pro film stocks have a greater latitude to go along with a slightly increased cost.

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

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image that can be recorded. Parts of an image that don't fit within this range will be rendered as completely white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

A bigger dynamic range is ideal given that it helps make shooting in different lighting conditions easier.

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

Transparency film is viewed as challenging to use due to the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Canon Rebel X takes 35mm film that comes in metal canisters. It 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 probably going to come across.

Swapping the film stock you are working with will transform the look of your shots. This is one of the terrific things about film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All new 35mm film offered for sale at this point has DX encoding. This will allow cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded into the camera.

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

Canon Rebel X Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find limited possible choices for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more extensive discussion of the possible choices, see my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies have ceased developing film on location. They ship the film away to be developed by a third party. Because of this, you won't be given 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

Sending film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the most convenient choice if you are just beginning to use film. If you consistently use film, this could be a downside since it can get very expensive.

Assuming that you're going through a medium to high-volume of film, there are a few activities that you can do to minimize your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Purchasing a roll of 100' of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is considered one of the common options to lower your costs.

Once you've finished, you will find yourself with roughly 18 canisters of 36 frames each. Expect discounts of 20-30% depending on your pick.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you are limited to 100' rolls of black and white film. This is because black & white film is quite a bit easier and more affordable to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. It is an excellent option to save money so that you can use more film with your Canon Rebel X.

Black & white film is significantly simpler to develop at home. Temperature and time are both not as important to do correctly with black and white film as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.

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