Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS Rebel XS N (EOS 3000N)

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 7, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Canon Rebel XS N will depend on the lighting conditions, lens, and if you want to use color or black & white.

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

If you have a need to capture pictures in low light, such as indoors, ensure you have a fast lens.

Color Film


Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a wide variety of lighting conditions and is an excellent pick for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the Rebel XS N in the vast majority of circumstances.

Expect photographs to look slightly warm with pleasant colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film could be more widely available. It is a fantastic alternative to Kodak emulsions.

When compared to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a small amount cooler with notable blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - There are just a few offerings if you want a color ISO 800 film. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the only available choice.

Additionally, if you have a medium format camera, it's also sold in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - An excellent means to get that mid-1980s through 90s style. For the classic experience take advantage of an on-camera flash.

To bring the best out of the film, you'll need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will produce the beautiful colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.


Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

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

Plus, ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available to purchase.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equal to Portra 400, but with a different color appearance. Expect to see stronger greens and blues.

It is sold in rolls of 120, but not in 8x10 or 4x5 sheets.

Black and White Film


With reasonable prices and very good quite popular to be used in the Canon Rebel XS N.

The biggest attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the very low price. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it's nice to have relatively cheap rolls of film on hand for testing recently delivered used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is great since that makes this the most commonly available film of the three.

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

A suitable film to use for your first few attempts at home developing or film photography. Additionally, a good option if you're looking to test out a camera to guarantee that it is working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by getting it straight from Ultrafine.

They manufacture chemical developer kits for 35mm color film, so if you process film at home you could have previously had interactions with them.


Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the two top-selling black and white 35mm films. They do have many attributes in common that helps make them so well-liked while keeping different looks.

You can achieve good photographs after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most important differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable when compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be nice because contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or through digital processing.

The film stock still appears good when pushed 2-stops. It is also known for having a subtle grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

You'll clearly see greater contrast with Kodak Tri-X. That is excellent if it is the style you want because it results in significantly less work when editing digitally or making a print in the darkroom.

Transparency Film

Film stocks that create a positive image are typically referred to as slide, transparency, or reversal film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to exhibit the pictures.

This is different from the more commonplace negative film emulsions that result in pictures that need inverting the colors in order to be viewable.

Slide films are believed to be hard to work with because slide film has far less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and eye-catching skin tones. The colors don't seem oversaturated. It has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers special looking shots that have significantly increased amounts of saturation and contrast. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Matched against all the transparency films on the market, it has the best resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 speed.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vibrant colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It is an ultra-fine grain film balanced for daylight.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro films cost more due to the fact they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude.

There is a big difference in supply. Consumer film stocks can generally still be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic quantities. Professional quality film emulsions will need to be ordered from camera store or online retailer.

Film ISO

A film's sensitivity to light is shown as the ISO.

The less light there is available to capture an image, the higher the ISO of the film will be necessary. This comes at the expense of more noticeable film grain.

It might be quite challenging to handhold the Rebel XS N with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will likely be longer than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

A fast lens, tripod, and/or flash are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. The extra accessories may not be needed if you use a faster ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO is set by the Canon Rebel XS N electronically. This is a change from previous SLRs that have a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while still having acceptable quality. Pro films have a greater latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to reversal film. That is a reason why it's believed to be more difficult to work with.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the darkest and brightest parts of a photo that can be recorded. Sections of an image that are not in this range will be rendered as black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

A bigger dynamic range is preferable since a bigger range can make shooting in various lighting conditions easier.

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

The limited dynamic range of reversal film is one more factor it is considered hard to shoot. The golden hour is the prime time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in metal canisters is used by the Canon Rebel XS N. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it's the most popular film format.

The only other film format you are likely going to come across is 120 or 220 film that is used by medium format cameras.

One of the best properties of film is that you can change the film stock you work with and get a fresh look to your images.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all available 35mm film for sale today has DX encoding on the canister. This lets cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the canister is loaded.

The Canon Rebel XS N will set the film ISO automatically. That is because the camera will electronically read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon Rebel XS N Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

There are just a few possible choices for where to get film processed. For a more detailed explanation of the possible choices, go to my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is no longer processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship film off-site to be developed by a third party. Because of this, you won't be given your developed 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 what I suggest using if you're just getting started shooting film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. If you regularly use film, this may be a disadvantage since it can get really expensive.

There are a couple of actions that can be done to reduce the costs involved in using film, assuming that you're using a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and loading it into canisters by hand is among the ideal options to lower your costs.

A 100-foot bulk roll of film should fill up approximately 18 canisters of film with 36 exposures. Expect to see discounts of 20-30% based on your pick.

Be aware that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is much easier and more affordable to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

It is possible to develop and digitize film at home. It's a great option to lower your costs so that you can use more film with your Canon Rebel XS N.

Black & white film is by far the least difficult to process at home. Chemical temperature and development times are not as necessary to get correct with black & white films as time and temperatures are for color negative or transparency film.

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