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Best Film for the Canon EOS Rebel XS N

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Best Canon EOS Rebel XS N 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in your Canon EOS Rebel XS N should depend on the lighting conditions, lens, and if you want to use color or black & white.

Getting an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will help you avoid needing to carry around a tripod and/or flash.

If you would like to take photos in low light, such as indoors, ensure that you are using a fast lens. Go read my guide on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS Rebel XS N for lens recommendations.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a plethora of lighting conditions well and is a great option for a color 35mm film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS Rebel XS N in the majority of situations.

The pictures will have extremely good colors and is on the warm side.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that may have greater availability based on where you are in the world.

Fuji photos appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens, compared to Kodak.

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are a few possibilities if you want a color ISO 800 film. For 35mm film emulsions geared towards consumers, this is the only choice.

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

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - An excellent way to achieve that mid-1980s through 90s look. For the genuine shooting experience use a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to reveal the most popular look the film has to offer. This will provide the wonderful colors everyone loves Kodak Gold 200 for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

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

Kodak Portra is also available for purchase in ISO 800 and ISO 160 versions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also manufactured.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film stocks have affordable prices and excellent quality, making them very popular to be used in the Canon EOS Rebel XS N.

The largest attraction for budget minded photographers and photography students is the competitive cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is good to have inexpensive rolls of 35 film available for testing recently delivered camera gear.

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Kentmere 400

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

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will probably much easier to obtain in Europe as the film is produced in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A good quality film stock to try for your initial few attempts at film photography or home developing. Also a good option if you’re testing out a camera to guarantee that it’s completely functional.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

If you process 35mm color film yourself, you could have used chemicals produced by them.

Professional

The 2 top selling black and white 35mm film stocks are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both do have different looks, they have many characteristics in common that help makes them so well received.

You can achieve very good photos after pushing both films 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 - The main differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast compared to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be nice because of the fact contrast can be adjusted when making a print or through digital processing.

The film still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subtle grain.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has a stronger aesthetic. To achieve the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in Kodak D-76.

Tri-X certainly has higher levels of contrast. That is very good if that is the overall look you want to have because it requires a great deal less work when editing digitially or making a darkroom print.

Transparency Film

Films that create a positive image can be called slide, transparency, or reversal film. This allows the pictures to be shown with a light box or projector.

The colors don’t need to be inverted to be viewable, as opposed to the more common negative films.

Slide films are believed to be very difficult to use because slide film has a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for appealing skin tones and fine grain. The colors will not appear oversaturated. Ektachrome is daylight balanced.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers signature looking images that have significantly elevated amounts of contrast and saturation. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Velvia has the best resolving power of any increased increased.

There’s another version with an ISO of 100.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Creates vivid and natural colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultra fine grain.

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Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, reported by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, increased levels of contrast, and very fine grain. It is also billed as a substitute for the discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more since they have larger latitude, dynamic range, and are easier to push.

There will also be a significant difference in availability. Consumer film stocks can usually be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Professional quality film emulsions needs to be purchased from a specialized camera store or online.

ISO

A film’s sensitivity to light is listed as the ISO.

The less light there’s available to expose an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will be necessary. This comes at the cost of bigger film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) might be difficult to use handheld in the EOS Rebel XS N. The will be longer will likely be longer than what you can handhold without leading to motion blur unless you’re out in full sun.

A tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash can assist you with longer exposure times. Using a high speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film will likely make the extra equipment unnecessary.

The ISO dial is marked as ASA on the Canon EOS Rebel XS N. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while having usable quality. Professional film stocks have a greater latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Slide film has a smaller amount of latitude when compared to negative film. That is a reason it is perceived as challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the highlights and shadows parts of an image is known as dynamic range. Sections of an image that don’t fit within this range will be seen as white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is better given that a larger range helps make shooting in varied lighting conditions easier.

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

The constrained dynamic range of transparency film is an additional reason why it is regarded as tough to shoot. Golden hour is the prime time to use transparency.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS Rebel XS N. In addition, it is the most commonly used film format and is on occasion referred to as 135 film.

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

One of the wonderful properties of film is that you can switch the film emulsion you work with and get a totally different look to your shots.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all commercially available 35mm film manufactured these days has DX encoding. This will allow cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the canister put in the camera.

ISO (ASA) on the Canon EOS Rebel XS N must be manually dialed in. For that reason DX-coding does not matter.

Canon EOS Rebel XS N Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

There are a range of options for where to process 35mm film. For a more comprehensive explanation of the choices read my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores have ended processing film at the store. They ship the film off 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

Sending film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the most convenient choice if you’re new to using film. A disadvantage to this is that it becomes expensive if you consistently shoot film.

So long as you’re shooting a medium to high volume of film, there are a few activities that can be done to lower your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Among the most widely used ways to save some money on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually load canisters by hand.

A 100’ bulk roll should load approximately 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures each. You should expect to save 20-30% based on the film you opt for.

Take into account that you’re only going to be able to get 100’ rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and less expensive to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. In fact it’s an intelligence way to reduce costs so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS Rebel XS N.

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