Best Film for the Canon EOS Rebel XS

Best Canon EOS Rebel XS 35mm Film

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

Getting an ISO 400 film or faster will help you eliminate being burdened with a flash and/or tripod.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to capture photographs in low light, conditions that are commonly found indoors. Read my guide on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon EOS Rebel XS for lens ideas.

Color Film


Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A very good selection for an array of lighting conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the EOS Rebel XS in the majority of scenarios.

The photos will have very good skin tones and tend to be on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on where you are in the world, this film may be more widely available. It’s a very good alternative to Kodak emulsions.

When compared to Kodak, Fujifilm appears to be a bit cooler with notable greens and blues.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - You’re limited to only a small number of choices if you want a color ISO 800 film. For film targeted towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the sole option.

In addition, if you have a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that started production in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 produces the look of snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. Use an on-camera flash to get the “authentic” film look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the best the film has to offer. This will produce the stunning colors people love Kodak Gold for.


Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is by far the most popular color negative film. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is well known for.

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

Black and White Film


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

The largest draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the affordable cost. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it’s great to have low-priced rolls of 35 film around for testing newly purchased used gear.

Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is also the parent company of Ilford. This is good due to the fact that makes this the most widely sold 35mm film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action

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

A decent film to try for your initial few attempts at home developing or film photography. Also a good option if you happen to be trying out a camera to check that it’s totally functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price on this film by purchasing it directly from Ultrafine.

They produce developer kits for color film, so if you develop film at home you might have previously had interactions with them.


Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the two top selling black and white film emulsions. While they both have different rendering, they do have a large amount of capabilities that are similar that makes them so popular.

Both emulsions can be pushed 2 stops and while still generating solid images. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus has less contrast and is more affordable. Lower levels of contrast can be an advantage due to the fact contrast can be increased when making a print or editing digitally.

The film stock has subtle grain and still looks outstanding when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion features a more distinctive rendering to it. To create the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in Kodak D-76.

Kodak Tri-X 400 undeniably has a higher level of contrast. That’s excellent if that is the look you would you like because it means a smaller amount of work when making a print in the darkroom or editing digitially.

Slide Film

Reversal film, also known as transparency or slide film, results in a positive image. This means the photos can be showcased with a light box or projector.

This is different from the more commonplace negative films that create photos that require inverting the colors so that they can be seen.

Slide films have a smaller amount of latitude and dynamic range compared to negative films and so they are thought to be tougher to use.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for beautiful skin tones and fine grain. The colors do not show up oversaturated. The film has a daylight color balance.

Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a very sharp daylight color balanced slide film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving images a appealing rendering. It has the best resolving power of any increased increased.

An ISO 100 version is also out there.

Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces vibrant and realistic colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It has ultrafine grain with a daylight color balance.

Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having fine grain, increased levels of contrast, and excellent resolving power. It’s also mentioned as a alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stocks cost more because they have better latitude, dynamic range, and are easier to push.

You should expect to see a disparity in business that sell it. Consumer films can often still be purchased from pharmacies and big-box stores in small quantities. Pro film emulsions will need to be bought from a online retailer or specialized camera store.


Film speed is displayed by ISO, which can also be thought of as the film’s light sensitivity.

The bigger the film’s ISO, the less light is necessary to properly expose a photograph. Also, be prepared to see more film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) may be hard to shoot handheld with the EOS Rebel XS. The will most likely be longer might take longer than what you can handhold without producing motion blur unless you’re shooting in full sun.

To prevent motion blur you are going to need to use a fast lens, tripod, and/or flash. Using a high speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film can make the additional equipment not needed.

The ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Canon EOS Rebel XS. The move to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).


Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while keeping acceptable results. Professional films have a greater latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has a larger amount of latitude than reversal film. That is a reason why it’s perceived as harder to shoot.

Dynamic Range

The range between the darkest and brightest parts of a photo is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a photo that are not in this range will appear as totally black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

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

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

Transparency film is regarded as tricky to use resulting from the limited dynamic range. Golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Canon EOS Rebel XS. It is also the most popular type of film and sometimes described as 135 film.

120 or 220 film, used by medium format cameras, is the only other type of film you are probably going to come across}.

Swapping the film emulsion you are using will change the look of your shots. This is an example of the marvelous things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all commercially available 35mm film distributed at this point has a DX code. This allows cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the canister loaded.

DX-coding will not make a difference for the Canon EOS Rebel XS because ISO must be selected manually with the ASA knob.

Canon EOS Rebel XS Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a range of possible choices for where to develop 35mm film. For a more extensive discussion of the options read my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies no longer process film locally. They mail film off to be developed by a separate company. As a consequence, you will not 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 simplest option and what I suggest using if you are just getting started using film is to mail your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. A disadvantage to this is that it will become very expensive if you frequently use film.

There are a couple of things that you are able to do to help reduce the costs involved in using film, on condition that you’re shooting a moderate to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Among the most well known options to save money on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters yourself.

A 100 foot roll will load around 18 rolls of film containing 36 exposures each. Based on the film stock you will probably save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you’re only going to be able to get bulk rolls of black and white film. This is due to the fact black and white film is much easier and more affordable to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

You can easily develop and digitize film yourself. In fact it’s a good way to save money so you can shoot more film with your Canon EOS Rebel XS.

Black & white film is by far the simplest to process yourself. Temperature and time are both not as crucial to do correctly with black and white films as temperatures and time are for slide or color negative.