Recommended Beginner Film for the Canon EOS RT

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

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

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or faster will let you eliminate being weighed down with a flash and/or tripod.

If you have a need to shoot images inside or anywhere there is low light, make sure that you have a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a large range of lighting conditions well and is a terrific pick for a 35mm color film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the EOS RT in lots of circumstances.

Expect photographs to look a little bit warm with amazing colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on your location, this film could be more widely available. It's a very good alternative to Kodak film.

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

Lomography 800 - There are just a small number of offerings if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For film focused on consumers, this is the single available choice.

The emulsion is also available in the 120 film format, for use in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A guaranteed way to obtain that mid-80s through 90s style. For the classic shooting experience have a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the best look the film can achieve. This will provide the beautiful colors everyone loves the film for.

Professional

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 appearance the film is well-known for.

Plus, ISO 160 and ISO 800 emulsions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also manufactured.

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

Sheets of 8x10 or 4x5 film are not manufactured, but 120 film is available.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With low prices and very good quite popular to try in the Canon EOS RT.

The main attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the competitive cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it's great to have low-cost rolls of 35 film on hand for testing newly delivered used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

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

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's less difficult to acquire in Europe as the film is made inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A suitable film emulsion to use for your initial few attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Also, a good choice if you happen to be testing out a camera to be sure that it's totally operational.

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

They manufacture developer kits for film, so if you process film at home you could have already interacted with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the 2 top-selling black and white films. While they both possess unique looks, they possess quite a few attributes that are equivalent that makes them so well-liked.

You can create solid results after pushing both emulsions 2-stops. A 35mm roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most significant differences are that HP5 Plus is more affordable and has less contrast compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be good because of the fact that contrast can be increased when making a print or during digital processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has a stronger style. To bring out the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in Kodak D-76.

You're going to undoubtedly notice far more contrast with Kodak Tri-X. That's beneficial if it happens to be the style you would prefer because it requires significantly less work when through digital post-processing or making a darkroom print.

Slide Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image can be called slide, transparency, or reversal film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to show the photographs.

This is different from the more prevalent negative film stocks that produce photographs that require inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

Slide films are thought to be tough to shoot due to the fact slide film has much less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for appealing skin tones and fine grain. The colors will not be seen as oversaturated. It has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers beautiful looking images that have elevated levels of saturation and contrast. It is astonishingly sharp with a daylight color balance. It has the top resolving power of any available transparency film emulsion.

An ISO 100 speed is also available.

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

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have larger latitude, dynamic range, and are easier to push, this is why pro-film costs more.

You should expect to see a disparity in availability. Consumer film emulsions can often be bought in pharmacies and big-box stores in meager amounts. Professional quality film often need to be ordered from photography store or online retailer.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to expose an image, the bigger the film's ISO will be needed. This comes at the expense of noticeably increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) are often tricky to shoot handheld with the EOS RT. They can take longer than what you are able to handhold without causing motion blur unless you are working in full sun.

To avoid motion blur you'll need to use a fast lens, flash, and/or tripod. The additional accessories might not be needed if you get a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO is electronically set by the Canon EOS RT. This is different from previous SLRs that have a physical ISO knob.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while still keeping usable images. Pro film stocks have a greater latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude in comparison with negative film. That is one of the reasons it is thought of as more challenging to shoot.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a photograph is described as dynamic range. Parts of a photograph that do not fit within this range will appear as black underexposed shadows or solid white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly changing lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a much better choice.

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

The limited dynamic range of transparency film is a further factor it is regarded as a challenge to shoot. The golden hour is the prime time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Canon EOS RT uses 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. It can also be referred to as 135 film, and it is the most widely used type of film.

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

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

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All new 35mm film on the market at this point has a DX code. This lets electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded into the camera.

The ISO on the Canon EOS RT will be set automatically. This is due to the fact that the camera has electronics to read the DX-coding on film canisters.

Canon EOS RT Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find limited options for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more thorough explanation of the possible choices, see my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film does not get processed on location at pharmacies and big box stores. They send the film off-site to be processed by a third party. That is why, 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

Shipping film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the least complicated solution if you're new to shooting film. A drawback to this is that it becomes very expensive if you're regularly using film.

Assuming that you're going through a medium to high-volume of film, there are a couple of actions that can be done to help reduce your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters yourself is one of the best options to lower your costs.

A 100-foot bulk roll should fill up typically around 18 canisters of film with 36 frames. Depending on the film stock you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you are only going to be able to get rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is less difficult and more cost-effective to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. It's a very good option to spend less so that you can use more film with your Canon EOS RT.

Black and white film is much less complicated to process yourself. Chemical temperature and development times are both not as necessary to do correctly with black & white films as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.

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