There are many available film stocks. The best film to use in the Canon T50 is going to depend on your needs, available light, camera lens, subject, and artistic choices.
The two film stocks I will always recommend first are going to be either Ilford HP5 Plus 400 or Kodak Tri-X 400. Both are professional black and white films.
In my opinion, they are the easiest films to learn with because they have wide exposure latitude. New photographers are often concerned with getting their exposure correct. With either HP5 Plus or Tri-X, exposures can be off by several stops and photos will still look great.
Color film and explanations on the important differences between them will be covered in detail with examples below.
If you intend to capture pictures in low light, such as inside, ensure you are using a fast lens. For lens lens suggestions take a look at my post on the 5 Best Lenses for the Canon T50.
In order to get high quality photographs, you're going to need to have some lens filters.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - A great option for a wide range of conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the T50 in just about all circumstances.
The pictures will have great colors and leans towards the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that might have better availability based on what country you are in.
In comparison to Kodak, Fujifilm appears to be a little cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.
Lomography 800 - You're limited to a small number of options if you want an ISO 800 speed color 35mm film. This is the only 35mm film geared towards consumers.
The film can also be purchased in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.
Kodak Gold 200 - A reliable means to obtain that mid-80s through 90s style. For the genuine shooting experience take advantage of a flash.
To bring the ideal look out of the film, you will need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide you with the gorgeous colors everyone loves Kodak Gold 200 for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among photography enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is highly regarded for.
Kodak Portra is also for sale in ISO 160 and 800 emulsions. It is also offered in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.
Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm counterpart to Portra 400, but with a distinct color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant blues and greens.
It's sold in 120, but not in 8x10 or 4x5 sheets.
Black and White Film
These film emulsions have affordable costs and excellent quality, making them very popular to use in the Canon T50.
The largest appeal for photography students and budget minded photographers is the very low price. Even if you don't put yourself in those groups, it's good to have affordable rolls of 35 film readily available for trying out recently acquired camera gear.
Kentmere 400 - Produced by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is good due to the fact that makes this the most broadly sold 35mm film of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Will be much easier to acquire in Europe as the film is produced by Foma Bohemia out of the Czech Republic.
An excellent film emulsion to employ for your initial few attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Also a good choice if you're testing out a camera to ensure that it's operating properly.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to buy this film is directly from Ultrafine.
If you process color 35mm film yourself, you might have done that with developer produced by them to process your film.
The 2 top selling black & white film emulsions are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400. They have numerous characteristics that are comparable that help make them so well liked, while preserving individual rendering.
You can create high quality 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.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The main 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 advantageous because of the fact contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or through digital post processing.
The film stock still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subdued grain.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a more distinctive rendering. To achieve the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be processed in Kodak D-76.
You're going to clearly see considerably more contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That is ideal if that is the overall look you would you like because it involves considerably less work when through digital post processing or printmaking.
Film emulsions that create a positive image are typically referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to view the pictures.
Colors are not required to be inverted to be viewed, contrary to the more often used negative film emulsions.
Slide films have substantially less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film and so they are perceived as challenging to work with.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and picturesque skin tones. The colors won't be seen as oversaturated. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is an incredibly sharp daylight color balanced slide film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving images a distinct appearance. Velvia has the top resolving power of any available transparency film stock.
It is also available in an ISO 100 emulsion.
Fujifilm Provia 100F - Delivers vibrant and realistic colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultra fine grain.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, reported by Fomapan as having fine grain, elevated levels of contrast, and excellent resolving power. It's also mentioned as an alternative for the long discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Pro films cost more since they have increased dynamic range, latitude, and are easier to push.
There might be a significant difference in supply. Consumer film emulsions can oftentimes be seen in big-box stores and pharmacies in limited amounts. Professional film emulsions needs to be bought from a specialized camera store or online retailer.
The ISO shows the speed of the film, that can also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.
The bigger the film's ISO, the less light is required to properly expose a picture. This comes at the tradeoff of bigger film grain.
ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) might be a challenge to shoot handheld with the T50. This is due to the fact that in the absence of full sun, the shutter speeds might take longer than what you are able to handhold without producing motion blur.
To avoid motion blur you will need to use a tripod, flash, and/or fast lens. Using a high speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film probably will make the additional equipment not needed.
The ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Canon T50. The transition to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Film latitude is the amount of stops a film can be overexposed while still maintaining adequate results. Pro films have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat increased cost.
Transparency film has a smaller amount of latitude in comparison with negative film. That is one of the reasons why it's believed to be difficult to use.
Dynamic range is the range between the darkest and brightest details of a picture that can be recorded. Parts of a picture that are not in this range will appear as black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.
A bigger dynamic range is advantageous given that a larger range can make shooting in a wide variety of 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 a further factor it's thought to be tricky to shoot. The perfect time to try it is during the golden hour.
The Canon T50 takes 35mm film that is in metal canisters. It’s also the most often used film format and sometimes called 135 film.
The only other film format you are going to encounter is 120 or 220 film that is used by medium format cameras.
One of the terrific properties of film is that you can change the film you work with and get a different look to your images.
DX Coded Film
Almost all available 35mm film on the market at this time has DX encoding. This will allow cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the canister put in the camera.
ASA (ISO) on the Canon T50 has to be set manually. Which means that DX-coding isn't going to make a difference.
Canon T50 Resources
Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?
You will find a variety of possibilities for where to develop 35mm film. For a more complete explanation of the choices have a look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.
WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies do not process film at the store. They mail film away to be processed by a 3rd party. Consequently, you won't get your developed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
The least difficult choice and the method I suggest using if you are just beginning to use film is to mail your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. A drawback to this is that it will become pricey if you frequently use film.
There are two actions that you are able to do to lower the costs involved in using film, given that you're using a medium to high volume of film.
Bulk Loading Film
Among the best methods to reduce costs on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.
After you are done, you will end up getting approximately 18 canisters of 36 frames each. Based on the film you will probably save 20%-30%.
Bear in mind that you are going to be limited to 100' rolls of black & white film. This is due to the fact black & white film is less difficult and cheaper to process yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
You can easily process and digitize film yourself. In fact it's an excellent method to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Canon T50.
Black & white film is by far the simplest to develop at home. Chemical temperature and development times are not as essential to do correctly with black & white films as temperatures and time are for color negative or transparency film.