Best Film for the Fuji AX Multi Program

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 25, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Fuji AX Multi Program should be based on the available light, lens, and type of film you want to shoot.

Getting an ISO 400 film or higher speed will enable you to skip being weighed down with a flash and/or tripod.

If you want to capture photographs inside or anytime there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - An excellent selection for an array of conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the AX Multi Program in most scenarios.

Expect photographs to appear slightly warm with pleasant skin tones.

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

Fuji photographs appear to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens when compared to Kodak.

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

In addition, if you have a medium format camera, it's also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that started production in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look and feel of snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the "authentic" look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the most popular look the film can achieve. This will produce the fantastic colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the film enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is undoubtedly the most popular color negative film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is highly regarded for.

There's also ISO 160 and 800 emulsions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm counterpart to Kodak Portra 400, but with a different color appearance. Expect more vibrant greens and blues.

Sheets of 4x5 or 8x10 film aren't produced, but 120 is available.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable prices and excellent favorable to try in the Fuji AX Multi Program.

The main draw for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable price. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it's nice to have low-priced rolls of film available for evaluating newly delivered used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It is manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable considering that makes this the most widely sold B&W film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - This is likely to be much easier to obtain in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A good film stock to choose for your initial couple of attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be trying out a camera to guarantee that it is totally functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to buy this film is directly from Ultrafine.

They distribute developer kits for 35mm color film, so if you process film at home you could have previously interacted with them.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the two most popular black & white films. They have numerous traits that are similar that helps make them so popular while keeping individual styles.

Both emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and deliver great photos. 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 cheaper compared to Tri-X. Less contrast can be nice because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted when making a print or during digital post-processing.

The film stock has subdued grain and still appears great when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a more distinctive style. To reveal the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be processed in Kodak D-76.

You will undoubtedly notice more contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That's ideal if that is the overall look you will want because it involves much less work when printmaking or through digital post-processing.

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 view the photos.

This is unique from the more readily available negative film stocks that produce photographs that require inverting the colors for the image to be viewed.

Slide films have much less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative films and so they are perceived as harder to shoot.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and excellent skin tones. There's not any hypersaturation of colors. The film has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides appealing looking shots that have high amounts of saturation and contrast. It is razor-sharp and balanced for daylight. It has the best resolving power of any available slide film stock.

It is also available in an ISO 100 version.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It's a daylight color balanced film with an ultrafine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, noted by Fomapan as having increased levels of contrast, excellent resolving power, and fine grain. It's also regarded as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and expanded latitude, which is the reason pro-film costs more.

You should expect to see a disparity in availability. Consumer film emulsions can more often than not be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Professional film stocks usually need to be bought from photography store or online retailer.

Film ISO

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

The less light there's available to capture an image, the higher the film's ISO should be. Additionally, be prepared for noticeably increased film grain.

It is often troublesome to handhold the AX Multi Program with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will probably take more time than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're in full sun.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. The additional accessories might not be needed if you choose a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO selection knob is marked as ASA on the Fuji AX Multi Program. The move to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while still holding onto satisfactory photographs. Pro film emulsions have a greater latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has more latitude than transparency film. That is a reason it's deemed to be challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the highlights and shadows parts of a photo that can be recorded. Areas of a picture that are not in this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or black underexposed shadows.

When working in a variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a larger dynamic range is better.

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

Transparency film is regarded as challenging to use on account of the constrained dynamic range. An extremely good time to try it out would be during the golden hour.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Fuji AX Multi Program. In addition, it’s the most commonly used type of film and occasionally referred to as 135 film.

The only other type of film you are probably going to notice is 120 or 220 film that is used with medium format cameras.

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your photos. This is an example of the terrific things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All available 35mm film on the market at this point has a DX code. This will allow cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the film loaded.

DX-coding is not going to change anything for the Fuji AX Multi Program because ISO is required to be manually selected with the ASA knob.

Fuji AX Multi Program Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find limited possible choices for where to develop 35mm film. For a more thorough discussion of the options, go look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film does not get developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship the film away to be processed by a separate company. This means that, 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 easiest choice and the method I would suggest doing if you're just starting to use film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. A disadvantage to this is that it ends up being very expensive if you frequently use film.

Assuming that you are shooting a moderate to high-volume of film, there are two activities that can be done to reduce your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Certainly one of the common options to save some money on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and load canisters by hand.

A 100-foot bulk roll of film should fill up roughly 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures. Expect cost savings of 20-30% depending on the film you purchase.

Take into account that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is due to the fact black & white film is much easier and cheaper to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. It is a smart method to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Fuji AX Multi Program.

Black and white film is by far the least complicated to develop yourself. Chemical temperature and development times are not as essential to get correct with black & white film as time and temperatures are for color negative or transparency film.

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