Best Film for the Fuji STX-2

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 28, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Fuji STX-1 will have to be based on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Taking advantage of an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you eliminate needing to haul around a flash or tripod.

If you need to capture pictures in low light, such as indoors, ensure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a plethora of lighting conditions well and is a terrific pick for a color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the STX-1 in the majority of scenarios.

The photographs will have very good colors and is on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film may be more widely available. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Fujifilm photos appear to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens when compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color 35mm film, there are not very many options. For 35mm film emulsions targeted towards consumers, this is the sole available option.

The emulsion is also offered in the 120 film format, to be used with a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - An awesome solution to obtain that mid-1980s through 90s rendering. For the genuine photography experience have a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best look the film can achieve. This will produce the idyllic colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

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

Plus, ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available to purchase.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm emulsion that is most similar to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect more vibrant blues and greens.

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film are not produced, but 120 is.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable prices and good favorable to try in the Fuji STX-1.

The major draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the reasonable cost. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it is nice to have economical rolls of 35 film on hand for evaluating newly acquired camera gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is notable considering that allows this to be the most commonly available 35mm film out of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - This is likely to be much easier to find in Europe as the film is made by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A very good film emulsion to employ for your first couple of attempts at home developing or film photography. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be testing out a camera to ensure that it is totally operational.

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

They sell developer kits for color film, so if you process film at home you might have previously interacted with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most frequently used black & white film stocks. They have quite a few attributes that are equivalent that helps make them so well-liked while retaining unique styles.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 2 stops and provide excellent photographs. A 35mm roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite versatile.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most significant differences are that HP5 Plus is cheaper and has less contrast when compared to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be advantageous due to the fact that contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post-processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

Tri-X undeniably has greater contrast. That is excellent if it is the style you want to have because it results in significantly less work when making a darkroom print or through digital post-processing.

Reversal Film

Slide film, also known as reversal film or transparency film, generates a positive picture. This allows the pictures to be shown with a lightbox or projector.

Colors don't need to be inverted to be viewed, in contrast to the more commonly available negative films.

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

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and picturesque skin tones. There is almost no hypersaturation of colors. The film has been color balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is an amazingly sharp color balanced for daylight reversal film with lots of saturation and contrast, giving photos a special rendering. When compared to all the reversal films you can buy, it has the best resolving power.

There is another speed that is ISO 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Produces natural and vibrant colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It's an ultrafine grain film balanced for daylight.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white transparency film, marketed by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, increased levels of contrast, and fine grain. It's also billed as an alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stocks cost more due to the fact that they can more easily be pushed, have larger dynamic range, and latitude.

There will be a big difference in supply. Consumer film emulsions can generally be seen in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Professional level film stocks needs to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to get an image, the higher the ISO will be necessary. This comes at the expense of noticeably increased film grain.

It might be tough to handhold the STX-1 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is because if you don't have full sun, the exposure times will likely be longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.

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

As a quick note, the ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Fuji STX-1. The move to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Latitude is the amount of stops a film can be overexposed while still producing acceptable photographs. Pro films have a greater latitude along with a slightly higher price.

Negative film has a greater amount of latitude when compared to reversal film. That is a reason it's thought of as difficult to work with.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the range between the darkest and brightest parts of an image that can be recorded. Parts of a picture that don't fit within this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a larger dynamic range is preferable.

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

The limited dynamic range of transparency film is a second factor it is regarded as difficult to shoot. A great time to test it out is during the golden hour.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in canisters is used by the Fuji STX-1. 35mm film can also be described as 135 film, and it's the best-selling film format.

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

Changing the film stock you are working with will transform the look of your photos. This is an example of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all commercially available 35mm film on the market at this time has DX encoding. This allows cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film canister is put in the camera.

DX-coding is not going to change anything for the Fuji STX-1 because ISO is required to be selected manually with the ASA knob.

Fuji STX-1 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find just a few choices for where to process 35mm film. For a more in-depth explanation of the possible choices, go to my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies have stopped processing film on location. They ship film off to be processed by a separate company. Consequently, you will not be given 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

The simplest method and the method I would suggest using if you are just getting started shooting film is to send off your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. If you frequently use film, this might be a drawback since it can get very expensive.

Assuming that you are shooting a moderate to high-volume of film, there are a few actions that can be done to cut back on your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Ordering a roll of 100' of film and loading it into canisters yourself is considered one of the most well-known options to reduce costs.

Once you've finished, you'll end up having approximately 18 rolls of 36 exposures. Based on the film you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you're limited to bulk rolls of black and white film. This is due to black and white film is much easier and less expensive to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. In fact, it's a very good method to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Fuji STX-1.

Black & white film is much less complicated to process at home. Developer temperature and time are not as important to do correctly with black & white films as they are for transparency or color negative.

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