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Best Film for the Fuji STX-2

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Best Fuji STX-2 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in your Fuji STX-2 is going to be based on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to shoot.

Taking advantage of an ISO 400 35mm or faster will help you avoid needing to carry around a flash and/or tripod.

If you have a need to take images inside or anywhere there is low light, make sure you have a fast lens. For lens lens suggestions check out my post on the 5 Best Lenses for the Fuji STX-2.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a plethora of lighting conditions well and is a very good choice for a 35mm color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the STX-2 in the vast majority of scenarios.

The pictures will have extremely good colors and is on the warm side.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film can have greater availability. It is a great alternative to Kodak emulsions.

When compared to Kodak, Fujifilm tends to be a little cooler with stronger greens and blues.

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - You’re limited to a few possibilities if you want a color ISO 800 film. This is the only 35mm film stock targeted towards consumers.

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

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A surefire means to get that mid-1980s through 90s look. Use a flash to get the “classic” look the film is known for.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to reveal the best look the film can achieve. This will give you the stunning colors people love Kodak Gold 200 for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

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

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With low costs and very good very popular to use in the Fuji STX-2.

The main appeal for photography students and budget minded photographers is the very affordable cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is nice to have relatively cheap rolls of film available for trying out recently purchased camera gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It’s manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is excellent since that makes this the most broadly available B&W film of the 3.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It’s easier to get in Europe as the film is manufactured inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

An excellent film stock to employ for your first few attempts at home developing or analog photography. Also a good selection if you are looking to try out a camera to make sure that it’s working correctly.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

They have developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you could have already done business with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 top selling black and white 35mm film stocks. While they both have distinctive appearances, they have a number of qualities that are similar that help makes them a favorite.

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

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The biggest differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has less contrast when compared to Tri-X. A lack of contrast can be good because of the fact contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or during digital processing.

The film emulsion still looks excellent when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subdued grain.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has got a more distinctive aesthetic to it. To showcase the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be developed in D-76.

Tri-X 400 undoubtedly has a higher level of contrast. That’s notable if it is the look and feel you want because it involves a smaller amount of work when printmaking or editing digitially.

Reversal Film

Film emulsions that produce a positive image can be called transparency, reversal, or slide film. This allows the pictures to be shown with a light box or projector.

The colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, contrary to the more often used negative films.

Slide films have a smaller amount of latitude and dynamic range when compared with negative films and so they are viewed as difficult to shoot.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for terrific skin tones and fine grain. The colors won’t look oversaturated. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Delivers distinctive looking shots that have increased levels of contrast and saturation. It is razor-sharp and color balanced for daylight. Velvia has the greatest resolving power of any elevated increased.

There is also another version with an ISO of 100.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Offers natural and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultra fine grain.

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Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, reported by Fomapan as having very fine grain, increased contrast, and very good resolving power. It is also regarded as a alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala film emulsion.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more because they are easier to push, have larger latitude, and dynamic range.

There may be a big difference in business that sell film. Consumer film emulsions can commonly be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in limited quantities. Professional film stocks needs to be ordered from a camera store or online retailer.

ISO

The filml speed is shown as ISO, that can also be regarded as the film’s light sensitivity.

The higher the ISO, the less light will be required to properly expose a photo. In addition, be prepared to see increased film grain.

It might be problematic to handhold the STX-2 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). The will probably take longer will take more time than what you could handhold without producing motion blur unless you’re in full sun.

To stop this you will need to use a fast lens, flash, and/or tripod. The extra accessories might not be needed if you use a faster ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Fuji STX-2. The move to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still holding onto adequate results. Professional film emulsions have a larger latitude to go along with a slightly increased price.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to slide film. That is a reason why it’s viewed as difficult to use.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a photograph that can be captured. Areas of a picture that fall out of this range will be rendered as totally white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety or quickly changing lighting conditions, films with a larger dynamic range are a better choice.

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

The limited dynamic range of slide film is a further reason why it’s viewed as challenging to shoot. A fantastic time to try it out is during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Fuji STX-2 takes 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it’s the most popular type of film.

The only other film format you are going to encounter is 120 or 220 film that is used by medium format cameras}.

Changing the film stock you are using will alter the look of your photographs. This is one of the excellent things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all available 35mm film sold today has a DX code. This makes it possible for electronically controlled cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the film put in the camera.

DX-coding will not make a difference for the Fuji STX-2 because ISO needs to be dialed in manually.

Fuji STX-2 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a variety of options for where to develop film. For a more in depth explanation of the possible choices look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies have stopped developing film locally. They send film off to be processed by a 3rd party. As a consequence, you will not get 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 easiest option and what I would suggest doing if you’re just getting started using film is to mail your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. A drawback to this is that it gets very expensive if you’re frequently using film.

As long as you’re shooting a medium to high volume of film, there are a few actions that you are able to do to lower your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Certainly one of the leading methods to spend less money on film is to buy a roll of 100’ of film and manually load it into canisters yourself.

Once you’re done, you’ll find yourself with roughly 18 canisters of 36 frames. Count on discounts of 20-30% based on your selection.

Be aware that you’re only going to find rolls of black and white film. This is due to the fact black & white film is quite a bit easier and less expensive to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be developed at home. In fact it is an excellent option to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Fuji STX-2.

Black and white film is by far the least complicated to develop at home. Temperature and time are both not as important to get correct with black & white film as temperatures and time are for transparency or color negative.