Best Film for the Fujica MPF 105X

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

The best film to use in the Fujica MPF 105X will have to depend on the lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to shoot.

Choosing an ISO 400 film or higher speed will help you eliminate being weighed down with a flash or tripod.

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

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a large range of lighting conditions and is a good pick for a color 35mm film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the MPF 105X in just about all circumstances.

Expect photographs to look slightly warm with outstanding skin tones.

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

When compared to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a small amount cooler with notable greens and blues.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there are only a few choices. For 35mm film emulsions geared towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the only available option.

In addition, if you own a medium format camera, it's also for sale in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A surefire way to get that mid-80s through 90s rendering. Use an on-camera flash to get the "nostalgic" film look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the best the film can achieve. This will provide the wonderful colors everyone loves 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 Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the rendering the film is well-known for.

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

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

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable prices and more than acceptable very popular to be used in the Fujica MPF 105X.

The largest attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very affordable price. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it's nice to have low-priced rolls of film on hand for trying out recently delivered used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Produced by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is great considering that makes this the most commonly sold B&W film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is produced by Foma Bohemia out of the Czech Republic.

An appropriate 35mm film to use for your initial couple of attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Additionally, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to guarantee that it's completely operational.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the best price by ordering it straight from Ultrafine.

If you process film at home, you might have done that with developer produced by them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 top-selling black and white 35mm film stocks. They do have a large amount of capabilities that are equivalent that helps make them so well-liked while preserving distinctive styles.

You can obtain solid images after pushing both film stocks 2-stops. A 35mm roll 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 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable. Minimal amounts of contrast can be a benefit because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted 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 35mm Film

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

You're going to certainly see more contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That is very good if it's the look you would prefer because it involves less work when printmaking or through digital post-processing.

Slide Film

Transparency film, also known as reversal film or slide film, results in a positive image. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to view the photos.

This is unique from the more widespread negative film emulsions that create photographs that need inverting the colors so that they can be seen.

Slide films have a lot less latitude and dynamic range compared to negative film and so they are viewed as more challenging to use.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

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

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers beautiful looking shots that have increased levels of saturation and contrast. It is exceptionally sharp daylight color balanced film emulsion. Matched against all the slide films you can buy, it has the greatest resolving power.

An ISO 100 version is also out there.

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

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more due to the fact that they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude.

You should expect a disparity in availability. Consumer film emulsions can commonly still be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in meager amounts. Pro film stocks has to be ordered from photography store or online retailer.

Film ISO

A film's sensitivity to light is displayed by the ISO.

The less light there's available to get an image, the higher the ISO of the film needs to be. This comes at the expense of larger film grain.

It is often difficult to handhold the MPF 105X with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will take longer than what you could handhold without leading to motion blur unless you are working in full sun.

A tripod, flash, and/or fast lens are going to help you with longer shutter speeds. Using a fast ISO 400 or ISO 800 film will make the extra accessories not needed.

The ISO dial is marked as ASA on the Fujica MPF 105X. The move to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining satisfactory photographs. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Reversal film has less latitude when compared to negative film. That is a reason it's deemed to be difficult to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the shadows and highlights details of a photo is referred to as dynamic range. Sections of an image that are not in this range will be seen as white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When working in a variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a bigger dynamic range is better.

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

The constrained dynamic range of reversal film is another reason why it's thought to be hard to shoot. The golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Fujica MPF 105X takes 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. In addition, it’s the best-selling film format and occasionally called 135 film.

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

Switching the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your images. This is an example of the marvelous things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All new 35mm film offered for sale these days has DX encoding. This will allow cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded.

DX-coding isn't going to make a difference for the Fujica MPF 105X because ISO is required to be selected manually.

Fujica MPF 105X Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find only a few options for where to have film processed. For a more thorough discussion of the choices, check my guide on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film is not developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film away to be processed by a separate company. Because of 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 method and what I suggest doing if you are just getting started shooting film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. If you regularly use film, this could be a downside since it can get really expensive.

There are a couple of activities that can be done to decrease the costs required to use film, assuming that you're going through a medium to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100 feet of film and loading it into canisters yourself is considered one of the ideal options to lower expenses.

A 100-foot bulk roll of film should fill up typically around 18 rolls of film containing 36 frames each. Based on the film you will probably save 20%-30%.

Bear in mind that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black and white film. This is because black & white film is less difficult and less expensive to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. It's an intelligent option to lower your costs so you can use more film with your Fujica MPF 105X.

Black and white film is by far the easiest to process yourself. Temperature and time are not as important to do correctly with black & white film as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.

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