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Best Film for the Fujica STX-1

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Best Fujica STX-1 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in the Fujica STX-1 should depend on the lighting conditions, your lens, and if you want to shoot color or black & white.

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or faster will help you eliminate needing to lug around a tripod or flash.

If you would like to capture photos in low light, such as inside, ensure you have a fast lens. For lens lens suggestions have a look at my short article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Fujica STX-1.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a variety of lighting conditions well and is a great selection for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the STX-1 in lots of situations.

Expect photos to appear slightly warm with gorgeous skin tones.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on your location, this film might be more widely available. It’s a fantastic alternative to Kodak.

When compared to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a little cooler with stronger greens and blues.

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are just a small number of offerings if you want an ISO 800 speed color film. For 35mm film emulsions geared towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the single option.

Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, it’s also sold in 120 film format.

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A reliable solution to obtain that mid-1980s through 90s rendering. Use a flash to get the “authentic” look the film is known for.

To really bring the ideal look out of this film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will help you achieve the attractive colors people love Kodak Gold 200 for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is definitely the most popular color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose it 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 Kodak Portra. As well as in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have affordable prices and very good quality, making them very popular to use in the Fujica STX-1.

The biggest attraction for photography students and budget minded photographers is the affordable cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it is nice to have comparatively cheap rolls of 35 film on hand for testing newly acquired used gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It is made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good considering that allows this to be the most broadly sold B&W film out of the 3.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Will be less difficult to acquire in Europe as the film is produced in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A very good film stock to employ for your first couple of attempts at film photography or home developing. Also a good selection if you’re looking to check out a camera to be sure that it’s functioning correctly.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price on this film by purchasing it from Ultrafine.

If you process film yourself, you could have done that with developer sold by them to develop your film.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the two most commonly used black and white films. They do have quite a few capabilities in common that make them so well received, while retaining distinctive styles.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and deliver quality results. A roll of film can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very useful.

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two films, HP5 Plus is cheaper and has lower levels of contrast. Lower levels of contrast can be helpful because of the fact contrast can be added when making a print or through digital post processing.

The film stock still looks outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also known for having subtle grain.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has a more distinctive rendering. To produce the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in Kodak D-76.

Kodak Tri-X unquestionably has a higher level of contrast. That’s fantastic if it is the look you need because it results in less work when making a darkroom print or during digital post processing.

Transparency Film

Film stocks that produce a positive image are commonly referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the pictures.

This is distinct from the more prevalent negative film stocks that create photographs that require inverting the colors so that they can be viewable.

Slide films have much less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative films and so they are viewed as more difficult to use.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for great skin tones and fine grain. There’s almost no hypersaturation of colors. It’s daylight color balanced.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes appealing looking photos that have increased levels of contrast and saturation. It is exceptionally sharp daylight balanced film. When compared to all the slide films available, it has the highest resolving power.

An ISO 100 emulsion is also available.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers realistic and vibrant colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It has a daylight color balance and ultrafine grain.

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Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, reported by Fomapan as having very fine grain, increased contrast, and high resolving power. It’s also regarded as a replacement for the discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stocks cost more since they are easier to push, have larger dynamic range, and latitude.

You should be prepared for a big difference in business that sell rolls of film. Consumer films can quite often be purchased from big-box stores and pharmacies in limited amounts. Pro film emulsions will need to be ordered from a specialized photography store or online.

ISO

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

The less light there’s available to expose an image, the higher the ISO will be needed. Furthermore, be prepared for bigger film grain.

It might be frustrating to handhold the STX-1 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). The will most likely take longer are going to be longer than what you can handhold without producing motion blur unless you are working in full sun.

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

As a quick note, the ISO dial is listed as ASA on the Fujica STX-1. The move to using 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 producing satisfactory quality. Professional film emulsions have a larger latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to reversal film. That is a reason it is regarded as harder to use.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a photograph that can be captured. Areas of an image that are not in this range will appear as white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety or quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a bigger dynamic range are a superior choice.

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

The small dynamic range of transparency film is a further factor it’s viewed as a challenge to shoot. Golden hour is the best time to shoot transparency.

Film Type

The Fujica STX-1 uses 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. The film can also be called 135 film, and it’s the most widely used film format.

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

One of the excellent properties of film is that you can change the film emulsion you work with and get a new look to your photos.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all commercially available 35mm film sold at this point has a DX code. This lets cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the canister loaded.

DX-coding won’t matter for the Fujica STX-1 because ISO has to be set manually.

Fujica STX-1 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a few possibilities for where to get film developed. For a more extensive discussion of the possible choices look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies no longer process film locally. They mail film away to be developed by a separate company. As a consequence, you won’t be given your 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 most straightforward choice and what I suggest using if you’re just beginning to use film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. A drawback to this is that it gets very expensive if you frequently use film.

There are two actions that can be done to reduce the costs required to use film, assuming that you are shooting a moderate to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Among the best ways to cut costs on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100’ of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.

After you have finished, you will have around 18 rolls of 36 exposures each. You should expect to save 20-30% depending on the film you opt for.

Bear in mind that you are going to be limited to rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black and white film is much easier and more affordable to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. In fact it is an intelligence option to save money so that you can use more film with your Fujica STX-1.

Black & white film is by far the least difficult to process at home. Chemical temperature and time are not as imperative to do correctly with black & white film as temperatures and time are for slide or color negative.