Best Film for the Fujica STX-1

The best film to use in the Fujica STX-1 is going to be based on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

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

If you have a need to capture pictures inside or anytime there is low light, make sure that you have a fast lens. Have a look at my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Fujica STX-1 for lens suggestions.

Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film
Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a wide variety of lighting conditions well and is a great pick for a 35mm color film. Using this film you should be able to handhold the STX-1 in just about all circumstances.

Expect pictures to appear slightly warm with gorgeous skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

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

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

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - You’re limited to just a few possibilities if you want an ISO 800 speed color 35mm film. For film stocks targeted towards consumers, this is the only option.

The emulsion is available in the 120 film format, to be used in medium format cameras.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - An excellent means to get that mid-80s through 90s style. Use a flash to get the “nostalgic” look the film is known for.

To bring the best look out of this film, you will need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the idyllic colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Box of Kodak Portra 400 ISO 35mm film
Kodak Portra 400

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

Portra is also for sale in ISO 160 and 800 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also available.

With low costs and excellent favorable for use in the Fujica STX-1.

The largest attraction for photography students and budget minded photographers is the very low cost. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it’s great to have comparatively cheap rolls of film around for evaluating recently delivered camera gear.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

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

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

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

An ideal 35mm film to employ for your first couple of attempts at home developing or analog photography. Also a good option if you happen to be trying out a camera to ensure that it is working correctly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price by purchasing it straight from Ultrafine.

If you develop color film at home, you might have done that with chemicals sold by them.

The two most widely used black & white 35mm films are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both do have different rendering, they have a lot of traits in common that help makes them a favorite.

You can still get excellent photographs after pushing both films 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The major differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast when compared to Tri-X. Less contrast can be a benefit because contrast can be increased when making a print in the darkroom or during digital processing.

The film stock still looks very good when pushed 2-stops. It is also known for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

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

You’ll undoubtedly notice far more contrast with this film. That’s notable if it’s the look you need because it results in considerably less work when making a print or through digital processing.

Slide film, also known as transparency film or reversal film, results in a positive picture. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to exhibit the photos.

This is different from the more often used negative film emulsions that make pictures that require the colors to be inverted in order to be viewed.

Slide films have less latitude and dynamic range when compared with negative film and so they are believed to be difficult to shoot.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

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

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Produces unique looking photos that have substantially increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Velvia has the best resolving power of any available reversal film stock.

An ISO 100 speed is also on the market.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

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

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, described by Fomapan as having very fine grain, high resolving power, and higher contrast. It is also mentioned as a alternative for the long discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Pro film stock are easier to push, have increased latitude, and dynamic range, this is why they will cost more.

There might be a big difference in business that sell film. Consumer films can oftentimes be seen in big-box stores and pharmacies in limited quantities. Professional film emulsions should really be bought from a online or specialized photography store.

A film’s sensitivity to light is shown as the ISO.

The less light available to expose an image, the bigger the film’s ISO will be required. Additionally, be prepared for more noticeable film grain.

It might be challenging to handhold the STX-1 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because if you do not have full sun, the exposure times will probably take longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.

A flash, tripod, and/or fast lens are going to assist you with longer exposure times. Using a high speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film can make the additional gear not needed.

As a quick note, the dial to select film speed is labeled as ASA on the Fujica STX-1. The switch to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while keeping adequate photographs. Pro film stocks have a greater latitude along with a slightly increased cost.

Slide film has less latitude compared to negative film. That is a reason it’s considered more challenging to work with.

Dynamic range is the difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a photograph that can be captured. Sections of a photograph that fall out of this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is better given that it can make shooting in a variety of lighting conditions easier.

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

The limited dynamic range of reversal film is an additional reason why it is viewed as hard to shoot. Golden hour is the best time to use slide.

The Fujica STX-1 takes 35mm film that is in metal canisters. It’s also the most popular film format and in some instances is referred to as 135 film.

The only other film format you are likely to come across is 120 or 220 film that is used with medium format cameras}.

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

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister
DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all available 35mm film sold currently has a DX code. This enables electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO of the canister loaded.

DX-coding won’t make a difference for the Fujica STX-1 because ISO has to be selected manually with the ASA knob.

There are several possibilities for where to get film developed. For a more detailed explanation of the options check my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

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Pharmacies and big box stores don’t develop film on site. They mail film away to be processed by a separate company. Consequently, you won’t 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 easiest method and what I suggest doing if you’re just getting started shooting film is to send off your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. If you frequently shoot film, this could be a disadvantage because it can get very expensive.

Assuming that you are shooting a medium to high volume of film, there are a couple of activities that can be done to lower your costs.

Investing in a bulk roll of 100’ of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is one of the common options to save money.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll end up getting around 18 canisters of 36 frames. Based on the film you will probably save 20%-30%.

Bear in mind that you’re going to be limited to rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black and white film is quite a bit easier and less expensive to develop yourself.

Any film can be developed by hand. It is an intelligence method to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Fujica STX-1.

Black & white film is much easier to develop at home. Developer temperature and development times are both not as necessary to get correct with black and white film as temperatures and time are for transparency or color negative.