Best Film for the Fujica STX-1

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 26, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Fujica STX-1 will be based on the lighting, lens, and if you want to use color or black & white.

Taking advantage of an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you skip being weighed down with a tripod or flash.

If you need to shoot images indoors 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 - The film handles a multitude of lighting conditions well and is a good selection for a 35mm color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the STX-1 in lots of scenarios.

Expect photographs to look a little bit warm with amazing colors.

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

Fujifilm photographs tend to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens when compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there aren't very many choices. For 35mm film stocks geared towards consumers, this is the only available option.

In addition, if you have a medium format camera, it's also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was launched in the mid-1980s. The film has the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. For the authentic photography experience have a flash.

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

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

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

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see stronger blues and greens.

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film aren't available, but 120 film is available.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable prices and more than acceptable very popular to try in the Fujica STX-1.

The main appeal for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the competitive price. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it's great to have relatively cheap rolls of 35 film readily available for evaluating recently obtained camera gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is excellent due to the fact that makes this the most commonly sold B&W film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will be easier to acquire in Europe as the film is made by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A suitable 35mm film to employ for your first couple of attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be trying out a camera to guarantee that it's functioning properly.

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

They sell chemical developer kits for 35mm film, so if you process film at home you could have previously interacted with them.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 most widely used black & white 35mm film stocks. They do have many qualities that are comparable that helps make them so well-liked while retaining individual appearances.

You can get excellent photographs after pushing both films 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very versatile.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The fundamental differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is less expensive when compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be beneficial because contrast can be added when making a darkroom print or during digital processing.

The film has subdued grain and still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

You're going to undoubtedly see a higher level of contrast with Tri-X 400. That is notable if it happens to be the overall look you would prefer because it involves considerably less work when through digital post-processing or printmaking.

Reversal Film

Transparency film, also known as slide or reversal film, generates a positive image. This allows the pictures to be viewed with a projector or lightbox.

This is different from the more prevalent negative film emulsions that produce pictures that need inverting the colors so that they can be viewable.

Slide films have a lot less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative films and so they are perceived as harder to use.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and excellent skin tones. The colors won't look oversaturated. The film has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes special looking photographs that have elevated amounts of saturation and contrast. It is razor-sharp and color balanced for daylight. Compared to all the reversal films offered, it has the greatest resolving power.

There's another version that is ISO 100.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, claimed by Fomapan as having increased contrast, fine grain, and excellent resolving power. It is also regarded as a replacement for the discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

There's a disparity in supply. Consumer film emulsions can commonly be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Professional level film stocks usually need to be bought from an online retailer or photography store.

Film ISO

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

The less light there's available to capture an image, the bigger the ISO should be. Additionally, be prepared for noticeably increased film grain.

It is often hard to handhold the STX-1 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is due to the fact that if you do not have full sun, the shutter speeds are going to take more time than what you could handhold without resulting in motion blur.

To get around motion blur you will need to use a fast lens, flash, and/or tripod. The additional equipment might not be needed if you decide to use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Fujica STX-1. The shift to labeling 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 having good results. Professional film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat higher cost.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to slide film. That is a reason why it's regarded as more challenging to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the range between the shadows and highlights details of an image that can be recorded. Sections of a picture that don't fit in this range will be rendered as completely white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is ideal due to the fact that it helps make shooting in a variety of lighting conditions easier.

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

Slide film is considered to be a challenge to use resulting from the constrained dynamic range. A fantastic time to test it out would be during the golden hour.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in canisters is used by the Fujica STX-1. 35mm film can also be described as 135 film, and it's the best-selling type of film.

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

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

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all new 35mm film sold at this time has DX encoding. This lets cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the canister loaded into the camera.

DX-coding doesn't matter for the Fujica STX-1 because ISO must be manually dialed in with the ASA knob.

Fujica STX-1 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find only a few possible choices for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more detailed explanation of the possible choices, check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is no longer processed on site at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship the film away to be developed by a separate company. That is why, you won't 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

Shipping your film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the most convenient solution if you are just starting to use film. If you regularly use film, this could be a disadvantage because it can get very expensive.

Assuming that you're going through a medium to high-volume of film, there are two things that you can do to reduce your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a roll of 100' of film and loading it into canisters by hand is certainly one of the best options to lower your expenses.

A 100' bulk roll of film can fill up approximately 18 canisters of film containing 36 frames each. Expect to see discounts of 20-30% based on your choice.

Be aware that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and cheaper to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. In fact, it's an excellent way to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Fujica STX-1.

Black and white film is significantly easier to develop yourself. Chemical temperature and time are both not as necessary to do correctly with black & white film as temperatures and time are for slide or color negative.

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