Best Film for the Konica FP-1
The best film to use in the Konica FP-1 will depend on your lens, lighting, and if you want to shoot color or black & white.
Taking advantage of an ISO 400 film or higher speed will enable you to skip being burdened with a flash and/or tripod.
If you intend to capture pictures in low light, such as inside, make sure that you are using a fast lens. For lens lens recommendations have a look at my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Konica FP-1.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film works well in a wide variety of lighting conditions and is a good choice for a 35mm color film. Using this film you should have the ability to handhold the FP-1 in almost all scenarios.
Expect photographs to appear slightly warm with wonderful colors.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film can have greater availability. It’s a fantastic alternative to Kodak film.
Fujifilm photos appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens, when compared to Kodak.
Lomography 800 - You’re limited to only a small number of options if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. This is the only 35mm film emulsion geared towards consumers.
Lomography 800 can also be purchased in the 120 film format, to be used in medium format cameras.
Kodak Gold 200 - A guaranteed option to get that mid-1980s through 90s rendering. Use an on-camera flash to get the “nostalgic” look.
To bring the best look out of this film, over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the appealing colors everyone loves the film for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among film shooting enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is well known for.
Kodak Portra is also sold in ISO 800 and 160 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available to buy.
Black and White Film
These film stocks have low prices and more than acceptable quality, making them favorable to use in the Konica FP-1.
The biggest appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the affordable price. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it is great to have comparatively cheap rolls of film on hand for trying out recently delivered used gear.
Kentmere 400 - Produced by Harmon Technology, which is also the parent company of Ilford. This is great because that allows this to be the most widely available B&W film out of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Can be easier to purchase in Europe as the film is produced by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.
A decent film stock to work with for your first few attempts at analog photography or home developing. Also a good selection if you are trying out a camera to be sure that it’s fully functional.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The best store to buy this film is straight from Ultrafine.
They distribute developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you may have previously done business with them.
Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the two most commonly used black and white film stocks. They do have several traits that are equivalent that make them so well received, while preserving unique looks.
You can get professional images after pushing both emulsions 2-stops. A roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably versatile.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two films, HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast. Less contrast can be advantageous due to the fact contrast can be adjusted when making a print in the darkroom or during digital processing.
The film stock has subtle grain and still appears very good when pushed 2-stops.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a more distinctive rendering to it. To achieve the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in D-76.
Tri-X without a doubt has higher levels of contrast. That’s very good if it happens to be the overall look you want because it involves not as much work when through digital post processing or printmaking.
Reversal film, also known as slide or transparency film, creates a positive picture. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to showcase the photos.
This is distinct from the more widespread negative films that create photos that need the colors to be inverted for the image to be seen.
Slide films are regarded as very hard to use due to the fact slide film has a lot less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors don’t appear oversaturated. It’s daylight balanced.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a amazingly sharp color balanced for daylight reversal film with high levels of contrast and saturation, giving images a special rendering. Velvia has the top resolving power of any elevated increased.
It is also available in an ISO 100 version.
Fujichrome Provia 100F - Offers vivid and realistic colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It’s a ultra fine grain film with a daylight color balance.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having elevated levels of contrast, very fine grain, and high resolving power. It is also billed as a substitute for the long discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Professional film stock have increased latitude, are easier to push, and increased dynamic range, this is why they will cost more.
There is a big difference in business that sell rolls of film. Consumer film emulsions can often still be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in anemic quantities. Pro film stocks will need to be ordered from a camera store or online retailer.
The speed of the film is shown as ISO, that can also be thought of as the film’s sensitivity to light.
The bigger the ISO of the film, the less light will be necessary to expose a photo. In addition, be prepared for increased film grain.
It may be tough to handhold the FP-1 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is because in the absence of full sun, the exposure times can be longer than what you could handhold without causing motion blur.
A tripod, flash, and/or fast lens are going to help you with longer shutter speeds. The extra equipment might not be needed if you decide to use a faster ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.
The dial to select film speed is listed as ASA on the Konica FP-1. The transition to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Film latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while still retaining satisfactory photographs. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat higher cost.
Negative film has a greater amount of latitude when compared to transparency film. That is one of the reasons why it is thought of more difficult to shoot.
Dynamic range represents the range between the darkest and brightest details of an image that can be recorded. Parts of a photo that don’t fit within this range will be seen as completely black underexposed shadows or completely white overexposed highlights.
When shooting in a wide variety or quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a larger dynamic range are a much better choice.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
The small dynamic range of transparency film is another reason it is considered to be challenging to shoot. A very good time to try it would be during the golden hour.
35mm film that is in canisters is used by the Konica FP-1. In addition, it’s the best-selling type of film and in some instances is referred to as 135 film.
120 or 220 film, used with medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are going to encounter}.
One of the wonderful properties of film is that you can switch the film emulsion you work with and get a totally different look to your pictures.
DX Coded Film
Virtually all available 35mm film made currently has DX encoding on the canister. This will allow cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the film canister loaded.
The ISO (ASA) on the Konica FP-1 needs to be manually set. Which means DX-coding will not matter.
Konica FP-1 Resources
Where to Get Film Developed?
There are a variety of possible choices for where to process film. For a more extensive discussion of the choices have a look at my guide on Where to Develop Film.
WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores don’t process film at the store. They mail the film off to be developed by a 3rd party. As a result, you won’t be given your processed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
Sending film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the simplest choice if you are just getting started shooting film. A downside to this is that it ends up being very expensive if you are consistently using film.
Assuming that you are going through a medium to high volume of film, there are two activities that can be done to minimize your expenses.
Bulk Loading Film
Certainly one of the leading ways to lower your expenses on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load canisters yourself.
All said and done, you will find yourself with about 18 rolls of 36 exposures each. Expect savings of 20-30% depending on the film.
Take into account that you’re only going to find 100’ rolls of black & white film. This is because black and white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
It’s simple to process and digitize any film at home. In fact it is a good method to spend less so you can use more film with your Konica FP-1.
Black & white film is by far the least difficult to process yourself. Developer temperature and time are not as imperative to do correctly with black & white films as they are for transparency or color negative.