Best Film for the Konica FP-1

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 27, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Konica FP-1 will have to be based on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will help you avoid being weighed down with a flash and/or tripod.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to shoot images in low light, conditions that are frequently encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film works well in a plethora of lighting conditions and is a good selection for a 35mm color film. Using this film you should be able to handhold the FP-1 in the majority of scenarios.

The images will have wonderful skin tones and tend to be on the warm side.

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

Fujifilm photos appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are only a small number of possible choices. For film geared towards consumers, this is the single available choice.

Lomography 800 can also be bought in the 120 film format, to be used with medium format cameras.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 gives the look of home snapshots from the 80s and 90s. 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 has to offer. This will help you achieve the attractive colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the film enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is hands down the most frequently used color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is well-known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm emulsion that is closest to Kodak Portra 400, but with a distinctive color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant greens and blues.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film stocks have reasonable costs and good quality, making them favorable to be used in the Konica FP-1.

The main draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the affordable price. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it's great to have low-priced rolls of 35 film on hand for testing newly purchased used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good considering that allows this to be the most widely available B&W film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Might be less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A decent film emulsion to employ for your initial couple of attempts at home developing or analog photography. Also, a good option if you're trying out a camera to guarantee that it's completely functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by buying it directly from Ultrafine.

If you process color 35mm film yourself, you could have used chemicals produced by them.

Professional

The 2 most popular black & white film emulsions are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. While they both possess unique rendering, they possess quite a few traits that are comparable that help makes them popular.

You can create very good results after pushing both emulsions 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

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

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

The film stock still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also noted for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion features a stronger aesthetic. To achieve the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in D-76.

You will unquestionably see considerably more contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That's helpful if it is the overall look you are looking for because it involves much less work when during digital post-processing or making a darkroom print.

Slide Film

Film stocks that produce a positive image can be called slide, reversal, or transparency film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the photos.

Colors do not need to be inverted to be seen, in contrast to the more readily available negative film stocks.

Slide films have a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film and so they are thought of difficult to shoot.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and attractive skin tones. There's almost no hypersaturation of colors. The film has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides distinctive looking images that have high levels of saturation and contrast. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Velvia has the greatest resolving power of any available slide film emulsion.

There's another speed that is ISO 100.

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

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock have better latitude, are easier to push, and bigger dynamic range, which is the reason they will be more expensive.

You should be prepared for a disparity in supply. Consumer film emulsions can quite often be purchased from pharmacies and big-box stores in meager quantities. Pro film emulsions has to be purchased from a specialized camera store or online.

Film ISO

Film speed is represented by ISO, that can also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.

The higher the ISO of the film, the less light will be necessary to expose a film frame. Also, be prepared for bigger film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) are often a challenge to shoot handheld with the FP-1. They can take longer than what you could handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

A fast lens, tripod, and/or flash are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. The additional accessories might not be needed if you use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

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

Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while still producing usable quality. Professional film emulsions have a greater latitude to go along with a somewhat higher price.

Negative film has more latitude than transparency film. That is one of the reasons why it is perceived as challenging to work with.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the highlights and shadows parts of a photograph is referred to as dynamic range. Sections of a picture that don't fit within this range will be rendered as white overexposed highlights or black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a bigger dynamic range are a much better choice.

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

Reversal film is regarded as tough to shoot due to the limited dynamic range. The golden hour is the ideal time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Konica FP-1 uses 35mm film that is in metal canisters. It can also be referred to as 135 film, and it's the best-selling film format.

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

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

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all commercially available 35mm film offered at this point has a DX code. This lets cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film is loaded.

DX-coding won't change anything for the Konica FP-1 because ISO is required to be manually set with the ASA knob.

Konica FP-1 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are limited options for where to get 35mm film developed. For a more complete explanation of the possible choices, you can check out my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get developed on site at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship film off-site to be processed by a third party. Consequently, you will not 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 film to a mail-order lab to be processed and scanned is the least complicated choice if you're just beginning to use film. If you consistently use film, this could be a disadvantage since it can get really expensive.

Assuming that you're going through a moderate to high-volume of film, there are two actions that you are capable of doing to decrease your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Considered one of the most popular methods to get a better price on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and load canisters by hand.

A 100' bulk roll should load roughly 18 rolls of film with 36 exposures. Based on the film you will probably save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you are going to be limited to rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed at home. It's an intelligent option to lower your costs so that you can use more film with your Konica FP-1.

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

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