Best Film for the Olympus OM-10

´╗┐The best film to use in the Olympus OM-10 should be based on the lens, available light, and if you want to use color or black & white.

Taking advantage of an ISO 400 film or faster will enable you to avoid being burdened with a flash or tripod.

If you want to take photographs inside or anytime there is low light, ensure you have a fast lens. For lens lens ideas read my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Olympus OM-10.

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

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a large range of lighting conditions well and is a fantastic option for a color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the OM-10 in just about all situations.

The photographs will have very good colors and leans towards the warm side.

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that might have far better availability based on where you are in the world.

Fuji pictures appear to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens, when compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are a few possibilities if you want an ISO 800 speed color film. This is the only film stock geared towards consumers.

It is also sold in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was released in the mid-1980s. It produces the look and feel of home snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the “nostalgic” film look.

To really bring the ideal look out of the film, you will need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the beautiful colors everyone loves Kodak Gold 200 for.

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

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is by far and away the top color film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the style the film is highly regarded for.

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

With reasonable prices and more than acceptable very popular to try in the Olympus OM-10.

The primary appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the competitive cost. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it’s great to have low-priced rolls of film around for evaluating newly purchased used cameras.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is also the parent company of Ilford. This is good due to the fact that makes this the most broadly sold film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It is much easier to buy in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

A good quality film stock to try for your initial couple of attempts at home developing or analog photography. Also a good choice if you happen to be trying out a camera to check that it’s working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

If you develop 35mm color film yourself, you might have done that with chemicals sold by them to develop your film.

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the two top selling black & white 35mm film emulsions. They have quite a few characteristics in common that make them popular, while keeping unique appearances.

You can get good quality photographs after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. A roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite versatile.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is less expensive. A lack of contrast can be an advantage because contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or editing digitally.

The film still looks great when pushed 2-stops. It is also noted for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

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

You’re going to without a doubt see considerably more contrast with Tri-X 400. That is fantastic if it is the overall look you would you like because it involves considerably less work when during digital processing or making a print in the darkroom.

Reversal film, also known as transparency or slide film, produces a positive picture. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the slides.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be seen, in contrast to the more prevalent negative film emulsions.

Slide films have less dynamic range and latitude than negative films and so they are believed to be tougher to shoot.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for picturesque skin tones and fine grain. The colors don’t be seen as oversaturated. It is daylight balanced.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes appealing looking photographs that have highly elevated levels of contrast and saturation. It is sharp and balanced for daylight. Velvia has the highest resolving power of any available transparency film emulsion.

An ISO 100 version is also on the market.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers vibrant and natural colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It is a ultrafine grain film balanced for daylight.

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having very fine grain, very good resolving power, and elevated contrast. It’s also mentioned as a replacement for the discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

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

You should expect a significant difference in supply. Consumer film stocks can oftentimes still be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in limited amounts. Professional level film stocks has to be ordered from a photography store or online.

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

The less light there is available to properly expose an image, the higher the ISO of the film will have to be. Additionally, be prepared for more film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) can be problematic to shoot handheld with the OM-10. The will likely be longer are going to take longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur unless you are in full sun.

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

As a quick note, the ISO knob is listed as ASA on the Olympus OM-10. The transition to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while keeping acceptable quality. Pro film emulsions have a greater latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has a larger amount of latitude compared to reversal film. That is one of the reasons it’s deemed to be more challenging to use.

Dynamic range is the range between the darkest and brightest parts of an image that can be recorded. Parts of a picture that don’t fit within this range will appear as completely white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When working in a variety or quickly changing lighting situations, films with a bigger dynamic range is preferable.

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

The constrained dynamic range of transparency film is another factor it is considered to be challenging to shoot. The best time to try it would be during the golden hour.

The Olympus OM-10 uses 35mm film that is in canisters. It can also be referred to as 135 film, and it is the most often used film format.

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

One of the fantastic properties of film is that you can switch the film stock you use and get a fresh look to your shots.

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

Nearly all available 35mm film offered for sale currently has DX encoding. This will allow electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the film loaded.

The ISO (ASA) on the Olympus OM-10 must be manually dialed in. So DX-coding does not matter.

You will find just a few possibilities for where to get film developed. For a more in depth discussion of the options see my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film is no longer developed on site at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film off to be processed by a 3rd party. This means that, you won’t receive 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

Sending film to a mail-order lab to be processed and scanned is the most straightforward option if you’re new to using film. A drawback to this is that it will get really expensive if you are regularly shooting film.

Assuming that you’re using a medium to high volume of film, there are two activities that can be done to lower your expenses.

Purchasing a bulk roll of 100’ of film and loading in into canisters yourself is certainly one of the best options to reduce costs.

A 100 foot roll should fill up typically around 18 rolls of film containing 36 frames. Count on savings of 20-30% depending on your selection.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you are going to be limited to rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is less difficult and cheaper to process yourself.

You have the ability to process and scan film at home. It is a very good way to save money so that you can shoot more film with your Olympus OM-10.

Black & white film is by far the least difficult to process at home. Temperature and time are not as necessary to get correct with black & white film as temperatures and time are for color negative or slide film.