Best Film for the Olympus OM-10 Quartz

The best film to use in your Olympus OM-10 Quartz is going to depend on the lighting, lens, and type of film you want to use.

To eliminate having to carry around a flash and/or tripod, get a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.

If you need to take photographs indoors or anytime there is low light, make sure you have a fast lens. Go read my list on the 5 Best Lenses for the Olympus OM-10 Quartz for lens recommendations.

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

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a wide variety of lighting conditions well and is a good pick for a 35mm color film. Using this film you should have the ability to handhold the OM-10 Quartz in just about all scenarios.

The images will have very good skin tones and is on the warm side.

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that may have far better availability depending on what country you are in.

In comparison to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a little cooler with notable blues and greens.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - You’re limited to only a small number of offerings if you want an ISO 800 speed color 35mm film. This is the only 35mm film emulsion geared towards consumers.

The emulsion is also sold in the 120 film format, for use with medium format cameras.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - An awesome means to obtain that mid-80s through 90s look. For the classic shooting experience try an on-camera flash.

To really bring the best look out of the film, over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will produce the fantastic colors people love 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 film enthusiasts online. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the rendering the film is well known for.

There are also ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Kodak Portra. As well as in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

These film emulsions have affordable prices and more than acceptable quality, making them quite popular to be used in the Olympus OM-10 Quartz.

The main appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the very low cost. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it’s great to have affordable rolls of 35 film available for evaluating recently obtained camera gear.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is great considering that allows this to be the most broadly available 35mm film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

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

A good quality film stock to try for your initial few attempts at analog photography or home developing. Also a good option if you are trying out a camera to make sure that it is totally functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

They make developer kits for color film, so if you develop film at home you could have already done business with them.

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the 2 most commonly used black and white 35mm film emulsions. While they both possess distinctive styles, they possess a number of traits that are similar that makes them so popular.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The major differences are that HP5 Plus is more affordable and has less contrast when compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be an advantage because contrast can be added when making a print or through digital processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

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

You will clearly see far more contrast with this film stock. That’s notable if it’s the style you will want because it results in much less work when editing digitially or printmaking.

Slide film, also known as reversal or transparency film, results in a positive picture. This means the slides can be displayed with a projector or light box.

This is unique from the more often used negative film emulsions that make photos that need inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

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

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors will not be seen as oversaturated. Ektachrome has been balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Offers beautiful looking photographs that have high amounts of saturation and contrast. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Compared to all the reversal films available, it has the highest resolving power.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 speed.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces natural and vivid colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It is a daylight color balanced film with ultra fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white reversal film, described by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, higher levels of contrast, and fine grain. It is also mentioned as a substitute for the long discontinued Agfa Scala film emulsion.

Professional film stocks cost more due to the fact that they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude.

There is a big difference in supply. Consumer films can usually still be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in meager quantities. Pro film stocks will need to be bought from a camera store or online.

A film’s sensitivity to light is displayed by the ISO.

The higher the ISO of the film, the less light will be required to get a frame. This comes at the tradeoff of larger film grain.

It might be a challenge to handhold the OM-10 Quartz with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is due to the fact that in the absence of full sun, the shutter speeds are going to be longer than what you’re able to handhold without producing motion blur.

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

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

Latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still keeping satisfactory photographs. Pro films have a greater latitude along with a slightly higher cost.

Reversal film has less latitude when compared to negative film. That is a reason why it is perceived as challenging to work with.

Dynamic range is the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image that can be recorded. Parts of a photograph that are not in this range will appear as completely white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is ideal since a larger range tends to make shooting in a wide variety of lighting situations easier.

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

Slide film is thought to be difficult to use on account of the constrained dynamic range. A fantastic time to try it out would be during the golden hour.

The Olympus OM-10 Quartz takes 35mm film that comes in canisters. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it’s the most frequently used film format.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your images. This is one of the terrific things about using film.

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

Most new 35mm film offered these days has DX encoding on the canister. This allows cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is put in the camera.

DX-coding won’t matter for the Olympus OM-10 Quartz because ISO has to be selected manually with the ASA knob.

There are a range of options for where to get film processed. For a more detailed discussion of the possibilities go look at my guide on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores have stopped developing film locally. They ship the film away to be processed by a third party. Because of that, you won’t be given 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

The easiest choice and what I would suggest using if you’re just getting started shooting film is to mail off your film to a lab to be processed and scanned. A disadvantage to this is that it gets really expensive if you frequently use film.

There are two activities that you are capable of doing to decrease the expenses required to use film, given that you’re going through a moderate to high volume of film.

Considered one of the most well known ways to spend less money on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and load it into canisters by hand.

After you have finished, you will end up getting approximately 18 rolls of 36 frames each. Based on the film you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you’re limited to rolls of black & white film. This is due to black & white film is a lot easier and less expensive to develop yourself.

It is easy to process and digitize any film at home. It’s an excellent option to spend less so that you can use more film with your Olympus OM-10 Quartz.

Black & white film is significantly simpler to process. Chemical temperature and development times are both not as essential to get correct with black and white film as they are for color negative or transparency film.