Best Film for the Pentaflex ME-F

The best film to use in your Pentaflex ME-F will depend on the lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to use.

Using an ISO 400 film or faster will help you skip being burdened with a flash or tripod.

If you want to capture photographs inside or anywhere there is low light, ensure you are using a fast lens. Have a look at my list on the 5 Best Lenses for the Pentaflex ME-F for lens ideas.

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

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A good selection for a variety of conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the ME-F in the majority of scenarios.

The images will have great colors and leans towards the warm side.

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

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that may have better availability based on where you are in the world.

Fuji images appear to have cooler tones with an emphasis on blues and greens, when compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there aren’t many options. For 35mm film focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the only choice.

Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A guaranteed solution to get that mid-1980s through 90s look. For the classic experience try a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to reveal the most popular look the film can achieve. This will help you achieve the exceptional colors people love Kodak Gold 200 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 overall look the film is well known for.

There are also ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Portra. It is also offered in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

With low prices and excellent favorable for use in the Pentaflex ME-F.

The main draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the competitive cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is nice to have inexpensive rolls of film readily available for trying out recently delivered used cameras.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

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

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be easier to buy in Europe as the film is produced in the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A pretty good 35mm film to use for your first few attempts at analog photography or home developing. Also a good option if you happen to be trying out a camera to be sure that it is working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

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

If you process color film yourself, you might have done that with developer sold by them to process your film.

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the two most widely used black and white films. While they both have individual looks, they do have many capabilities that are comparable that makes them so popular.

Both films can be pushed 2 stops and produce quality results. A roll of film can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite useful.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast. Lower levels of contrast can be beneficial because of the fact contrast can be adjusted when making a print or editing digitally.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film has got a more distinctive rendering. To reveal the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in Kodak D-76.

Tri-X 400 unquestionably has considerably more contrast. That’s excellent if it is the look and feel you are after because it results in much less work when during digital processing or making a darkroom print.

Slide film, also known as reversal or transparency film, generates a positive picture. This means the photographs can be exhibited with a light box or projector.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, as opposed to the more prevalent negative film emulsions.

Slide films are viewed as hard to work with due to the fact slide film has less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for great skin tones and fine grain. The colors will not be seen as oversaturated. It has a daylight color balance.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a extraordinarily sharp color balanced for daylight film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving photos a unique look. Velvia has the best resolving power of any available transparency film emulsion.

It is also available in an ISO 100 speed.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces realistic and vivid colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It is a ultra fine grain film with a daylight color balance.

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white transparency film, marketed by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, very fine grain, and higher levels of contrast. It is also billed as a replacement for the long discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.

Pro film stock have better latitude, are easier to push, and larger dynamic range, which is why they will cost more.

There is a big difference in where 35mm rolls of film can be purchased. Consumer film emulsions can generally still be seen in pharmacies and big-box stores in small quantities. Professional film stocks needs to be purchased from a specialized photography store or online retailer.

The ISO shows the speed of the film, which may also be thought of as the film’s sensitivity to light.

The higher the film’s ISO, the less light will be required to properly expose a picture. Also, be prepared for larger sized film grain.

It can be problematic to handhold the ME-F with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because if you do not have full sun, the exposure times might be longer than what you’re able to handhold without causing motion blur.

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

The dial to select film speed is marked as ASA on the Pentaflex ME-F. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film latitude is the amount of stops a film can be overexposed while still holding onto acceptable images. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat higher cost.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons why it is viewed as harder to use.

Dynamic range is the difference between the shadows and highlights parts of a photo that can be recorded. Areas of a picture that don’t fit in this range will appear as solid black underexposed shadows or completely white overexposed highlights.

A larger dynamic range is ideal because a bigger range helps make working in variable lighting situations easier.

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

Transparency film is regarded as challenging to use on account of the limited dynamic range. An extremely good time to test it out is during the golden hour.

The Pentaflex ME-F uses 35mm film that is in canisters. In addition, it’s the best-selling film format and is on occasion called 135 film.

120 or 220 film, used by medium format cameras, is the only other type of film you are likely to come across}.

Switching the film you are working with will transform the look of your shots. This is one of the wonderful things about film.

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

Just about all new 35mm film manufactured these days has a DX code. This will allow cameras to auto detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded.

DX-coding does not matter for the Pentaflex ME-F because ISO has to be selected manually.

There are limited options for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more comprehensive discussion of the choices look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is no longer processed on location at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship the film away to be developed by a separate company. That is why, you will not be given your developed 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 most convenient method and the method I suggest using if you are just starting to use film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. A downside to this is that it will become pricey if you consistently use film.

So long as you’re using a moderate to high volume of film, there are a few activities that you can do to greatly reduce your expenses.

Purchasing a roll of 100’ of film and loading in into canisters yourself is one of the most popular ways to lower your expenses.

After you’ve finished, you will end up with about 18 rolls of 36 exposures. Depending on the film stock you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you are only going to find bulk rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to develop at home.

It’s easy to develop and scan film at home. It is a great way to cut costs so you can shoot more film with your Pentaflex ME-F.

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