Best Film for the Praktica LTL

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 15, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Praktica LTL will be based on the lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to use.

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

If you need to capture images in low light, such as indoors, ensure you are using a fast lens.

The same recommendations also apply to the following variations of the camera:

  • Praktica LTL 2
  • Praktica LTL 3

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - An excellent option for a diverse range of conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the LTL in the majority of circumstances.

Expect photographs to look a bit warm with beautiful colors.

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

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

Lomography 800 - You're limited to just a small number of possibilities if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the single available option.

The film can also be purchased in the 120 film format, to be used in medium format cameras.

Kodak Gold 200 - An awesome means to achieve that mid-80s through 90s feeling. For the genuine experience have an on-camera flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the most popular look the film can achieve. This will ensure that you get the gorgeous colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is without a doubt the most widely used color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is well-known for.

Plus, ISO 160 and ISO 800 emulsions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm film that is most similar to Kodak Portra 400, but with a distinct color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant greens and blues.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable costs and excellent favorable for use in the Praktica LTL.

The largest draw for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable cost. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it is great to have affordable rolls of film around for evaluating recently purchased used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is also the owner of Ilford. This is notable considering that allows this to be the most commonly available B&W film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A great film stock to work with for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be testing out a camera to be sure that it is fully operational.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price on this film by purchasing it from Ultrafine.

They make developer kits for 35mm film, so if you process film at home you may have already done business with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 most commonly used black & white 35mm film emulsions. They do have many characteristics in common that helps make them so popular while keeping different rendering.

You can create high-quality images after pushing both film stocks 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably flexible.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The largest differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast when compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be good because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

The film still appears excellent when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

You're going to clearly notice higher levels of contrast with Tri-X 400. That is very good if it happens to be the overall look you want to have because it involves considerably less work when through digital post-processing or making a darkroom print.

Transparency Film

Film stocks that create a positive image are often referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. This allows the pictures to be shown with a lightbox or projector.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be seen, contrary to the more often used negative film emulsions.

Slide films have much less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative films and so they are perceived as challenging to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for exquisite skin tones and fine grain. The colors won't be seen as oversaturated. The film is daylight color balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes beautiful looking shots that have increased amounts of saturation and contrast. It is remarkably sharp with a daylight color balance. Matched against all the reversal films available to buy, it has the best resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 emulsion.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Produces natural and vivid colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultrafine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, noted by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, fine grain, and elevated contrast. It's also regarded as an alternative for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude, that is why pro-film costs more.

You should expect to see a disparity in businesses that sell film. Consumer film stocks can frequently be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Pro film stocks often need to be bought from camera store or online.

Film ISO

The speed of the film is listed as ISO, which can also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.

The less light available to get an image, the higher the ISO will need to be. This comes at the expense of noticeably increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) might be a challenge to shoot handheld in the LTL. This is due to the fact that without full sun, the shutter speeds will most likely be longer than what you could handhold without causing motion blur.

To stop motion blur you will need to use a flash, tripod, and/or fast lens. The extra accessories might not be needed if you choose a higher speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Praktica LTL. The transition to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude

Latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining tolerable quality. Pro films have a greater latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Slide film has less latitude when compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons why it's regarded as more difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

The range between the brightest and darkest details of a photograph is described as dynamic range. Sections of an image that are not in this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly changing lighting situations, film stocks 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 considered tricky to shoot as a consequence of the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the ideal time to use transparency film.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in canisters is used by the Praktica LTL. 35mm film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it's the most often used film format.

120 or 220 film, used by medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are probably going to come across.

One of the excellent things about film is that you can swap the film you work with and get a fresh look to your photographs.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all new 35mm film manufactured today has DX encoding on the canister. This lets cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded.

DX-coding won't make a difference for the Praktica LTL because ISO needs to be set manually.

Praktica LTL Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a range of possible choices for where to have film processed. For a more extensive explanation of the choices, you can check out my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is not processed on location at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film off to be processed by a separate company. Because of that, you will not 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

Shipping film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the least difficult solution if you are new to shooting film. If you frequently use film, this could be a disadvantage because it can get very expensive.

There are a couple of things that can be done to cut back on the costs required to use film, if you're going through a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Ordering a roll of 100' of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is considered one of the most common options to cut costs.

A 100' roll of film should fill approximately 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures each. Based on the film you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Bear in mind that you are limited to rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. In fact, it is a very good option to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Praktica LTL.

Black & white film is much less complicated to develop at home. Temperature and development times are not as vital to get correct with black and white films as temperatures and time are for slide or color negative.

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