Sears KSX-P Recommended Beginner Film

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 3, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Sears KSX-P should be based on the lens, lighting, and type of film you want to use.

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

If you have a need to shoot images inside or anywhere there is low light, ensure that you have a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a wide variety of lighting conditions well and is a fantastic pick for a 35mm color film. Using this film you should have the ability to handhold the KSX-P in the vast majority of scenarios.

Expect pictures to appear slightly warm with beautiful colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film might have greater availability. It's a great alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Fuji photographs tend to have cooler tones with an emphasis on blues and greens compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are only a few options. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, this is the single available option.

The emulsion can also be found in the 120 film format, for use in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film emulsion that debuted in the mid-1980s. It has the look and feel of family snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. Use an on-camera flash to get the "nostalgic" look the film is known for.

To really bring the ideal look out of this film, you'll have to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. 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 the film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is undoubtedly the most widely used color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is known for.

Portra is also for sale in ISO 800 and 160 emulsions. As well as in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

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

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film stocks have low prices and more than acceptable quality, making them favorable to use in the Sears KSX-P.

The primary attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the low price. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is great to have economical rolls of film around for trying out recently acquired used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good because that makes this the most commonly sold 35mm film of the 3.

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

A great 35mm film to use for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Additionally, a good choice if you happen to be trying out a camera to guarantee that it is fully functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price by ordering it from Ultrafine.

If you process film at home, you might have done that with chemicals produced by them to process your film.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the two most frequently used black and white 35mm films. They possess quite a few traits that are similar that helps make them so well received while preserving different appearances.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still generating solid photographs. 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 largest differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable compared to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be good due to the fact that contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has got a more distinctive aesthetic. To reveal the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in Kodak D-76.

You will without a doubt see a higher level of contrast with this film stock. That's notable if that is the look and feel you want because it results in substantially less work when editing digitally or printmaking.

Slide Film

Film stocks that produce a positive image are often referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to show the pictures.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be viewed, unlike the more common negative film emulsions.

Slide films are believed to be tricky to shoot because slide film has substantially less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and excellent skin tones. There's not any hypersaturation of colors. The film has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a seriously sharp daylight color balanced reversal film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving shots a distinct rendering. Compared to all the reversal films available to buy, it has the highest resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 emulsion.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It's a daylight color balanced film with an ultra-fine grain.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stocks cost more since they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude.

You should expect to see a big difference in businesses that sell 35mm rolls of film. Consumer film stocks can oftentimes be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in limited amounts. Pro film stocks often need to be ordered from camera store or online retailer.

Film ISO

A film's light sensitivity is shown as the ISO.

The less light there is available to get an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will be required. This comes at the expense of noticeably increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) might be hard to shoot handheld with the KSX-P. They will take more time than what you can handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're shooting in full sun.

To get around this you will need to use a flash, tripod, and/or fast lens. The extra equipment may not be needed if you decide to use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

As a quick note, the ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Sears KSX-P. The transition to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while still having satisfactory photographs. Professional film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a slightly increased price.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude when compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons it is thought of as more difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the range between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph that can be recorded. Sections of an image that don't fit within this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

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

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

The small dynamic range of reversal film is one more reason it is viewed as a challenge to shoot. The golden hour is the prime time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

The Sears KSX-P takes 35mm film that is sold in canisters. 35mm film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it is the most widely used film format.

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

One of the wonderful properties of film is that you can change the film stock you work with and get a completely different look to your pictures.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Virtually all new 35mm film manufactured these days has DX encoding. This makes it possible for cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded.

DX-coding isn't going to matter for the Sears KSX-P because ISO is required to be manually selected.

Sears KSX-P Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a range of possible choices for where to get 35mm film processed. For a more in-depth explanation of the possible choices, go to my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is not developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send the film off to be developed by a 3rd party. That is why, you won't be given 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

The least difficult method and the method I suggest using if you are just beginning to use film is to send off your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. A drawback to this is that it becomes very expensive if you are regularly using film.

There are two activities that can be done to help reduce the costs involved in using film, if you're using a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a roll of 100' of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is considered one of the leading options to lower your costs.

After you have finished, you will end up having about 18 canisters of 36 frames. Based on the film stock you will probably save 20%-30%.

Take into account that you are going to be limited to rolls of black & white film. This is due to black & white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed by hand. It's a very good method to reduce costs so that you can use more film with your Sears KSX-P.

Black and white film is significantly less complicated to process yourself. Developer temperature and time are not as important to get correct with black & white films as time and temperatures are for color negative or transparency film.

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