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Best Film for the Sears KSX P

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Best Sears KSX P 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in your Sears KSX P should depend on the lighting conditions, lens, and type of film you want to use.

To avoid having to carry around a flash or tripod, choose a film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.

Ensure you have a fast lens if you want to shoot photographs in low light, conditions that are commonly found indoors. Read my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Sears KSX P for lens suggestions.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A terrific option for an array of lighting conditions. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the KSX P in lots of situations.

Expect pictures to appear a little bit warm with pleasant skin tones.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

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

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

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color 35mm film, there aren’t many options. This is the only 35mm film geared towards consumers.

The film can also be found in the 120 film format, to be used with a medium format camera.

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A reliable option to get that mid-1980s through 90s feeling. Use an on-camera flash to get the “nostalgic” look.

To bring the ideal look out of this film, you’ll have to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide the great colors everyone loves Kodak Gold 200 for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is well known for.

There’s also ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Portra. As well as in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have reasonable costs and excellent quality, making them quite popular for use in the Sears KSX P.

The primary attraction for photography students and budget minded photographers is the very affordable price. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it’s nice to have inexpensive rolls of 35 film around for trying out newly obtained camera gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It’s produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good since that makes this the most broadly available 35mm film of the three.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Will be much easier to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

A good film emulsion to use for your first few attempts at home developing or film photography. Also a good selection if you’re looking to try out a camera to make sure that it is functioning properly.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The best place to get this film is straight from Ultrafine.

If you develop film at home, you could have used developer produced by them.

Professional

The two most popular black & white films are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. They do have a large amount of characteristics that are equivalent that help make them so popular, while preserving unique styles.

You can still get quality photographs after pushing both films 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus is cheaper and has lower levels of contrast. Lower levels of contrast can be nice because contrast can be changed when making a print or through digital post processing.

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

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Kodak Tri-X 400

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 undoubtedly has far more contrast. That is perfect if that is the overall look you need because it involves a smaller amount of work when through digital post processing or making a darkroom print.

Reversal Film

Film emulsions that create a positive image are generally referred to as slide, transparency, or reversal film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to showcase the slides.

The colors don’t need to be inverted to be viewed, contrary to the more often used negative film stocks.

Slide films are thought of very difficult to shoot because slide film has far less latitude and dynamic range than negative film.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and superb skin tones. The colors will not look oversaturated. It’s daylight balanced.

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a incredibly sharp daylight color balanced slide film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving images a special appearance. Velvia has the best resolving power of any increased increased.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 speed.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

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

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Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, described by Fomapan as having higher contrast, very fine grain, and high resolving power. It’s also mentioned as a substitute for the long discontinued Agfa Scala.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

There will be a big difference in supply. Consumer films can usually be bought in big-box stores and pharmacies in meager amounts. Pro film should really be ordered from a specialized camera store or online retailer.

ISO

A film’s light sensitivity is represented by the ISO.

The less light there’s available to get an image, the bigger the ISO will be needed. Furthermore, be prepared to see more film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) may be tricky to shoot handheld in the KSX P. The will likely take more time will likely be longer than what you can handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you’re working in full sun.

A flash, fast lens, and/or tripod are going to help you with longer exposure times. The additional gear might not be needed if you choose a faster ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO knob is labeled as ASA on the Sears KSX P. The switch to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Latitude

Film latitude is the amount of stops a film can be overexposed while still retaining adequate results. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude along with a somewhat higher cost.

Negative film has more latitude compared to slide film. That is a reason it is regarded as difficult to use.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the darkest and brightest parts of a photo is known as dynamic range. Parts of a photograph that don’t fit within this range will be rendered as solid black underexposed shadows or solid white overexposed highlights.

When working in a wide variety or quickly changing lighting situations, 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

Reversal film is considered to be hard to use on account of the small dynamic range. A great time to try it is during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Sears KSX P uses 35mm film that comes in canisters. The film can also be described as 135 film, and it’s the best-selling film format.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your pictures. This is one of the excellent things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All available 35mm film offered for sale these days has DX encoding. This lets electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO of the canister loaded.

The ASA (ISO) on the Sears KSX P has to be manually set. So DX-coding does not matter.

Sears KSX P Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are only a few options for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more thorough discussion of the possibilities have a look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn’t get developed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film away to be developed by a third party. As a consequence, you won’t get 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 simplest solution and what I would suggest doing if you’re just getting started using film is to ship your film to a lab to be processed and scanned. If you consistently use film, this could be a downside since it can get pricey.

So long as you’re going through a medium to high volume of film, there are a few activities that can be done to decrease your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

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

After you are done, you’ll end up having typically around 18 canisters of 36 exposures. Expect to save 20-30% based on your choice.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to be limited to 100 foot rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is quite a bit easier and cheaper to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

It’s possible to develop and scan any film yourself. In fact it’s a good method to reduce costs so you can shoot more film with your Sears KSX P.

Black & white film is by far the least complicated to develop. Chemical temperature and development times are not as imperative to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.