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Best Film for the Sears M35 Autofocus

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Best Sears M35 Autofocus 35mm Film

´╗┐The best film to use in your Sears M35 Autofocus is going to be based on the lighting, lens, and type of film you want to use.

To prevent having to lug around a flash or tripod, purchase a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.

If you need to shoot images inside or anywhere there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens. Go read my list on the 5 Best Lenses for the Sears M35 Autofocus for recommendations.

Color Film

Consumer

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Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a multitude of lighting conditions and is a fantastic selection for a color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the M35 Autofocus in most situations.

Expect photos to look a little bit warm with pleasant skin tones.

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Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on your location, this film may be more widely available. It is a top quality alternative to Kodak.

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

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Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there aren’t very many choices. For film targeted towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the only choice.

It can also be bought in the 120 film format, to be used in medium format cameras.

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Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. The film offers the look of snapshots from the 1980s and 90s. For the authentic experience have an on-camera flash.

To really bring the best look out of this film, you will want to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will ensure that you get the eye-catching colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

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Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is easily the most frequently used color negative film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is known for.

There’s also ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Portra. Portra is also offered in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have low costs and very good quality, making them favorable to use in the Sears M35 Autofocus.

The primary draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the very low cost. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it’s nice to have relatively cheap rolls of film around for evaluating recently acquired used gear.

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Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is excellent considering that makes this the most commonly available film of the 3.

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Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Will be easier to find in Europe as the film is made out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A good film to choose for your first few attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also a good option if you happen to be looking to test out a camera to check that it’s working correctly.

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Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to buy this film is directly from Ultrafine.

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

Professional

The two most frequently used black & white film emulsions are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400. They have numerous attributes that are comparable that help make them so well received, while keeping different appearances.

You can still get high quality photographs after pushing both film stocks 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite versatile.

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus has less contrast and is more affordable. A lack of contrast can be good because of the fact contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or editing digitally.

The film stock still appears good when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subtle grain.

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Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film possesses a stronger look to it. To reveal the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be developed in Kodak D-76.

You will undoubtedly see a higher level of contrast with Tri-X. That’s helpful if it happens to be the overall look you would prefer because it involves a smaller amount of work when during digital processing or making a print in the darkroom.

Reversal Film

Reversal film, also known as transparency film or slide film, creates a positive picture. This allows the slides to be exhibited with a projector or light box.

This is distinct from the more often used negative films that produce photos that require the colors to be inverted in order to be seen.

Slide films have substantially less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative films and so they are believed to be challenging to work with.

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Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

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

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Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a seriously sharp color balanced for daylight transparency film with high levels of contrast and saturation, giving images a beautiful rendering. Out of all the transparency films you can buy, it has the best resolving power.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 version.

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Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Offers natural and vivid colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It has ultra fine grain with a daylight color balance.

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Foma Fomapan R100

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

You should expect to see a significant difference in business that sell 35mm rolls of film. Consumer film stocks can oftentimes be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in limited quantities. Pro film will need to be ordered from a specialized photography store or online retailer.

ISO

A film’s sensitivity to light is listed as the ISO.

The less light available to properly expose an image, the bigger the film’s ISO will need to be. Furthermore, expect to see larger sized film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) might be problematic to use handheld in the M35 Autofocus. This is due to the fact that in the absence of full sun, the shutter speeds will most likely take longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.

A tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash can help you with longer shutter speeds. The additional gear might not be needed if you pick a higher speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO selection knob is listed as ASA on the Sears M35 Autofocus. 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 keeping good images. Pro films have a larger latitude to go along with a slightly increased cost.

Transparency film has a smaller amount of latitude in comparison with negative film. That is one of the reasons it’s viewed as more difficult to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the highlights and shadows parts of a photograph is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a photo that don’t fit in this range will be rendered as totally black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.

A bigger dynamic range is preferable since a larger range helps make shooting in different lighting conditions easier.

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

The constrained dynamic range of transparency film is a further reason why it’s thought to be a challenge to shoot. A great time to test it out is during the golden hour.

Film Type

35mm film that is in metal canisters is used by the Sears M35 Autofocus. It can also be called 135 film, and it is the most popular type of film.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will change the look of your photographs. This is one of the wonderful things about using film.

DX Coded Film

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DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All commercially available 35mm film sold at this point has a DX code. This lets electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the canister is loaded into the camera.

ASA (ISO) on the Sears M35 Autofocus needs to be selected manually. As a result DX-coding will not do anything.

Sears M35 Autofocus Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are only a few choices for where to develop 35mm film. For a more thorough explanation of the possible choices look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film does not get processed on site at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film away to be developed by a third party. That is why, you will not 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 solution and the method I would suggest using if you are just starting to use film is to mail off your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. A downside to this is that it becomes really expensive if you regularly shoot film.

So long as you are going through a medium to high volume of film, there are a few actions that can be done to limit your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100’ of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is considered one of the most well known methods to reduce costs.

Once you are done, you will end up having roughly 18 rolls of 36 frames each. Count on discounts of 20-30% based on your choice.

Be aware that you are going to be limited to bulk rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and cheaper to develop at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed at home. In fact it’s a very good way to reduce costs so that you can use more film with your Sears M35 Autofocus.

Black & white film is by far the easiest to develop. Developer temperature and time are both not as imperative to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for color negative or slide film.