Sears M35 Autofocus Recommended Beginner Film

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 1, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Sears M35 Autofocus will have to depend on the available light, your lens, and type of film you want to use.

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will allow you to skip needing to haul around a tripod or flash.

If you want to be able to take images indoors or anytime there is low light, make sure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film


Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film can be used in a variety of lighting conditions and is a terrific pick for a color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the M35 Autofocus in most scenarios.

Expect photographs to appear a little bit warm with wonderful skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that may have better availability based on what country you are in.

Compared to Kodak, Fujifilm appears to be a little bit cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - You're limited to just a few possibilities if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For film focused on consumers, this is the sole available choice.

Furthermore, if you own a medium format camera, it's also sold in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that started production in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 produces the look and feel of snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "classic" look the film is known for.

To really bring the ideal look out of the film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide the wonderful colors everyone loves the film for.


Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

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

Kodak Portra is also available in ISO 160 and ISO 800 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also easily found.

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

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film are not produced, but 120 film is.

Black and White Film


With affordable costs and more than acceptable very popular to use in the Sears M35 Autofocus.

The biggest draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the affordable price. Even if you wouldn't put yourself in that group, it's great to have relatively cheap rolls of film on hand for evaluating newly acquired used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is the parent company of Ilford. This is excellent since that allows this to be the most commonly available B&W film out of the three.

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

A suitable film to employ for your first few attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to guarantee that it's completely operational.

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

If you develop film yourself, you might have done that with developer produced by them.


The 2 most commonly used black & white 35mm film emulsions are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400. They do have many traits that are comparable that helps make them so well-liked while preserving unique rendering.

Both films can be pushed 2 stops and while still supplying good 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 main differences are that HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast compared to Tri-X. Minimal contrast can be beneficial because contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

The film emulsion still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also noted for having a subtle grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

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

The film stock without a doubt has a higher level of contrast. That is great if it's the overall look you need because it involves a great deal less work when through digital processing or making a print.

Reversal Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image can be called transparency, reversal, or slide film. This means the photographs can be showcased with a lightbox or projector.

Colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, in contrast to the more often used negative film stocks.

Slide films have a lot less latitude and dynamic range when compared to negative films and so they are believed to be harder to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for picturesque skin tones and fine grain. The colors won't show up oversaturated. It is daylight color balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes distinctive looking shots that have increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is razor-sharp with a daylight color balance. When compared to all the slide films available for purchase, it has the best resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 emulsion.

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

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro films cost more due to the fact that they have increased dynamic range, latitude, and can more easily be pushed.

There is a disparity in supply. Consumer film stocks can often be seen in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic quantities. Professional quality film stocks will need to be bought from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

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

The less light there is available to expose an image, the higher the ISO will have to be. Furthermore, be prepared for larger film grain.

It can be quite challenging to handhold the M35 Autofocus with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because if you do not have full sun, the shutter speeds can take longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur.

To stop motion blur you are going to need to use a flash, tripod, and/or fast lens. Using a high-speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film probably will make the additional equipment not needed.

The ISO selection knob is listed as ASA on the Sears M35 Autofocus. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).


Film latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining satisfactory quality. Professional films have a greater latitude to go along with a slightly increased cost.

Negative film has a larger amount of latitude when compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons why it's regarded as challenging to work with.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the difference between the highlights and shadows parts of a photograph that can be recorded. Sections of a picture that are not in this range will be seen as white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is better due to the fact that a larger range tends to make shooting in varied lighting situations easier.

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

Slide film is considered to be hard to use as a consequence of the limited dynamic range. A great time to test it out would be during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Sears M35 Autofocus takes 35mm film that is sold in canisters. In addition, it is the most widely used film format and sometimes described as 135 film.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are using will alter the look of your shots. This is one of the excellent things about film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Almost all available 35mm film manufactured at this point has a DX code. This lets cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the film is loaded.

DX-coding will not change anything for the Sears M35 Autofocus because ISO needs to be manually set with the ASA knob.

Sears M35 Autofocus Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are limited choices for where to get film developed. For a more in-depth explanation of the possibilities, have a look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed on location at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship film off-site to be processed by a separate company. That is why, you won't 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

The least complicated method and the method I suggest doing if you are just getting started using film is to mail off your film to a photo lab to be developed and scanned. If you consistently shoot film, this can be a disadvantage since it can get pricey.

There are a few activities that can be done to lower the costs required to use film, assuming that you're using a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100 feet of film and loading it into canisters yourself is considered one of the ideal methods to lower expenses.

A 100-foot bulk roll of film should fill up approximately 18 rolls of film containing 36 frames each. Look forward to cost savings of 20-30% depending on your pick.

Be aware that you are limited to rolls of black and white film. This is due to black & white film is much easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be processed at home. In fact, it's a smart option to cut costs so you can use more film with your Sears M35 Autofocus.

Black and white film is by far the simplest to process yourself. Temperature and development times are not as essential to do correctly with black and white films as they are for color negative or slide film.

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