Best Film for the Yashica FX-2

The best film to use in the Yashica FX-2 is going to be based on your lens, lighting, and if you want to use color or black & white.

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

Ensure you have a fast lens if you want to shoot images in low light, conditions that are often encountered indoors. Read my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Yashica FX-2 for recommendations.

Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film
Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A very good option for a variety of conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the FX-2 in the majority of circumstances.

The photos will have great skin tones and is on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

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

When compared to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a little cooler with an emphasis on greens and blues.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO
Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want a color film with an ISO of 800, there are only a small number of choices. This is literally the only film stock targeted towards consumers.

The emulsion is offered in the 120 film format, for use with medium format cameras.

Kodak Gold 200
Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 offers the look of family snapshots from the 1980s and 90s. For the genuine experience use a flash.

To bring the best out of this film, you’ll have to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will help you achieve the great colors everyone loves the film for.

Box of Kodak Portra 400 ISO 35mm film
Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is the most widely used color 35mm film. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is well known for.

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

These film emulsions have reasonable prices and excellent quality, making them favorable to be used in the Yashica FX-2.

The major draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the very affordable cost. Even if you wouldn’t put yourself in those groups, it is great to have inexpensive rolls of film available for evaluating newly obtained used gear.

Kentmere ISO 400 Film
Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - It’s manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is great due to the fact that makes this the most widely available B&W film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action
Foma Fomapan 400 Action

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

An ideal film emulsion to choose for your first couple of attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also a good selection if you’re trying out a camera to ensure that it is totally functional.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400
Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the best price by getting it from Ultrafine.

If you develop color 35mm film yourself, you could have used developer produced by them.

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most popular black and white film stocks. While they both possess different looks, they do have a number of qualities that are similar that makes them so well liked.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still supplying professional photographs. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400
Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most significant differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has less contrast when compared to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be nice due to the fact contrast can be increased when making a print in the darkroom or editing digitally.

The film stock has subtle grain and still looks very good when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film possesses a more distinctive aesthetic. To create the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in D-76.

The film emulsion undeniably has higher levels of contrast. That’s very good if it’s the look and feel you are after because it involves considerably less work when making a print or during digital post processing.

Film emulsions that create a positive image can be called slide, transparency, or reversal film. This means the photographs can be shown with a projector or light box.

This is different from the more prevalent negative film stocks that make pictures that require inverting the colors so that they can be viewed.

Slide films are viewed as tough to use due to the fact slide film has much less latitude and dynamic range than negative film.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Slide Film
Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and wonderful skin tones. The colors do not appear oversaturated. It has been balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50
Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Creates special looking images that have high amounts of saturation and contrast. It is razor-sharp with a daylight color balance. Velvia has the highest resolving power of any increased increased.

An ISO 100 version is also available to buy.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces vibrant and realistic colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It’s a ultrafine grain film balanced for daylight.

Foma Fomapan R100
Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white reversal film, noted by Fomapan as having excellent resolving power, increased levels of contrast, and fine grain. It’s also billed as a replacement for the long discontinued Agfa Scala film emulsion.

Pro film stock have improved latitude, are easier to push, and larger dynamic range, which is why pro-film costs more.

You should expect a big difference in supply. Consumer film emulsions can usually be purchased from big-box stores and pharmacies in meager amounts. Pro film emulsions will need to be purchased from a specialized camera store or online.

The speed of the film is shown as ISO, that can also be thought of as the film’s light sensitivity.

The less light there is available to expose an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will have to be. This comes at the cost of increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) can be tricky to use handheld with the FX-2. The might be longer are going to be longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur unless you’re working in full sun.

A fast lens, tripod, and/or flash are going to assist you with longer exposure times. The extra equipment might not be needed if you choose to use a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Yashica FX-2. The switch to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still maintaining satisfactory photographs. Pro film stocks have a greater latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has more latitude compared to transparency film. That is one of the reasons it’s perceived as challenging to shoot.

Dynamic range represents the difference between the highlights and shadows details of an image that can be recorded. Areas of an image that fall out of this range will be rendered as solid black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a variety or quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a larger dynamic range are a superior choice.

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

Slide film is thought to be challenging to shoot due to the limited dynamic range. Golden hour is the prime time to shoot slide.

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Yashica FX-2. In addition, it’s the most widely used type of film and is on occasion referred to as 135 film.

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

One of the fantastic properties of film is that you can swap the film stock you use and get a new look to your photographs.

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister
DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Almost all new 35mm film on the market today has a DX code. This will allow electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO of the film loaded into the camera.

The ISO (ASA) on the Yashica FX-2 must be manually dialed in. For that reason DX-coding will not be of any use.

You will find several options for where to process film. For a more complete discussion of the choices see my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is no longer developed locally at pharmacies and big box stores. They send the film away to be developed by a third party. Because of this, 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

Sending your film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the easiest choice if you’re just starting to shoot film. If you frequently use film, this can be a disadvantage due to the fact that it can get pricey.

There are two activities that you can do to cut back on the expenses involved in using film, assuming that you’re going through a moderate to high volume of film.

One of the common options to save some money on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and load it into canisters yourself.

A 100’ bulk roll can load typically around 18 rolls of film with 36 frames each. Depending on the film stock you will probably save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you’re only going to be able to get rolls of black and white film. This is due to black and white film is quite a bit easier and cheaper to process at home.

It is easy to develop and scan any film yourself. In fact it is a very good method to spend less so you can use more film with your Yashica FX-2.

Black & white film is much less complicated to develop. Temperature and development times are both not as essential to do correctly with black & white film as they are for slide or color negative.