Best Film for the Yashica FX-2

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 20, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

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

Buying an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you skip having to haul around a flash or tripod.

If you want to capture images in low light, such as inside, make sure you have a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a variety of lighting conditions and is an excellent pick for a color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the FX-2 in lots of scenarios.

Expect photographs to look slightly warm with pleasant skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that may have better availability depending on what country you are in.

Fujifilm photographs tend to have cooler tones with notable blues and greens compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - You're limited to a small number of offerings if you want a color ISO 800 film. This is the only film focused on consumers.

In addition, if you have a medium format camera, it is also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that started production in the mid-1980s. The film has the look of family snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the "nostalgic" look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best the film can achieve. This will produce the exceptional colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is by far the most widely used color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the rendering the film is known for.

Kodak Portra is also available for purchase in ISO 800 and ISO 160 versions. Portra is also offered in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm emulsion that is most similar to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see stronger blues and greens.

Sheets of 8x10 or 4x5 film aren't manufactured, but 120 film is.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable costs and good favorable to try in the Yashica FX-2.

The major attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable cost. Even if you do not put yourself in that group, it is good to have comparatively cheap rolls of 35 film around for trying out recently delivered used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It is produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable due to the fact that allows this to be the most broadly available B&W film out of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will be easier to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A suitable film to try for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Additionally, a good selection if you're testing out a camera to check that it is totally functional.

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

They produce developer kits for color film, so if you process film at home you could have previously interacted with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most commonly used black and white films. While they both possess individual rendering, they possess numerous qualities in common that help makes them so well received.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and result in professional photographs. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite flexible.

Box of Ilford HP5 Plus ISO 400 35mm Black & White Film

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The fundamental differences are that HP5 Plus has less contrast and is cheaper in comparison to Tri-X. Less contrast can be good because of the fact that contrast can be changed when making a print or through digital processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock provides a stronger rendering. To create the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in Kodak D-76.

You're going to definitely see greater contrast with this film emulsion. That is beneficial if that is the overall look you are after because it involves a great deal less work when through digital post-processing or making a darkroom print.

Transparency Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image can be called transparency, slide, or reversal film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to show the photographs.

This is unique from the more often used negative film stocks that produce photos that need inverting the colors so that they can be viewed.

Slide films are believed to be very hard to work with due to the fact slide film has less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and eye-catching skin tones. The colors don't be seen as oversaturated. It has a daylight color balance.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Delivers appealing looking shots that have appreciably increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is razor-sharp daylight color balanced film emulsion. When compared with all the transparency films available for purchase, it has the top resolving power.

There's another version with an ISO of 100.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, elevated contrast, and fine grain. It is also mentioned as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

There's a disparity in supply. Consumer film emulsions can often still be bought in big-box stores and pharmacies in small quantities. Pro film stocks will need to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

A film's light sensitivity is displayed by the ISO.

The less light available to get an image, the higher the ISO of the film will be necessary. This comes at the cost of bigger film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) are often a challenge to use handheld with the FX-2. They will probably take more time than what you’re able to handhold without causing motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

To stop motion blur you will need to use a fast lens, flash, and/or tripod. Using a high-speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film often makes the additional accessories unnecessary.

The ISO knob is listed as ASA on the Yashica FX-2. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still maintaining usable quality. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude when compared to negative film. That is a reason why it's thought of as difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range represents the range between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph that can be recorded. Areas of a picture that are not in this range will be rendered as solid white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

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

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

The limited dynamic range of reversal film is a second reason why it's considered to be a challenge to shoot. The golden hour is the prime time to shoot transparency film.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in metal canisters is used by the Yashica FX-2. In addition, it’s the best-selling film format and in some instances is described as 135 film.

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 transform the look of your shots. This is an example of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

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

The ASA (ISO) on the Yashica FX-2 is required to be manually selected. Which means DX-coding does not be of any use.

Yashica FX-2 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find limited choices for where to have film processed. For a more in-depth explanation of the choices, go to my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film is not processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film off-site to be processed by a 3rd party. Consequently, 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

Shipping film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the easiest option if you are just beginning to shoot film. A disadvantage to this is that it will become very expensive if you are consistently using film.

There are two activities that can be done to decrease the costs involved in using film, on condition that you are using a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is among the most widely used options to get a better price.

A 100' roll of film should fill up around 18 rolls of film containing 36 frames. You should expect to save 20-30% based on the film you opt for.

Bear in mind that you are only going to find rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is easier and more cost-effective to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

It's easy to process and digitize film at home. It is an intelligent way to cut costs so you can use more film with your Yashica FX-2.

Black & white film is significantly less complicated to process yourself. Developer temperature and development times are both not as necessary to get correct with black & white films as they are for slide or color negative.

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