Best Film for the Yashica FX-2
The best film to use in the Yashica FX-2 should depend on the lens, lighting conditions, and if you want to shoot color or black & white.
To prevent having to lug around a tripod and/or flash, opt for a film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.
If you have a need to shoot images in low light, such as inside, make sure that you have a fast lens. Have a look at my short article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Yashica FX-2 for suggestions.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a wide variety of lighting conditions well and is a terrific pick for a color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the FX-2 in lots of circumstances.
Expect photographs to appear slightly warm with gorgeous skin tones.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on where you are in the world, this film could be more widely available. It is a great alternative to Kodak emulsions.
In comparison to to Kodak, Fujifilm tends to be a small amount cooler with notable greens and blues.
Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are only a small number of choices. For 35mm film stocks geared towards consumers, this is the only option.
Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, it’s also sold in 120 film format.
Kodak Gold 200 - A great option to achieve that mid-1980s through 90s style. Use a flash to get the “authentic” film look.
Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to bring out the most popular look the film can achieve. This will ensure that you get the eye-catching colors people love Kodak Gold 200 for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among film enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the look and feel the film is well known for.
Kodak Portra is also for sale in ISO 160 and 800 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also easily found.
Black and White Film
With low costs and more than acceptable favorable to be used in the Yashica FX-2.
The main attraction for budget minded photographers and photography students is the affordable price. Even if you wouldn’t put yourself in that group, it’s good to have relatively cheap rolls of 35 film available for testing recently acquired used cameras.
Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is also the parent company of Ilford. This is notable due to the fact that makes this the most widely available film of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It is easier to get in Europe as the film is made by Foma Bohemia out of the Czech Republic.
A very good film to try for your first couple of attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Also a good selection if you happen to be trying out a camera to check that it is working correctly.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the best price by purchasing it straight from Ultrafine.
If you develop film yourself, you could have used chemicals produced by them to process your film.
The two best black and white 35mm films are Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400. They possess a large amount of qualities in common that help make them so well liked, while preserving different rendering.
Both films can be pushed 2 stops and still produce high quality photographs. A roll of film can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably useful.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two films, HP5 Plus has less contrast and is less expensive. A lack of contrast can be beneficial due to the fact contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post processing.
The film stock has subtle grain and still appears great when pushed 2-stops.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion features a more distinctive aesthetic. To achieve the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in D-76.
You’re going to certainly see greater contrast with Tri-X. That is ideal if it’s the look and feel you would like because it means not as much work when through digital post processing or making a print.
Film stocks that create a positive image are known as transparency, slide, or reversal film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the photos.
The colors are not required to be inverted to be viewable, as opposed to the more often used negative films.
Slide films have a smaller amount of latitude and dynamic range than negative film and so they are considered challenging to shoot.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors do not look oversaturated. It is daylight balanced.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a extraordinarily sharp daylight color balanced film with lots of saturation and contrast, giving pictures a beautiful rendering. Compared to all the slide films you can get, it has the greatest resolving power.
There’s also another speed that is ISO 100.
Fujichrome Provia 100F - Creates vivid and natural colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultrafine grain.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, reported by Fomapan as having increased levels of contrast, fine grain, and very good resolving power. It’s also billed as a substitute for the long discontinued Agfa Scala.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Professional films cost more due to the fact they have improved latitude, are easier to push, and larger dynamic range.
There might be a difference in supply. Consumer films can frequently be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in limited amounts. Professional quality film emulsions usually need to be ordered from a online retailer or camera store.
A film’s sensitivity to light is shown as the ISO.
The less light available to capture an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will need to be. This comes at the cost of bigger film grain.
It may be tough to handhold the FX-2 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is because without full sun, the shutter speeds will likely be longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur.
A flash, tripod, and/or fast lens will help you with longer exposure times. The extra equipment may not be needed if you decide to use a faster ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.
As a quick note, the ISO selection knob is marked as ASA on the Yashica FX-2. The change to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while having good photographs. Professional films have a larger latitude to go along with a somewhat higher cost.
Reversal film has less latitude compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons it’s deemed to be more difficult to shoot.
The difference between the brightest and darkest details of a photo is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a picture that fall out of this range will appear as solid white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.
A bigger dynamic range is better since a bigger range can make working in a wide variety of lighting situations easier.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
The constrained dynamic range of reversal film is an additional reason why it is thought to be difficult to shoot. Golden hour is the ideal time to shoot reversal.
The Yashica FX-2 uses 35mm film that is in canisters. It is also the most popular film format and occasionally described as 135 film.
120 or 220 film, used in medium format cameras, is the only other type of film you are likely to encounter}.
Changing the film emulsion you are working with will transform the look of your photographs. This is an example of the fantastic things about shooting film.
DX Coded Film
Nearly all new 35mm film distributed currently has DX encoding. This allows electronically controlled cameras to auto detect and set the ISO of the film canister put in the camera.
DX-coding will not matter for the Yashica FX-2 because ISO is required to be selected manually.
Yashica FX-2 Resources
Where to Get Film Developed?
You will find a variety of options for where to get film processed. For a more complete explanation of the options go to my article on Where to Develop Film.
WARNING: Film doesn’t get developed on location at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film off-site to be processed by a 3rd party. Because of that, you won’t receive your negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
Sending your film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the simplest choice if you are new to using film. If you frequently use film, this might be a downside because it can get really expensive.
There are a couple of things that you are able to do to greatly reduce the costs involved in using film, given that you are using a moderate to high volume of film.
Bulk Loading Film
Certainly one of the most popular ways to cut costs on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100’ of film and load it into canisters by hand.
After you are done, you’ll get typically around 18 canisters of 36 frames each. Expect to save 20-30% depending on your pick.
Bear in mind that you are limited to 100 foot rolls of black & white film. This is because black and white film is a lot easier and cheaper to develop yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
It’s easy to process and digitize film at home. It’s an excellent option to cut costs so you can use more film with your Yashica FX-2.
Black & white film is by far the least complicated to develop at home. Temperature and development times are both not as critical to do correctly with black and white films as they are for color negative or transparency film.