Best Film for the Yashica FX-7

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: February 19, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Yashica FX-7 should be based on the lighting, lens, and type of film you want to use.

Working with an ISO 400 film or higher speed will help you eliminate being weighed down with a flash and/or tripod.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to shoot images in low light, conditions that are commonly encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A good selection for an array of conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the FX-7 in the majority of circumstances.

Expect photos to look slightly warm with outstanding colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on your location, this film can be more widely available. It's an excellent alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Compared to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a small amount cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't many options. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the sole available option.

Lomography 800 is available in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was launched in the mid-1980s. The film has the look and feel of home snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. Use an on-camera flash to get the "nostalgic" look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the best the film has to offer. This will produce the exceptional colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among enthusiasts online. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the appearance the film is well-known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Kodak Portra 400, but with a distinctive color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant blues and greens.

It is available in 120, but not in sheets of 8x10 or 4x5.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable costs and very good quite popular to try in the Yashica FX-7.

The primary attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the very low cost. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it's good to have low-priced rolls of 35 film readily available for trying out newly obtained camera gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It is produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable because that makes this the most commonly sold film of the 3.

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

A pretty good film stock to work with for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Additionally, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to ensure that it's completely operational.

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

They make chemical developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you could have previously interacted with them.

Professional

The two most commonly used black & white films are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400. They possess numerous capabilities in common that makes them so well received while retaining individual rendering.

You can get professional 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 useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable. Low amounts of contrast can be beneficial because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted when making a print or through digital post-processing.

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

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock provides a more distinctive rendering to it. To achieve the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in D-76.

The film stock clearly has greater contrast. That is excellent if it's the look and feel you are after because it involves a great deal less work when printmaking or through digital post-processing.

Reversal Film

Films that make a positive image are typically referred to as transparency, reversal, or slide film. This allows the pictures to be displayed with a lightbox or projector.

This is distinct from the more prevalent negative film stocks that create photographs that require inverting the colors in order to be viewed.

Slide films have a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative films and so they are believed to be difficult to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors don't look oversaturated. It's daylight color balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a seriously sharp daylight-balanced slide film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving photographs a unique appearance. When compared with all the reversal films on the market, it has the greatest resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 version.

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

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, claimed by Fomapan as having very fine grain, higher levels of contrast, and high resolving power. It's also billed as a replacement for the discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and expanded latitude, which is the reason they are more expensive.

There is a significant difference in supply. Consumer films can often be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in meager amounts. Pro film stocks needs to be ordered from an online or specialized camera store.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to properly expose an image, the higher the ISO will be needed. Additionally, be prepared for larger sized film grain.

It may be quite challenging to handhold the FX-7 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is due to the fact that without full sun, the exposure times will likely take longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.

To stop motion blur you'll need to use a flash, tripod, and/or fast lens. Using a high-speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film often makes the additional gear not needed.

The dial to select film speed is marked as ASA on the Yashica FX-7. The change to labeling 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 usable quality. Pro film emulsions have a larger latitude paired with a slightly increased cost.

Negative film has a greater amount of latitude when compared to transparency film. That is a reason it's deemed to be harder to use.

Dynamic Range

The difference between the highlights and shadows details of a photograph is described as dynamic range. Sections of a photo that are not in this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

A bigger dynamic range is ideal since a bigger range helps make shooting in variable lighting conditions easier.

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

Reversal film is regarded as tricky to use due to the limited dynamic range. The golden hour is the prime time to shoot transparency film.

Film Type

The Yashica FX-7 takes 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. The film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it's the most often used film format.

120 or 220 film, used with medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are likely to notice.

One of the fantastic things about film is that you can swap the film emulsion you work with and get a totally different look to your photos.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all new 35mm film offered for sale today has a DX code. This makes it possible for electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded into the camera.

DX-coding doesn't change anything for the Yashica FX-7 because ISO is required to be manually selected with the ASA knob.

Yashica FX-7 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

There are limited possibilities for where to have film processed. For a more comprehensive explanation of the possible choices, go to my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies have ended developing film on site. They send film away to be developed by a third party. Because of this, you won't get 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

Shipping your film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the simplest solution if you are new to shooting film. A downside to this is that it will get very expensive if you are consistently using film.

As long as you are going through a medium to high-volume of film, there are a few activities that you are capable of doing to minimize your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Investing in a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters yourself is certainly one of the ideal options to cut costs.

Once you have finished, you will end up having typically around 18 canisters of 36 frames. Expect to save 20-30% based on your pick.

Be aware that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is less difficult and cheaper to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed at home. In fact, it's a great option to cut costs so that you can shoot more film with your Yashica FX-7.

Black & white film is significantly less difficult to process yourself. Chemical temperature and development times are not as essential to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for color negative or slide film.

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