Best Film for the Yashica TL
The best film to use in your Yashica TL is going to be based on the lighting conditions, lens, and type of film you want to use.
Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or faster will let you eliminate having to carry around a flash or tripod.
If you intend to take photos inside or anytime there is low light, ensure you are using a fast lens. For lens suggestions go to my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Yashica TL.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a large range of lighting conditions well and is a fantastic choice for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the TL in the vast majority of situations.
The pictures will have fantastic skin tones and is on the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on where you are in the world, this film might be more widely available. It’s an excellent alternative to Kodak.
Fujifilm pictures appear to have cooler tones with stronger blues and greens, when compared to Kodak.
Lomography 800 - There are a few possibilities if you want an ISO 800 speed color film. This is literally the only 35mm film emulsion geared towards consumers.
Lomography 800 can also be found in the 120 film format, to be used in medium format cameras.
Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. It offers the look of home snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. For the genuine photography experience use an on-camera flash.
Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to reveal the best the film has to offer. This will provide you with the great colors everyone loves Gold 200 for.
Kodak Portra 400 - Among photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is the top color negative film. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is known for.
Kodak Portra is also offered in ISO 160 and ISO 800 emulsions. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also manufactured.
Black and White Film
With low prices and excellent favorable to try in the Yashica TL.
The largest appeal for photography students and budget minded photographers is the reasonable price. Even if you don’t put yourself in those groups, it’s great to have relatively cheap rolls of 35 film available for trying out newly obtained used gear.
Kentmere 400 - It’s produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable due to the fact that allows this to be the most widely sold 35mm film out of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be easier to find in Europe as the film is produced by Foma Bohemia out of the Czech Republic.
A very good film stock to use for your first few attempts at analog photography or home developing. Also a good choice if you happen to be testing out a camera to confirm that it’s working properly.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to buy this film is online directly from Ultrafine.
If you process 35mm color film yourself, you might have used developer produced by them.
Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 best black & white film emulsions. While they both do have unique rendering, they do have a number of traits that are similar that makes them so well liked.
Both film stocks can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and produce very good photos. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The main differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is less expensive in comparison to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be an advantage because of the fact contrast can be increased when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.
The film has subtle grain and still appears good when pushed 2-stops.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion provides a stronger aesthetic. To achieve the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in D-76.
You’re going to without a doubt notice far more contrast with this film. That’s very good if that is the look and feel you would you like because it requires less work when during digital post processing or printmaking.
Slide film, also known as transparency film or reversal film, provides a positive picture. This means the slides can be showcased with a projector or light box.
This is unique from the more widespread negative films that make photographs that require the colors to be inverted for the image to be viewable.
Slide films have much less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film and so they are regarded as tougher to work with.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors won’t appear oversaturated. The film is daylight balanced.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a seriously sharp daylight balanced transparency film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving shots a distinctive look. Compared to all the transparency films available, it has the greatest resolving power.
It is also available in an ISO 100 speed.
Fujichrome Provia 100F - Creates vibrant and natural colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It’s a film balanced for daylight with ultrafine grain.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white transparency film, reported by Fomapan as having higher contrast, very good resolving power, and very fine grain. It’s also regarded as a replacement for the long discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Pro films cost more due to the fact they are easier to push, have increased dynamic range, and latitude.
There’s a big difference in business that sell rolls of film. Consumer film emulsions can often be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in small amounts. Professional film stocks needs to be bought from a online or camera store.
The ISO represents the speed of the film, which can also be regarded as the film’s light sensitivity.
The less light available to capture an image, the bigger the film’s ISO will need to be. This comes at the tradeoff of noticeably increased film grain.
It might be tough to handhold the TL with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). This is due to the fact that if you don’t have full sun, the shutter speeds will probably be longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.
To avoid motion blur you’ll need to use a tripod, flash, and/or fast lens. The additional accessories may not be needed if you decide to use a faster ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.
As a quick note, the dial to select film speed is listed as ASA on the Yashica TL. The change to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Latitude is the range of stops film can be overexposed while still keeping satisfactory photographs. Pro films have a greater latitude to go along with a somewhat higher cost.
Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude in comparison with negative film. That is one of the reasons why it is regarded as difficult to work with.
Dynamic range represents the range between the darkest and brightest details of a photograph that can be recorded. Parts of a photo that do not fit within this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.
A larger dynamic range is ideal given that it tends to 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 limited dynamic range of slide film is another reason it’s viewed as hard to shoot. The perfect time to try it out is during the golden hour.
The Yashica TL uses 35mm film that is in canisters. In addition, it is the most often used film format and in some instances is referred to 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}.
One of the marvelous properties of film is that you can swap the film stock you work with and get a unique look to your pictures.
DX Coded Film
Virtually all new 35mm film distributed at this point has DX encoding on the canister. This allows electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the film put in the camera.
DX-coding is not going to change anything for the Yashica TL because ISO is required to be set manually with the ASA knob.
Yashica TL Resources
Where to Get Film Developed?
You will find only a few possibilities for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more detailed discussion of the possibilities check out my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.
WARNING: Big box stores and pharmacies do not develop film on site. They mail film off to be processed by a 3rd party. Consequently, you will not be given your processed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
The least complicated choice and the method I suggest using if you are just getting started using film is to send off your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. If you consistently use film, this can be a downside since it can get pricey.
There are two things that you are able to do to reduce the expenses involved in using film, if you’re going through a moderate to high volume of film.
Bulk Loading Film
Buying a roll of 100’ of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is among the common ways to cut costs.
Once you are done, you will have about 18 rolls of 36 exposures each. Depending on the film you can expect to save 20%-30%.
Be aware that you are going to be limited to 100’ rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black and white film is a lot easier and more affordable to process at home.
Home Developing and Scanning
You can easily develop and digitize any film yourself. In fact it’s a smart method to lower your costs so that you can shoot more film with your Yashica TL.
Black and white film is significantly simpler to develop. Developer temperature and development times are both not as crucial to do correctly with black & white film as temperatures and time are for color negative or transparency film.