Film photography is an ever-evolving medium, and with so many brands of film currently in production, it can be difficult to know where to start. Each brand of film has its own unique characteristics, whether it be the type of film, the ISO or the way it renders colour and tones.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the different brands of film currently in production, detailing their specifications and describing the types of photography they are best suited for. We will also mention some out of production film stocks that are still available on the market but with limited availability.
Whether you're a professional photographer or an amateur, this guide will help you understand the different options available and how to choose the right film for your photography needs.
Kodak Portra is a colour negative film that is known for its natural-looking colours and fine grain. It is available in ISO 160, ISO 400 and ISO 800. This film stock is great for portraits, landscapes, and general purpose photography.
Fujifilm Pro 400H
Fujifilm Pro 400H is a colour negative film that is known for its smooth tonal range and accurate colour reproduction. It is available in ISO 400. This film stock is great for portraits, weddings, and general purpose photography.
Cinestill 800T is a motion picture film stock that has been repurposed for still photography. It is known for its fine grain and high resolution, as well as its ability to capture rich, cinematic tones. This film stock is available in ISO 800, making it suitable for low light conditions. It's especially popular among portrait and event photographers.
Black & White Films
Ilford HP5 is a black and white film that is known for its wide tonal range and fine grain. It is available in ISO 400 and ISO 800. This film stock is great for street photography, documentary work, and landscapes. It is often recommended as the first film stock you should use when experimenting with film photography. For that reason, all camera purchases from Negative Development includes a roll of HP5+ to test yourself.
Kodak Tri-X is a black and white film that is known for its high contrast and fine grain. It is available in ISO 400 and ISO 800. This film stock is great for street photography, documentary work, and portraits.
Kentmere 400 is a black and white negative film that is known for its fine grain and high sharpness. It is available in ISO 400 and produces a wide tonal range, making it suitable for a wide range of photography, including portraits, landscapes, and street photography. This film stock is known for it’s affordability compared to some other film stocks, making it useful for experimentation and day to day usage.
Kodak Ektachrome 100
A medium-saturation, fine-grained slide film with a ISO of 100. It's known for its excellent colour reproduction and is widely used for nature, landscape, and portrait photography.
Discontinued film stocks:
Fujifilm Velvia 50 (discontinued in 2021)
Kodak Kodachrome (discontinued in 2010)
Polaroid instant film (discontinued in 2008)
Agfa film (discontinued in 2004)
While these film stocks are discontinued limited stock is still available in some areas. This stock is slowly expiring and will need to be handled carefully to achieve optimal results.
Overall, each film stock has its own unique properties that can provide different moods and looks. It is important to understand the characteristics of each film stock and choose the one that best suits the type of photography you're doing. Some films are better suited for portraits, some for landscapes, and some for documentary work.