Best 35mm Color Film For Portraits

By | 16/10/2022

Best film: our picks of the all-time 35mm picture show, curl film, and sheet moving-picture show for your camera

Best film: our picks of the best 35mm film, roll film, and sheet film for your camera



(Image credit: Filonmar/Getty Images)

When it comes to choosing the all-time film for you camera, the sheer amount of options tin can be confusing, Of course, pic comes in dissimilar formats, and each provides its own look, too.

In order to narrow downwards the option, we’ve rounded upwardly the best 35mm film, roll film for medium format cameras and sheet film for big format cameras so that you can reignite your love for (or discover) analog photography.

In that location’s been a resurgence in moving picture photography in recent times. It’s not just experienced or traditional movie shooters who are looking to buy analog camera systems and films. Cheers to a rising in the vintage look and analog trends, curious digital shooters are exploring the magic of film photography besides.

While the best mirrorless cameras and the best medium format cameras
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are great pieces of kit offer advanced technologies such equally Animal Eye AF, Wifi photo transfer and built-in HDR modes, the power to view images instantly takes away any excitement. In that location’s an element of surprise to shooting moving picture that you lot just don’t get with digital photography, something romantic. Sure, information technology’due south a practice that definitely takes more patience and understanding than digital photography, but when yous go it right the cease result is so worth information technology.

To start with, analog photography is more than physical than its modern, digital counterpart. Y’all can actually hear and feel the camera working, from winding on moving picture to hearing the satisfying clunk of the mechanical shutter. Although there are so many dissimilar moving-picture show cameras to choose from, information technology’s not difficult to choose the correct film for your camera. After deciding on the right format, you’ll also have to think about the aesthetic, which varies in tone and contrast – it’south the original equivalent of picking an Instagram filter. Some of the best Fujifilm cameras
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fifty-fifty come with picture show simulation modes that are based on some of the best-known films such equally Velvia and Provia.

We’ve rounded upward the best films you tin can buy for a 35mm photographic camera (equivalent to a full-frame photographic camera in digital photography terms), a medium format camera, or fifty-fifty a large format camera. From old classics to newer and more experimental artisan film, at that place’s enough for y’all to choose from.

To see our list of favorite films, click on the format you want below and it will straight you to the correct location.

Best 35mm films


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All-time 120 curlicue films for medium-format cameras

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All-time sheet films for large-format cameras

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See as well:

All-time VHS to DVD converters

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Then, what film types are out at that place, what film cameras are supported, and what should yous await for?

Best 35mm film

With so many 35mm films on the marketplace, we’ve had to be really selective well-nigh which ones we include. Some have stood the test of time while others are consummate newcomers that offer funky colors to completely change the look of your image. To make this guide like shooting fish in a barrel to navigate we’ve dissever it into three sections: color negative, black and white and color transparency picture. 35mm is oft referred to equally ‘135’ and then if yous see that number instead, just call up nosotros hateful 35mm picture!

35mm colour negative film

(Paradigm credit: Kodak)

one. Kodak Portra 400 135 36

The vivid colors and depression dissimilarity make this a firm favorite amid film fans

Specifications

Type:

Colour negative

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed :

ISO 400

Chemistry:

C-41

Reasons to buy


+

Perfect for pare tones



+

Flexible for lighting conditions

Reasons to avoid


Just comes in packs of three or five

Portra 400 flick has gained a passionate post-obit amongst the motion picture community thank you to its flexibility when shooting in different lighting conditions and its beautifully rendered grain and colors. The only downside with Kodak Portra 400 is that it’s only sold in packs of 3 or five, then you can’t officially buy a single roll to experiment with (although you might exist able to discover single rolls on eBay, be warned that they will have been taken out of their official packaging). Yet, it’s such a good quality film that nosotros can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


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2. Kodak Ektar 100 135 36

Sharp, fine-grained and modern all purpose color neg film

Specifications

Type:

Colour negative

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 100

Chemistry:

C-41

Reasons to purchase


+

Ultra fine grain



+

High saturation



+

Regular C-41 processing

Reasons to avoid


Expensive

Kodak claims the world’s finest grain for a color negative movie, thanks to its T-Grain technology. This film also boasts high saturation and sharpness, and Kodak says it’southward ideal for scanning and enlarging. Its rendition looks ideal for commercial and mural photography, and it’due south cheaper than shooting transparency film.

3. Kodak Portra 160 Professional 135 36 (pack of five)

Popular with portrait photographers for its smooth and subtle skintones

Specifications

Type:

Color negative

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 160

Chemistry:

C-41

Reasons to buy


+

Optimised for portraits



+

Designed with scanning in listen



+

Regular C-41 processing



+

Available in lots of sizes

Reasons to avert


Empty List

Kodak says Portra 160 is designed with fine grain for scanning and enlargement in a digital workflow. It’southward one of three films in the Portra family (at that place are Portra 400 and 800 variants too) and it’s designed for smooth and natural skintones, and for a variety of piece of work from portraits and mode to commercial photography.

(Image credit: Kodak)

4. Kodak UltraMax 400

The near popular all-circular color impress film

Specifications

Type:

Color negative

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

24 or 36

Speed:

ISO 400

Chemistry:

C-41

Reasons to purchase


+

Saturated colors



+

Regular C-41 processing



+

Bachelor in 24- and 36-exposure rolls

Reasons to avert


Empty List

This is one of the almost widely-available color print films available today – with an ISO400 speed that makes information technology a sensible choice for a wide variety of subjects. The picture has a wide exposure latitude; this is particularly useful when using this with old cameras where you can’t guarantee the metering – or with basic models that take no built-in metering at all. As we take come to expect from Kodak mass-market films, Ultramax offers rich colors and dial contrast that many photographers beloved.

(Image credit: Kodak)

5. Kodak ColorPlus 200

The well-nigh popular all-circular color print film

Specifications

Type:

Color negative

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

24 or 36

Speed:

ISO 200

Chemistry:

C-41

Reasons to buy


+

Saturated colors



+

Regular C-41 processing



+

Available in 24- and 36-exposure rolls

Reasons to avoid


Empty List

This is a very like moving-picture show in terms of looks and uses equally Kodak Ultramax – the cardinal difference is that it is a stop slower, with an ISO rating of 200. Equally such, this is the better choice of the ii if yous are shooting in bright outdoor conditions – as this should requite marginally less grain than its ISO400 sibling. Widely bachelor – and if you shop around this should be more affordable than many other color print films on the market (simply do note that 24-exposure rolls can price as much as a 36-exposure ane!).

35mm black and white film

(Paradigm credit: Ilford)


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6. Ilford HP5 Plus 135 36exp

A classic black-and-white choice

Specifications

Type:

Black and white

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 400

Chemical science:

Black and white

Reasons to buy


+

Classic B&W motion picture



+

Fast and versatile



+

Tin be pushed to ISO 3200

Reasons to avoid


Empty List

Ilford’due south latest version of its archetype fast film, which can be developed in traditional black-and-white chemistry. Information technology is a great all-round motion picture, suitable to those who just desire to endeavour monochrome – or for those who are looking for a film that will respond well to push processing for lowlight use.


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7. Kodak TRI-X 400 135mm 36

Iconic ‘documentary’ film that yet appeals today

Specifications

Type:

Blackness and white

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 400

Chemistry:

Black and white

Reasons to buy


+

Iconic status



+

Tolerant and versatile



+

Grainy, gritty look

Reasons to avoid


Too grainy for fine art types

What can y’all say about Kodak Tri-X? Made famous by a generation of documentary and state of war photographers, information technology’s pretty tolerant of exposure variations and push button/pull processing and produces strong gritty images with expert item rendition. Peradventure a bit rough-and-fix for today’s tastes, just information technology still has ‘the expect’.


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viii. Ilford XP2S 135 36

It’s the black and white film you lot can become developed at your local impress lab

Specifications

Blazon:

Black and white

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 400

Chemical science:

C-41

Reasons to purchase


+

Ultra fine grain



+

Wide exposure latitude



+

Regular C-41 processing

Reasons to avoid


Dye grain not silver grain

Ilford’s XP1 ‘chromogenic’ pic caused quite a stir when it first appeared, offering blackness and white photographers the exposure latitude and easy lab processing of colour negative film, with smoother, finer grain than other ISO 400 mono films. The updated XP2S is nevertheless an interesting selection for 35mm blackness and white fans who like latitude and non grain!

(Prototype credit: Lomography)


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ix. Lomography Lady Grey (3 pack)

Bringing you rich black and white tones

Specifications

Type:

Blackness and white

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 400

Chemistry:

Black and white

Reasons to buy


+

Fast B&W film



+

Peachy branding

Reasons to avert


Only sold in triple roll packs

Lomography is one of the main driving forces behind the film photography revival. And as well as producing its own range of beautifully-designed Lomo cameras, it also has a range of films also. This black-and-white film has been given a twist with imaginative branding – and is sold in three-roll packs.

35mm transparency moving-picture show


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10. Fujifilm Velvia 50 135 36

Availability is becoming patchy, but it’south a archetype everyone should try once

Specifications

Type:

Colour transparency

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 50

Chemical science:

E-vi

Reasons to purchase


+

Super-saturated colors



+

Fine grain and resolution

Reasons to avoid


Not exactly subtle



Getting expensive

Velvia has gained a reputation as the globe’due south richest, nigh super-saturated and sharpest color transparency movie ever. Kodachrome used to carry that crown, but it looks positively restrained by comparison. Not anybody loves Velvia 50’due south strong colors and contrasts, merely information technology’s now gained immortality among Fujifilm’south digital Movie Simulation modes.

Encounter as well


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11. Kodak Ektachrome E100 135-36

Supersaturated colors Kodak-style, at present that Kodachrome is gone

Specifications

Type:

Color transparency

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 100

Chemical science:

East-6

Reasons to buy


+

Kodak T-Grain technology



+

Eastward-vi processing

Reasons to avoid


Not ever easy to find



Expensive!

This film has just been revived past Kodak (the new Kodak film-making spin-off post-obit the pause-up of the old company). Information technology offers the same ISO rating equally Velvia 100, just yous might discover information technology has slightly less exaggerated colors. It uses the same generic E-six transparency processing chemistry, though, so getting your films developed shouldn’t exist a problem.


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12. Fujifilm Velvia 100 135 36

Like Velvia fifty, just a cease faster and a bit more usable

Specifications

Type:

Color transparency

Format:

35mm

Exposures:

36

Speed:

ISO 100

Reasons to buy


+

Super-saturated colors



+

Faster than Velvia 50

Reasons to avoid


Not terribly natural-looking



Getting expensive

Velvia 100 arrived as Velvia 50’southward more than responsible, more than usable sibling. It’s one f-stop faster, which makes it a fraction easier to use if the calorie-free’south not good, and the colors are possibly a flake more than natural-looking than Velvia 50’due south, but in that location’south non much in it. Both films use widely-available E-half dozen processing, different the other old favourite, Kodachrome.

What best film types can y’all go?

Film can exist split into iii main types: colour negative film, blackness and white negative film and transparency (slide film).

Color negative movie:
this is one of the most popular types of film and is widely available from specialist photographic camera shops as well every bit Amazon. The film is developed using a procedure chosen C-41 which is available in all labs and is particularly useful for digitizing film as it easily handles the orange mask and negative tones of colour negative.

Blackness and white negative film:
images without color are often deemed a more than arty choice and black and white shooting is popular amongst film enthusiasts. It tin be easily processed at home which is why film students and anyone who wants to develop themselves might choose to shoot with it – although it’s a much more than involved process than sending information technology off to a lab.

Transparency film or slide moving-picture show:
used to exist a favorite option for professionals, as there wasn’t an intermediate printing stage to lower the quality and add to the cost. You could as well easily send off slides to editors and motion-picture show libraries. Because this isn’t equally popular today, however, the range of transparency films is a little more express than it used to exist. All slide film is adult using the E-6 procedure that’s widely availably in labs.

What types of film camera are there?

You tin read our massive Best motion picture cameras
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guide to observe out more than, just mostly they carve up into iii types: 35mm, medium format and large format cameras.
35mm cameras

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are the nigh common, and so that’due south what we’ll offset with, but
medium format cameras

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are pop too as they offer better quality from their larger negatives and easier high-quality scanning with a flatbed scanner.

Large format cameras

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are specialized tools used by especially dedicated photographers. The cameras are expensive, unwieldy and more complex to prepare. The motion picture is supplied in sheets and has to be pre-loaded into holders for swapping plates out in the field. Every exposure is an occasion, merely that’s office of the charm (that and the extraordinary prototype quality) for fans of large format cameras.

Read more:


The best 120 curl picture
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Best moving picture cameras

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The best film scanners

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Best darkroom equipment: photograph enlargers, film tanks, trays
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Rod is an contained photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW’s Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on Due north-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography segmentation and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, likewise as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they showtime appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past twenty years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera numberless and more. Rod has his own camera gear web log at fotovolo.com
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simply as well writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com
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Source: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/best-film