Six Film Emulsions to Travel With on Your Next Trip (and a Few Recommended Cameras)

Lots of photographers are wary of bringing film with them on their next airplane trip, but the experienced photographers have learned how to do it. Sure, your phone, a good point and shoot, or a small ILC camera will work great but there is something absolutely unique about what film will do for the experience. Typically, folks love to look at and fall in love with their travel photos as soon as possible. But when you delay that otherwise instant gratification just a bit, you’ll be much more thoroughly surprised later on. Even if you shoot instant film, there’s still a Je Ne Sais Quoi about that moment that enhances the experience.

Here are a few of our favorite film emulsions

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This Kodak Instamatic Messenger Bag is Almost an Impulse Buy

Maybe it has something to do with the classic and cool vintage design, but this Kodak Instamatic Messenger Bag is one that seems perfect for every collector. The bag’s exterior is covered with the original Kodak Instamatic camera emblazoned all over it. For the uninitiated (or I guess those less woke on camera history) the Instamatic was a pretty automatic camera Kodak produced years ago. It was a hit for so many people because it was small, easy to operate, and used a piece of technology that really pushed photography ahead in a somewhat unexpected way.

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Film Review: Lomography Color Negative 100 (120 and 35mm Formats)

“It’s Kodak Gold,” I’m often told by Lomography reps about Lomography Color Negative 100. The film is one of the offerings from Lomography that is also a more affordable option at times in both 35mm and 120. Now, some folks may scoff at the idea of shooting Kodak Gold since for years, it was designed for being shot by just consumers. But in truth, it’s capable of delivering some seriously lovely colors. To that end, so too is Lomography Color Negative 100. At times, I genuinely feel like Lomography Color Negative 100 sometimes just intensifies whatever scene is just in front of you. But either way, if you’re looking for a low ISO alternative because you don’t like Kodak Ektar’s colors, then Lomography Color Negative 100 is a very viable option.

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Review: Kodak TMax 400 (35mm and 120)

Kodak T-Max 400 doesn’t get all the love, love letters, and overall adoration that Kodak Tri-X 400 does simply because of the fact that a ton of the most iconic photos in the world were shot on Tri-X 400 vs T-Max 400. However, part of that has to do with the fact that Tri-X has been around for a longer period of time and T-Max 400 is designed to do something much different. While Tri-X 400 is known for its characteristic midtones and grain, T-Max 400 is instead known for its fairly high contrast (in the highlights and shadows), its incredibly fine grain and its overall sharpness. It’s touted to be the sharpest black and white 400 speed film in the world. Indeed, there has been a movement in the black and white photography world towards the high contrast, crispy, sharp look. And that’s essentially what Kodak T-Max 400 can do while still retaining a fair amount of details in the midtones. It does it in a much different way from a film like Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400–which is a near infrared film. Yet it also differs from many of the Ilford emulsions.Before you go on, more of the specific technical details of using Kodak T-Max 400 can be found in this Kodak PDF file.

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Review: Capture One Film Styles Extended (Capture One Pro Preset Collection)

Capture One Pro isn’t as preset friendly as Lightroom simply because of the fact that when photographers go to it, they really try to create and massage their own ideals of color into the photos. Afterall, that’s part of what it was designed for. But with the Capture One Film Styles Extended, you get a whole lot of that if you’re a film shooter. We previously reviewed the Capture One Film Styles preset pack, and honestly didn’t feel like it held up against real film. Granted, the images still looked good–though if you’re a film fanatic the way I am, you’ll want something close.

However, with Capture One Film Styles Extended, you get a lot more options. And this time around, the options get closer when it comes to colors though not totally when it comes to tones. And either way, it’s tough to create a bad photo.

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Film Review: Lomography LomoChrome Purple 100-400 (35mm, New Emulsion)

A while back, Lomography LomoChrome Purple was released in 120 and 35mm formats. But earlier this year, the company updated the formula to make it more stable. With it came the major improvement of making it easier to shoot with. The current LomoChrome Purple formula allows a photographer to get great results whether they’re shooting at ISO 400 or ISO 100. Lomography states that you can rate it at either setting, as opposed to the older formula which needed a lot of light to create the best images. This new emulsion is available only in 35mm, but it provides finer grain and still very nice colors.

So if you’re the type who only wants to shoot in 120, then the size may put you off. But make no mistake, the quality is absolutely there.

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Film Review: Fujifilm Pro 400H (35mm and 120)

While Kodak Portra 400 has forever enjoyed the spotlight, Fujifilm Pro 400H has in some ways lived in the shadow of what’s often marketed with Kodak’s option. But in truth, Fujifilm Pro 400H has a character that is all its own–and like Portra, you either love it or you despise it. If you’re a Fujifilm X series camera user, then you’ve probably experimented with the film emulsion simulation in many ways. Most of the work online though was probably rendered in Velvia, Provia or perhaps even Acros at this point simply because it’s so darn good.

If you’re a portrait shooter that loves to step into the studio or work with off-camera lighting in one way or another, I highly suggest that you take a look at Fujifilm Pro 400H if you haven’t already.

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UPDATED: After 2019, Fujifilm Acros 100 4×5 Cut Sheet Film Will No Longer Be in Production

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve added updates to this article.

Today, Fujifilm officially announced that after 2019, Fujifilm Acros 100 4×5 cut sheet film will no longer be in production. This statement is currently being applied only to the 4×5 cut sheet film and it is currently unclear if it will apply to the 35mm and 120 emulsion offerings, but we will confirm this in the morning. Fujifilm Acros 100 is a very interesting black and white film in that it offers a very fine grain but also is very versatile. As we’ve mentioned many times in this month’s coverage on La Noir Image, it can be pushed to 1600 with great results. We also did a review of Fujifilm Acros 100 earlier this month right here.

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