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

Kodak Portra 400

Why it rocks: If you’re even asking this question, then there are very strong chances you’re not a fan of the muted colors it can deliver and the way it renders skin tones. That’s fine, I guess. But if you’re a photographer who likes to meet up with people and do portrait sessions (a number of this site’s readers are) then try it. Otherwise, consider Fujifilm 400H.

Recommended Camera: Our favorite camera to use Kodak Portra with honestly has to be some sort of medium format option like a Bronica ETRS or a Mamiya RB67 Pro S. Those are huge cameras though, so if anything consider something a bit smaller and with more modern optics to give more of a balance between the muted colors of the film and the lens. If you’re going 35mm, then reach for something like a Nikon F80 and a 50mm f1.8 G lens.

Buy Now: Amazon

CineStill 800T

Why it rocks: CineStill 800T is perfect for when you’re going out at night. Many of the lights in cities and even out in the country are of a warmer color. CineStill 800T is one of the only tungsten film left in existence. If anything, you’ll probably really like the blade runner style look it can give off.

Recommended Camera: Our favorite cameras to use CineStill 800T with are many, honestly. The Canon Elan 7 with some good, modern glass work well. But otherwise a Hexar AF or a Leica CL will work really well too.

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Ilford Delta 400

Why it rocks: I really love Ilford Delta 400. Though other folks like reaching for Kodak Tri-X 400 or Kodak T-Max 400, you’ll probably enjoy the renderings Ilford Delta 400 can give off. It isn’t as midtone heavy, but instead is very true to the world you see in front of your eyes.

Recommended Camera: Our favorite camera for the Ilford Delta 400 is most likely the Lomography LCA 120. Yes, it’s medium format, but it’s very compact. Otherwise, reach for a Hexar AF.

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Pro Tip: When travelling, consider putting your film in a bag that will be hand checked. Don’t run it through the XRay; the strength tends to vary from machine to machine to airport to location.

Lomography LomoChrome Purple 100-400 (2017 Emulsion)

Why it rocks: Here’s something very weird but super cool for all of you: LomoChrome Purple takes the greens in a scene and renders them as purples. The result is some really trippy and really unique looks.

Recommended Camera: The new emulsion only comes in 35mm. I want to specifically state that the new emulsion is also more stable and easier to work with at ISO 400, 200, or 100. Stick it into any 35mm camera you get your hands on. I prefer something like a Pentax Spotmatic personally.

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Fujifilm Instax Mini Monochrome

Why it rocks: Instax Monochrome is still pretty new but also really fun to work with. It is a black and white Instax film that is medium in contrast. With the right Instax camera, you’ll get really cool results.

Recommended Camera: Our favorite cameras in this situation are the Lomography Lomo’Instant Glass and the Diana F+. In fact, the Diana is really cool for stuff like pinholes.

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Impossible Project Type 600 Color 2.0

Why it rocks: If you’ve had problems with Impossible Project film before, you should know it’s more or less been fixed. The emulsions are more stable in terms of color reproduction but they also are pretty great with the right camera.

Recommended Camera: My absolute favorite camera to use with Impossible Project film is the Mint Camera SLR670 with the Time Machine. When using this little addition, you’ll get manual shutter speed control over the camera.

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.