New to Film Photography? Here Are 3 Film Emulsions You Need to Try

Film photography never died: it only evolved into something much better.

Fact: some of us have never shot film before. Others amongst us are just getting into it. In 2021, film photography co-exists with digital and is in demand by lots of clients. There are lots of the mainstays like Portra, Tri-X, and Velvia. But there are also lots of options out there that aren’t traditional. And we’ve reviewed a bunch of them. So we dove into the old Reviews Index to look at our many years of film photography coverage. Here are some of our favorite emulsions.

Pro Tips to Get the Most of Film Photography if You’re Brand New to It

Here are some critical tips on how to navigate and understand film photography:

  • Film photography is a far different beast than digital is. It’s far less forgiving. You can’t just switch a white balance or anything else like that easily later on in every situation. You have to have some semblance of it in-camera. 
  • Shoot as if you have the smallest SD card storage ever.
  • Forget about continuous shooting. Just shoot a single photo.
  • Pay attention to literally everything in the frame. Write yourself a checklist.
  • It’s a good idea to have a digital camera around to preview what the image might look like.

Lomography LomoChrome Purple: Incredibly Unique

What’s So Different: Well, just look at it! Lomochrome Purple takes the greens from the scene and turns them into purples.

In our review, we state:

“So more or less, Lomography LomoChrome Purple is designed to take greens in a scene and render them as purple. It’s influenced by Kodak Aerochrome in creation. However, there is nothing like this out there.”

Buy Now

CineStill 800T: Cinematic Film Photography

What’s So Different: The cool thing about CineStill 800T is that it’s a Kodak cinema film that was reformatted. They removed the Remjet layer, so it can be developed in the C-41 style. It results in some very cool halation effects. It’s a truly unique entry in film photography.

In our review, we state:

“CineStill 800T is incredible with skin tones and also very well detailed. The grain is very fine; you can see it at times but you’ll genuinely love the look. When a flash is used or you shoot in overcast lighting, the colors are very true to life. Skin tones are muted and a bit subdued while other colors are very spot on. What helps in this situation are Sigma’s excellent lenses, though for what it’s worth we don’t get any of that magical micro-contrast that we do when they’re attached to digital cameras.”

Buy Now

Kodak TMax P3200: Incredible Sharpness

What’s So Different: The TMax P3200 is an ISO 800 film that’s designed to be pushed to ISO 3200. It’s incredibly sharp. In fact, it’s sharper than some digital cameras are at ISO 3200.

In our review, we state:

“Photographers who would make the most use of Kodak TMax P3200 are those looking for general shooting reasons, but I think street photographers and portrait shooters would make the most sense if they’re going for something in low light settings. Of course, Kodak TMax P3200 is also an ISO 800 film so it can be used for a variety of things. Where it comes to mind immediately too is with concert photography. Load some Kodak TMax P3200 into a camera and you’ll be all set to get gorgeous images with the right metering. Of course, you’ll also want to use it at night. Typically, what I do is load one camera with film for day shooting and the other has film for night shooting. In this case it’s either my Leicas or one of my point and shoots. Thanks to the DX code on the film, your camera will also read it at its native ISO unless you tell it to shoot it at something otherwise.”

Buy Now

Chris Gampat

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