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What Film Should I Used For My Canon Ae-1?

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What Film Should I Used For My Canon Ae-1?

Postby kevinbacon38 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:41 am

I am VERY new to film photography. I want to know what kind of film I should get for this 35mm camera. I don't know if it's the film that gives it that 'vintage-y/film camera' effect, but if it is, please recommend the film that you think would do the best job at this. Also, what is the best black and white film? THANKS! Any other tips on film photography are HIGHLY appreciated.
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What Film Should I Used For My Canon Ae-1?

Postby Kyu-Bok » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Hey WASP! Cool camera! It's neat that you're going to put it back into use!

A couple things:

--The Canon AE-1 is a 35mm SLR, as you know.
So it requires 35mm film.
This is the format.
Film is also categorize by Brand, Process, Type or Model and ISO.
Process Type is important.
Currently there are C41, E6 and B&W.
If you are going to drop your film off for processing at the local consumer lab such as Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aide, Sam's Club, Costco, or CVS you will have to use a C41 film.
Other, professional labs take other process types of film too.
If you are processing at school, you are probably going to use B&W.


--If you are processing at a consumer lab, I suggest just using cheap film to start with so you can learn without blowing a ton of $$ and can afford to buy more film and processing.
After you've learned your way around the camera and want to move up to $7+ rolls of film, then you can do that later.
So for now Kodak 100, 200 and 400 as well as Fujicolor 200 and Fuji Superia 400 are the best films for you.
They only cost a few dollars a roll at BHPhoto.com and Adorama.com.
These are colour films.
If you want black and white but C41 process, you can buy Kodak bw400cn or Ilford XP2.

--If you are processing at school or other b&w darkroom, it's best to check with your teacher or lab tech as to what b&w's they want you to use.
For this, Kodak TMAX 100, 400 and Tri-X 400 are great.
Also pretty cheap but high quality.

--Yes, it's largely the film that makes the photos look "vintage-y/film", The lens also plays a part but it's mainly the film.
Has nothing at all do with the camera unless you are looking for light leaks and other defects.
All film looks like film.
What most younger people think of as being vintage looking is more a result of the age of a print or particular defects such as light leaks, heavy underexposure, or cross processing.
Film by itself doesn't do any of these things.
You have to educate yourself on the particular effects you want and how they are made.
"Vintage" is not a technical term.
So you'll have to define what that means to you and learn how to create that look.


--There is no such thing as a "best black and white film" but one that has been used by many classic and famous 35mm photographers is Kodak Tri-X.
Many people regard Ilford films as the highest quality b&w films though.
And personally, I think Fuji Acros 100 is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
But it's not that simple.
Every developer that you use in combination with every type of film and the particulars of how you shoot and how you process and scan or print all have large affects on your photos.
This isn't digital.
You don't just buy something and it does things for you.
You have to learn things from every which way, inside and out.
And THIS is where the fun and true creativity comes from.


Don't forget, if you want true b&w, you will need a professional lab or your own lab to process the film.
I think Walmart will send film to Fuji for processing though so they should take b&w.
Or you can just use Kodak bw400cn or Ilford XP2.
I prefer XP2 for most things.
Just Google each film and look at some examples to decide for yourself.


Please email me at [email protected] if you have any more questions.
You are about to embark on a great journey.
Enjoy it!

MANUAL AND METAL! FILM FOREVER!
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What Film Should I Used For My Canon Ae-1?

Postby Wulfweardsweorth » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:18 am

ASA 200 negative. Any brand will do. Select from 12, 24 or 35 shots. Buy from a film lab, one that also develops film. Let the guys there load the film to your camera and watch how they do it.

For B/W, I usually go for the lowest ASA I could find.
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What Film Should I Used For My Canon Ae-1?

Postby Enric » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:27 am

I don't know where in the World that you are, I am in the UK, so it's difficult to point you in any specific direction.

To start with, buy some cheap 35mm colour ASA 200.
I can buy it here in Poundland, a 36 exposure roll of 35mm Kodak or Agfa for a quid (GBP£1).
Not the highest quality, but the best value by far.

Right, learn how to load it.
Take lots of photos in an auto mode.
Learn how to roll it back onto the spool, then take it to a cheap local photolab.
See how the photos look - sometimes old cameras have light leakage.
They need new seals - not actually a very expensive or difficult job if it does need it.

B&W.
You can get some new films such as Ilford XP2 that are photolab friendly - check to see if they are 'C41' friendly.
Otherwise most local photolabs cannot develop your B&W films.
Even then, some photolabs will print your B&W with a slight colour tinge.

If you buy 'true' B&W 35mm, then you need to find a processor that can develop them - you might need to send them away, and they can be expensive.
Many people now develop their own B&W negatives, and then digitally scan them on 35mm scanners (not flatbed).
Ilford has a good reputation for quality B&W.

If you stick with it - you are going to find that film photography, although more expensive than digital, is a hell of a lot of fun.
Nothing like winding on that film, or waiting for those prints to arrive.
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