Posted on June 30 2018
This week’s gorgeous weather has inspired us to reflect on the best films for bright light and sunny days. So regardless of your photography style or favourite format - have a read through and maybe you will be inspired to try something new!
Swing Low Sweet ISO
Obviously one of the biggest opportunities that sunny weather provides is the chance to try films that just wouldn’t be able to cope with winter. Colour negative fans might have already busted out their Kodak Ektar, but if you want to push it even further then we can recommend looking at films rated ISO 50.
For slow slide we recommend the inimitable Fuji Velvia, rated by Ken Rockwell as the best film in the world! In fact his exact quote is “Velvia is the reason I’m still a photographer”. Landscapes, flowers, neon signs, and still-lifes will all shine with an intensity and colour you won’t be able to achieve by any other means. It has the tendency to make skin tones reddish so avoid portraits unless you want a deliberate sun-burned look! But in every other regard this will give you the most gorgeous images. Available in both 35mm and medium format.
Sample shots (c) fanfoxyang
Black and White
Black and white shooters might look at trying PanF 50 in either 35mm or medium format 120, for a crisp level of detail and subtle contrast that will knock your flip-flops off. The low ISO will allow you to keep the aperture wider than other films, which you can use to isolate subjects in macro (summer flowers anyone?) or portraits.
Samples shots (c) Chris Lovelock
If you’re looking for something different then our favourite ISO 50 film is the Cinestill 50D. Colour-balanced for daylight, this is the film stock that has been used in outdoor scenes from movies directed by Spielberg, Scorsese and the Coen Brothers. Vivid colours, grain that is the finest available in commercial films, especially impressive in medium format (although you can also buy 35mm).
How Low Can You Go
But maybe you think ISO 50 is still too easy! You are looking to push the envelope, stretch the boundaries, maybe even stretch the envelope. You are looking to buy Rollei RPX ISO 25! Famous for its deep shadows and rich tones, you will be producing high-contrast black and white images that are striking and sexy.
The other big opportunity that summer opens up is Infrared film photography. Because infrared film is also sensitive to visible light, you must use a deep red filter to select only the infrared spectrum. This significantly cuts down the total light entering your camera so instead of the box speed of 400 you will be exposing the system at ISO 12 or 25! Without bright light the exposure times would quickly get silly - particularly if you are using a small aperture to capture a full landscape.
Bright sunshine will fix that for you! The exposure times will drop, the foliage of young leaves will look epic, and the results will instantly make you Film Royalty. On Instagram at least. Which is the best kind of royalty there is. Our favourite is Rollei Infrared - available to buy in 35mm, 120 medium format and large format 4x5!
Sample images (c) Jelle
Bundles of Joy
Of course summer doesn’t just bring good weather. It also brings summer events, which often need different types of film to bring to life. Which is why we’ve partnered with FilmFreek to design pre-made “Summer Bundles” that will give you - at a discounted price and with two free Analogue Wonderland stickers - all of the film that you’ll need to capture the occasion. We have sets for Summer Weddings, Summer Festivals, stocking up on Instax, and Summer Holidays, each with an unique collection of 35mm films best-suited to the photography you’re likely to want to achieve. We also took the opportunity to design Beginner’s bundles, for if you have some time off in the coming months why not use some of that time to spread the Analogue Love!
These bundles are perfect for gifts, and we can highly recommend them as self-gifts! Who doesn’t deserve films? June payday cheques are in and the sun is out.