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The Wall of Inspiration: Choose Your Next Film

All the reviews and sample shots from our community - collected into a central film-based Wall of Inspiration! Take your time, flick through, browse, and find your next film of choice...

NB: all sample shots remain the property and (c) of the artist. If you wish to contribute to the project and submit your own film review then head to the relevant product page and click 'Write a Review'

Based on 978 reviews
74%
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19%
(182)
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Perfect for: Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, Travel, Studio work
WOW WOW WOW!!!!

I think my review title sort of gives my thoughts away about my first experience with E100.

I'd read people raving about it. And when the lovely Analogue Wonderland and Silverpan Film Lab came up with their joint summer deal then it was an opportunity not to be missed. Although I'm wondering if I might be addicted to this film now..... grrrrrr!!!

So: the film itself.... the colours are stunning. Really REALLY good. Exactly as I remember the colours on the day. And all so precise too - loads of detail; the only colour film I've shot with that actually makes me feel like I'm back in that time and place is Silbersalz (which is also Kodak). The whites are nice and pure, the sunsets have a gorgeous warmth, the afternoon sun has a nice pop.... everything you want from a colour film for capturing a natural look.

A word of warning though: if you don't get your exposure right then it can punish you. I had a couple of shots where I got the exposure wrong on the subject in tricky light conditions and there was very little wriggle room. It's nowhere nearly as scary as some people online warn you about, but just be aware in harsh, contrasty conditions you might want to be on the ball with exposure!

Another thing it did flag up: the quality of your lens. I shot all of these on my Olympus OM10, mainly with the Zuiko50mm, but some with a 28mm Hoya lens. I'd never seen any problems with the Hoya until shooting with this film; suddenly everything was a bit grungier and softer. I thought it was my focus at first but it always seemed to be with this lens. I'm not sure if the film was picking up on the aberrations or what, but they definitely didn't gel well together (see the shot of my little man crouching down with the lens flare over his head as an example).

But I do love this film. With a good camera and lens this will give you some of the best shots you're ever made.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Creative/Abstract, Travel
Fun and easy to use (beginners will love this)

Brilliant little film. Fun for everyone, and very easy to use. Consistent results in pretty much any conditions.
Well worth the money. The only instant film that comes close is Fujifilm instax wide.
The problem that comes with the film being smaller, is that you have less detail than in the wide 300. The camera is smaller, and far more convenient to carry around though, so it just depends on personal preference.

Perfect for: Beginners, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Creative/Abstract, Travel
Limitations are not weaknesses

When I first started shooting Kentmere 400 I had in mind all the lukewarm reviews that I had read online. I bought a couple of rolls as a cheap solution in case I run out of my usual choices. I put those rolls in my bag and forgot about them. Then, in one of my trips I got so excited with the city I was visiting that quickly I ran out of film... But not completely! I remembered I still had those two Kentmere 400 rolls.

For a moment, I hesitated a bit. I was worried that my pictures won't come out as good as I'd like... you know "what if there's no contrast or too much contrast?", "what if the grain is appalling?", "what if the grays are too blunt?" But since there was no other option, I loaded the first roll in my camera and I continued shooting around the city. As time was passing by something changed in my shooting attitude. Knowing that the film I'm using is not considered "top quality" made me less reluctant to waste it. Soon, I was determined to use these two rolls like it doesn't matter. I was focused completely on having fun, allowing randomness to take over. When I got home I developed all my rolls from the trip and I was surprised to see that my most favorite pictures were taken using the Kentmere 400! And then I remembered.

I shoot film because it's fun. I shoot film for me- it's a way to shape myself. I want to be able to try different angles, different lighting conditions etc. Essentially, I want to be able to "waste" film without worrying too much about it. Kentmere 400 is a cheap, robust film that will simply do the job.

If somehow you're shooting film professionally you most probably have already chosen your tools and most probably this film is not among them. Also, most probably, this review won't change your mind. If you just want to have fun, why not go for something like this? It's a fast film, perfect for beginners & street photography and one of the easy films to develop (quite forgiving as well!) that delivers beautiful negat...

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Street Photography, Creative/Abstract, Travel
Solid general-purpose 120 B&W film

This is my go-to film for general-purpose medium format use, over many years. It's reasonably tolerant (though isn't quite as flexible as claimed with regard to how you can rate it - shoot at 400 IME) and in 120 the grain is pretty much irrelevant. It allows you to shoot reasonably fast at fairly small apertures, which is essential for medium format street photography. I find it particularly well suited to the Holga.

Recommended for both casual and street photography as well as more serious applications that prioritise speed over super fine detail. I would recommend this for beginners in medium format, too.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Street Photography, Travel
Flexible colour film with the advantage of medium format size

Like Lomography 800 in 35mm, this has a useful speed for poor light and strong colours, but in medium format the issues of grain that turn up in 35mm are reduced, resulting in even better all-around performance. As long as you don't underexpose, this film can produce some terrific results. Well-suited to cameras like the Holga with slow lenses, or medium format reportage and street photography generally.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Street Photography, Travel, Low light/Night
Surprisingly good high speed colour

This is a very flexible film that can be used in both day and low light conditions (though it isn't super fast - don't expect to be able to shoot in pitch darkness). It is reasonably grainy and has poor shadow detail, so be careful not to underexpose, but colours are strong and punchy, and the price is a lot better than other high ISO films.

It fits particularly well with compact cameras that have slow lenses IME - the extra stop over 400 film can bring you up to a practical hand-holding speed, or let you use the long end of a zoom. Or, for street photography in any camera, you can get decent depth of field at a high enough shutter speed even in poor light.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Street Photography, Travel, Low light/Night
HP5+ Black and White’s Popular Everyman

HP5+ is a traditional grain, high speed black and white film, popular through all of its incarnations throughout history. I only rate this film four stars as it does exactly what one would expect. Rather, it’s simply a standard black and white film, that gives reasonable results with fair to good contrast / high dynamic range. I usually develop mine with Perceptol, which loses almost a full stop of speed when compared to box. Even with a fine grain, high acutance developer, I find the image quality to be acceptable but not truly capable of huge prints if image sharpened and quality is your game. Despite this, it’s more than capable of demanding a wonderful image in varying light and contrast situations, making it ideal for general photography, reportage and travel photography. I have since been shooting TMax 400 as my go to high speed black and white for comparatively sharper and finer images but I wouldn’t be remotely upset if HP5+ was all the camera store had.

Perfect for: Street Photography, Architecture, Creative/Abstract
Excellent bold contasty film - suitable for b&w slides!

Rollei Superpan 200 is an excellent film if you are looking for bold, strong contrasty results.
The film is sharp and full of detail in 120, and thanks to the clear PET base, it dries really flat.
It really shines when developed in Ilford Perceptol, for fine-grain and sharpness
However, this is my go-to film when I want black & white transparencies (slides), it is in my opinion the best film available in 120 for this process. Looking at the transparencies projected on the light box reveals a lot of detail.
It also has the benefit of having near infrared sensitivity and so can be shot using a dark red or IR72 filter for added effect

Perfect for: Portraits, Street Photography, Architecture, Creative/Abstract, Travel
Often overlooked, but excellent results

Fomapan R100 is often overlooked compared to the new Adox Scala film when looking for a suitable b&w slide film, but it shouldn't!

Designed specifically as a cine-reversal film by Foma Bohemia, this film contains a special anti-halation masking layer within the emulsion which prevents light-scattering and makes for super-sharp slides.
Contrast is moderate to high, and the crystal clear base makes projecting this film a joy.

As with all b&w slide films exposure is more critical than with normal b&w negative films, so double check your exposure meter.
This can be developed at home using Foma's special reversal kit.....or you can send it to SilverPan ;)

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Landscapes, Street Photography
Surprising - I’ll be using this a lot more

I messed this up, or so I thought. After I loaded this film I neglected to change the iso dial for the camera’s meter, leaving it at 100, and I only noticed near the end of the roll. The lab pulled it and I was really happy with the results. Lots of detail throughout. I’ll be using this a lot more in future. @misterjabsticks

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Creative/Abstract
Good value for money

This was my first 120 film, shot with 6x6 camera. I developed the film with ID-11, and I am quite happy with the results, the negatives are not very contrasty -maybe the contrast can be improved using different developer/agitation method- however I prefer low contrast negatives and work on the constrast during post-production. I would recommend this film to beginners and to everyone is looking for good value for money 120 film.

Perfect for: Street Photography, Architecture
Liked this film

Full disclosure, Colour photography is not my thing, and I’m not comfortable with it. However, I’ve tried a few different films and found that I quite like this one. It seems warmer than others I’ve tried, with an odd cast to it that I like. But as I said, I’m an amateur with Colour. All I can say is that I enjoyed it, and give you a sample.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Architecture
Nice, but...

I really liked the look of this film developed semistand in HC-110 1:160 for 45 mins - see sample image. My only problem is that I found it very difficult to load onto the plastic developing reels I normally use. After a while I gave up and dug out an old lasagna reel, which (barring the inevitable spots) worked fine.

I will be using this film again; it has the kind of tonal qualities I normally only see in much slower, high-contrast films.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Portraits, Landscapes, Architecture, Creative/Abstract, Studio work
Amazing high detail film

This is easily my favourite B&W film for detail in all sorts of situations. It gives super sharp results - as with another reviewer, it's practically medium format level when printing - and the high red / low blue sensitivity darkens skies in an attractive way for landscapes. Cloud shots look fantastic. Also, unlike some others such as Acros and T-Max 100 IMO, it's a "human" film, with skin tones looking right and people not looking like mannequins.

The obvious barrier to using it everywhere is the low speed, though it's workable for street photography with a fast lens. It isn't ideal for telephoto shots except in bright conditions. Also, shadows can be very deep, though I've found I can generally get the detail I need out of them.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Portraits, Street Photography, Creative/Abstract

I prefer to use B&W Polaroid film as colour can be a little inconsistent sometimes, and this is a solid film for i-Type cameras (coming in slightly cheaper than the 600 version). The current version of Polaroid Originals' B&W can be a little hard to expose sometimes due to low latitude, but is generally decent with flash. It has a slightly warm tone to it which works well with portraits and candid shots.

In my experience it has lasted well past the expiry date - I've shot packs over a year expired and they were fine, so you don't need to worry about shooting it all at once.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Travel
Kodak Ektachrome Slide film

Great film to work with. I realised I had no stock of slide film and was off to Paris in a week and wanted to do some street photography with it. Guys at Analogue managed to get it to me in time and with the results I was able to put on an exhibition of my work. It's a little expensive but not readily available elsewhere, certainly not on the high street!

Perfect for: Street Photography, Architecture, Creative/Abstract
Super contrast, super sharp

This film has very low latitude and takes careful metering (or a willingness to experiment and perhaps lose a few frames) but does reward you with extremely fine grain and a sharp edge to detail. I shot a roll at the Notting Hill Carnival 2019 in a Hexar AF on auto exposure, and had some shots blow out almost completely, but when they worked I felt they had a great atmosphere.

I'd advise shooting in even light (for beginners) or metering carefully for the subject - overcast conditions, or consistent building shadows for street photography. You will simply not be able to capture detail in both bright and dark areas.

Note that this is hand rolled and not DX-coded, so you will need a camera that lets you manually select ISO. I stand developed for 1h in 1+100 Ilfotec LC29.

Perfect for: Street Photography, Creative/Abstract, Travel, Low light/Night
BW gets better!

Kodak TMax P3200 isn’t a 3200 ISO film. That’s right; it’s not. It’s instead designed to be pushed that far. Kodak TMax P3200 is an ISO 800 film, only a stop faster than their TMax 400 film that’s been alive and well for years. It’s not designed to look like Tri-X. Instead, Kodak TMax P3200 has T-grain; a completely different grain structure to the film.

@siddharthgovindan

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Portraits, Street Photography, Architecture
Soft and subtle effects

Very impressed with this film. The first roll I shot was with a 2x yellow filter to give more subtle effects in mid-tones. Contrast is not as harsh as with say Acros, tone gradation is very good and can easily adjusted using photoshop. I did not find grain a problem as this gives a softer affect.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Landscapes, Street Photography, Travel, Studio work
Excellent Detail

A supremely detailed film with razor sharp images and barely visible (if any) grain. Almost like a slide film in it's detail. I love the look that this film gives, particular for nature shots and greenery, as well as for travelling. I have had no problem using it for portraits too, but I do think for portraits it can sometimes make the colours have a little too much strength. This is quite an asset for nearly all other photos though. The images speak for themselves. If I have any negative (no pun intended) it's that the exposure needs to be a little more exact than with other colour negative films. That said, it is far more forgiving than any slide film and produces images that are just as good or better. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Travel, Studio work, Low light/Night
Smooth as Silk

A beautifully smooth and silky film. HP5 is a staple film for many people. A lot of people compare it to Tri-x but I feel they both have very different feels to them - the only similarity being that they're both black and white 400 from a similar generation but the tone and feel of the photos is quite different so I can find good uses for both. For portraits and planned photos I much prefer the HP5 film. If I had to choose, I would say that I slightly prefer HP5 for the silky smooth pictures. The film has character without being over the top about it, and that's what I like about it. It is quite a personal preference though - my advice would be to try a roll and see what you think. And have a look at different images online so you can get a feel for what it's like. There's a reason it's so popular. 5 stars.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Beginners, Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Travel, Low light/Night
Lomo 800 35mm

I got my hands on a roll of Lomo 800 35mm a year or so ago. Quite enjoyed shooting it, it has a bit of a yellow tint to the final image.

For me personally, I’d rather pay the extra and shoot Portra 800, but that is £12/roll whereas you can get 3 rolls of Lomo 800 for £19! So if you’re on a budget and need high ISO film I would recommend.

I scan images directly on the glass of my flatbed scanner, and I find Lomo film negatives extremely curvy which is a nuisance to me.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Portraits, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Travel, Studio work
Kodak Magic worth every penny

Kodak Portra 400 is one of my favourite films. I have to admit that I am a lover of Kodak film and this film although a little bit more expensive it's well worth spending the extra money.

I've got a roll loaded in my Pentax MX at the moment it's such a forgiving film with lovely Kodak warm tones and very smooth grain. Portra 400 is very easy to work with scanning wise and just looks amazing.

Kodak Portra is such a all rounder for portraits landscapes, street any travel. So why not try a roll or two you won't regret it.

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Landscapes, Street Photography, Architecture, Travel
Great tones lovely film

I shoot this at 400 box speed, it has lovely tones, and I mount them for projection, it’s a good film, ok it’s not modern Ektachrome, but I love the feeling this film gives

Perfect for: Great All-Rounder, Street Photography, Travel
Great B&W option

A really great option for B&W. Reliable, good detail resolution, great contrast and easy to have processed. A really good option for street I think and a must-have in your bag for that B&W option.