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14 Best Camera Film in 2023 (Color Choices for 35mm Cameras)

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Shooting with the best camera film will ignite your passion for film photography. Analog photography is back from the brink and experiencing another boom period. But finding the best film isn’t easy. There are different film brands. You have to choose the right ISO. And you need to know if the film suits your style of photography.

Kodak Gold is our top choice for the best camera film. It has a fine grain structure that results in exquisite image quality. The colors are bright and vibrant. And the photos have a radiant glow. It’s one of the more affordable Kodak film stocks. And it’s great for beginners and experienced film shooters.

Our Top Pick
Kodak Gold
Kodak Gold
Capture every moment with stunning clarity and energetic colors with this 200 ISO color film.

[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here].


What Is the Best Camera Film?

Our article looks at the best color film for 35mm film cameras. If you want to go monochrome, check out our full article on the best black-and-white film stocks.

The best camera film helps you express your thoughts, ideas, and emotions. And you can use the unique qualities of different film stocks to develop your visual language. But with so many film stocks, finding the best film can take time.

You need to consider the brand of film you buy. And then, you have to choose the correct ISO. This is one of the most important aspects of film photography. Thankfully, you have a lot to choose from. And while finding the best camera film can take time, the journey is part of the fun.

Some film photographers never settle on one film stock. Their favorite films are determined by their mood or the season of the year. They explore all the possibilities. And they find joy in the subtleties and nuances of different film stocks. I recommend this approach if you’re new to film photography.

Here’s a quick roundup of the full list of the best color films. We examine each color film in more detail in the following section. And we’ve included examples to show you what each color film is about. We also have an info-packed FAQ section at the end if you’re still feeling lost.

Color Film
Why We Love It
Buy From
Kodak Gold
Our Top Choice
  • Bright and vibrant colors with a glossy finish
  • Provides excellent color saturation and accuracy
  • Wide exposure latitude from two stops underexposure to three stops overexposure
  • Excellent latent-image keeping characteristics and scanning compatibility
Fujifilm 200
Best Value Color Film
  • Captures vibrant colors with pleasing skin tones
  • Sharp, high-resolution image quality
  • 36 shots and wide exposure latitude
  • Ideal for outdoors, landscapes and portraits
Kodak Portra 400 35mm
Best for Portraits
  • Rich and vibrant color rendition
  • True-to-life skin tones
  • Images have a smooth and glossy quality
  • From Kodak's professional Portra range
Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm
Most Versatile Film
  • 400 ISO film speed for good low-light performance
  • Fine grain structure for smooth quality
  • Readily available and easy to find in photo stores
  • Versatile film for travel and street photography
Kodak Ektar 100
Best for Landscapes
  • Incredible fine-grain color negative film
  • Ultra-vivid color and optimized sharpness
  • Distinct edges and fine detail with Kodak Vision film technology
  • Enlargement capability from 35mm negative
CineStill 800T 35mm
Best for Night Photography
  • Modified cinema film stock
  • 800 ISO gives you excellent low-light performance
  • Artificial lights glow and bleed into the image
  • Perfect for cinematographers
Lomography Color Negative 400
Best for Casual Film Shooters
  • Affordable 400 ISO color film stock
  • Vibrant and well-saturated colors
  • Versatile and flexible in changing light
  • Images have the unmistakable film look
Kodak ColorPlus
Best for Beginners
  • Professional-grade film for capturing vivid memories
  • 200 ASA speed for optimal performance
  • 35mm film with up to 36 exposures per roll
  • 4 rolls included for maximum savings
Kodak Portra 800
Best for Sports and Concerts
  • Fast film with unsurpassed grain quality
  • Captures detail in low-light situations
  • ISO 800 for fast action shots
  • Can be pushed to 1600 for extra speed
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400
Best for Golden Hour Photography
  • High-speed 400 ISO film with 36 exposures
  • Vibrant, naturally appearing colors
  • Excellent sharpness for optimal picture quality
  • Ideal for outdoor or low-light indoor shots
CineStill 50Daylight
Best Low ISO Film
  • Incredible image quality from the 50 ISO
  • Intense colors and sharp details
  • Images have a cinematic quality
  • Lowest ISO color film available
Lomography Color Negative 800
Best Value 800 ISO Film
  • Excellent value for a high ISO color film
  • Dark tones and blacks are deep and rich
  • Works well with natural, earthy colors
  • Has a strong film-photo aesthetic
Kodak Portra 160
Best Value Portra Film
  • Stunning image quality with no grain
  • True-to-life colors that are bold and rich
  • More earthy and grounded than Portra 400
  • Cheapest Kodak Portra film
Lomography Purple
Best Experimental Film
  • Images have shades of purple, violet, and blue
  • Versatile film for a variety of situations
  • Results are unique and experimental
  • Great fun if you're looking for something different

Best Color Film for 35mm Cameras

There’s a lot to think about when buying color film. It can be a minefield of brand names and ISO levels. But we’ve included a wide range of color film stocks to help you find the best one.

You should also remember there’s no such thing as “the wrong film.” It might not be the one for you. But experimentation is part of the fun of film photography. So try to keep an open mind.

1. Kodak Gold

Kodak Gold
ISO 200
Other Key Features Good consistency, low-grain texture, glossy finish
Best For Everyone from beginners to professionals

My favorite color film right now is Kodak Gold. Other than being one of Kodak’s more affordable stocks, it produces fantastic results time after time. It’s consistent from roll to roll. And it’s widely available online and in photo stores.

Kodak Gold is aptly named. All the colors are well rendered. And you get a rich and vibrant finish. But it’s particularly good with yellows and golds. They glisten and shine, giving the photos a warm glow. And you can use this film for any type of photography.

The rich color rendition makes it a good option for landscape photographers. It’s great for lively street photography, especially in colorful locations like food markets. And the lively tones make for eye-catching portraits.

Kodak Gold isn’t as affordable as it used to be. But the superior image quality is worth paying for if you want film photos that dazzle.

Professional gardener walking under wooden promenade
Kodak Gold with Canon AE-1. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

2. Fujifilm 200

Fujifilm 200
Brand Fujifilm
ISO 200
Other Key Features Excellent sharpness, accurate color rendition
Best For Beginners and anyone looking for excellent value color film

Fujifilm 200 is the best-value color film right now. But the low cost isn’t the only appeal for film photographers. The image quality is fantastic. And it gives you rich and luxurious colors. It’s particularly good with blues and greens.

It used to be called Fujicolor C200. And that’s what I have experience with. But Fujifilm has stated it’s the same film, only with a new name and packaging.

But if the rumors are to be believed, Fujifilm 200 is Kodak Gold with Fujifilm packaging. We can’t confirm this. But it would be interesting to compare results.

It’s a great all-around color film. The pristine quality and intense coloring make it a good option for professionals. But the affordable price makes it a good option for beginners. Fujifilm 200 is also a good option if you want to buy color film in bulk.

Fisherman fishing on a concrete pier in Barcelona
Fujicolor C200 on Canon AE-1. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

3. Kodak Portra 400 35mm

Kodak Portra 400 35mm
Brand Kodak
ISO 400
Other Key Features Vibrant colors, natural skin tones
Best For Portraits and professional film photography

Kodak Portra 400 is popular with film hipsters. Instagram is awash with analog shoots burning through rolls of this pro film stock. But don’t let the hipsters put you off. It is a fantastic film. And it justifies its popularity by producing breathtaking images.

This camera film is also popular with portrait photographers thanks to its true-to-life skin tones. So you should try it if you want to make money from portraits.

The blues, greens, and reds almost glow. And the images have a glossy sheen to them. Results are similar to Kodak Gold. But this film produces richer tones in shaded areas of the picture. And it relies less on bright sunlight to get the best results.

Many film photographers consider Porta 400 to be the best film stock. But while the results are hard to argue with, the high price marks it down. It’s great for all types of film photography. And the 400 ISO makes it versatile without losing much quality.

Field with trees on a mound outside Oswestry
Kodak Portra 400 on Canon A-1. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

4. Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm

Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm
Brand Kodak
ISO 400
Other Key Features Versatile and consistent
Best For Travel photography

I hold a personal fondness for Kodak Ultramax 400. When I first started traveling with my camera, Ultramax was my color film of choice. I wanted something versatile, flexible, and forgiving. And I wanted travel photos I could be proud of.

It delivered on all those promises. My Olympus Mju II camera, this film, and I became quite the travel team. And some of my most treasured images were shot on the 400. It’s still a color film I use regularly.

Like Portra 400, Ultramax has a 400 ISO. It gives you better results in low light. But the grain doesn’t affect the quality unless the image is really underexposed. That’s why it’s a great choice for travel photography.

It is more accessible than the Portra stock. So it’s more affordable. And you can find it in more photography stores. Ultramax 400 is a great color film if you’re learning the ropes of film photography.

Old men gathered together in the street in Portugal
Kodak Ultramax 400 on Olympus Mju II. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

5. Kodak Ektar 100

Kodak Ektar 100
ISO 100
Other Key Features Natural, earthy tone, pristine quality, and no grain
Best For Landscape photography

The Ektar 100 is Kodak’s only 100 ISO film stock. The low ISO gives you exceptional image quality. There’s pin-point sharpness. And the texture is ultra-smooth with zero visible grain.

The color rendition is natural and accurate. And it works especially well with earthy tones like greens and browns. So that’s why it’s so popular in landscape photography.

Kodak Ektar 100‘s low ISO gives you less freedom with your exposure controls. But many landscape photographers use a tripod anyway. The superior image quality also makes it a good film for product and fine art photography.

Palms trees blowing in the wind
Kodak Ektar 100. © Shane Smithrand

6. CineStill 800T 35mm

CineStill 800T 35mm
Brand CineStill
ISO 800
Other Key Features Cinematic quality, low-light performance, neon glow
Best For Night photography

CineStill 800T is the best camera film for night photography. CineStill uses modified cinema film. This gives the images a neon-like glow. And the colors are bright and saturated. So it often looks like the colors are bleeding out into the photo.

These qualities are at their most pronounced when shooting at night. The film responds well to artificial lighting. And street lights, car headlights, and neon advertisements are popular examples.

The high 800 ISO helps you work in low light. But the quality of the 800T film gives you a unique cinematic finish.

Street lamps aglow
CineStill 800T. © Marvin Zettl

7. Lomography Color Negative 400

Lomography Color Negative 400
Brand Lomography
ISO 400
Other Key Features Fine grain structure, bright colors, deep dark tones
Best For Casual photographers who want versatile film

Lomography isn’t just a film manufacturer. It’s a film photography movement. They are dedicated to the revival of film photography. They’ve breathed new life into analog shooting. And now they produce some of the best camera films you can get.

Lomography Color Negative 400 is the most versatile color film. The 400 ISO makes it flexible in changing light conditions. You get great image quality. And the grain is only visible when underexposed.

The quality isn’t as consistent as similar Kodak rolls. But the images have an undeniable film aesthetic that people love. Color Negative 400 is an affordable film for everything from street photography to portraits. And you’ll be supporting a worthy cause.

Red tree flowers set against the blue of the sky above
Lomography Color Negative 400. © Chourique

8. Kodak ColorPlus

Kodak ColorPlus
ISO 200
Other Key Features Accurate and reliable
Best For Beginners, street, nature and portrait photography

Kodak ColorPlus was the go-to budget film for years. But Kodak’s scandalous price rises have changed its position in the film world. You can still find it at good value when you buy it in bulk. But it has lost its “best value” tag.

It’s one of the most consistent films you can find. It doesn’t have the same glisten as Kodak Gold. But the super-fine grain structure of the 200 ISO emulsion gives you fantastic image quality.

It’s less versatile than the Ultramax 400. But you get a true-to-life color rendition. And the details are always sharp when exposed well.

ColorPlus remains one of the most popular camera films in the world. And it’s always worth having a roll or two in your camera backpack

Small paved pathway lined with foliage
Kodak ColorPlus on Canon A-1. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

9. Kodak Portra 800

Kodak Portra 800
Brand Kodak
ISO 800
Other Key Features Good low-light performance, fine grain structure, natural color rendition
Best For Event, low-light, and sports photography

Kodak also has a Portra 800 film. The 800 ISO gives you better results in low-light situations. It is the other best camera film on our list for low light. But unlike the CineStill 800T, this gives you a more true-to-life finish.

The higher ISO does mean more film grain is visible. But the fine structure of the grain means it isn’t distracting or overpowering. The colors are softer than Portra 400 and 160. But the images are still packed with vitality.

Its low-light performance makes it a good choice for concerts and sports photography. These events often have low lighting. And the 800 ISO works well with telephoto lenses with narrow aperture ranges.

The extra exposure flexibility also makes Kodak’s Portra 800 popular with street photographers.

Empty hammock on a balcony
Kodak Portra 800. © Yuri Krupenin

10. Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400
Brand Fujifilm
ISO 400
Other Key Features Bold colors, deep tones
Best For Golden hour photography

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 is the other film stock to survive Fujifilm’s cutbacks. And we’re pleased it’s continuing with this camera film stock. The world needs more 400 ISO color camera films. And Superia X-Tra 400 still gives excellent results.

It can be drab and unexciting in poor lighting. But the photos can really pop in the right conditions. I’ve found shooting in the golden hour gives you the best results.

This film loves yellows, oranges, and greens. And Superia X-Tra 400 gives you a mix of rich tones and energetic colors.

River shot from above with tree either side in summer
Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 on Canon A-1. © Christopher Bryan-Smith

11. CineStill 50Daylight

CineStill 50Daylight
Brand CineStill
ISO 50
Other Key Features Intense color and sharpness, bright luminosity
Best For Bright daylight, landscape, fashion, and fine art photography

CineStill 50Daylight is one of the lowest ISO films on the market. The 50 ISO gives you incredible detail and no signs of grain, even when enlarged and printed.

Like CineStill 800T, 50Daylight is a modified cinema film. It gives your images a movie-like quality.

As the name suggests, you need plenty of sunlight for the best results. So it limits your exposure setting options. And you might need a tripod in many situations.

But the image quality can be breathtaking. The colors are intense and vivid. And the details are sharp and exact.

50Daylight is ideal for epic landscapes. And it’s a fabulous choice for product or fashion photography.

Small church at the top of a hill
CineStill 50Daylight © Gheinz

12. Lomography Color Negative 800

Lomography Color Negative 800
Brand Lomography
ISO 800
Other Key Features Deep blacks and grainy texture
Best For Low-light photography

Lomography Color Negative 800 is the best-value high-ISO color film. The quality isn’t quite as high as Portra 800. But you still get fantastic images.

The blacks and dark tones are deep and rich. And you also get strong color saturation. You also don’t get the washed-out effect many expect from ISO films.

Some grain is visible. And that is certainly true when shooting in very low light. But you still get sharp details, even in grainier photos. Color Negative 800 also works well with natural tones. You’ll get great photos shooting in parks or out in the wilderness. 

Tree-lined promenade in Asia
Lomography Color Negative 800 © Mike3636

13. Kodak Portra 160

Kodak Portra 160
Brand Kodak
ISO 160
Other Key Features Rich, natural colors
Best For Landscape, product, portrait photography

Kodak Portra 160 is another low-ISO film stock. It’s the least versatile of the Kodak Portra family. But it gives you the most intense and powerful colors.

A 160 ISO is a bit awkward. Not many classic 35mm cameras can be set to that ISO.

You can set it to 200 if you have plenty of light. But I recommend setting your camera at 100 ISO for the best results. With a film of this quality, you can risk a little overexposure.

Portra 160 loses some of the glow of Portra 400. And it feels more earthy and grounded. So that makes it good for landscape photography.

Trees reflected in a river
Kodak Portra 160 on Canon AE-1 © Christopher Bryan-Smith

14. LomoChrome Purple

Lomography Purple
Brand Lomography
ISO 100-400
Other Key Features Purple coloring
Best For Casual or experimental photography

LomoChrome Purple isn’t exactly a color film. It’s more of a black-and-white film with one color added. And that color is purple.

With the purple added to the film emulsion, you get an array of purples, violets, and pinks. You can also see some pale blues in the images too.

The purple emulsion is inconsistent. So Lomography suggests setting your camera between 100 and 400 ISO with LomoChrome Purple.

You can go for the lower ISO setting when you have more light. And that means the results can be hit-and-miss. But when you nail it, the images are special and unique.

Girl on rollerblades in a park on purple film
LomoChrome Purple. © Marecori

Buyer’s Guide for Camera Film (FAQs)

Here are some of the questions we hear the most about 35mm film. You might want answers to the same questions. And the information will give you more guidance when searching for the best camera film to shoot with.

What Brands Make 35mm Color Film?

Color film is more complicated and expensive to produce than black and white. That means fewer brands make it. And with the rise of digital photography, we were left with just the two giants—Kodak and Fujifilm.

But now film photography is back in fashion. And more companies are producing excellent color film.


Kodak is the biggest name in camera film. They’ve been making color film for generations. And they have the widest range of color film stocks on the market. They have accessible options like ColorPlus, Ultramax, and Kodak Gold.

And they also have the professional Portra range. It comes in three different ISOs (160, 400, and 800). And it’s the most popular film range with experienced film photographers.

The problem with Kodak is pricing. All their prices have increased. And it isn’t just a couple of cents. We’ve seen big increases. And all stocks, from beginner to pro, have been affected. So this has left a sour taste in the mouth of many film users.

Fujifilm, Lomography, Adox, and CineStill

Fujifilm is the other big name in color film. But we have more bad news about this brand. They haven’t raised prices in the way manner as Kodak. But they have scaled back their film production.

They now only have two major color stocks, Fujifilm 200 and Superia X-Tra 400. The popular Pro 400H was discontinued in 2022.

But it isn’t all doom and gloom for film photographers. We have many reasons to be cheerful. Lomography is a brand dedicated to the survival and revival of film photography. And they have a wide range of color and black-and-white films available.

CineStill has also expanded its range of color film stocks. And you have indie companies like Adox producing new color films. Their Color Mission film isn’t widely available yet. But it’s worth a try if you can get your hands on a roll.

Product photo of the Canon AE-1 film camera
The Canon AE-1. See our list of recommended 35mm film cameras.

Why Is ISO Important in Film Photography?

ISO is one of the most important things to consider when buying color film. The ISO indicates a film’s sensitivity to light. The more sensitive it is to light, the higher the ISO number. The lower the number, the more light it needs. 

The ISO number also influences image quality. While a high ISO works better in low light, the quality isn’t as clean. A film stock with a higher ISO will have a grainy texture. And films with a low ISO have sharper and more pristine picture quality.

You can easily adjust ISO on a digital camera. But it’s fixed on a roll of film. The only way to change the ISO on a film camera is to change the film roll.

Digital photographers might find this frustrating. But it’s a part of film photography that helps you improve. And it also has a strong influence when you choose color film.


What Is the Best Color Film for Beginners?

Kodak ColorPlus used to be the go-to color film for beginners. It’s a versatile roll with 200 ISO. And it delivers consistently good results. It used to be one of the best-value color films around.

But now Kodak has raised its prices. So beginners might want to look elsewhere.

Lomography Color Negative 400 is perfect for beginners. The 400 ISO makes it versatile and forgiving. You can get excellent results in changing light. And you can still produce fantastic photos if you’re still getting to grips with your analog camera.

You also get three rolls in a pack. So it’s excellent value.

Fujifilm 200 is another great option for beginner film photographers. It isn’t too expensive. And you can buy it in multi-packs for even better savings. The color rendition is fabulous. And the breathtaking results will drive your enthusiasm for film photography.

What Is the Best Way to Digitize Film Photos?

Some photo stores and development centers can email you photos when they develop your film. But this isn’t widely available yet. So a scanner is the best way to digitize your film photos.

You can get photo scanners for scanning photo prints. A photo scanner is the best option if you want to digitize lots of old photos. And we’ve put together a selection of the best photo scanners.

Or you can get a film scanner. And we have a list of the best film scanners for film photography enthusiasts. These create a digital image by scanning the film negative. So you don’t need the printed photo. And it saves you money on printing costs.


Conclusion: The Best Camera Film

It’s an exciting time to shoot film photography. There hasn’t been so much activity and energy in analog photography for more than 25 years. Some of the bigger film brands have scaled back production. But thanks to companies like CineStill and Lomography, we have rich pickings in the color film market.

Kodak Gold is the best camera film right now. You get stunning images that glisten and shine. The colors are bright and vibrant. And the 200 ISO means there’s no visible film grain. And best of all, it’s readily available and won’t break the bank!

Our Top Pick
Kodak Gold
Kodak Gold
Capture every moment with stunning clarity and energetic colors with this 200 ISO color film.

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