What movie film type should I get?
• Good question. There are a few different films on the market and Kodak have relaunched Ektachrome, which is a beautiful film.
• As a rule of thumb you need to consider what your end product is going to be.
• Is it a professional shoot that requires extensive digital grading? In which case your best opting for colour negative films, as they have great latitude, meaning they are pretty forgiving with over and under exposures (within about 2 to 3 f-stops). They also have a very flat (raw) colour palette, which means that they digitally grade very well. The best colour negative movie films are the Kodak Vision 3 range. In super 8 there are three speed films. 50 ASA, 200 ASA and 500 ASA. The speed of the film is its sensitivity to light. 50 ASA is the least light sensitive, but it has very fine grain / resolution. This is a daylight film only. The 200 ASA film is good in daylight and subdued light, but not night time. The grain is slightly higher with this film. The 500 ASA film is the most light sensitive, and is best for subdued light and night time. But note, not all super 8 cameras can handle this film speed. Please double check before attempting to use it in your camera. If you fancy some colour negative film on a budget, you could consider Kahl NC 22. Vivid colours with a warm red cast to it. It’s also quite a fast film, (125 ASA), so a good all-rounder in daylight and low light. But not night time.
• Or, are you after a Kodachrome / vintage look? The film that comes closest to this is Kodak Ektachrome or Kahl UT 18. These are colour reversal films. Think colour slide film that would load into an old slide projector. Or basically, projectable colour film. They produce a positive image (as we see things in the real world). They are not so good for grading and have very little latitude, meaning you need to get your exposures right when shooting to get the best out of the film. Colours tend to be a little over saturated and the image is generally pretty high contrast, meaning the shadows are very dense and highlights bright. They don’t have so much detail in the shadows as negative films. The only exception to the rule in regards colour reversal films are Kahl NC 17 and Kahl NC 15. These have a very flat colour palette. These two films grade really well, and have some interesting colour drifts that give a truly vintage esoteric look. But note, all colour reversal films need plenty of light, so no good in low light.
• If you’re after a beautiful high-contrast monochrome look, then Kodak Tri X or Plus X are your best bet. But note these films need exposing correctly in our experience. They’re certainly not forgiving on under-exposure. You could always give your self the option of shooting on colour negative film, with its extended latitude and then grade to monochrome later in-edit.