Best Film for Canon AE-1 - B&C Camera

There is something magical about film photography. Not only is the retro aspect of it fun, but the process of just waiting for your photo to develop can send chills down the spine of many avid photographers. If you start in film photography, you have come to the right place. Let me help you dive down a rabbit hole of the best photography film for your Canon AE-1.




Overall the best film for canon AE-1 is:


But first, let us understand the different types of film stocks.



Black and White Film

Black and white film photography is stunning, and it is nostalgic and breathtaking. It is easy to develop and scan at home using an Ilford Paterson Starter Kit


Color Negative Film

The next type is color negative film. Go back in time and remember going to your local drug store when you would pick up the film. The color negative film gives you negatives and prints. This type of film is a go-to for many portrait photographers. One of its disadvantages is that it can be harder to develop. For this, you will need to control the temperature of your colors. Using this option, it is best to send your film out to develop it professionally. 


Slide Film

And lastly, we have slide film. This type is on the pricey side and suggested for those not wanting to burn a hole in your pocket. Slide film is the most expensive type of film to shoot with and develop, and it is probably not the best film to use if you are starting.


Things to Think About Before Purchasing

  1. Film Speed: Film stocks will have a pronounced box speed. This box speed will be the ISO or ASA. You will most likely see an ISO of 100, 200, 400 and, 800. You might even see some as low as 50 or as high as 3200. If you're familiar with photography, you will know that the ISO represents how the film reacts to light. Higher film stocks will result in more grain. Keep in mind; some film stocks prefer to be overexposed by 1 or 2 stops
  2. Film Stock Aesthetic: Film stocks each have a different look. You will see more examples of this towards the end of this article!
  3. Developing Film: Sending your film to a professional to develop may cost a small fortune. But, you will also get the best results. No local camera shops? No worries. You can send your film to a few companies:


    If you want to try and develop your film on your own, you will need to invest in some equipment, like the Ilford Paterson Starter KitOnce you get set up with your equipment, it will be more cost-effective than sending your film to a camera store.


    Shop With Us!

    Film equipment: Shop film at B&C Camera


    Here is your best resource to shop for film stocks. Even better, if you have any questions, you can easily reach out to us at any time.


    What film to use for Canon AE 1?

    The Canon AE-1 uses 35mm film, which is widely available in our store and relatively affordable. Additionally, this type of film produces crisp, clear images with rich colors and black and whites. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or just starting out, the Canon AE-1 is a great choice for anyone who loves the look of 35mm film.


    Which is the best film for your Canon AE-1?

    Great question, glad you asked! Your Canon AE-1 will produce a remarkable outcome with any roll of film! If you are still scratching your head trying to figure out what to buy, read the list below for a few options.


    Kodak Gold 200 film

    Kodak Gold 200

    This classic will emit rich and saturated colors full of warmth, and it will give you the nostalgic feeling of going through old family albums. Given the name, this option is a 200-speed film and will operate best with natural light conditions. When shooting, meter your subject at 100-160 ISO.


    Kodak Professional T-Max 100

    • Kodak Professional T-Max 100

    The Kodak Professional T-Max 100 is a cost-effective option for black and white negative film stock. You will achieve a vintage feel when using this. The difference is these images will be flatter and have less contrast. You'll want to shoot slightly overexposed for this option as well.


    Kodak Professional Portra 800 Color Negative Film

    • Kodak Professional Portra 800 Color Negative Film (35mm Roll Film, 36 Exposures)

    Let me tell you about Kodak Professional Portra 800 Film - it's like a superhero for your camera! Not only does it give you amazing color saturation and super fine grain, but it's also a champ at handling underexposure. So, whether you're shooting with a long lens or in low light situations, this film has got your back! And when it comes to skin tones and tricky lighting, PORTRA 800 is the one and only film you'll want to use for top-notch color enhancement. Trust me, this film is the real deal!



    Kodak Portra 400

    • Kodak Portra 400

    This option is most valued and a favorite amongst many photographers. This option will produce pure and accurate colors. The Kodak Portra 400 is a top choice for many portrait photographers, and it is also great for vacations or professional work. On the downside, the price is nearly double the other options above. Since this is a 400-speed film, you will have more adaptability with your light. When shooting, aim for overexposing by 1-stop.


    Ilford HP5 Plus

     Ilford HP5 Plus

    This film stock is the most notorious black and white film stock. With this, you will get a traditional black and white photo. The Ilford HP5 Plus will also give you incredible detail and smooth grain. The best part, it is very cost-effective. Since it is a 400-speed film, you will have more leeway when taking photos in different lighting conditions.



    • Revolog

    With Revolog film, you can create one-of-a-kind photographic effects that will set your pictures apart from the rest. Each roll is filled with unique and completely manual color shifts, so each picture you take will be totally original. Whether you're looking to add a touch of personality or just want to experiment with something new, Revolog film is the perfect way to do it!


    Lomography film

    • Lomography 

    With its trippy emulsions and unique chemical formulas, Lomography film will take your photography to a whole new level. With experimental shadows and stunning colors, this is one film any photographer will love. So get experimental with the stand-out shadows and desaturation of the LomoChrome Metropolis, accompanied by the contorting colors of the LomoChrome Purple - it's sure to add an extra dimension to your work.


    These are the most popular film stocks for the Canon AE-1 and, they will give you a great starting point. Be adventurous and try different film stocks to see which will work best for you and give you the aesthetic you want.


    Frequently Asked Questions about Canon AE-1

    Can you use color film on a Canon AE-1?

    Yes, you can use color film on a Canon AE-1. In fact, the camera was designed to use both color and black-and-white films.


    What size film does the AE-1 use?

    The Canon AE-1 uses 35mm film, a standard size for many film cameras.


    How do you put 35mm film in a Canon AE-1?

    To put 35mm film in a Canon AE-1, open the back of the camera by sliding the rewind knob upwards and lifting the back cover. Then, you can insert the film cartridge into the film chamber, align the leader with the film sprockets, and pull the leader across the camera until it reaches the take-up spool. Finally, you must close the back cover and advance the film until the first frame appears in the viewfinder.


    How do I know what film to use for my camera?

    The type of film you should use for your camera depends on your specific needs and preferences, such as film speed, color rendering, and grain size. You can consult the camera manual or read this article above for recommended film types and brands for your camera model.


    Is a Canon AE-1 a 35mm?

    Yes, the Canon AE-1 is a 35mm SLR camera, which means it uses 35mm film and has a single-lens reflex system for viewing and composing images.


    How fast is Canon AE-1?

    The Canon AE-1 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 second, which allows you to capture fast-moving subjects or freeze motion in bright light conditions.


    What is the ISO on Canon AE-1?

    The Canon AE-1 has a film speed range of ISO 25 to 3200, which allows you to adjust the film's sensitivity to match the lighting conditions and achieve the desired exposure.


    How thick is light seal foam for Canon AE-1?

    The light seal foam for the Canon AE-1 should be approximately 1mm thick, which helps prevent light leaks and ensure accurate exposure.


    What is special about the Canon AE-1?

    The Canon AE-1 was a groundbreaking camera introduced in 1976, as it was one of the first SLR cameras to feature an electronically controlled shutter and automatic exposure modes. It was also relatively affordable and user-friendly, making it a popular choice among amateur and professional photographers.


    How do you wind up a Canon AE-1?

    To wind up a Canon AE-1, you must advance the film to the next frame by rotating the advance lever clockwise until it stops. This also cocks the shutter and prepares the camera for the next shot.


    What lenses does a Canon AE-1 use?

    The Canon AE-1 uses FD mount lenses, which were specifically designed for Canon's line of manual focus SLR cameras. These lenses are compatible with the AE-1's aperture-priority and manual exposure modes and offer a wide range of focal lengths and aperture settings for different shooting scenarios.


    Related article: Photography For Beginners - Basic Photography Tips

    Related article: How to Develop Film

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    Related article: Film Photography Tips


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