The 5 Best 35mm Film Stocks For Landscape Photography

I’ve been shooting landscapes on film for over 7 years and over that time I’ve found out what the best stocks are for the job. 

Fuji Velvia 50 and Kodak Kodachrome are two of the best colour films available but they’re both slide film which can be a lot more expensive than traditional film. Kodak Ektar 100 is a great traditional film stock which produces beautiful colours and incredibly sharp scans.

I’m going to cover these film stocks and more in a more in-depth way throughout the rest of the article!

What Makes An Ideal Landscape Film Stock?

Generally, the ideal film stock for landscape photography is something that produces brilliant colour and has a low ISO so more fine detail is visible.  

A lot of professionals tend to use medium format cameras for landscape photography because of how large the negatives are. This provides them with really detailed scans that look incredible when printed.  

While medium and large formats can produce incredible landscape photographs, I’d still suggest keeping it 35mm unless you’re shooting for an exhibition or major project. That medium format life is just far too expensive.  

Ideally, you want a high-quality film stock for landscape photography. You also want great exposure latitude so that you can capture a wide range of light in one image.  

Everyone has their own personal preferences, you might like black and white or saturated colour, so in many ways it’s subjective. But it’s better to have a high quality, low iso, saturated film stock in most cases! 

1) Kodak Ektar 100 – The Classic

Ektar 100 is an all-time great of film photography. I always think that a film stock is truly good at something when it’s not great at everything. This is the case with Ektar 100. 

It’s made for landscape photography and because of that, it has quite saturated reds which make most skin tones look pretty bad. This sort of reiterates that it’s not great at everything because it’s honed in on its one specific thing, producing beautiful landscapes. 

Ektar is known for very little grain, great sharpness, beautiful saturation and a good dynamic range which renders fantastic landscape photographs!  

It’s perfect for the job and in comparison to most of the other film stocks on this list, it’s fairly reasonably priced at £18 a roll! 

I’ve shot quite a lot of Ektar 100 and I love the colour that it produces, it can be a bit difficult working with a 100 ISO film stock but it’s generally produced to be used with a tripod! 

2) Kodak Ektachrome – The Don

Kodak Ektachrome 100 is basically Kodak’s very own Velvia 50, it’s a slide film, it’s really sharp and the colours it produces are beautiful. 

Ektachrome 100 really is one of the best colour landscape film stocks available. It’s incredibly sharp and the colours it produces are amazing. It’s a real favourite among professionals and those who want to produce very sharp images. 

Ektachrome is brilliant but one of the downsides is that it’s expensive to buy and expensive to develop because it’s slide film. 

My advice would be to only shoot Ektachrome if you’re wanting to take the best of the best landscape photographs, otherwise, it’s a bit too expensive to justify! 

3) Fuji Velvia 50 – Another Don

Fuji Velvia 50 is probably one of the best landscape film ever made. It’s a slide film that’s best known for its latitude, beautiful colour, fine grain and sharpness.  

Velvia is particularly good for landscape work. The incredibly low ISO makes for ultra-clear shots with incredible detail and the superior emulsion makes for incredible colours. 

This is a similar stock to Ektachrome in the sense that it’s a super high-quality slide film that can produce brilliant shots. It’s also unfortunately similarly expensive to Ektachrome which is one of its key downsides! 

I’d shoot Velvia if I was trying to take an incredibly high-quality set of images that I wanted to print. Otherwise, the price is probably too expensive to justify!  

4) Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100 II – Landscape Bad Boy

Neopan 100 is Fuji’s answer to Kodak Tri-x, it’s Fujifilm’s best black & white film stock too!

Neopan Acros 100 II is a fan favourite for long exposures and it’s ideal as a black-and-white landscape film! This is pretty much the pinnacle of black-and-white landscape photography, it’s a professional’s dream and it’s probably somewhat under threat.

I haven’t shot Neopan but it’s known in the community as a classic black-and-white film stock that has really fine grain and sharp details. With an incredible 9 stops of dynamic range, this is a fantastic film stock to capture all of the details of a landscape.

Check Neopan out if you want insane black-and-white landscapes because it is the bee’s knees.

5) Kodak Portra 160 – The Pastel Queen

Kodak Portra 160 is another good option for landscape photography, especially if you want to be able to change and edit the colours to your own liking.

Kodak Portra is claimed to have 12 stops of exposure latitude but others suggest it has around 8 stops, either way, it has great dynamic range that means you’ll be able to capture more information in the shadows and highlights of your images.

Unlike most of the other options, Portra 160 has quite pastel colours which make it more editable, so it best suits someone who would prefer to create their own look and feel rather than having it straight out of the box.

Of course, 160 has a bit more grain than these other options but it’s still very fine and clear. It’s a great option, especially since it’s less expensive than most of the other options!

Final Word

Of course, you can shoot whatever kind of film you want for whatever you want and other options like Portra 400 can still look really good for landscape photography. You don’t have to stick to the rules, that’s part of the fun and part of developing your own style.

These are just helpful guidelines to give you a chance to get better results. So shoot film and enjoy yourself!

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