Over the years I’ve shot a lot of landscape work and I’ve discovered the best kind of film to use while shooting it!
The best colour film for landscape photography is Ektar 100. Ektar 100 produces amazing colours, very fine grain due to its very low ISO of 100 and it can produce super clear and sharp images. Many professional photographers tend to use Ektar 100 for landscape photography in particular due to these aspects.
If you want to find out other brilliant film stocks for landscape photography then continue reading to find out more!
What Makes A Great Film Stock For Landscapes?
Landscape photographers want to capture brilliant colours and tones which is why the more professional film stocks all the favourites.
Forgiving film stock with a good latitude are great things to have for landscape photography. Being able to have a reasonably balanced image will certainly make it look like a high-quality image overall.
Typically a lower ISO is better for landscape photography as it means your shots will be much clearer and with less grain, however, this does depend on the type of environment and light that you are shooting in, sometimes a higher ISO film stock may be necessary. Film stocks like Kodak Portra 400 is still a very fine grain despite how high the ISO is.
What Are The Colour Film Stocks For Landscapes?
Kodak Portra 160
Kodak Portra 160 is a brilliant film stock that could be included in a lot of lists for best film stocks for all kinds of photography. In this instance, I think it certainly fits the bill as it’s very low ISO, forgiving film stock with great tones.
Kodak Portra 160 is a low enough ISO to have a very fine grain and will produce clear and sharp images. The ISO is just high enough to shoot in a wider set of circumstances than Kodak Ektar 100. This means it is a bit more versatile but possibly not quite as great as Ektar 100.
This is one of the best film stocks available slightly cheaper on Portra 400 and Portra 800.
Kodak Portra 400
Kodak Portra 400 is widely regarded as the best 35mm film stock due to its versatility, its latitude and the colours and tones that it tends to produce. Despite having 400 ISO film speed, Portra 400 has incredibly fine grain which makes it ideal for landscape photography and it will help you produce clear and sharp images.
Many landscape, street, portrait and documentary photographers rely on Portra 400 to consistently produce clear and sharp shots over and over again. I myself use Portra 400 often and I’m never let down by the results.
I thought it would be interesting to include Cinestill 50D in this as it has such a low ISO and beautiful red and yellow hues and tones.
The ISO of 50 makes Cinestill 50D one of the lowest ISO colour film stocks on the market. This means that you could produce really clear and sharp images with next to no grain!
50D is a very different kind of film stock compared to the Kodak film stocks because it is made in the same way as cinema film, this produces different hues and colours throughout the image.
I definitely think that Cinestill 50D is a good option to try out and see if it’s a film stock that works for you. See how it renders colours and how clear it is and see if this would work for you or not.
Kodak Ektar 100
As mentioned above Kodak Ektar 100 is arguably the best colour film for landscape shots on the market. This is due to its very low ISO, very forgiving film that produces very clean and sharp shots with perfect colours and hues.
I’ve used Ektar 100 quite a lot and it would probably be my absolute favourite if it wasn’t such a slow film speed. In many ways, this is what makes it such a perfect film stock for landscape photography as usually you might shoot with a tripod and take more thought and care than with most other styles of photography.
Another good aspect of Ektar 100 is that it’s quite a bit cheaper than all of the Kodak Portra range. This is probably due To the fact that it isn’t overly versatile because of its low film speed. I would consider Ektar 100 to be more of a specialist camera film which is specifically for beautiful landscape shots.
Kodak Portra 800 is of course a brilliant film stock, I just wanted to leave it out due to its high level of grain. Of course, you could still use Kodak Portra 800 for landscape photography I just personally believe that it is better for different types of photography.
Cinestill 400D may make the cut in the future but at the moment I don’t know enough about it to suggest it.
What Are The Best Black And White Film Stocks For Landscapes?
Kodak 400 Tri-X
Kodak 400 Tri-X is one of the best black and white film stocks available at this time and it’s brilliant for all kinds of photography including landscape photography. Kodak 400 Tri-X is a 400 ISO film stock with moderately fine grain, brilliant hues and tones and is still fairly inexpensive compared to colour film.
Black and white photographers of all types of styles use this film stock because it is arguably the best black and white film out there.
Ilford Pan F Plus
Ilford Pan F Plus is a brilliant 50 ISO black and white film stock which will allow you to take super clear and sharp images in black and white. Ilford have been producing camera film for a very long time and this low ISO bad boy is arguably the best suited to landscape photography due to having very little grain.
Ilford F pan is also very affordable at around £7.50 a roll, which is of course a very big deal in this day and age.