I’ve been shooting film for about seven years and over that time I’ve found some favourites for travel.
The best camera film for travel Is Kodak Gold 200 due to its affordability, its gold hues, its low ISO which will be great for sunny days and the fact that it should be unaffected by airport scanners. Most of us don’t need a professional standard camera film for travel, Kodak gold is still great film but it’s affordable and reliable which is what you need on your travels.
If you want to find out about other camera films that would be great for travel then keep reading on!
What Makes A Good Film Stock For Travel?
For travel outside of your country, a camera film with an ISO lower than 800 is preferable due to the fact that airport scanners can damage film that’s more sensitive than 800 ISO and may still slightly damage any camera film that has an ISO less than that. So using a camera film that has an ISO of 400 or less is preferable to ensure that your photos aren’t ruined. If you are travelling within your own country and not taking a flight then any ISO can be used.
Most travellers want to shoot an affordable film and they’re probably shooting in a sunny location which is why a lot of ‘non-professional’ film stocks can be used.
I think that having a grainy image isn’t really an issue when it comes to travel photography unless you’re doing it professionally, therefore using some of these lower-quality films like Kodak Colorplus is more than acceptable when it comes to travel.
So a film stock under 800 ISO, with nice hues and tones that are somewhat affordable is generally ideal for travel photography.
What Are The Best Colour Film Stocks For Travel?
Kodak Portra 400
Kodak Portra 400 is one of the best all-around 35mm films available and would certainly be a great option for travel. Portra 400 is super reliable, has a great film speed, and superfine grain and is very forgiving. If money is no object you do want to get the best shots while travelling then Portra 400 is a brilliant option.
Portra 400 is a professional film stock and I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s necessary for travel especially if you’re just the average point-and-shoot shooter. However, if you want to sell the images or you’re shooting for an editorial then Portra 400 is certainly in this sort of film stock you should go far.
Cinestill 400D could be a brilliant opposition to Kodak Portra 400, more affordable, with interesting hues and a good film speed from a small-time distributor. We’re yet to really see what Cinestill 400D can do but it could be a great choice other than Portra 400.
I actually recently took Cinestill 400d to Berlin and it was fine going through the scanners. I know a lot of people are wary of scanners and I’m sure that sometimes it can be a disaster, but this time it was fine!
Kodak Colour Plus
Kodak Colour Plus was the go-to reasonably priced 35mm film stock of choice. These days it’s much more expensive, but it’s still cheap in comparison to the other film stocks. Kodak colour plus is a reliable low ISO film stock that produces good colours.
I actually used to mainly shoot on Kodak Colour plus and I can’t have many complaints about the film stock. Perhaps one of the key things that let it down is that it isn’t overly versatile due to its low ISO, however, if you’re shooting mainly in sunny climates and you want a reasonably priced film stock then this is definitely a great option.
Kodak Gold 200
As mentioned above Kodak gold 200 is a brilliant option for travel photography, most travellers don’t need a professional-grade colour film, we just need something that will do a good job and produce nice tones, this is Kodak Gold 200.
Kodak Gold 200 produces great colours and hues and it should be safe when going through airport scanners, which is a big worry when travelling with film. As a cost-effective, reliable colour film, this film stock is the ideal travel film!
What Are The Best Black And White Film Stocks For Travel?
Kodak Tri-X 400
Kodak 400 Tri-X is one of the best black and white film stocks available. With fine grain, this 400 ISO film is a great speed so you’ll be able to capture shots in all different kinds of light. Tri-x captures some great tones so it’s ideal if you want to take it travelling.
One of the other great aspects of Kodak Tri- X is that it’s much cheaper than most colour stocks. This means you won’t have to be as frugal with your shots and you can just enjoy shooting!
Ilford HP5 is a brilliant cost-effective black and white option. It’s a great film stock and it’s really cheap for today’s film market! This is a 400 ISO film stock with great tones, it’d do just the job for a cheap and cost-effective holiday!
In a way, it’s not too important what film you take travelling. I’ve used Kodak Colourplus, Kodak Gold, Portra 400, Cinestill 400D and Fujifilm 200. Often, it’s more about the cost if you’re just shooting it casually. So taking care in that respect is usually the way to go.