Your choice of film stock can significantly impact the quality and style of your work. With so many film stocks available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. In this post, we will explore the film stocks that professional photographers use and why they choose them.

Shot on Kodak Portra 400 on 120

One of the most popular film stocks among professionals is Kodak Portra. This versatile film stock is available in various speeds, including 160, 400, and 800. Kodak Portra produces natural-looking skin tones, rich colors, and fine grain, making it an excellent choice for portrait, wedding, and fashion photography. Its flexibility in different lighting conditions and easy scanning capabilities also make it a favorite among photographers who shoot hybrid (film and digital) workflows.

Shot on Fuji Pro 400H on 120

Another popular film stock among professionals is Fujifilm Pro 400H. This film stock is known for its fine grain, natural-looking colors, and high contrast. Fujifilm Pro 400H is perfect for outdoor and natural light photography, producing a soft and warm aesthetic that is ideal for capturing skin tones and foliage. It also has excellent exposure latitude, making it an ideal choice for photographers who prefer to shoot in challenging lighting conditions.

Shot on Ilford HP5 on 120

For photographers who prefer a more classic and timeless look, Ilford HP5 is a popular choice. This black and white film stock produces rich, deep blacks and bright whites, making it perfect for capturing contrast and texture. Ilford HP5 is a versatile film stock that is suitable for a wide range of subjects, including landscapes, portraits, and street photography.

Shot on Cinestill 800T on 120

Lastly, for those who want to push the boundaries of film photography, Cinestill 800T is a favorite among photographers who shoot in low light conditions. This film stock is unique because it is actually repackaged motion picture film that has been adapted for still photography. Cinestill 800T produces a cinematic look with its unique tungsten balance and halation effect, resulting in a dreamy and atmospheric aesthetic.

In conclusion, the choice of film stock ultimately depends on the photographer's personal style and the type of photography they shoot. Whether you prefer natural-looking colors, deep blacks and whites, or a cinematic aesthetic, there is a film stock out there for you. Experimenting with different film stocks can also help you discover new creative possibilities and push the boundaries of your photography.

Happy shooting!

--Matthew Rygh

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