Consumer grade film stocks (like Kodak Gold, Agfa Vista, Superia, Fujicolor) are easily accessible and less expensive than many professional grade film stocks. They are a great option for those starting out with film photography or for personal work as well! Here are some tips on how to get the most out of consumer grade film stocks:
Cut the box speed in half
Cutting the box speed in half will give your film a little extra light, making for cleaner exposures! For example, if you’re shooting Kodak Gold 400, shoot it at 200 ISO instead of 400 ISO.
For extra contrast, shoot at box speed and push one stop
If you love contrast, then shoot your roll at box speed and then have the roll pushed one stop in development. For example, if you’re shooting FujiColor 200, leave your ISO at 200 and then ask your lab to push the roll one stop in development. Just remember that push or no push, it’s a good idea to meter for the shadow, or the darkest part of your image.
Shoot in the sun
Consumer film stocks rely on clean, open sunlight, so try and shoot them on sunny days to get the best color results. Shooting in good light will also help cut down on grain (consumer film stocks tend to have more grain than professional film stocks).
Be prepared for warmth in your images
Consumer film stocks typically have warm color bases (often magenta or red, sometimes yellow), so you’ll generally see warm skin tones with consumer film stocks.
Look for rolls with 36 frames instead of 24
Many consumer grade films come in lengths of 24 instead of 36. Keep an eye out for rolls with 36 frames to get more bang for your buck with processing costs!