Types of Film
BLACK AND WHITE FILM BRANDS
Black and White Film: Black and white film holds artistic look you'd be hard pressed to find in any digital image (see my film vs. digital comparison here). Processing the negatives is easy; so easy, in fact, I do all of it at home, saving myself a lot of money.
COLOR FILM BRANDS
Color film falls into two broad categories, each with their own unique qualities and characteristics:
Color Reversal Film: Sometimes called slide film, this film's negative looks exactly like what you saw in your viewfinder. It's crisp, colorful, and ready to be enlarged. There's nothing more exciting than looking at your negatives on a lightbox and seeing that rich thumbnail-of-an-image. Color reversal film is processed with a technique called E6. The pros of color reversal film is the magnificent, rich, and spot-on quality of color this film produces. Film has a wonderful ability to capture color as our eyes see it; color reversal film is the best and closest rendering of what our eyes see. The quality of a digital image does not come close to matching the overall quality of color reversal film. What makes this film harder to use, is its unforgiving exposure latitude. If your exposure is off by even 1/3 of a stop, it's hard to correct it in the darkroom, or after it's scanned. Precision is key with this type of film.
Color Negative Film: Opposite of color reversal film, this color film is the forgiver. Like a black and white negative, this film's latitude exposure is enormous. A color negative film can be off by as much as 3 stops and you can still salvage a photo worthy of a professional print. For some photographers, this margin of error forgiveness is crucial to their work. The downside of color negative film is that it doesn't match the quality and richness of color produced by reversal film. That's high bar to reach, however. This films incredible ability to capture and render even the most intense highlights is what lets it push around digital.