Unlike digital cameras that have an embedded sensor, film SLRs have the option of using a variety of image recording types by simply changing the film cassette inside. The question is, what's the best film for the job at hand?
First, I'll point you to an article that addresses this very question: Analog Options: Which Film Stock for Which Type of Photography? on fstoppers provides a good overview. And it's definitely worth a read.
My take on the situation is a bit different. I'm not shooting analog for my assignment work. That's clearly the realm for digital in my world.
But I do look to film photography for personal enjoyment. Grabbing a vintage Pentax or Contax camera, and exploring the streets in my off-time has really energized my passion for photography.
As such, I'm usually thinking more about ISO than I am specific film type. If I'm spending a sunny day exploring Embassy Row in Washington D.C., then ISO 200 and a zoom is just right. For that very shoot last week, I used Kodak ColorPlus 200, which has been providing great results for me, and it's super affordable too.
On the other hand, for natural light work indoors, I typically switch to a 50mm prime and ISO 400 film, such as Fuji Superia. I like opening the aperture all the way to f/1.7, holding the camera steady, and focusing on the primary subject, knowing that everything else is going to go its own way.
So the bottom line, IMHO, is that personal analog work provides you with a variety of affordable film options, including deals on expired rolls. If you need a particular look for your work, then check out the fstoppers article. I think it will help you choose the right film for the job.
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