Choosing the Right Roll of Film

There’s no doubt about it, film is back. Whilst digital photography becomes increasingly accessible, many photographers find themselves rediscovering the creative satisfaction offered by analog photography. A trend that doesn’t seem to be taking an end anytime soon.

In today’s article we present the work of Nagoya-based Koudai (@koby03). This portrait photographer showcases the versatility of film on his (meticulously kept) feed. His images have a natural, almost playful atmosphere to them, which can only be described as a young, exciting, but simultaneously nostalgic feeling that is unique to Koudai.

Whilst Koudai’s compositions retain his distinctive touch across the board, the variable that changes from image to image are the color palettes. This can partially be attributed to the type of film he uses, which is why we’ve taken this opportunity to pinpoint the differences between the most popular rolls of film through this artist’s work.

5 Film rolls you should treat your camera to:


Introduced in 1998, this roll was formerly named ‘Portra Natural Color’ for good reason. Probably one of the most popular films, this roll returns muted color palettes and balanced skin tones.

Use: Outside, daytime.


The Portra 400 rewards you with more vivid color whilst keeping skin tones natural and the overall color palette muted. This is an incredibly popular roll as it is very forgiving in terms of exposures.


Use: Low-light, snapshots, all-rounder.


Characterized by rich saturation and fine grain, the Kodak Ultramax 400 is one of the cheapest rolls on this list. Daylight shots will give you bright blues and true greens and, whilst very ‘grainy’, this roll rewards you with an organic, old-school feeling.

Use: All rounder, pictures of friends, snapshots


This roll is often compared to the Portra 400 for it’s balanced color saturation and ease of use. However, this film has a unique character comprised of soft contrast, fine grain and a slight green tint.


Use: Low-light


A cheaper alternative to Kodak and Fujifilm, this film returns rich tones when lit up and skews towards the blue/green color spectrum.


Use: Daytime, all-rounder

In the end, photos also depend on the situation. So the best bet is to try out different film rolls and see which work for your particular style.

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