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A subjective look at an emulsion-al subject
This is a very personal and subjective list of my favorite color and black-and-white print films. Each has a distinctive character.
Can you emulate the look these films offer digitally? Yes—but in most cases, it takes a bit of post-processing. These will give you the “look” right out of the box!
Fuji Reala 100
Fujicolor Press 800
Where to get film processed
Film processing labs have all but disappeared from Main Street, which is an inconvenience. But if you live near a retail chain store such as Target, Wal-Mart or Costco or a drug store chain such as Rite-Aid (and who doesn’t these days?) you can find a photoprocessing lab that can handle film and do a decent job.
Use a store whose processing facilities are on the premises rather than those who just have you put the film in a pouch to be shipped off and processed remotely. Keeping the film on the premises means less risk of damage in transit due to extreme temperatures, and reduces the chances of the film getting mislaid.
Alternatively, you can simply buy prepaid photoprocessing envelopes when you buy film, although again, the risk of sending film to be processed is higher than hand-delivering it to a lab.
I chose several walk-in and mail-order film photoprocessing labs. Read Color Film Processing: Mailers vs. Big Boxes to find out the results.
Or—especially if you shoot black-and-white—you can do it yourself!