Tags archives: film photography

Let me introduce you to my 35mm film crush: Fuji Superia 400 Xtra. I adore it. The colors are OUT. OF THIS. WORLD. And for that reason it has become my all-time favorite 35mm film to shoot on vacation (which for us is usually at Disney World).

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 (That's me with the children all over me. Hiiiiiii!!) Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8 (That’s me with the children all over me. Hiiiiiii!!) Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

All of the images in this post are shot on Fuji Superia 400 Xtra.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

WHY YOU SHOULD BE SHOOTING FUJI SUPERIA 400 XTRA

1. It is incredibly versatile. 

I love this stock because I can leave it in my camera all day and shoot in all kinds of light and scenarios. 400 speed film is usually good like that, but Fuji Superia 400 Xtra is particularly forgiving and has a really wide latitude.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

2. It is available in 24 or 36 exposure rolls.

Because it is so versatile I’m not afraid of buying the 36 exposure rolls and having it in my camera all day. This can end up being a significant developing and scanning cost savings if your lab charges a flat rate for all rolls of 35mm.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

3. It is super cheap!

Well, as far as film goes it is. Currently, you can find it for anywhere between $3.49 for one roll to $11 or so for a 4 pack of the 24 exposure rolls or $16 ish for a three pack of the 36 exposure rolls.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8

A lot (and I mean a LOT) of the time, I like the way this film renders better than pro stocks that cost upwards of $10 a roll. I really wish they would make this stock in 120 format!

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

4. It is widely available.

Don’t let some of the online reviews fool you, I have been able to find this film practically everywhere. I’ve found it on a bunch of online shopping retailers as well as the Biltmore gift shop, some random mom and pop camera shops, and at Walmart!

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

5. It’s like, really pretty*.

(*obligatory mean girls reference)

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra is a vibrant, punchy film. It has a fine grain structure and nice, saturated colors; especially reds, blues, and greens. However, skin tones stay authentic even with the increased saturation and sharpness.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8

Greens are sometimes reminiscent of Fuji 400h greens, but more true-to-life and not quite as blue.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

This stock reminds me a bit of Kodak Ektar 100 with its saturation and punchiness, but you don’t need to be as careful with the exposure. Ektar, when overexposed, makes fair skin turn VERY red and you have to be careful to shoot it at box speed. Fuji Superia 400 Xtra actually does quite well with overexposure (I will get to metering and rating in a minute).

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

I have shot this stock in full sun, when overcast, inside, at night, with flash, and I have been lazy with my exposure and it still almost always looks good.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 + flash Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8 + flash

THE DO’S AND DONT’S

1. DO overexpose 2 stops.

Most consumer films do better with about two stops of overexposure and Fuji Superia 400 Xtra is no exception. You want to rate it around ISO 100 (metering from the shadows) if you have enough light, which is 2 stops over box speed.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

When I shoot client work or medium format I always use incident metering with my Sekonic-358. But when I’m on vacation, I’m not dragging my light meter around. Thankfully Fuji Superia 400 Xtra is super forgiving and I have no problem using reflective, in-camera metering.

I set my camera to spot metering mode and take my meter reading in the shadows. Then I make sure my internal meter reads +2.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8

2. DO try shooting it in full sun.

This stock looks great in all kinds of light but the colors really render their best and most saturated in bright light.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

3. DO use it for portraits and landscapes alike.

Again, the skin tones on this film stock are great when exposed correctly, and combined with the vibrant colors you can use it for so many different fun things.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 40mm f2.8 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

4. DO Have fun and get creative!

The affordability and wide latitude of this film makes it perfect for taking creative risks. Try some double exposures, shooting something at night, or try something new!

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 - Double exposure Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 – Double exposure Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 - Double Exposure Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2 – Double Exposure

5. DON’T cut corners on the developing.

Make sure you always send your film, no matter what stock it is, to a lab that knows what they are doing. I have had wonderful experiences developing Fuji Superia 400 Xtra at Photovision Printing and TheFINDlab.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

6. DON’T expect the same results out of Fuji Superia 800.

Just because they both have the name “Superia” does not mean they will look the same. At all. Fuji Superia 800 has more grain and the colors are not the same. You might be into it, you might not. Proceed with caution.

If you need to shoot at ISO 800, I would probably sooner try pushing 400 Xtra because I did not love my results with the 800. However, that is just my opinion – Fuji Superia 800 gets some great reviews online. I have not gotten around to pushing the 400 Xtra yet so though, so I will update when I get a chance to do so. I don’t think I will try pushing it more than +1 though at first, because it is already quite saturated.

Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm - Canon Rebel G - 50mm f1.2 Fuji Superia 400 Xtra 35mm – Canon Rebel G – 50mm f1.2

So go get some Fuji 400 Xtra and start creating! If you have any questions post them in the comments and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

ABOUT ME

I’m Leanne of Leanne Vice Photography. I am a mom of three boys and a Nashville-based baby and family portrait photographer. Visit my “About” page to get to know me even more or give me a call at 256-490-8293 and we can chat about film, kids, life…whatever!

  1. Wynona said:

    I seriously just love this post, I read it like 3 times. All the pictures are on point, better than Ektar 100. lady! ;)

    June 22, 2016  2:40 am
    Reply
    • Leanne Vice said:

      Thank you!! What an amazing compliment, especially coming from you!! :)

      June 22, 2016  4:02 pm
      Reply
  2. Steve Gahan said:
    Hi leanne im new to film(havent even shot my 'new'pentax super me yet)and very much enjoyed reading your view and seeing your great images. Very much a great advert for the superia 400!!the part i dont understand is about the over exsposure....want to rate it around ISO 100 (metering from the shadows) if you have enough light, which is 2 stops over box speed.i dont under stand why you would bring down the iso from 400 to 100 when you suggest +2 exsposure.also, what does 2 stops over box speed mean? Would you mind explaining it to me in a little more detail please? Kind regards steve
    March 5, 2017  7:03 am
    Reply
    • Leanne said:
      So rating at 100 is just another way to say "overexpose two stops". ISO in full stops is 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, etc. so since superia is a 400 speed film, when you overexposed it two stops you are effectively shooting it as a 100 speed film instead, does that make sense?

      You can overexposed thise two stops however you'd like. If you shoot manual, you can go over two stops using your shutter speed or aperture and internal meter. Or if you shoot in aperture priority you can set your camera's exposure compensation to +2 and it will change the shutter speeds for you. Alternatively, you could change your film speed in camera from 400 to 100 and shoot full auto if you wanted.
      March 5, 2017  12:51 pm
      Reply
  3. Rajiv said:
    Great images. And wonderful scans. How do you scan these images? Thanks.
    March 27, 2017  10:14 pm
    Reply
  4. kollimatorn said:
    nice write up! glad to see a celebration of this film. :)

    and the kicker? it WAS available in 120. they were still on the shelves when I just started out with film photography
    May 24, 2017  2:49 am
    Reply

Sweet little Dalton is my newest nephew. He was the most relaxed newborn I’ve ever seen, he preferred to just let his legs stretch straight out and chill, and I don’t recall hearing him cry at all! We did this entire session at his home in Georgia – another peaceful in-home session. 🙂

You know how some photos just have that *something*. Character, soul, rich tones, vibrant color, dramatic shadows…film does all these things and does them goooood. I’m a little bit obsessed.

“But Leanne, isn’t film outdated? Isn’t digital so much better?”

You be the judge.

“But, can you even get digital copies when you shoot film?”

I’m glad you asked! You absolutely CAN still get digital copies thanks to scanners and modern technology. Shooting film is in my opinion, a win-win-win.

So for your viewing pleasure, a little bit of my life lately, all on film 🙂