Two Buck Chuck… Good Cheap Film Does Exist!

Yes Virginia, good cheap film does exist. Click on the audio play button to listen to my thoughts on new approaches and needs for film in this figital / hybrid world.

The test images below are Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra which is a fantastic film and is readidly available at only two bucks (24 exp)… that’s $2 Dollars, 1.51 Euro, 1.28 United Kingdom Pounds, 167.94 Yen… about the price of a cup of coffee!

Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 100
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200
Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 1600

And for those of you who want even smoother results here is an example of the portrait of my wife (same file as above) that has been processed through Imagenomic Portraiture Photoshop Plugin at default settings and then faded back to 50%… very nice!

Fuji 400 Superia X-Tra at EI 200, Imagenomic Portraiture at 50%

18 thoughts on “Two Buck Chuck… Good Cheap Film Does Exist!

  1. In college color workshop my teacher let us onto his little secret. Instead of buying kodaks or fujis $4-5 a roll VC or NPS pro negative film he would buy fuji 200 at Target. Film was around a dollar a roll, and each package of four rolls had a coupon for a dollar off your next pack. Colors were great, grain was nice and it was a perfect film to make c-prints from. Add in the lab on campus that developed the film dirt cheap and the flextight scanners, ah if I only would have known how good I had it.

  2. Stephen,
    Thanks for this! Looking at your shots, I really like this film at EI 100. The perfect tip to give in this economy! Thanks again. I’m going to celebrate with a glass of Two Buck Chuck. I love that stuff!

  3. A nice post and a helpful tip, thanks. I like Superia 400, and have shot a bit over the past couple of years. Just a general question: what effect does the quality of processing have on grain, colour saturation, etc? Reliable processing is becoming harder to find. Also, it would be great to see a side-by-side test with this film and Portra 400.

    1. Good processing is important as you want to find a lab that runs a fair amount of film per week to keep the chem moving…. just ask to see their control records… as long as they are tight then no worries!

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for posting these tests. When you perform these tests on color films at different exposure indices do you or your lab push/pull the film or are they developed straight?

  5. Hello guys 🙂

    It has been awhile since I got my hands on a camera loaded with Fuji Superia 400.

    Anyway, my film photography is now more focused on medium format. And it’s really hard to find 120 format Fuji Superia 400 at least here, in Portugal.

    I like Fuji stock, but have fall in love with the Portra series. I haven’t still tried the new Portra 400.


  6. I shot a lot of this film on a recent vacation. I tended to overexpose it one stop and was quite happy with it. Much of it was under bright sun and the colors were awesome. I don’t use it for my pro work, but for personal stuff, it is awesome. So glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.

  7. This reminds me of years ago when I found out that Walgreens re-brand of film was really AGFA. That was a great deal! I think it’s Fuji now, so it’s probably still a good deal.

  8. I’ve always thought of cheap Kodak film as being a bit crap, although it has a charm if I want to take photos that look like they were taken in in the late ’80s early ’90s. But I have always found cheap Fuji films to be great, I always put that down to Superia being the same emulsion as the pro film Press.

  9. Hi, I’m a bit new to shooting film but trying to learn.
    I understand why you would want to shoot a 400 film a 800 f.ex but what are the benefits of going the other way that is shooting 400 EI 100?
    Do you get finer grain, better shadow detail etc.?

  10. Hey how are you, how do you get such great scans, this is really amazing, I´ve seen a lot of poor images on flickr with this film, but I can see that it depends more about of the scan, please give me some advice¡¡

    1. scanning is an art… just like printing…. anyone can press the scan button but understanding the machine, materials and output need takes it to a new level of creative options

      1. Just this images samples of the Xtra 400 that you show scanned has made me want to get my own scanner, I´m in Colombia (south America) and here the film process is almost lost, all is digital, and the overall thinking even for old school photographers is that “film is dead”, but when I surf the web and see so many great photos, and the beauty of the process, I just want to get back on my feet and get the film process again, Scanning is very difficult to get, becouse there are not interets about this, so I´m thinking in get a scanner and do it by myself, I have no much money, so I´m thinking to get The minolta Dimage dualscan IV, I can buy it by ebay. Do you think is a good scanner? this is my blog, maybe you can check it out !! Thanks for your kind reply

      2. Welcome to the Revolution! I would suggest on a limited budget a new Epson film/ flatbed scanner as it is the best bang for the buck and also allows you to scan positives as well… More flexibility with a limited budget and newer technology. Keep shooting!!!!!!!

  11. You refrigerate your Ferraris before you use them? >:-)

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Just came across this article while looking for information on Superia 400 Xtra. Thanks for the good review. Looking forward to trying out some of this film!

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