Richard Photo Lab

Favorite Film Stocks for Low Light

Before you get to film developing & film scanning, you have a very important question to ask yourself as a photographer that will influence the look of your final photos: which film stock is best for what I'm shooting?

We asked six film photographers to share their favorite film to use in low light. Here's what they had to say...

Photo by Chris Isham

"My film choice at night is usually Portra 400. I’m always looking for an opportunity to bring out a tripod for some long exposures after the sun goes down, and Portra 400 really nails the twilight & after dark look for me."Chris Isham


Photo by Lauren Muckler

"I am constantly finding myself using Portra 400 in low lit situations. This is a beautiful film stock when pushed a stop or two. For reception details in the evening or in windowless rooms, I always turn to Portra."Lauren Muckler


Photo of a Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400

Stock up on Kodak Portra 400 for your next shoot!

Photo by Hanah Alyssa

"When I first began shooting film, I would put my Contax away as soon as the sun set, always a bit intimidated. However, when I began experimenting, I fell in love with shooting Ilford Delta 3200 during the first dance and toasts. There's just something so special about black and white film; it seems to make time stand still, and creates timeless and romantic images."Hannah Alyssa


Photo by Meg Smith

"Ilford's high-speed Delta 3200 is a look I love, particularly for getting-ready and receptions. It was many years before I started rating it at ISO 1600, and then it just got even better. I’ll happily shoot either 35mm film or medium-format film in low light, and I always get something beautiful and interesting with this film."Meg Smith


Photo of a Ilford Delta 3200 film roll

Ilford Delta 3200

Stock up on Ilford Delta 3200 for your next shoot!

Photo by KC Chan

"For my professional work, I normally stick with the same film stock (as I think it’s important for my lab in understanding my preferences when they scan). I love shooting Fuji 400H for it's amazing wide latitude—it is excellent with shadow details and very fine grains. Try to use a tripod for night shoots, it’s fun!"KC Chan

Photo of a Fujifilm Fujicolor 400H film roll

Fujifilm Fujicolor 400H

Stock up on Fujifilm Fujicolor 400H for your next shoot!

Photo by Audra Wrisley

"Ilford HP5 is by far my favorite B&W film stock! 99% of the time, I push it—I love the extra contrast it gives my images, especially those beautiful first dance shots and champagne toasts."Audra Wrisley


Photo of a Ilford HP5 film roll

Ilford HP5

Stock up on Ilford HP5 for your next shoot!

And there you have it! Shooting film in low light doesn't need to be a struggle... just start with the right film stock for you and make sure to use your light meter.

Whether you love Kodak 120 film, Fujifilm in 35mm, or even disposable cameras, Richard can take care of your film developing and film scanning...