Black & White Film
Kodalith 2556 Ortho film type 3 is a high contrast B/W graphics arts film available in a 4" x 5" sheets. This film is perfect for beginners because you can use a red safelight and not work in complete darkness. If a safelight isn't readily available you can try using a red LED, neon lamp or wrap red acetate plastic over a dim 4 watt bulb.
I advise all beginners to start with black and white ortho film. It is less costly and easier to work with than color sheet film. You also have the opportunity to develop the film to get immediate feedback. Someone who starts off shooting color film must wait to get the film develop to see what has been recorded.
Developing B/W ortho film is easy. The chemistry works quickly and is simple and forgiving. You only need two chemicals; developer and fixer. A stop bath is usually employed in between these two steps, but isn't absolutely necessary.
Black and White (film or prints) is not as spectacular as color. The experience one gains by being able to observe all the steps under a safelight is invaluable when one has to work in complete darkness with color film. Using a high voltage power supply in the dark can be a pretty daunting task, so it's best to familiarize yourself with the process in the least costly manner.
Color Film – Daylight or Tungsten Balance
Color film requires exposures to be made in total darkness. Working in total darkness can be a problem. Sometimes I sandwich the color film between two black opaque sheets of paper in total darkness, then turn on the safelight. After I make my exposure, I turn off the safelight and place the film in a light tight box for development in total darkness.
Both tungsten balance and daylight film give striking color transparencies. The tungsten balance film usually produces colors in the yellows, oranges and reds. Daylight film usually produces colors in the blues and greens.
Daylight Type Sheet Film
Tungsten Balanced Sheet Film