Best Film for the Nikon FE10

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: May 29, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Nikon FE10 will depend on your lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Getting an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you avoid being weighed down with a flash and/or tripod.

If you have a need to shoot photographs in low light, such as inside, ensure that you are using a fast lens. Check out my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Nikon FE10 for lens suggestions.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a plethora of lighting conditions well and is a good selection for a 35mm color film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the FE10 in the vast majority of circumstances.

Expect photos to look slightly warm with gorgeous colors.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on where you are in the world, this film may have greater availability. It's a great alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Fuji photographs appear to have cooler tones with notable greens and blues when compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - You're limited to just a few possibilities if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For 35mm film stocks focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the single available option.

The film can also be found in the 120 film format, for use with a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. It gives the look and feel of home snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. Use a flash to get the "classic" look the film is known for.

To bring the best out of this film, you'll want to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the eye-catching colors people love Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is hands down the most widely used color 35mm film. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the appearance the film is well known for.

Additionally, ISO 800 and ISO 160 emulsions of Portra. Portra is also offered in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equal to Kodak's Portra, but with a distinctive color profile. Expect to see more vibrant greens and blues.

It's offered in 120, but not in sheets of 8x10 or 4x5.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With reasonable prices and very good favorable to use in the Nikon FE10.

The largest draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the low price. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it is nice to have comparatively cheap rolls of film around for evaluating newly obtained used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is the parent company of Ilford. This is notable considering that makes this the most widely sold film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It's easier to acquire in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

An appropriate film stock to try for your first few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Also, a good selection if you are testing out a camera to check that it's completely operational.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the best price by getting it directly from Ultrafine.

They distribute chemical developer kits for film, so if you process film at home you could have previously had interactions with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the 2 most commonly used black & white 35mm film emulsions. While they both possess individual styles, they have a number of characteristics that are similar that help makes them so popular.

Both emulsions can be pushed 2 stops and still create very good photos. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Box of Ilford HP5 Plus ISO 400 35mm Black & White Film

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The major differences are that HP5 Plus is cheaper and has lower levels of contrast in comparison to Tri-X. A lack of contrast can be advantageous due to the fact contrast can be increased when making a print in the darkroom or through digital processing.

The film emulsion still looks good when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized as having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock possesses a stronger style to it. To achieve the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in Kodak D-76.

You're going to unquestionably notice higher levels of contrast with Kodak Tri-X 400. That's perfect if that is the look you will want because it requires significantly less work when making a print or editing digitally.

Reversal Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image are referred to as transparency, reversal, or slide film. This means the photographs can be showcased with a lightbox or projector.

The colors don't need to be inverted to be viewed, in contrast to the more widespread negative film stocks.

Slide films have substantially less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film and so they are believed to be more difficult to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and terrific skin tones. The colors do not appear oversaturated. It has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Provides beautiful looking shots that have increased amounts of saturation and contrast. It is razor-sharp daylight balanced film. Out of all the reversal films on the market, it has the greatest resolving power.

There's another emulsion with an ISO of 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Produces vivid and realistic colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It has a daylight color balance and ultra-fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white slide film, reported by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, increased levels of contrast, and very fine grain. It's also regarded as a substitute for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala slide film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude, which is the reason pro-film costs more.

You should expect to see a difference in businesses that sell 35mm rolls of film. Consumer films can generally be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in meager quantities. Professional quality film stocks often need to be ordered from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

The film speed is listed as ISO, which can also be thought of as the film's sensitivity to light.

The bigger the ISO of the film, the less light will be required to get a frame. Also, be prepared to see more film grain.

It is often tricky to handhold the FE10 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will probably take more time will most likely be longer than what you can handhold without causing motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

To stop motion blur you will need to use a tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash. The extra accessories may not be needed if you choose a faster ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

As a quick note, the ISO selection knob is labeled as ISO on the Nikon FE10. Some older SLRs might be abled with ASA instead of ISO. The move to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining usable photographs. Professional films have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased cost.

Transparency film has less latitude in comparison with negative film. That is a reason why it's regarded as difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the difference between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph that can be recorded. Sections of a photograph that are not in this range will be seen as white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

When working in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a bigger dynamic range is preferable.

  • Digital cameras 14+ stops
  • Negative film up to 13 stops
  • Slide film 6-8 stops

Transparency film is viewed as tough to shoot as a consequence of the constrained dynamic range. Golden hour is the prime time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in canisters is used by the Nikon FE10. It can also be described as 135 film, and it's the best-selling film format.

120 or 220 film, used by medium format cameras, is the only other type of film you are likely to notice.

One of the terrific properties of film is that you can swap the film you work with and get a unique look to your shots.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Virtually all available 35mm film for sale at this point has DX encoding on the canister. This lets electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO of the film loaded into the camera.

The ISO on the Nikon FE10 must be selected manually. For that reason, DX-coding does not be of any use.

Nikon FE10 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find limited possible choices for where to get film processed. For a more in-depth explanation of the possible choices check my article on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send the film off-site to be processed by a 3rd party. Because of that, you won't be given your processed negatives back.

  1. Develop Film at Home
  2. Use a Local Photography Lab
  3. Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
  4. Pharmacy or Big Box Store

Shipping your film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the easiest solution if you are just getting started using film. If you consistently use film, this could be a disadvantage since it can get very expensive.

As long as you're shooting a moderate to high volume of film, there are a couple of activities that can be done to reduce your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Certainly, one of the leading methods to lower your expenses on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100' of film and manually load it into canisters yourself.

A 100-foot roll of film can load about 18 rolls of film containing 36 exposures each. Count on discounts of 20-30% based on the film you purchase.

Bear in mind that you're going to be limited to rolls of black & white film. This is due to black & white film is quite a bit easier and more affordable to develop yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be processed by hand. It is an intelligent option to cut costs so that you can use more film with your Nikon FE10.

Black and white film is much simpler to process yourself. Chemical temperature and time are not as imperative to do correctly with black and white films as time and temperatures are for transparency or color negative.

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