Best Film for the Nikon FM10

Best Nikon FM10 35mm Film

The best film to use in your Nikon FM10 is going to be based on the available light, your lens, and type of film you want to use.

Getting an ISO 400 35mm or faster will enable you to skip having to carry around a flash and/or tripod.

If you want to be able to to take photographs in low light, such as indoors, ensure you are using a fast lens. See my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Nikon FM10 for lens recommendations.

Color Film


Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film can be used in a multitude of lighting conditions and is a terrific selection for a color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the FM10 in the majority of situations.

The images will have terrific skin tones and is on the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that might have greater availability based on what country you are in.

Fujifilm photographs tend to have cooler tones with stronger greens and blues, compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color 35mm film, there aren’t many choices. For 35mm film stocks geared towards consumers, Lomography 800 is the single option.

Lomography 800 can also be bought in the 120 film format, for use with a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that was released in the mid-1980s. Gold 200 gives the look and feel of family snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. Use an on-camera flash to get the “classic” look.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to produce the best look the film has to offer. This will help you achieve the great colors people love Gold 200 for.


Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is definitely the top color 35mm film. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is known for.

Plus, ISO 160 and 800 versions of Kodak Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also easily found.

Black and White Film


These film emulsions have reasonable costs and more than acceptable quality, making them very popular to be used in the Nikon FM10.

The major draw for budget minded photographers and photography students is the very low price. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it’s good to have comparatively cheap rolls of 35 film readily available for testing recently delivered used gear.

Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Manufactured by Harmon Technology, which is the parent company of Ilford. This is notable considering that allows this to be the most commonly sold film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will probably less difficult to acquire in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

A fine film emulsion to work with for your first few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Also a good selection if you happen to be attempting to test out a camera to be sure that it’s fully operational.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the lowest price by buying it straight from Ultrafine.

If you develop color film yourself, you might have done that with chemicals sold by them to process your film.


Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 top selling black & white films. They have a number of characteristics in common that help make them popular, while keeping unique looks.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and produce good quality photos. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast. Minimal amounts of contrast can be a benefit because of the fact contrast can be added when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

The film stock still looks very good when pushed 2-stops. It is also noted for having subtle grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has a stronger rendering. To reveal the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in D-76.

Tri-X without a doubt has a higher level of contrast. That’s perfect if it happens to be the overall look you would you like because it involves much less work when during digital post processing or making a print.

Transparency Film

Slide film, also known as transparency or reversal film, results in a positive picture. This allows the photographs to be showcased with a projector or light box.

This is distinct from the more widespread negative films that produce photographs that need inverting the colors in order to be seen.

Slide films are thought to be tricky to work with because slide film has substantially less latitude and dynamic range when compared with negative film.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and great skin tones. The colors don’t look oversaturated. The film has been balanced for daylight.

Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a extraordinarily sharp daylight color balanced reversal film with lots of contrast and saturation, giving pictures a distinctive appearance. Velvia has the greatest resolving power of any available slide film stock.

You can also get it in an ISO 100 speed.

Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers vivid and realistic colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It is a daylight color balanced film with ultra fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having very fine grain, very good resolving power, and elevated contrast. It is also regarded as a alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have increased latitude, dynamic range, and can more easily be pushed, which is the reason they cost more.

There is a difference in business that sell it. Consumer film emulsions can more often than not still be obtained from pharmacies and big-box stores in meager quantities. Pro film stocks should really be purchased from a online retailer or specialized camera store.


A film’s sensitivity to light is listed as the ISO.

The less light available to get an image, the bigger the ISO of the film will be required. Also, expect to see bigger film grain.

It can be a challenge to handhold the FM10 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). This is because without full sun, the exposure times might be longer than what you’re able to handhold without causing motion blur.

A tripod, flash, and/or fast lens are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. Using a fast ISO 400 or ISO 800 film often makes the additional equipment not needed.

The ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Nikon FM10. The change to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).


Film latitude is the number of stops a film can be overexposed while having adequate images. Professional film stocks have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased price.

Negative film has more latitude when compared to reversal film. That is a reason why it is regarded as challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the highlights and shadows details of a photograph is known as dynamic range. Sections of a picture that do not fit in this range will be rendered as completely white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

When working in a wide variety or quickly changing lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a superior choice.

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

The constrained dynamic range of reversal film is another reason why it’s thought to be a challenge to shoot. The perfect time to try it would be during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Nikon FM10 uses 35mm film that is in canisters. 35mm film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it is the most frequently used type of film.

The only other type of film you are probably going to notice is 120 or 220 film that is used in medium format cameras}.

Changing the film stock you are using will alter the look of your photos. This is an example of the excellent things about film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all available 35mm film for sale today has a DX code. This makes it possible for cameras to auto detect and set the ISO when the film canister is loaded into the camera.

DX-coding is not going to matter for the Nikon FM10 because ISO needs to be manually set.

Nikon FM10 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a range of choices for where to have 35mm film developed. For a more thorough discussion of the possible choices go look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores do not process film at the store. They send film away to be developed by a third party. Because of that, you will not receive your developed 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

The most convenient choice and the method I suggest doing if you’re just starting to use film is to ship your film to a photo lab to be processed and scanned. If you regularly shoot film, this could be a downside due to the fact that it can get pricey.

There are a few actions that you are able to do to minimize the expenses required to shoot film, as long as you’re using a medium to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a roll of 100’ of film and manually loading in into canisters yourself is one of the most well known ways to cut costs.

A 100 foot bulk roll should load typically around 18 canisters of film with 36 frames. Based on the film stock you will probably save 20%-30%.

Keep in mind that you are only going to be able to purchase rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black & white film is less difficult and less expensive to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

Any film can be developed at home. It is a very good method to spend less so you can shoot more film with your Nikon FM10.

Black & white film is much less difficult to develop. Developer temperature and development times are both not as essential to do correctly with black & white film as they are for transparency or color negative.