Best Film for the Nikon N4004
The best film to use in your Nikon N4004 should be based on the lighting, your lens, and type of film you want to shoot.
Taking advantage of an ISO 400 film or higher speed will let you skip needing to carry around a flash and/or tripod.
If you have a need to take images indoors or anytime there is low light, ensure that you are using a fast lens. For lens recommendations read my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Nikon N4004.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - A fantastic selection for a wide range of lighting conditions. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the N4004 in most circumstances.
The photographs will have wonderful colors and tend to be on the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on where you are in the world, this film might have greater availability. It is a very good alternative to Kodak.
Compared to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a little cooler with an emphasis on blues and greens.
Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color 35mm film, there are only a few possible choices. This is the only film stock focused on consumers.
In addition, if you have a medium format camera, it is also offered in 120 film format.
Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film emulsion that started production in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 offers the look of home snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the “authentic” look.
To bring the ideal look out of the film, you’ll need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide you with the eye-catching colors people love Gold 200 for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among photography enthusiasts online. Overexpose it by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is highly regarded for.
There’s also ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also manufactured.
Black and White Film
With reasonable costs and more than acceptable favorable to be used in the Nikon N4004.
The largest appeal for photography students and budget minded photographers is the affordable cost. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it is good to have low-priced rolls of 35 film on hand for evaluating recently acquired used cameras.
Kentmere 400 - It is manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable since that makes this the most widely available 35mm film of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It’s much easier to get in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.
A decent 35mm film to choose for your initial couple of attempts at developing film at home or film photography. Also a good selection if you happen to be trying out a camera to guarantee that it is operating properly.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by buying it directly from Ultrafine.
They manufacture chemical developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you might have already interacted with them.
Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 most frequently used black & white 35mm film stocks. While they both have individual appearances, they possess many attributes that are comparable that help makes them a favorite.
Both films can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still delivering high quality photographs. A roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them quite versatile.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus is cheaper and has lower levels of contrast. Minimal amounts of contrast can be nice because contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.
The film emulsion has subtle grain and still appears great when pushed 2-stops.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has a more distinctive look. To produce the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in Kodak D-76.
You are going to undoubtedly notice considerably more contrast with this film stock. That is awesome if it happens to be the look you are looking for because it results in a smaller amount of work when editing digitially or making a darkroom print.
Film emulsions that make a positive image are often referred to as reversal, slide, or transparency film. This allows the pictures to be shown with a projector or light box.
The colors are not required to be inverted to be viewed, as opposed to the more widespread negative film stocks.
Slide films are viewed as hard to shoot because slide film has much less latitude and dynamic range when compared to negative film.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors don’t show up oversaturated. It is daylight color balanced.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes appealing looking pictures that have high amounts of saturation and contrast. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Compared to all the reversal films available for purchase, it has the highest resolving power.
An ISO 100 version is also available to buy.
Fujichrome Provia 100F - Delivers realistic and vivid colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It has a daylight color balance and ultrafine grain.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black & white reversal film, reported by Fomapan as having high resolving power, increased contrast, and fine grain. It is also mentioned as a replacement for the discontinued Agfa Scala Film Stock.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Pro film stock have greater latitude, are easier to push, and increased dynamic range, that is why pro-film costs more.
You should expect a disparity in where film can be purchased. Consumer film stocks can quite often be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in limited quantities. Pro film stocks needs to be bought from a online retailer or photography store.
A film’s sensitivity to light is displayed by the ISO.
The less light there’s available to expose an image, the higher the ISO of the film will have to be. This comes at the cost of more film grain.
ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) may be troublesome to shoot handheld in the N4004. The will likely take longer will be longer than what you could handhold without producing motion blur unless you are out in full sun.
To prevent this you’ll need to use a fast lens, tripod, and/or flash. Using a high speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film is likely to make the extra equipment unnecessary.
The ISO knob is marked as ASA on the Nikon N4004. The change to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
Latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while maintaining usable results. Professional film emulsions have a greater latitude to go along with a somewhat higher price.
Negative film has more latitude when compared to slide film. That is one of the reasons it is regarded as challenging to shoot.
The range between the shadows and highlights details of a picture is known as dynamic range. Parts of a picture that fall out of this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.
A larger dynamic range is advantageous since it makes working in varied lighting situations easier.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
The small dynamic range of slide film is a further reason why it is regarded as a challenge to shoot. An ideal time to try it is during the golden hour.
35mm film that comes in canisters is used by the Nikon N4004. It is also the most commonly used type of film and sometimes called 135 film.
The only other type of film you are likely to encounter is 120 or 220 film that is used by medium format cameras}.
One of the excellent properties of film is that you can switch the film you work with and get a unique look to your shots.
DX Coded Film
Almost all available 35mm film distributed today has a DX code. This allows electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO of the film put in the camera.
The ISO (ASA) on the Nikon N4004 has to be manually set. As a result DX-coding doesn’t matter.
Nikon N4004 Resources
Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?
There are a handful of possible choices for where to process film. For a more complete explanation of the options you can check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.
WARNING: Film does not get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film off-site to be processed by a separate company. This means that, you will not be given your processed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
The most straightforward choice and the method I suggest doing if you’re just getting started using film is to mail off your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. If you consistently use film, this might be a downside due to the fact that it can get very expensive.
There are two activities that you are able to do to greatly reduce the expenses involved in shooting film, if you are using a moderate to high volume of film.
Bulk Loading Film
Purchasing a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is one of the leading ways to lower expenses.
A 100 foot roll should fill roughly 18 rolls of film with 36 exposures each. Depending on the film stock you will probably save 20%-30%.
Take into account that you’re only going to be able to get rolls of black and white film. This is due to the fact black and white film is a lot easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
All film can be processed by hand. It’s a very good method to lower your costs so you can use more film with your Nikon N4004.
Black and white film is much less complicated to process. Chemical temperature and development times are both not as vital to get correct with black & white film as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.