Best Film for the Nikon N55 (F55)

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: May 26, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Nikon N55 will have to be based on the lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to use.

Choosing an ISO 400 film or higher speed will let you eliminate being weighed down with a tripod or flash.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to shoot photos in low light, conditions that are frequently found indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a variety of lighting conditions well and is an excellent option for a 35mm color film. Kodak UltraMax 400 is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the N55 in most situations.

Expect photos to look slightly warm with amazing skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that could have far better availability based on what country you are in.

In comparison to Kodak, Fuji appears to be a small amount cooler with stronger blues and greens.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there are only a few possible choices. For 35mm film emulsions focused on consumers, this is the sole available choice.

It is also for sale in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - An excellent solution to achieve that mid-80s through 90s feeling. For the classic shooting experience have a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best look the film has to offer. This will provide you with the attractive colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is easily the top color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the look the film is well known for.

Additionally, ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Kodak Portra. As well as in rolls of 120 film, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm counterpart to Portra, but with a different color profile. Expect to see stronger greens and blues.

It is available in rolls of 120, but not in sheets of 8x10 or 4x5.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have low costs and excellent quality, making them quite popular to use in the Nikon N55.

The largest attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable price. Even if you would not put yourself in those groups, it's good to have inexpensive rolls of film readily available for evaluating recently delivered used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It is manufactured by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good due to the fact that makes this the most commonly sold 35mm film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will be less difficult to get in Europe as the film is produced inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A good quality film emulsion to use for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Additionally, a good selection if you happen to be looking to try out a camera to ensure that it's totally operational.

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

If you process film yourself, you could have used developer produced by them to process your film.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 best black & white 35mm films. While they both have different styles, they have quite a few qualities that are comparable that help makes them a favorite.

Both film emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still creating solid photos. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The most important differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable when compared to Tri-X. Low amounts of contrast can be nice due to the fact that contrast can be changed when making a print in the darkroom or during digital post-processing.

The film stock has subdued grain and still appears excellent when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film stock has got a more distinctive style. To create the traditional grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be developed in D-76.

You're going to certainly see more contrast with Tri-X. That's perfect if that is the overall look you would like because it involves a great deal less work when through digital post-processing or making a print in the darkroom.

Transparency Film

Film emulsions that make a positive image are commonly referred to as transparency, slide, or reversal film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to view the photographs.

This is distinct from the more widespread negative film emulsions that result in photos that require inverting the colors so that they can be viewable.

Slide films have a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film and so they are viewed as more difficult to shoot.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for striking skin tones and fine grain. The colors will not look oversaturated. It's daylight color balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Produces beautiful looking shots that have elevated amounts of saturation and contrast. It is astonishingly sharp and balanced for daylight. When compared to all the slide films offered, it has the top resolving power.

There is another speed that is ISO 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Delivers realistic and vivid colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It is an ultra-fine grain film balanced for daylight.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional film stock are easier to push, have improved latitude, and dynamic range, which is why they cost more.

There may be a disparity in where 35mm rolls of film can be purchased. Consumer film stocks can quite often be bought in pharmacies and big-box stores in small quantities. Professional film emulsions should really be bought from an online or camera store.

Film ISO

The film speed is represented by ISO, which may also be regarded as the film's light sensitivity.

The less light available to get an image, the bigger the ISO will have to be. Furthermore, expect to see increased film grain.

It can be problematic to handhold the N55 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will most likely be longer can take longer than what you could handhold without causing motion blur unless you're working in full sun.

A fast lens, tripod, and/or flash are going to help you with longer shutter speeds. The additional gear may not be needed if you choose to use a higher speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film.

The ISO is set by the Nikon N55 electronically. This is a change from previous SLRs that use a physical ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while maintaining good photographs. Pro films have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat increased price.

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

Dynamic Range

The range between the brightest and darkest parts of an image is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of an image that don't fit in this range will be rendered as totally black underexposed shadows or totally white overexposed highlights.

A bigger dynamic range is ideal because a bigger range tends to make shooting in different lighting conditions easier.

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

Reversal film is considered to be tricky to shoot because of the small dynamic range. The golden hour is the best time to shoot slide film.

Film Type

35mm film that is in metal canisters is used by the Nikon N55. It can also be described as 135 film, and it's the most frequently used film format.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will alter the look of your pictures. This is one of the wonderful things about shooting film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

All new 35mm film manufactured currently has a DX code. This allows electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO when the canister is loaded into the camera.

The ISO on the Nikon N55 will be set automatically. That is due to the fact that the camera is capable of reading the DX-coding on film canisters.

Nikon N55 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are just a few options for where to process film. For a more extensive discussion of the options see my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail the film off-site to be processed by a separate company. Because of this, you will not 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

The least difficult solution and the method I suggest doing if you are just getting started shooting film is to ship your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. A disadvantage to this is that it ends up being pricey if you frequently shoot film.

There are a few activities that you can do to cut back on the costs required to shoot film, given that you are shooting a medium to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Buying a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading it into canisters by hand is certainly one of the ideal methods to reduce costs.

A 100-foot bulk roll should load approximately 18 canisters of film with 36 exposures each. Look forward to savings of 20-30% based on the film you opt for.

Bear in mind that you are limited to bulk rolls of black & white film. This is due to the fact black and white film is easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

It's simple to develop and digitize any film yourself. In fact, it's a great option to save money so that you can use more film with your Nikon N55.

Black & white film is by far the least complicated to process. Chemical temperature and development times are not as imperative to get correct with black and white film as temperatures and time are for slide or color negative.

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