Best Film for the Nikon N60 (F60)

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

The best film to use in the Nikon N60 is going to be based on the lighting conditions, your lens, and if you want to use color or black & white.

Choosing an ISO 400 35mm or higher speed will let you skip being burdened with a flash or tripod.

If you want to be able to shoot photos in low light, such as indoors, make sure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film

Consumer

Box of Kodak UltraMax 400 ISO 35mm film for cameras

Kodak UltraMax 400 - A very good option for an array of lighting conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the N60 in the majority of scenarios.

Expect photographs to look slightly warm with wonderful skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film might be more widely available. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Fujifilm photographs tend to have cooler colors with notable blues and greens when compared to Kodak.

Lomography 800 - If you want an ISO 800 color film, there are only a small number of possible choices. This happens to be the only 35mm film stock geared towards consumers.

The emulsion is available in the 120 film format, to be used in a medium format camera.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that started production in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look and feel of snapshots from the 80s and 1990s. For the classic experience use a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best the film can achieve. This will produce the spectacular colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.

Professional

Box of Kodak Portra 400 ISO 35mm film

Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among photography enthusiasts online. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the appearance the film is known for.

There are also ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 film are also available to purchase.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Kodak's Portra, but with a distinct color appearance. Expect more vibrant blues and greens.

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film are not available, but 120 is available.

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable costs and good quite popular to use in the Nikon N60.

The main draw for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the reasonable cost. Even if you wouldn't put yourself in those groups, it is great to have economical rolls of 35 film around for evaluating recently delivered used gear.

Kentmere 400 black & white 35mm camera film

Kentmere 400 - It's made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is notable considering that allows this to be the most broadly sold film out of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

A fine film to employ for your initial few attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Also, a good choice if you happen to be attempting to test out a camera to check that it's functioning properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price on this film by getting it directly from Ultrafine.

They distribute chemical developer kits for color 35mm film, so if you develop film at home you could have already interacted with them.

Professional

Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 top-selling black & white 35mm films. They do have a lot of capabilities in common that makes them a favorite while maintaining individual rendering.

You can create quality images after pushing both film stocks 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably useful.

Ilford HP5+ ISO 400 35mm Film

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two films, HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable. Lower levels of contrast can be nice because of the fact that contrast can be added when making a darkroom print or through digital processing.

The film still appears outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized as having subdued grain.

Kodak Professional Tri-X 400TX Film Stock

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has a more distinctive style. To create the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be developed in D-76.

You will undoubtedly see considerably more contrast with Tri-X 400. That's beneficial if that is the overall look you need because it results in not as much work when making a print or during digital processing.

Reversal Film

Transparency film, also known as reversal film or slide film, creates a positive image. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to show the photos.

This is unique from the more often used negative film emulsions that result in photos that need inverting the colors so that they can be viewed.

Slide films are believed to be very hard to work with due to the fact slide film has substantially less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film.

Box of Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. The colors won't appear oversaturated. It is daylight balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Makes beautiful looking images that have appreciably increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Matched against all the reversal films offered, it has the highest resolving power.

It is also available in an ISO 100 speed.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers natural and vibrant colors with moderate contrast and color saturation. It is a film balanced for daylight with an ultra-fine grain.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have greater latitude, are easier to push, and increased dynamic range, this is why they are more expensive.

There is a disparity in businesses that sell rolls of film. Consumer film stocks can more often than not be obtained from big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Pro film emulsions need to be bought from an online retailer or camera store.

Film ISO

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

The less light available to properly expose an image, the bigger the film's ISO will have to be. This comes at the tradeoff of more noticeable film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) can be tough to shoot handheld in the N60. This is because if you don't have full sun, the exposure times will most likely take more time than what you are able to handhold without producing motion blur.

To stop motion blur you will need to use a tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash. The additional accessories might not be needed if you pick a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO is electronically set by the Nikon N60. This is a change from older SLRs that have an ISO dial.

Film Latitude

Latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while holding onto adequate images. Pro film emulsions have a greater latitude to go along with a somewhat increased price.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude in comparison with negative film. That is a reason why it's viewed as more difficult to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the difference between the darkest and brightest details of a picture that can be captured. Areas of an image that don't fit within this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

When shooting in a wide variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a much better choice.

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

Transparency film is viewed as tough to shoot resulting from the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the prime time to use reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that is sold in metal canisters is used by the Nikon N60. 35mm film can also be called 135 film, and it's the most popular film format.

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

Swapping the film emulsion you are working with will change the look of your photos. This is an example of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Almost all available 35mm film offered at this point has a DX code. This enables electronically controlled cameras to detect and set the ISO of the film canister loaded into the camera.

DX-coding means the Nikon N60 can automatically set the film ISO as long as a compatible canister is used.

Nikon N60 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a handful of options for where to get 35mm film developed. For a more complete explanation of the possible choices look at my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Pharmacies and big box stores no longer process film locally. They ship film away to be developed by a separate company. Consequently, you won't receive your 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 film to a mail-order photo lab to be processed and scanned is the most straightforward choice if you're just starting to use film. If you consistently use film, this might be a disadvantage since it can get very expensive.

There are two actions that you are capable of doing to limit the costs involved in shooting film, if you're using a medium to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Considered one of the most widely used options to get a better price on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and manually load it into canisters by hand.

A 100-foot bulk roll of film should load typically around 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures each. Expect to save 20-30% based on your selection.

Bear in mind that you are limited to 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black & white film is quite a bit easier and more affordable to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

It's possible to develop and digitize film yourself. It's a very good method to spend less so that you can use more film with your Nikon N60.

Black & white film is significantly easier to develop yourself. Developer temperature and development times are not as imperative to get correct with black and white films as temperatures and time are for color negative or slide film.

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