Best Film for the Nikon N60
The best film to use in your Nikon N60 will depend on your lens, lighting conditions, and type of film you want to use.
To eliminate having to carry around a tripod and/or flash, choose a film that has an ISO of 400 or faster.
If you need to capture photos in low light, such as inside, ensure that you have a fast lens. See my brief article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Nikon N60 for recommendations.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - A terrific selection for a diverse range of lighting conditions. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the N60 in lots of scenarios.
The photos will have excellent colors and is on the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - A different option than Kodak that could have greater availability depending on where you are in the world.
Compared to Kodak, Fuji tends to be a little cooler with stronger greens and blues.
Lomography 800 - There are a small number of choices if you want an ISO 800 speed color 35mm film. This is literally the only film focused on consumers.
It can also be bought in the 120 film format, for use with a medium format camera.
Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was released in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 produces the look of home snapshots from the 1980s and 1990s. For the authentic photography experience use an on-camera flash.
To really bring the ideal look out of this film, you’ll want to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide you with the attractive colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.
Kodak Portra 400 - By far the most popular color negative film among film shooting enthusiasts online. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the overall look the film is known for.
There are also ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also available to buy.
Black and White Film
These film emulsions have affordable prices and excellent quality, making them favorable to be used in the Nikon N60.
The biggest attraction for budget minded photographers and photography students is the competitive price. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it’s nice to have affordable rolls of 35 film available for evaluating recently acquired camera gear.
Kentmere 400 - It is produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good because that allows this to be the most broadly sold 35mm film out of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Might be easier to obtain in Europe as the film is made by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.
A pretty good 35mm film to use for your first few attempts at analog photography or developing film at home. Also a good choice if you’re testing out a camera to confirm that it’s working correctly.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The best place to purchase this film is straight from Ultrafine.
They sell developer kits for film, so if you develop film at home you could have already had interactions with them.
Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the two most commonly used black and white 35mm film emulsions. They do have a number of attributes in common that help make them so popular, while maintaining different rendering.
Both emulsions can be pushed 1 or 2 stops and while still creating good images. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus has less contrast and is less expensive. Minimal contrast can be nice because of the fact contrast can be changed when making a print or through digital post processing.
The film still appears great when pushed 2-stops. It is also recognized as having subtle grain.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion possesses a more distinctive look to it. To create the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be developed in Kodak D-76.
Kodak Tri-X 400 clearly has greater contrast. That is awesome if it is the look you want to have because it results in a smaller amount of work when editing digitially or printmaking.
Transparency film, also known as slide or reversal film, generates a positive image. This allows the photos to be shown with a projector or light box.
This is unique from the more prevalent negative film emulsions that result in pictures that need inverting the colors in order to be seen.
Slide films are viewed as very hard to use because slide film has far less dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for great skin tones and fine grain. There’s not any hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome has a daylight color balance.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a sharp color balanced for daylight film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving photos a distinct look. Matched against all the transparency films that are available, it has the highest resolving power.
You can also get it in an ISO 100 speed.
Fujichrome Provia 100F - Produces natural and vibrant colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It’s a daylight color balanced film with ultrafine grain.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, reported by Fomapan as having very fine grain, excellent resolving power, and increased levels of contrast. It is also billed as a replacement for the long discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Professional films cost more due to the fact they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and expanded latitude.
You should expect to see a disparity in availability. Consumer film emulsions can quite often be found in pharmacies and big-box stores in limited quantities. Professional level film emulsions should be ordered from a specialized photography store or online retailer.
A film’s sensitivity to light is represented by the ISO.
The higher the film’s ISO, the less light will be needed to expose an image. In addition, be prepared for larger sized film grain.
ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) might be challenging to use handheld with the N60. This is because in the absence of full sun, the exposure times are going to be longer than what you could handhold without producing motion blur.
A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod can help you with longer exposure times. The extra accessories may not be needed if you choose a higher speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.
The ISO knob is listed as ASA on the Nikon N60. The shift to using 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 still producing usable photographs. Pro film stocks have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat higher price.
Negative film has more latitude compared to reversal film. That is a reason it is considered more challenging to use.
The difference between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph is referred to as dynamic range. Sections of a picture that are not in this range will be rendered as solid black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.
A larger dynamic range is preferable because a bigger range can make shooting in a variety of lighting situations easier.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
The constrained dynamic range of transparency film is an additional reason it’s considered challenging to shoot. Golden hour is the best time to use transparency.
35mm film that is in canisters is used by the Nikon N60. It can also be described as 135 film, and it is the most popular type of film.
120 or 220 film, used in medium format cameras, is the only other type of film you are likely to see}.
Switching the film stock you are using will transform the look of your photographs. This is one of the fantastic things about shooting film.
DX Coded Film
Most available 35mm film distributed at this point has DX encoding. This makes it possible for cameras to auto detect and set the ISO when the film canister is put in the camera.
DX-coding isn’t going to matter for the Nikon N60 because ISO needs to be manually set with the ASA knob.
Nikon N60 Resources
Where to Get Film Developed?
You will find a range of choices for where to have 35mm film processed. For a more in depth explanation of the choices have a look at my guide on Where to Develop Film.
WARNING: Film does not get developed on location at pharmacies and big box stores. They send the film away to be processed by a separate company. Because of that, you will not get your developed negatives back.
- Develop Film at Home
- Use a Local Photography Lab
- Use a Mail Order Photo Lab
- Pharmacy or Big Box Store
Sending film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the most convenient solution if you’re just starting to use film. A downside to this is that it gets pricey if you are frequently using film.
As long as you’re shooting a moderate to high volume of film, there are two actions that can be done to reduce your expenses.
Bulk Loading Film
One of the best ways to save some money on film is to buy a bulk roll of 100 feet of film and load canisters by hand.
After you’ve finished, you’ll end up getting typically around 18 rolls of 36 exposures each. Based on the film stock you can expect to save 20%-30%.
Keep in mind that you are going to be limited to 100’ rolls of black and white film. This is due to black and white film is much easier and more affordable to process at home.
Home Developing and Scanning
All film can be developed by hand. It is a great option to reduce costs so you can use more film with your Nikon N60.
Black and white film is by far the easiest to process at home. Developer temperature and time are not as vital to do correctly with black & white films as they are for color negative or slide film.