Best Film for the Nikon N65 (F65)

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: May 30, 2020
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Best 35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Nikon N65 will depend on the lens, available light, and if you want to use color or black & white.

To avoid having to haul around a flash and/or tripod, get a 35mm film that has an ISO of 400 or higher.

Make sure that you have a fast lens if you want to shoot photographs in low light, conditions that are commonly encountered indoors.

Color Film

Consumer

Box of Kodak UltraMax 400 ISO 35mm film for cameras

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film works well in a variety of lighting conditions and is a terrific pick for a color 35mm film. Using this film you should have the ability to handhold the N65 in lots of circumstances.

The pictures will have terrific skin tones and lean towards the warm side.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Another option that could have far better availability based on what country you are in.

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

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't very many offerings. This is literally the only 35mm film targeted towards consumers.

In addition, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also sold in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that started production in the mid-1980s. It offers the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "classic" film look.

To bring the best look out of the film, make sure to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will help you achieve the exceptional 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 it by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is well known for.

Kodak Portra is also available for purchase in ISO 160 and 800 emulsions. It is also offered in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Kodak Portra 400, but with "Fuji colors." Expect more vibrant blues and greens.

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

Black and White Film

Consumer

With affordable prices and more than acceptable favorable to try in the Nikon N65.

The main attraction for budget-minded photographers and photography students is the very low price. Even if you would not put yourself in that group, it's great to have relatively cheap rolls of 35 film readily available for testing recently delivered used gear.

Kentmere 400 black & white 35mm camera film

Kentmere 400 - It is made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good since that allows this to be the most widely sold B&W film out 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.

An excellent 35mm film to use for your initial few attempts at home developing or film photography. Also, a good selection if you are trying out a camera to ensure that it's working properly.

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

They make developer kits for color film, so if you develop film at home you may have already interacted with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 are the 2 top-selling black & white films. They do have a large number of traits that are similar that helps make them popular while maintaining different looks.

You can achieve high-quality results after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. A 35mm roll of film can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them remarkably flexible.

Ilford HP5+ ISO 400 35mm Film

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The largest differences are that HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast when compared to Tri-X. Lower levels of contrast can be nice because of the fact that contrast can be adjusted when making a darkroom print or through digital post-processing.

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

Kodak Professional Tri-X 400TX Film Stock

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

You're going to certainly notice considerably more contrast with this film emulsion. That's notable if that is the overall look you will want because it involves a smaller amount of work when making a print in the darkroom or during digital post-processing.

Transparency Film

Transparency film, also known as reversal or slide film, results in a positive picture. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to showcase the photographs.

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

Slide films are perceived as very difficult to use because slide film has far less dynamic range and latitude 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 will not appear oversaturated. It has been balanced for daylight.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a very sharp daylight-balanced reversal film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving pictures an appealing look. When compared with all the transparency films offered, it has the top resolving power.

There's another version that is ISO 100.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Delivers natural and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It's a film balanced for daylight with an ultra-fine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, described by Fomapan as having fine grain, elevated levels of contrast, and very good resolving power. It's also regarded as a replacement for the long-discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and bigger latitude, which is the reason they are more expensive.

There might be a big difference in businesses that sell it. Consumer film stocks can oftentimes be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in small amounts. Pro film stocks have to be ordered from an online retailer or specialized camera store.

Film ISO

A film's sensitivity to light is represented by the ISO.

The less light available to properly expose an image, the higher the ISO will be necessary. Furthermore, be prepared to see noticeably increased film grain.

It can be a challenge to handhold the N65 with ISO 100 or slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc). They will probably take longer can take longer than what you’re able to handhold without producing motion blur unless you're out in full sun.

A flash, fast lens, and/or tripod will help you with longer shutter speeds. Using a high-speed ISO 800 or ISO 400 film is likely to make the extra accessories unnecessary.

The ISO is set by the Nikon N65 electronically. This is different from previous SLRs that use a physical ISO knob.

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the number of stops film can be overexposed while keeping good images. Pro films have a larger latitude paired with a somewhat higher cost.

Negative film has a larger amount of latitude than reversal film. That is one of the reasons it's viewed as challenging to work with.

Dynamic Range

The range between the shadows and highlights details of a picture is referred to as dynamic range. Parts of a picture that are not in this range will be seen as totally white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.

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

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

The small dynamic range of transparency film is a second factor it's considered to be challenging to shoot. The perfect time to give it a try is during the golden hour.

Film Type

The Nikon N65 uses 35mm film that is sold in metal canisters. 35mm film can also be referred to as 135 film, and it's the most frequently used film format.

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

Switching the film stock you are using will change the look of your shots. This is an example of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Nearly all new 35mm film offered for sale at this point has DX encoding on the canister. This makes it possible for cameras to auto-detect and set the ISO when the film is loaded into the camera.

DX-coding is makes a difference as the Nikon N65 will set the film ISO automatically.

Nikon N65 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

You will find a range of possible choices for where to get 35mm film processed. For a more extensive discussion of the options, you can check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film does not get processed locally at pharmacies and big box stores. They ship the film off to be processed by a third party. Because of that, you won't get 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

Sending your film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the simplest solution if you are just starting to use film. If you frequently shoot film, this could be a disadvantage due to the fact that it can get pricey.

Assuming that you're using a moderate to high volume of film, there are a couple of activities that you can do to minimize your costs.

Bulk Loading Film

Considered one of the ideal methods to lower your expenses on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load canisters by hand.

A 100-foot roll can fill about 18 canisters of film containing 36 frames. Count on savings of 20-30% based on your selection.

Take into account that you're going to be limited to rolls of black & white film. This is due to black & white film is much easier and more affordable to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

It is simple to process and digitize film yourself. In fact, it's an intelligent option to lower your costs so you can use more film with your Nikon N65.

Black & white film is much simpler to develop. Developer temperature and development times are not as vital to do correctly with black & white films as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.

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