The best film to use in your Nikon N80 will depend on the lighting, lens, and if you want to shoot color or black & white.
Taking advantage of an ISO 400 35mm or faster will help you skip being burdened with a flash and/or tripod.
Make sure you have a fast lens if you want to shoot pictures in low light, conditions that are frequently encountered indoors.
Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film works well in a multitude of lighting conditions and is a fantastic option for a 35mm color film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the N80 in almost all situations.
The pictures will have extremely good colors and lean towards the warm side.
Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Based on your location, this film can have greater availability. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak.
Fujifilm pictures appear to have cooler tones with an emphasis on greens and blues compared to Kodak.
Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't many offerings. For film stocks focused on consumers, Lomography 800 is the only available choice.
Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also offered in 120 film format.
Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 gives the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "nostalgic" film look.
Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to bring out the most popular look the film has to offer. This will provide you with the spectacular colors everyone loves Kodak Gold 200 for.
Kodak Portra 400 - Among film shooting enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is definitely the most frequently used color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose Portra 400 by 1 or 2-stops to get the rendering the film is highly regarded for.
There are also ISO 800 and 160 emulsions of Portra. 8x10 sheets, 4x5 sheets, and rolls of 120 are also easily found.
Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equivalent to Portra, but with a different color appearance. Expect stronger greens and blues.
It's offered in rolls of 120, but not in 8x10 or 4x5 sheets.
Black and White Film
With low costs and good favorable to use in the Nikon N80.
The primary attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very affordable price. Even if you do not put yourself in those groups, it's good to have comparatively cheap rolls of film on hand for evaluating recently acquired camera gear.
Kentmere 400 - It's produced by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is good because that makes this the most commonly sold film of the three.
Foma Fomapan 400 Action - Is likely to be less difficult to purchase in Europe as the film is manufactured inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.
An excellent film to employ for your first few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Also, a good selection if you're attempting to try out a camera to ensure that it's completely operational.
Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - You can get the cheapest price by ordering it directly from Ultrafine.
They sell developer kits for 35mm color film, so if you process film at home you might have already done business with them.
Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 top-selling black & white film stocks. They do have a large number of capabilities that are similar that makes them so well-liked while maintaining individual rendering.
You can create good photographs after pushing both film emulsions 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.
Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The fundamental differences are that HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be helpful due to the fact that contrast can be increased when making a darkroom print or during digital post-processing.
The film stock has subdued grain and still appears excellent when pushed 2-stops.
Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film features a more distinctive rendering. To produce the old-school grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it will need to be processed in D-76.
You're going to certainly see higher levels of contrast with this film stock. That is awesome if that is the overall look you are after because it results in significantly less work when through digital processing or making a darkroom print.
Film emulsions that create a positive image are commonly referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. That means a lightbox or projector can be used to show the photographs.
This is distinct from the more often used negative film stocks that make images that require inverting the colors in order to be viewed.
Slide films have far less dynamic range and latitude when compared with negative film and so they are viewed as harder to work with.
Kodak Ektachrome 100 - The film is known for fine grain and attractive skin tones. There is almost no hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome has a daylight color balance.
Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Produces distinct looking photos that have appreciably increased amounts of contrast and saturation. It is a razor-sharp daylight color balanced film. Out of all the reversal films offered, it has the highest resolving power.
There's also another speed that is ISO 100.
Fujifilm Provia 100F - Offers realistic and vivid colors with moderate color saturation and contrast. It's an ultrafine grain film with a daylight color balance.
Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white transparency film, marketed by Fomapan as having very good resolving power, elevated levels of contrast, and very fine grain. It is also billed as an alternative for the discontinued Agfa Scala reversal film.
Consumer vs Professional Film
Pro films cost more because they have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and expanded latitude.
There is a big difference in where film can be purchased. Consumer film stocks can generally still be found in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic quantities. Pro film needs to be purchased from a photography store or online retailer.
A film's light sensitivity is shown as the ISO.
The less light available to expose an image, the higher the ISO of the film needs to be. Furthermore, be prepared for noticeably increased film grain.
It is often problematic to handhold the N80 with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). They will probably be longer are going to take longer than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur unless you're working in full sun.
A tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash are going to assist you with longer shutter speeds. Using a fast ISO 800 or ISO 400 film will help make the additional accessories unnecessary.
The ISO is set by the Nikon N80 electronically. This is a change from previous cameras that have an ISO dial.
Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still having usable results. Pro film stocks have a greater latitude paired with a slightly higher price.
Negative film has a greater amount of latitude when compared to reversal film. That is one of the reasons it is thought of harder to use.
The range between the darkest and brightest details of an image is described as dynamic range. Sections of a photograph that are not in this range will appear as completely white overexposed highlights or totally black underexposed shadows.
When shooting in a variety of quickly shifting lighting conditions, films with a bigger dynamic range is better.
- Digital cameras 14+ stops
- Negative film up to 13 stops
- Slide film 6-8 stops
Reversal film is viewed as challenging to shoot as a consequence of the constrained dynamic range. An ideal time to give it a try would be during the golden hour.
The Nikon N80 takes 35mm film that is in canisters. In addition, it is the most widely used film format and sometimes referred to as 135 film.
120 or 220 film, used by medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are probably going to come across.
Switching the film stock you are working with will alter the look of your photos. This is an example of the best things about using film.
DX Coded Film
Virtually all available 35mm film offered today has DX encoding on the canister. This lets cameras to detect and set the ISO of the film canister loaded.
The ISO on the Nikon N80 does not have to be selected manually as long a film canister with DX-coding is used.
Nikon N80 Resources
Where to Get Film Developed?
There are only a few possible choices for where to get 35mm film developed. For a more extensive discussion of the choices, you can check out my guide on Where to Get Film Developed.
WARNING: Film is not processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They send film away to be processed by a 3rd party. Because of that, you won't 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 least difficult solution and the method I suggest using if you're just getting started shooting film is to mail your film to a lab to be developed and scanned. If you consistently shoot film, this might be a drawback because it can get really expensive.
There are a few actions that can be done to minimize the costs involved in using film, assuming that you're shooting a medium to high volume of film.
Bulk Loading Film
Considered one of the most popular options to get a better price on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and load canisters yourself.
A 100-foot bulk roll can fill up roughly 18 canisters of film containing 36 frames. Look forward to cost savings of 20-30% depending on your choice.
Be aware that you're limited to bulk rolls of black & white film. This is due to the fact black & white film is easier and more cost-effective to process yourself.
Home Developing and Scanning
All film can be developed at home. It is an intelligent way to lower your costs so that you can use more film with your Nikon N80.
Black & white film is significantly simpler to process yourself. Temperature and development times are not as imperative to get correct with black and white films as temperatures and time are for transparency or color negative.