Best Film for the Nikon Nikkorex F

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

The best film to use in the Nikon Nikkorex F will have to be based on the available light, lens, and if you want to use color or black & white.

Working with an ISO 400 film or higher speed will let you eliminate having to carry around a flash or tripod.

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

Color Film

Consumer

Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film handles a multitude of lighting conditions well and is a terrific choice for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should be able to handhold the Nikkorex F in the majority of circumstances.

Expect photographs to appear slightly warm with pleasant skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - Depending on where you are in the world, this film could be more widely available. It's a top-quality alternative to Kodak emulsions.

Fujifilm photos tend to have cooler colors with stronger greens and blues, compared to Kodak.

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

Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, Lomography 800 is also available in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film emulsion that was launched in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 has the look and feel of family snapshots from the 80s and 90s. For the authentic shooting experience take advantage of a flash.

Over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops to create the best the film has to offer. This will produce the beautiful colors people love Gold 200 for.

Professional

Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 35mm Film

Kodak Portra 400 - Among the photography enthusiasts online, Portra 400 is by far the most popular color 35mm film emulsion. Overexpose the film by 1 or 2-stops to get the color the film is well known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm equal to Kodak's Portra, but with "Fuji colors." Expect to see stronger greens and blues.

It's sold in 120, but not in sheets of 8x10 or 4x5.

Black and White Film

Consumer

These film emulsions have affordable costs and good quality, making them favorable to use in the Nikon Nikkorex F.

The primary attraction for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very affordable cost. Even if you wouldn't put yourself in that group, it's great to have low-priced rolls of 35 film readily available for evaluating recently purchased used gear.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - It's made by the parent company of Ilford, Harmon Technology. This is great because that makes this the most commonly sold 35mm film of the 3.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - This is likely to be much easier to buy in Europe as the film is made inside of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

An ideal film stock to use for your initial few attempts at film photography or developing film at home. Also, a good option if you are trying out a camera to confirm that it's operating properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest place to buy this film is straight from Ultrafine.

They distribute developer kits for film, so if you process film at home you might have previously had interactions with them.

Professional

Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5+ 400 are the 2 most widely used black & white film stocks. They do have a lot of capabilities that are similar that make them so well received while keeping unique styles.

You can obtain professional photos after pushing both films 2-stops. This makes the film versatile as a roll can be shot at ISO 400, 800, or 1600.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film emulsions, HP5 Plus is more affordable and has lower levels of contrast. A lack of contrast can be a benefit because of the fact contrast can be changed when making a darkroom print or editing digitally.

The film still looks great when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subtle grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a stronger style to it. To showcase the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be processed in D-76.

Tri-X definitely has considerably more contrast. That's notable if it's the style you need because it involves significantly less work when through digital post-processing or printmaking.

Slide Film

Films that create a positive image are typically referred to as transparency, reversal, or slide film. That means a projector or light box can be used to showcase the pictures.

This is unique from the more often used negative film stocks that produce photographs that require the colors to be inverted so that they can be seen.

Slide films have a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude compared to negative film and so they are thought to be more challenging to work with.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a film known for fine grain and pretty skin tones. The colors won't seem oversaturated. Ektachrome is daylight color balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Creates unique looking images that have elevated amounts of contrast and saturation. It is sharp with a daylight color balance. Out of all the slide films you can get, it has the greatest resolving power.

An ISO 100 version is also available.

Fujifilm Provia 100F - Creates realistic and vibrant colors with medium contrast and color saturation. It's an ultrafine grain film balanced for daylight.

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Professional films cost more due to the fact that they are easier to push, have better dynamic range, and latitude.

There is a disparity in businesses that sell film. Consumer films can frequently be bought in big-box stores and pharmacies in anemic amounts. Pro film usually needs to be purchased from an online retailer or specialized camera store.

ISO

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

The higher the ISO, the less light is necessary to expose a film frame. Furthermore, be prepared for noticeably increased film grain.

It might be quite challenging to handhold the Nikkorex F with ISO 100 or slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc). They can take more time might take more time than what you are able to handhold without leading to motion blur unless you're shooting in full sun.

To avoid motion blur you are going to need to use a tripod, a fast lens, and/or a flash. The extra gear might not be needed if you pick a faster ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO knob is marked as ASA/ISO on the Nikon Nikkorex F. The switch to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while still keeping satisfactory results. Pro film stocks have a larger latitude along with a somewhat increased cost.

Negative film has more latitude compared to reversal film. That is a reason it's perceived as challenging to shoot.

Dynamic Range

Dynamic range is the range between the shadows and highlights details of a photograph that can be recorded. Sections of a photo that don't fit within this range will appear as totally white overexposed highlights or solid black underexposed shadows.

A larger dynamic range is preferable due to the fact that a larger range tends to make shooting in a variety of lighting conditions easier.

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

Transparency film is considered to be difficult to use due to the constrained dynamic range. The golden hour is the prime time to use reversal.

Film Type

The Nikon Nikkorex F uses 35mm film that is sold in canisters. It can also be described as 135 film, and it is the most widely used type of film.

The only other film format you are going to encounter to see is 120 or 220 film that is used with medium format cameras.

Changing the film you are using will alter the look of your shots. This is one of the best things about using film.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Virtually all new 35mm film offered currently has DX encoding on the canister. This lets electronically controlled cameras to automatically detect and set the ISO when the canister is loaded into the camera.

The ISO (ASA) on the Nikon Nikkorex F is required to be dialed in manually. For that reason, DX-coding doesn't make a difference.

Nikon Nikkorex F Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

There are a few choices for where to develop 35mm film. For a more complete explanation of the options take a look at my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn't get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They ship the film away to be processed by a separate company. Because of that, you will not receive your developed 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 your film to a mail-order lab to be processed and scanned is the most convenient choice if you are just beginning to use film. If you consistently shoot film, this could be a disadvantage due to the fact that it can get very expensive.

There are a couple of activities that can be done to lower the expenses required to use film, if you are going through a medium to high volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Purchasing a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading in into canisters yourself is considered one of the most common methods to lower your costs.

A 100-foot bulk roll should load typically around 18 canisters of film containing 36 exposures. Based on the film you are likely to save 20%-30%.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you are only going to be able to buy 100' rolls of black & white film. This is in part because black and white film is less difficult and more cost-effective to process yourself.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. In fact, it's a good method to cut costs so you can shoot more film with your Nikon Nikkorex F.

Black & white film is by far the least complicated to develop. Temperature and development times are not as imperative to do correctly with black & white films as time and temperatures are for slide or color negative.

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