Best Film for the Vivitar V3600

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 2, 2020
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35mm Film To Use

The best film to use in the Vivitar V3600 will be based on the lens, available light, and type of film you want to use.

Using an ISO 400 35mm or faster will enable you to eliminate being burdened with a flash and/or tripod.

If you have a need to shoot photos in low light, such as inside, make sure that you are using a fast lens.

Color Film


Consumer 35mm Color Negative Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - This film handles a large range of lighting conditions well and is a terrific option for a 35mm color film. Using Kodak UltraMax 400 you should have the ability to handhold the V3600 in the majority of situations.

Expect images to appear slightly warm with pleasant colors.

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

In comparison to Kodak, Fujifilm appears to be a small amount cooler with stronger greens and blues.

Lomography 800 - If you want a color 35mm film with an ISO of 800, there aren't many choices. This is literally the only 35mm film stock focused on consumers.

Furthermore, if you have a medium format camera, it is also offered in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200 - A staple film stock that debuted in the mid-1980s. Kodak Gold 200 provides the look and feel of home snapshots from the 80s and 90s. Use a flash to get the "classic" film look.

To really bring the best look out of the film, you will need to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will give you the idyllic colors everyone loves Kodak Gold for.


Kodak Portra 400 ISO Color Negative 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 rendering the film is well known for.

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

Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H - The Fujifilm emulsion that is closest to Kodak's Portra, but with a distinctive color appearance. Expect to see more vibrant blues and greens.

8x10 or 4x5 sheets of film aren't manufactured, but 120 is available.

Black and White Film


These film stocks have affordable prices and very good quality, making them very popular for use in the Vivitar V3600.

The primary appeal for photography students and budget-minded photographers is the very affordable price. Even if you wouldn't put yourself in that group, it's good to have comparatively cheap rolls of 35 film around for evaluating recently purchased used cameras.

Consumer Black & White 35mm Film

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is the owner of Ilford. This is good considering that makes this the most widely available 35mm film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will probably less difficult to buy in Europe as the film is manufactured out of the Czech Republic by Foma Bohemia.

An ideal film to use for your initial few attempts at developing film at home or analog photography. Additionally, a good option if you're attempting to check out a camera to guarantee that it's working properly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The cheapest store to get this film is directly from Ultrafine.

They manufacture developer kits for 35mm film, so if you process film at home you may have already had interactions with them.


Ilford HP-5 Plus 400 and Kodak Tri-X 400 are the 2 best black & white films. While they both have different styles, they possess a large amount of capabilities that are equivalent that help makes them so well-liked.

You can enjoy quality results after pushing both emulsions 2-stops. A roll can be used at ISO 400, 800, or 1600, making them very useful.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - The main differences are that HP5 Plus is less expensive and has lower levels of contrast compared to Tri-X. Minimal amounts of contrast can be advantageous because contrast can be adjusted when making a print in the darkroom or through digital post-processing.

The film emulsion still looks outstanding when pushed 2-stops. It is also notable for having subdued grain.

Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm Film

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion has got a more distinctive look. To produce the legendary grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it should be processed in Kodak D-76.

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

Slide Film

Film emulsions that create a positive image are often referred to as reversal, transparency, or slide film. That means a projector or lightbox can be used to display the pictures.

This is unique from the more prevalent negative film stocks that result in photographs that require inverting the colors so that they can be viewable.

Slide films are believed to be very difficult to work with due to the fact slide film has a smaller amount of dynamic range and latitude than negative film.

Kodak Ektachrome 100 35mm Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. There is almost no hypersaturation of colors. Ektachrome is daylight-balanced.

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - Produces signature looking shots that have elevated amounts of contrast and saturation. It is exceptionally sharp with a daylight color balance. Out of all the transparency films you can buy, it has the best resolving power.

An ISO 100 version is also offered.

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

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

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

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

There's a disparity in availability. Consumer film emulsions can usually still be bought from big-box stores and pharmacies in meager amounts. Professional film stocks will need to be ordered from an online retailer or photography store.

Film ISO

The ISO refers to the speed of the film, which may also be regarded as the film's sensitivity to light.

The less light there's available to properly expose an image, the bigger the ISO of the film should be. In addition, be prepared for increased film grain.

ISO 100 and slower films (ISO 25, ISO 50, etc) can be troublesome to shoot handheld with the V3600. This is because if you do not have full sun, the shutter speeds are going to be longer than what you could handhold without creating motion blur.

To get around motion blur you are going to need to use a tripod, flash, and/or fast lens. Using a high-speed ISO 400 or ISO 800 film probably will make the extra accessories unnecessary.

The ISO knob is listed as ISO on the Vivitar V3600. Lots of older cameras may use ASA instead of ISO. The shift to using ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) happened after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Film latitude is the range of stops a film can be overexposed while producing usable quality. Pro films have a larger latitude paired with a slightly increased cost.

Reversal film has a smaller amount of latitude when compared to negative film. That is one of the reasons why it's deemed to be challenging to use.

Dynamic Range

The range between the highlights and shadows details of an image is known as dynamic range. Sections of a photo that fall out of this range will be rendered as completely white overexposed highlights or completely black underexposed shadows.

A bigger dynamic range is preferable due to the fact that it tends to make shooting in a wide variety of lighting situations easier.

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

The small dynamic range of reversal film is another factor it is thought to be hard to shoot. The golden hour is the best time to shoot reversal film.

Film Type

35mm film that comes in metal canisters is used by the Vivitar V3600. It can also be described as 135 film, and it's the most widely used film format.

120 or 220 film, used in medium format cameras, is the only other film format you are going to encounter.

One of the terrific properties of film is that you can swap the film stock you work with and get a unique look to your photographs.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

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

DX-coding is not going to matter for the Vivitar V3600 because ISO is required to be dialed in manually with the ISO knob.

Vivitar V3600 Resources

Where to Get Film Developed?

There are only a few possible choices for where to get 35mm film developed. For a more complete explanation of the possible choices, check my guide on Where to Develop Film.

WARNING: Film does not get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film away to be developed by a 3rd party. That is why 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

Sending your film to a mail-order photo lab to be developed and scanned is the most straightforward choice if you are just starting to use film. If you regularly shoot film, this may be a disadvantage due to the fact that it can get pricey.

There are a few activities that can be done to help reduce the costs involved in shooting film, given that you're shooting a moderate to high-volume of film.

Bulk Loading Film

Certainly one of the most widely used ways to spend less money on film is to buy a roll of 100 feet of film and manually load canisters yourself.

Once you have finished, you'll find yourself with approximately 18 canisters of 36 exposures. Based on the film you can expect to save 20%-30%.

Be aware that you are only going to be able to get 100-foot rolls of black & white film. This is due to the fact black and white film is quite a bit easier and more cost-effective to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be developed by hand. In fact, it's an intelligent method to cut costs so you can use more film with your Vivitar V3600.

Black and white film is significantly less complicated to process. Developer temperature and development times are both not as imperative to do correctly with black & white films as they are for color negative or transparency film.

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