Best Film for the Vivitar V3600

Best Vivitar V3600 35mm Film

The best film to use in the Vivitar V3600 will depend on the lens, available light, and if you want to use color or black & white.

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

If you need to shoot pictures inside or anytime there is low light, ensure you have a fast lens. Read my article on the 5 Best Lenses for the Vivitar V3600 for lens ideas.

Color Film


Kodak UltraMax 400 35mm Film

Kodak UltraMax 400 - The film works well in a plethora of lighting conditions and is a terrific choice for a color 35mm film. The film is fast enough so that you should be able to handhold the V3600 in the vast majority of scenarios.

Expect photographs to look a bit warm with gorgeous skin tones.

Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400

Fujifilm Superia X-TRA ISO 400 - An alternative to Kodak that might have better availability depending on where you are in the world.

Fujifilm photographs tend to have cooler colors with notable blues and greens, compared to Kodak.

Lomography Color Negative 800 ISO

Lomography 800 - There are a few options if you want a color ISO 800 35mm film. For 35mm film emulsions targeted towards consumers, this is the sole option.

Additionally, if you own a medium format camera, it’s also for sale in 120 film format.

Kodak Gold 200

Kodak Gold 200 - An awesome solution to achieve that mid-1980s through 90s rendering. For the authentic shooting experience try an on-camera flash.

To really bring the best look out of this film, you’ll want to over-expose it by 1 or 2-stops. This will provide you with the stunning colors everyone loves Gold 200 for.


Kodak Portra 400

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

Plus, ISO 160 and ISO 800 versions of Portra. Portra is also offered in rolls of 120, 4x5 sheets, and 8x10 sheets.

Black and White Film


These film stocks have low costs and excellent quality, making them quite popular to be used in the Vivitar V3600.

The primary appeal for budget minded photographers and photography students is the reasonable cost. Even if you don’t put yourself in that group, it’s great to have low cost rolls of film on hand for testing newly purchased camera gear.

Kentmere 400

Kentmere 400 - Made by Harmon Technology, which is also the owner of Ilford. This is great because that makes this the most broadly available B&W film of the three.

Foma Fomapan 400 Action

Foma Fomapan 400 Action - It will probably easier to acquire in Europe as the film is manufactured by Foma Bohemia inside of the Czech Republic.

An ideal 35mm film to use for your initial couple of attempts at film photography or developing film at home. Also a good selection if you happen to be testing out a camera to check that it is functioning correctly.

Ultrafine eXtreme 400

Ultrafine eXtreme 400 - The best store to get this film is straight from Ultrafine.

They have developer kits for color 35mm film, so if you develop film at home you might have already interacted with them.


The two most widely used black and white 35mm films are Kodak Tri-X 400 and Ilford HP-5 Plus 400. They possess numerous qualities in common that help make them popular, while preserving different rendering.

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

Ilford HP5 Plus 400

Ilford HP5 Plus 400 - Between the two film stocks, HP5 Plus has lower levels of contrast and is more affordable. Minimal contrast can be good because of the fact contrast can be adjusted when making a darkroom print or through digital post processing.

The film stock has subdued grain and still looks outstanding when pushed 2-stops.

Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X 400 - This film emulsion possesses a more distinctive style. To produce the classic grain structure, contrast, and look of the film, it needs to be processed in Kodak D-76.

Kodak Tri-X undeniably has considerably more contrast. That is awesome if it is the look and feel you would like because it involves less work when through digital processing or making a darkroom print.

Reversal Film

Slide film, also known as reversal film or transparency film, provides a positive image. This allows the slides to be shown with a projector or light box.

This is different from the more readily available negative films that produce photos that require inverting the colors in order to be viewable.

Slide films are perceived as difficult to shoot due to the fact slide film has much less dynamic range and latitude when compared to negative film.

Kodak Ektrachrome E100 Transparency Film

Kodak Ektachrome 100 - This is a fine grain film known for beautiful skin tones. There’s virtually no hypersaturation of colors. It’s daylight color balanced.

Fujichrome Velvia 50

Fujifilm Velvia 50 - This is a sharp daylight balanced slide film with high levels of saturation and contrast, giving images a unique look. Matched against all the reversal films you can buy, it has the best resolving power.

An ISO 100 version is also available.

Fujichrome Provia 100F

Fujichrome Provia 100F - Creates vibrant and natural colors with medium color saturation and contrast. It’s a daylight color balanced film with ultrafine grain.

Foma Fomapan R100

Foma Fomapan R100 - This is a black and white slide film, marketed by Fomapan as having increased levels of contrast, very fine grain, and very good resolving power. It is also billed as a substitute for the discontinued Agfa Scala transparency film.

Film Basics

Consumer vs Professional Film

Pro film stock have a greater dynamic range, are easier to push, and increased latitude, which is the reason pro-film costs more.

There’s a disparity in supply. Consumer film emulsions can generally be seen in big-box stores and pharmacies in limited quantities. Pro film stocks usually need to be ordered from a online retailer or specialized camera store.


The ISO shows the speed of the film, that can also be regarded as the film’s sensitivity to light.

The higher the ISO, the less light is required to expose a photograph. This comes at the expense of larger sized film grain.

ISO 100 and slower speed films (ISO 50, ISO 25, etc) can be hard to use handheld in the V3600. This is because without full sun, the shutter speeds will probably be longer than what you are able to handhold without resulting in motion blur.

A fast lens, flash, and/or tripod are going to assist you with longer exposure times. The extra gear might not be needed if you get a faster ISO 800 or ISO 400 film.

The ISO selection knob is labeled as ASA on the Vivitar V3600. The shift to labeling ISO from ASA (American Standards Association) came after the creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Film Latitude

Latitude is the amount of stops film can be overexposed while still retaining adequate quality. Professional films have a greater latitude paired with a slightly higher cost.

Transparency film has less latitude in comparison with negative film. That is one of the reasons it is deemed to be challenging to work with.

Dynamic Range

The range between the darkest and brightest parts of a photo is referred to as dynamic range. Areas of an image that don’t fit within this range will be rendered as totally black underexposed shadows or white overexposed highlights.

When shooting in a variety or quickly changing lighting conditions, film stocks with a bigger dynamic range are a superior choice.

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

The small dynamic range of transparency film is another reason it’s thought to be a challenge to shoot. Golden hour is the ideal time to shoot slide.

Film Type

The Vivitar V3600 uses 35mm film that comes in metal canisters. It’s also the best-selling type of film and in some instances is called 135 film.

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

One of the fantastic properties of film is that you can swap the film emulsion you use and get a fresh look to your photographs.

DX Coded Film

DX Encoding on a 35mm Film Canister

Just about all available 35mm film offered these days has a DX code. This makes it possible for electronically controlled cameras to auto detect and set the ISO when the film is put in the camera.

The ISO (ASA) on the Vivitar V3600 needs to be manually selected. As a result DX-coding does not do anything.

Vivitar V3600 Resources

Where to Get 35mm Film Developed?

You will find a few possible choices for where to get 35mm film processed. For a more detailed discussion of the choices check out my article on Where to Get Film Developed.

WARNING: Film doesn’t get processed locally at big box stores and pharmacies. They mail film off-site to be developed by a 3rd party. That is why, you won’t be given 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

Sending film to a mail-order lab to be developed and scanned is the easiest choice if you’re just beginning to use film. A disadvantage to this is that it gets pricey if you frequently use film.

As long as you’re shooting a medium to high volume of film, there are a couple of things that can be done to cut back on your expenses.

Bulk Loading Film

Purchasing a roll of 100 feet of film and manually loading in into canisters by hand is certainly one of the most well known ways to lower expenses.

Once you’ve finished, you will find yourself with typically around 18 canisters of 36 exposures. Count on discounts of 20-30% based on your pick.

Bear in mind that you are only going to be able to get rolls of black and white film. This is in part because black & white film is less difficult and more cost-effective to process at home.

Home Developing and Scanning

All film can be processed by hand. In fact it’s an intelligence option to spend less so you can use more film with your Vivitar V3600.

Black and white film is significantly less complicated to process at home. Chemical temperature and development times are both not as important to get correct with black & white films as temperatures and time are for transparency or color negative.