How to Get That Film Look Straight Out of Your Nikon DSLR

We know, we know: just shoot film if you want that film look

There is a reason film simulation presets are so popular, and that there are entire websites and communities of photographers built up around them. They look good and have interesting options you don’t get (usually) right out of a digital camera.

Nikon DSLR cameras equipped with the ‘Set picture control’ functionality have the functionality to allow for users to make custom profiles on their PC and import them into their camera for a unique look compared to what comes with the camera by default. This could be a great way for you film lovers to get some digital images into your workflow without needing to spend a ton of time on post-processing tweaks. The process to use this is quite simple too.

Matt Granger has been shooting Nikon and making Youtube videos for years, and in this great video, he shows us how to find custom Nikon profiles others have made, where to get them, and how to install them onto your Nikon DLSR. As you will see, the process is so simple there really is little reason not to give it a try.

Now there are some important things to know. First, these profiles apply to your JPEG images only (as well as any previews of the image, aka what you see on the rear LCD) and they will not affect your RAW files at all. So, in order to use this, and have images to share, you will need to shoot in RAW+Jpeg mode or render our jpeg files in the camera afterward. Secondly, this is only available to Nikon DSLR cameras that have the ‘Set Picture Mode’ menu option. It will not work on any other Nikon camera (or any other camera brand for that matter).

As you all know, we are big fans of film at The Phoblographer, so any tool that helps photographers achieve a film look in a realistic and meaningful way is a winner in our book. However, one final disclaimer about this – do your research on where you get these presets from prior to installing on your camera. The last thing you want is for there to be some sort of virus or issue with the files that compromise the security of your gear.

Make sure and check out the rest of Matt’s videos over on his Youtube channel.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.