Friday, March 29, 2013

Contributor | What film to use

It's Laura from BOOKM▲▲RKS back in the house :) Last time I posted about celebs who shoot analogue for some inspirations and a bit of a warm up, this time I'd like to talk to you specifically about different types of films.
// ISO 200 is best used on sunny day

I have to admit it, I've had quite a few fails with my film rolls. Nothing came out of my film roll. Some photos were really dark. Some photos were blurry. Having the you-don't-know-what-you-get-until-you-develop-your-film-roll scenario, the results could either be an amazing surprise or at times a disappointment. But that's okay and that's a part of the excitement right? It's all about trials and errors and learning the character of your camera and getting the hang of it.

One thing I've learnt that I want to share with you: choosing the right film to use at the right the occasion and light condition is really important for your photoshoot. Depends on what kind of camera you are using, some lomo cameras or point and shoot film cameras have very limited settings. When you don't have many options to control over your camera, the type of film you use becomes a very important element to give you the results that you want.
// ISO 200 is still a good compromise for overcast days or under the shades. 

There's a selection of film rolls with different types of ISO or ASA, which is pretty much the film speed ratings. It's a kind of measure of film sensitivity to light. What you need to remember: the lower the ISO number, the slower the film speed, and therefore more light is required for exposures. Here are a few general tips on which film types to use for different occasions.

ISO 100 - best for outdoor events with bright lighting, like sunny days at the beach or snow
ISO 200 - for similar condition as ISO 100, also great for overcast days
ISO 400 - great for general all purpose use, both outdoor or indoor with natural lighting, rainy days
ISO 800 or above - faster film speed best for evening or fast moving subject in a lower light condition without using flash

// One of the photos that I wish I have taken with ISO 400 instead of ISO 200. It was gloomy grey rainy foggy day, this photo is just too dark and you can't really see many details. 

Having said that, depending on what kind of results you're after, you might want to experiment using different films for different conditions outside these guides. I personally use ISO 200 most of the times just because that type of film happens to be the easiest one for me to get. So most of my photo examples here are using ISO 200, which I have used at lower light condition but I actually didn't mind the results I got.
// This photo is also dark, taken with ISO 200. But I didn't actually mind this being dark and grainy because I like the ambience it brings to this photo. 

I don't really want to bore you with ISO talking, but lastly I just wanted to point out that whether you are using a digital or a film camera, in general the same photography technique applies to both. I love the portrait photography tips that Jenni posted here, pretty much all the tips she mentioned there are definitely helpful for film photography as well so kudos to Jenni!
// Another photo taken with ISO 200 in the evening time that I'm quite happy with. Could definitely be clearer should I used ISO 400, but I didn't mind the grainy looks. 

// ISO 400 is great for general use outdoor or indoor with natural lighting. The yellowish colour is probably coming from the fact that I used expired film.

// This is why they say it's great for general all purpose use, I used ISO 400 for bright sunny day on the beach and I still got good photo without having it over exposed. 

Hope you'll find this useful, and if you do have more tips please do leave a comment and let me know! Or if you have any further questions, I'll try my best to answer if not research the answer for you. Happy Friday everyone!

Laura Tj
Here Comes the Sun Contributor


  1. really great and useful post! Thanks for sharing ♥

  2. thanks for sharing this, going to look out for the ISO on my next film load

  3. Thank you so much!I've just today decided to dig out my old film Nikon and give it a go again, and I am very glad to know what kind of film to buy ^.^ Very good Post! ♥

  4. Such handy tips. I pretty much always end up using 400 film these days since it's pretty much the only thing ever in stores .

  5. This is great. I used to use my film camera a whole lot but now not so much. I'm going to start using it a lot again just because it's really fun to see how your photos came out.

  6. Thanks for the tips! I'm intimidated by film cameras but this helps!


  7. Very useful tips Laura! I've stopped using lomo cams for a while and have forgotten how to use all these films! It gets me excited to use it again! I can't wait! Maybe in future you should share some of your fav shots taken by different lomo cams!


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