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Basics

Don’t be intimidated by the long names of some films – they’re easy to break down once you know what each part means.

Let’s say I’m shooting a common film: Kodak Portra 400 220.

Kodak is the name of the film maker. You’ll most likely encounter Kodak or Fuji as your film maker.

Portra is the film stock. Different stocks have characteristics that are quite noticeable.

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Both: Contax 645, Fuji 400H, 80mm lens, f/2. Bali.

DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE LONG NAMES OF SOME FILMS – THEY’RE EASY TO BREAK DOWN ONCE YOU KNOW WHAT EACH PART MEANS.

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Contax 645, Fuji 400H, 80mm lens, f/2. Oahu, HI.

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All: Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400, 80mm lens, f/2. Seattle, WA.

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400 is the ISO of the film, where ISO equals light sensitivity. (You know this from your digital gear!) Film stock comes in ISO 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200, increasing in noticeable grain as the ISO gets closer to 3200.

220 is the size of the film – in this example, 30+ exposures of medium format film. 120 indicates 15+ exposures of medium format film. 35mm indicates that it’s intended for use in a 35mm camera. Pro rolls of 35mm film typically contain 36 exposures.

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