Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
The light-sensitive material used in most non-digital cameras to record an image.
Get the new ON1 Photo 10 and Save $100 Today. Use Code: GetPhoto10 View Offer
This is used to describe the area of a film used by a camera to record a photo. A 35mm format camera records a 24x36mm image on the film. Medium format cameras record anything from 6x4.5cm to 6x17cm on 120 and 220 roll film. When choosing a medium-format some photographers prefer the square 6x6cm format because it offers an alternative shape to the conventional oblong, but also saves you having to think in a portrait or landscape way. The cropping can be done later when printing the results. As the format increases, potential quality improves, while the number of pictures that can be recorded on a roll of film decreases. You can shoot 15 pictures on a 6x4.5cm camera, 12 on a 6x6cm camera and 10 on a 6x7cm camera and just 4 on a 6x17cm camera.
Most cameras now set the speed film automatically using DX coded film cassettes, but if there's a dial you can usually override. This can be used to uprate a film or adjust to suit your shooting preferences or to bring an out of calibration exposure meter back in line.
A rotating set of four icons on the base of an APS film cartridge that indicates what stage the film is at unexposed, partly-exposed, fully-exposed but not processed and processed.
Light-sensitive film thats held in sheet film holders for use in large format cameras.
Film sold in long uncut lengths. It usually works out much cheaper in this form and is cut into required lengths.
Colour film balanced for subjects lit with a colour temperature source of 5500K.
A film that produces a photograph with significantly different colours than our eye sees, such as Ektachrome Infrared.
A two-sided frame that holds a sheet of film on either side for use with large format cameras.
The area in the back of the camera where film is positioned during exposure.
A unit used to record digital images onto transparency or negative film.
Used to indicate the light sensitivity of a film as ISO. Digital cameras also use the ISO rating to indicate the CCD sensitivity.
High contrast film that produces negatives with intense black & whites and very minimal mid tones.
A meter reading taken from the image that appears on the film surface during exposure. Its main use is for through-the-lens flash exposure readings.
A film to produces transparencies that are viewed with projected light.
A clour film that is balanced to remove the yellow cast that you would obtain when taking pictures in tungsten light sources of 3200K.
Black & white film that is sensitive to all colours of the visible spectrum.
Advanced Photo System, a camera and film system designed jointly by Kodak, Fuji, Nikon, Canon and Minolta. The film cartridge, with a slightly smaller film than 35 mm film, is as easy to load as a battery film as it slots effortlessly into a chamber on the camera, and can be exchanged for another film without having to finish the roll. It also has a status indictor on one end showing if the film is unused, partially used, used but unprocessed or processed. So you won't hand in an unexposed roll for processing or put a film through the camera twice and double expose everything. The system allows the photographer to have his settings recorded on the back of his prints, which is automatically done by the processing lab. Although a few APS SLR models were made by Canon and one other manufacturer, most APS cameras tend to be compact and easy to use, but they are often less versatile than 35mm cameras at equivalent price points. The APS system is now regarded as an interim product, used only by consumers, which was popular for a short time, until better compact cameras became available at affordable prices. Most manufacturers have discontinued production of APS cameras. APS film is still available here and there, and processing labs still accept APS film.
Reciprocity law states that as you increase the intensity of light reaching the film you also need to decrease the speed it reaches the film by the equivalent amount. Most films work quite happily between exposures of 1/2sec and 1/1000sec, but go beyond these extremes with a very low intensity of light and a long exposure or a very high intensity of light and a correspondingly short exposure and the law fails an exposure increase may be required when the shutter speed is beyond these limits. At these extremes the law fails. Compensation is required to adjust for this, but there is no strict rule to correct the error. Most film and paper manufacturers provide technical details on request with a rough guide to exposure adjustments. As a rough guide for an exposure of one second you would increase the speed to two seconds, or open the aperture by one stop. A speed of 10sec would need to be increased to about 50sec or open the aperture up two stops. With black & white film you only have to worry about this exposure correction, but with colour film does not only suffer from exposure problems but also colour casts. A colour film is made up of three individual colour layers, each layer suffers from reciprocity failure at different levels. On an uncorrected film the shadows may have a magenta colour cast but the highlights may suffer from a cyan cast. To correct the cast not only would a longer exposure be needed but also the inclusion of a colour correction filter of a low value, care would have to be taken in choosing the correct filter otherwise an over corrected result may appear.
A technique used to gain speed with a film. You manually override its ISO speed, using the film speed dial or exposure compensation dial, to make the film more sensitive. To film would then be given longer in the developer.
If the camera has interchangeable backs you can change a film mid-roll so you could shoot colour and black & white within seconds of each other. This is also useful if you have several users using a camera - each could have there own film back. It's also good to record specific subjects on the same roll of film. For example you're out walking and you could take flowers on one and landscapes on the other. Many medium-format cameras have the option of changing format with different backs. You could, for example shoot 6x7cm, 6x4.5cm and 35mm from the same camera using three different backs. Polaroid backs are also available for many cameras. This means you could shoot a Polaroid print and instantly check lighting, composition or exposure and then replace with the conventional film.
A removable plastic or metal sheet that slides into a sheet-film holder or film magazine to protect film from light when the holder is removed from the camera.
A pattern on the base of APS film cartridges that tells the camera the film speed and number of exposures, so when loading a film you don't have to worry about getting it wrong. Or, in a more general sense, a data disc can be any disc with electronic files on it.
Coding on a film cassette that is read by sensors in the camera's film chamber. The coding holds film characteristics such as the ISO rating and number of exposures.
Where you accidentally expose an unprocessed film to light and create an unwanted veil of density. Sometimes cameras have a light leak around the sealed film chamber and the fogging appears as orange streaks spreading across the film.