Taking the Guesswork Out of Film Speeds

After understanding why it is important to use different film speeds for different situations, it is time to focus on the actual film speeds. Using a different speed film for different situations can have different results. Here is a quick run down of the most common film types and when it is best to use them.

100 Speed Film

The perfect film for the great outdoors, as long as the sun is shining. When used correctly, it can deliver a bright, crisp, clear photograph with the most accurate colors and the sharpest detail. This film speed works great for still life and close up shots.

200 Speed Film

Going up a step, we have a great color film. The colors are even better than 100. It is also good for slow action, still life and close ups, if not better. It can be used both outdoors and indoors, but be sure to watch the lighting.

400 Speed Film

This is the most popular film choice. 400 Speed film is a great every day, every situation film. It is known as an all-purpose film. Your photographs will turn out nice and bright with full vibrant color and a distinct sharpness. It works best with a flash, however can be used indoors and outdoors. What made it better than the previous two, is that it the “action” film. If you are at a sports event or trying to photograph a moving object or person, this is your film. It will stop the action and looks great!

800 Speed Film

In Kodak’s world, this high speed film is known as Gold Max. It is the best of the best, and came several years after 400 Speed became so popular. The 800 Speed Film tolerates exposure errors well and is extremely tolerant of overexposure. However, as you get higher up in the film speeds, your photographs lose a crispness and they become a tad grainer. They also have reduced color saturation and reduced color accuracy.

1000-3200 Speed Film

The professional film. Although, in more recent years, many people utilize it for general photography purposes as well. It is the perfect film for extreme movement, but lacks tremendously on the color/saturation and has an extremely grainy development at the end. Certainly not the best all around film.