Understanding Film Format Sizes: Comparing 110, 35mm & 120 on LomoChrome Purple

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With the new Lomomatic 110 Camera hitting the market, let's take a closer look at what it means to shoot 110, 35 mm, or 120 film. When we buy a roll of film, they are identified by these numbers in their names that describe their format and size, which let us know with which cameras they are compatible.

Here we have made a test, comparing each film format side by side, to show you what each frame size covers. Many times, this is difficult to visualize so here we have a set of images that clearly show what you can achieve with each format.

From left to right: Lomomatic 110, Canon AE1 35 mm, Hasselblad 120.

We used the same lens for all the formats – a classic 50 mm focal length on the 35 mm camera, and for the medium format, we had a 50 mm lens mounted. The Lomomatic 110 comes with a 23 mm focal length. 110 film has a crop factor of 2.022x. to a 35 mm film. After we have calculated the crop factor, a 23 mm is equivalent to a 46.5 onto a 35 mm. Therefore, the field of view is close to equal on all the cameras tested. We choose to shoot our comparison test on 2021 LomoChrome Purple Pétillant 35 mm ISO 100–400

Let's start with the smaller format all the way up to the biggest to understand these common commercial film formats.

110

  • Cartridge-based film
  • Negative size – 13 mm x 17 mm

Coming in a small plastic cartridge, you don't have to touch the film to load or unload your 110 film in the camera and it also automatically rewinds. Lightweight and pocket-sized, this is the perfect street photography format to suit fast and unpredictable moments. 110 film comes with lower resolution compared to the others, due to the small frame.

Photos taken with Lomomatic 110 Camera. Photo by Elisa Parrino

35 mm

  • Rolls in aluminium or plastic cartridges
  • Negative size – 24 mm x 36 mm.

The most commonly used format for analogue shooters is a standard roll of 35 mm film which typically has 24 to 36 exposures. There is a vast choice of film types for 35 mm. It is more affordable than other formats if we compare film prices and the quantity of frames. New and used camera models also offer a vast choice in terms of cameras and lenses to use, allowing a variety of creative image creation. 35 mm format allows you to accomplish professional level work, delivering medium to high resolution images.

Photos taken with CanonAE1. Photo by Elisa Parrino

120

  • Also known as medium format, it is widely available on the market.
  • This format comes in various exposure dimensions, including 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, and even 6x9 centimeters (depending on the camera used).

Top of the line in terms of consumer film format, the larger size of these films gives higher resolution and more detail, with greater sharpness and tonal range. Usually, we can get between 12 – 16 exposures from a roll, which makes this kind of photography more expensive if we compare the price of films per quantity of frames. Both the cameras and film tend to be more expensive.

Photo taken with a Hasselblad. Photo by Elisa Parrino

Nevertheless, each camera comes with different features, and it is up to you to determine which is the right format to choose for your specific needs.

110 film is compact and portable but lacks resolution if it's sharpness you're after. 35 mm film can be considered the sweet spot with plenty of exposures and relatively high resolution. 120 film, as demanding as it might be, delivers astonishing quality but requires bulkier cameras.

Regardless of all the technical aspects, what matters is that you carry the best camera for the situation you are in. Be aware of each of their benefits and limitations, what matters is that they best suit your creative vision.


Which is your favorite film format to shoot? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

written by eparrino on 2024-05-28 #gear #120 #35mm #110 #film-format

Mentioned Product

Lomomatic 110

Lomomatic 110

Your passport to adventure; hit the road with the sharpest, most creative pocket-sized camera on Earth. With a sophisticated metal body featuring a powerful glass lens & advanced creative features plus a detachable flash, your 110 journey starts now!

2 Comments

  1. neja
    neja ·

    nice job, thanks for sharing

  2. eparrino
    eparrino ·

    Thanks @neja 🙏

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