What are the different photographic film formats?

The three main types of film format are 35 mm, medium format and large format. More unusual formats also exist such as 110 and 127.

A mix of 35 mm, 120 and 110 film

When we talk about film formats what we’re really referring to is the size of the negative. As a general rule, the larger the negative, the finer the grain and more detail you will get in the final print.

35 mm (or 135 format)

35 mm (or 135 format) is the size most people are familiar with. It’s the kind of film your parents/grandparents would have regularly used. It is the most common and the cheapest type of film. One roll of 35 mm film gives you 24 or 36 exposures.

35 mm film is used in cameras like the LC-A+ , Sprocket Rocket, Fisheye No.2, and Lomography Simple Use Reloadable Film Cameras.

Medium format (or 120 film)

Medium format (or 120 film) is 6 cm wide and different medium format cameras shoot different variations of frame length including 6×4.5, 6×6 and 6×7. Depending on these frame lengths, medium format will give you between 8 – 16 shots per roll.

6×4.5 camera = 16 exposures
6×6 camera = 12 exposures
6×7 camera = 10 exposures
6×8 camera = 9 exposures
6×9 camera = 8 exposures

Medium format is used in cameras like the Diana F+, and the Lomo LC-A 120.

Large format

Large format (also known as sheet film) is the oldest type of film still widely used and is composed of individual sheets. Most common sizes are 4×5 and 8×10. Due to the expense of sheet film, and cumbersome cameras, large format is much less commonly used than 35 mm and medium format.

110 film

110 film (also known as pocket film) has a negative that is half the size of 35 mm film. 110 film also has a different loading system. It comes in a sealed unit with two separate containers for exposed and unexposed film, so unlike 35 mm does not require rewinding.

Although it’s not as well known as other film sizes, at Lomography 110 format is alive and thriving with our Diana Baby 110 and range of 110 film. Today, we are the only manufacturer of 110 film.

127 film

127 film is 46 mm wide, placing it between 35 mm and medium format films in size. These days it’s rare, however 127 film can still be found and used in vintage cameras such as The Kodak Brownie Reflex Synchro, and the The Rolleiflex 4×4 (Gray Baby).

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