What is 35mm Film?

by | Oct 1, 2020 | Film Chat | 0 comments

Also known as 135 film, 35mm film is the most widely used format of film within analog photography and has been since it’s invention in the late 20th century. The name 35mm refers to the area of film which is exposed to light. 35mm is a great place to start if you’re looking at getting into analog photography. It’s easy to wrap your head around, relatively affordable and the images it produces are fantastic.

For the anal among us, the actual size is of a 35mm negative is 24mm x 36mm, but 36mm simply doesn’t roll of the tongue quite so easily does it?

Above and below this area are excess pieces of film with holes called “sprocket holes” necessary to allow the film to be pulled through the the camera accurately and smoothly.

The type of film stock you’re using will dictate the style/look of the image. The three over-arching types of film are Colour-negative, Black & White and Slide. It’s worth noting there are dozens of variations per brand out so you just need to find the right one for you. You can catch up on some budget film stocks here.

Rolls of 35mm film will typically come with either 24 or 36 exposures. The roll of film in encased in a metal canister which is entirely light tight (with the film being sensitive to light, even the slightest leak could ruin your images).

When you’ve finished shooting your roll of film, you need to get it developed. You can do this by sending it to your local lab or you can buy kits to develop it yourself at home. When your film is developed, you will receive the negatives (along with prints or digital copies) which you should keep somewhere safe as you can re-scan these in the future if you ever want to revisit these images.


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