Film Types and Speeds for Lomo Toy Cameras

All you wanted to do is to take some shots with your lomo camera. But when confronted with an array of all the different types of film for all the different purposes, it's really quite daunting and confusing. So, which camera film do you buy? Do you choose the most expensive film? Or the cheapest?

Generally for lomographic cameras that is used for low fidelity photography, we have two types of photographic film used.

The most common is the Holga 120 medium format cameras. As their name suggests, medium format cameras uses the 120mm type of photographic film. This is larger than the standard 35mm photographic film that is used in most compact cameras and the advantage is that the photos developed can be of a larger size of up to a poster.

The second type of film used in lomographic cameras is the standard 35mm photographic film. These are used in the Holga 135BC and other lomo cameras like the Golden Half and Blackbird Fly.

Hence the 1st decision is to decide to get the correct size of photographic film for your lomo camera.

Next comes the film speed, commonly denoted by ISO or ASA. Film speed is a number that represents the film's sensitively to light. The higher the photographic film speed number, the more sensitive to light the film and correspondingly, the less light is needed to take a well exposed photo. 400 speed is the most standard. Higher numbers are for darker places, whereas lower numbers are for pictures taken in brighter sunlight. Film speed goes from 25 to 1600 speed film. Commonly found numbers are the ISO 100, 200 and 400 speed photographic film.

Low film speeds like ISO 100 or 200 are great as they capture more detail and sharpness, but as they require more exposure time, it's diifficult to use for moving subjects. In contrast, high film speeds (ISO 400, 800) are great for poor lighting conditions but leave the photograph relatively grainy. So what film speed is good for your lomo camera?

Generally, use either an ISO 200 or 400 film speed for the lomo cameras as there is little you can do to adjust the settings in the holgas or fisheye lomo. A 400 speed film would be suitable for cloudy or indoor shots which a 200 film can be used for outdoor sunny conditions.

If you still can't get it, remember this simple rule. The lower the number, more light is needed. The higher the number, the less light is needed. Have fun with your toy cameras!