New To Film?

Whether you're thinking about shooting with analogue film for the first time or you want to buy some film for someone who is already shooting with film but don't know where to start then this is the page for you. If you have any queries that are not answered below then please feel free to drop us an email via our contact form.

Types of Film

35mm - This is the most common type of analogue film and is also referred to as 135 film. 35mm film is the sort of film that was really popular among consumers and professionals up until the rise of digital photography in the early 00s. It consists of a roll of film with sprocket holes running along the top and bottom of the film. Most 35mm films will either be 24 or 36 exposures (images). 

120 - This type of film is used is medium format cameras to capture more detail in a photograph so the size of each frame is larger than a 35mm film. 120 film is wound manually and how many exposures you will get will depend on the format of the camera.

Instant - These films don't require processing or developing. You load the film into the camera, press the shutter and out pops the film and the image appears within 10-15 minutes. This is what is commonly referred to as a Polaroid picture however Fujifilm's Instax range does the same thing but the film packs are not cross compatible. Both Polaroid and Fujifilm's instant cameras accept various types of film so please ensure you pick the correct one for your camera. Polaroid's compatibility table is below, Fujifilm's Instax range consists of Instax Mini, Instax Square and Instax Wide. Also, worth mentioning you don't need to "shake it like a Polaroid picture".

Processing Film

Once you've taken all your photos you will need to get them processed, except for instant film of course. Remember, if you're shooting film for the first time, the exposed film (the film you've taken your photos on) must not be exposed to light before you process them in a darkroom/photo lab. Once your film is processed in a lab, you can have them scanned to a digital file. Having a digital file of your image allows you to share it on social media, email them to friends or family or edit them on photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

We've partnered with the experts at Photographique photo lab in Bristol that are great at processing, scanning and printing film. Photographique is a small business with an experienced and professional team. They take extra care with every customers' film and images and strive to help you achieve the ultimate results. They embrace the latest technology but the whole team are passionate advocates of film photography and delivering good old fashioned customer service too. Make a purchase from us and you will automatically get a discount code to use at Photographique that will give you 10% off processing and scanning your film.


Want to learn to process your own film? Need a darkroom or a photo studio to sharpen your skills? Got you covered with a discount there too. Bright Rooms run film developing and darkroom workshops at Peckham Levels for anyone that would like learn how to process film themselves. They also run really fun workshops for children. Anyone making a purchase from us gets 10% off their workshops so even more reason to get your film from Film Bros.

Jargon

Exposures - How many photos that can be taken on a roll of film.

ISO - Actually stands for International Organization for Standardization. It is in essence a measurement of how sensitive the film is to light. On many old film cameras it is also referred to as ASA. Lower ISO film is used in brighter environments and higher ISO film would be used when there is less light available on the subject. Lower ISO film produces sharper images whereas higher ISO films can be more grainy.

Film Speed - As above. Fast film typically refers to film with an ISO of 400 and above.

Double Exposure - This is when you expose the same section of film to light twice resulting in two images on top of each other.

Long Exposure - Allowing the shutter to stay open for longer to allow the blurring of the image for artistic effect such as creating light streaks.

Aperture - Also referred to as 'F-Stop' is is how much light a camera lens lets in to expose the film. A lower aperture lens lets more light in and allows for nicer bokeh (the blurry background effect that accentuates the foreground subject).