So you’re out there, shooting in the wilds of film. You’ve got a big ol’ camera, you’ve got a bunch of lenses, but do you have the right film?

Film gauge is one of those things that seems really easy. It’s just like 35mm, right? Well…yes and no.

There are a lot of different types of film gauges that are used in cameras today. Some are as small as 8mm, while others are as big as 70mm.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common film gauges and how they differ from each other.

The most popular and widely used film format is 35mm. You probably know this one because it started out as the only kind of film available to consumer cameras (although there were other formats around at the time).

35mm is still one of the most popular formats, but now it has lots of competition from digital cameras and smaller formats like 110 and 16mm (more on those later).

The film itself is 35 millimeters wide, which means that you get an image area that measures 24x36mm (also known as full frame).


What Is film gauge

What Is film gauge?

Film gauge is a measurement of the width of a piece of photographic film.

The term “gauge” is used because the width of film, originally measured in inches, was an indirect way of expressing the size of the photographic plates used to capture images.

Subjective measurements such as “letterbox” and “pillarbox” are also categorized under gauge, since they refer to the shape and size of the image, rather than its resolution or color spectrum.

Film gauge is often confused with camera format, which refers to the size of a physical camera body. Film format refers only to the size of a frame and does not necessarily imply that it will fit a specific type or brand of camera.

There are two common types of film gauge: 35-mm and 120-mm. 35-mm film is most commonly used in still cameras (also known as “single-lens reflex” cameras). 120-mm film is most commonly used in medium format cameras.



What is film gauge, anyway? There are a few common film gauges out there, but the two most popular are 35mm and 120.

Both of these film gauges are used in single lens reflex (SLR) cameras.

The 35mm gauge is a bit more common, as it’s the size of the typical point and shoot or disposable camera. A 120 gauge is used by medium format cameras and older SLRs.

What Is Film Gauge?

A 35mm camera will have a smaller image than larger formats like 120 or 4×5, but this doesn’t mean that images from 35mm aren’t as good as those from other formats.

If you look at the quality of the lenses on most 35mm cameras, you’ll see that they are actually pretty spectacular.

This is because they have to be able to create a sharp image on such a small piece of film. You can use a better quality lens with a smaller format but it will cost more money.

The amount of film you can get for one roll varies by camera and gauge, too. A roll of 120 film can hold up to 20 8×10 inch exposures, while a roll of 35mm can only hold 12 exposures at roughly the same size.

What’s The Gauge Of The Film In My Camera?

Film gauge is the width of the film itself, not the size or shape of the spool. Some film spools are wider than others, but all 35mm film, for example, has the same gauge of 36mm.

Tens of thousands of still photographers have been using this tool to quickly determine what film and development process a photo was shot with.

Just hold your camera up to the light and look through its viewfinder. If you see a small number such as 24 or 28 that is typically a sign that it was shot on 120 medium format film.

If you see a larger number such as 36 that is typically a sign that it was shot on 35mm film.

If you don’t see any numbers at all and only see dots, it’s possible it could be shot on medium format film which uses no numbers at all.

Or more often it will be a sign that it was shot with digital cameras, smartphones or other electronic devices with image sensors smaller than 35mm film.

Film Gauge Characteristics

You may have noticed the number of the film gauge on your film box. This gauge is not that straightforward.

It is often used as a measurement of relative thickness, but it could also be related to the width of the strip of film.

In some cases, they are used interchangeably. However, there is another factor that comes into play: The size of the spools used to hold the film.

The actual thicknesses (or widths) of film gauges are standardized as follows:

35 mm – 0.0071″ (1.34 mm)

120/620 – 0.0279″ (5 mm)

135 – 0.0375″ (8 mm)

220 – 0.0625″ (15 mm)

Medium format – 0.125 inch (3 mm)

Large format – 0.25 inch (6 mm)

A roll of 120 film for an 8×10 camera will fit on a 35mm spool and vice versa, but 35mm spools are much more common and cheaper than 120 spools and can usually be found in any camera shop or online store such as B&H Photo .

Film is usually sold in 36 exposure rolls but sometimes you can find it in 24 exposure rolls or even.

Film gauge is the width of a piece of film, expressed as the number of sprocket holes it will contain. (The sprocket holes are where the camera takes the light that forms an image.)

Taken literally, this means that a 36-exposure roll of 135 film has 36 x 24 = 912 holes in it. However, because there are two sides to every frame, and each side has two sprocket holes, a roll actually has twice as many holes in it: 2 x 912 = 1,824.

This is why we say that a roll of 35mm film holds 24 exposures; if we’re generous with ourselves and count both sides on each frame, we can call it 36.

It’s all about the format. Most people shooting digital cameras these days don’t have to worry about film gauge at all.


But in the good old days when you had to load your own film and figure out your own shutter speeds and f-stops and all that stuff, knowing some basic facts about how different formats worked was very handy indeed.

For example, you might want to know that a roll of 120 medium format film held 12 pictures on each side of the frame; or that an old-fashioned glass plate negatively measured 4 x 5 inches.

8mm Filmmaking

Filmmaking is the most liberating art form ever invented. It’s also one of the most expensive and time-consuming.

If you want to learn the craft of filmmaking, you have to start somewhere and 8mm is a great place to do it.

Trying your hand at filmmaking will teach you so much about the art and the business. Many filmmakers started out shooting on 8mm film, including Steven Spielberg, who shot his first film at age 13 using an 8mm camera he bought with his newspaper delivery money.

8mm is also an excellent medium for learning how to edit and direct actors. You can shoot a feature-length film on 8mm in only a week or two!

Once you’ve learned how to shoot, develop and edit your own films, it will be much easier to find the right industry job for you, whether you want to be a director, editor or cinematographer. The 8mm format is a motion picture film format in a cartridge 8mm wide.

It was introduced by Kodak in 1932 as the successor to the 16mm “Standard” or “Regular” format. The film itself is 8 millimeters wide, the same as 35mm film, but the spools on which it comes are smaller and thinner.

The two formats are not interchangeable in standard movie cameras or projectors; there are no adapters that allow standard-size film to be shot or projected in an 8mm camera, or vice versa. However, special adapters can be made to fit some cameras that allow both formats to be used together.

Kodak has discontinued production of 8mm film, but Ektachrome VX 200 (color reversal) and Ektachrome 100 (color negative) were available until January 2009. 8mm film is available from various online vendors and mail order companies.

Or sometimes a local camera store will have some “in the old timey movie way” just sitting around for effect!

16mm Indie Film Gauge

The 16mm film gauge is a standard feature of the film industry and has been for decades. It’s used for both professional and amateur productions, although it’s most commonly associated with the latter.

This is because 16mm film is much cheaper than other types, making it a good choice for low-budget productions. Indie filmmakers have utilized this gauge since the 1950s when it became the standard size for documentary filmmaking.

In addition to being cheap, 16mm film has many other benefits that make it ideal for some types of movies. Its larger frame size requires less light to shoot, making it a good choice for indoor or night scenes.

It also allows filmmakers to shoot in widescreen format while keeping the same aspect ratio they would use with 35mm or digital cameras. 16mm film was once considered superior to its smaller brethren, but as technology progressed and prices fell, many filmmakers switched to smaller formats like 35mm and super-16.

Today, 16mm remains popular among amateurs and those who are looking to create productions on a budget. If you’re an indie filmmaker and want to get started using 16mm film gauges, here are some things you need to know about them:

16mm Film Gauge Shooting.

A lot of people ask about the different film gauges. It is important to know the difference between Super 8, Regular 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm because these gauges were not only used for filming but also for shooting stills.

16MM: This gauge has been the choice of independent filmmakers for the past three decades. It is by far the best gauge for shooting narrative features with one camera. It’s also a favorite among documentary filmmakers and photographers using still cameras (the same camera can shoot both motion and stills).

16mm is also great for shooting experimental films with one or more synchronized projectors in a theater setting. 16mm is still used by professional videographers as well as by amateurs.

Many television commercials are shot on the format today, even though they are transferred to video tape (1/2″ or 1/3″) or to film (35mm). The 16mm format is without a doubt the most versatile and popular gauge used today in all areas of filmmaking.

16MM film stock is much thinner than that of any other movie camera format. It was originally shot at 18 frames per second with two perforations per frame instead of four like Regular 8mm, making it roughly equivalent to 24 frames per second in other formats.

35mm Standard Film Gauge

In the days before digital cameras, your choice of film was important. This is because different films have different qualities — and these differences are most noticeable in their aesthetic results.

Now that you can download pictures to your computer in just a few seconds, the choice is less important.

But in those early days, if you wanted to make a print, it had to go through a complicated process of having the film processed and then scanned into a digital file before it could be printed out.

Ilford was one of the more popular brands of film back in the day. And one of its most popular products was its Ilford HP5 Plus 400 speed film.

The film itself was available in black and white as well as color, but if you were shooting with a flash or outside on a sunny day, you probably opted for the black and white version.

It’s not that color film couldn’t handle bright light conditions; it was just that the results were generally seen as better when shot in black and white. This article is about the 35mm Standard Film Gauge.

The 35mm Standard Film Gauge refers to the size of the image area on a piece of 35mm film rather than to any standard set by any company or organization.

The 35 mm film gauge is a standard for film widths and sprocket hole positions.

The 35mm film gauge was introduced by the Eastman Kodak Company in 1912 and became the international standard gauge in 1922, when it was adopted by the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPE).

In digital photographic imaging, a crop factor of 1.5 must be taken into account to obtain full-frame equivalent focal lengths and angles of view.

35mm film has been around since it was first developed by George Eastman in 1888. It’s no wonder why it’s still used today—the format is small enough to carry around with you, but large enough to shoot high quality images.

Many photographers use it as their go-to film gauge for personal projects, and professional photographers rely on it for weddings, events, portraits and other types of photography. In the late 1990s, digital technology began to replace film as a primary imaging source.

However, there are still many photographers who prefer to use 35mm film because it stays true to the image they want to create while allowing them artistic freedom when making their photographs.

The most basic step you can take toward shooting with this type of film is choosing a camera that’s compatible with 35mm film.

Large Film Gauge 65mm/70mm

The choice of film gauge is a major decision for any filmmaker. There are many different gauges to choose from and various formats within each gauge (16mm, Super 16, 35mm, 70mm etc.).

The two most common film gauges for motion picture photography are 35mm and 70mm. 35mm has been the standard in cinema since the 1920s and is still the popular choice for filmmakers today.

The larger 70mm format was created in order to create high quality images on large screens. It’s most commonly found in commercial installations like drive-ins and IMAX theatres, but is also popular with Hollywood directors who want the highest quality image possible.

There are other options like Super 16 and VistaVision, which were created as alternatives to standard formats. Super 16 is a great budget option because it offers some of the same advantages as 35mm without requiring expensive camera modifications.

VistaVision was created by Paramount Pictures as a way to compete with 70mm by giving filmmakers even more resolution than 35mm could offer. Super8 is a brand name for a wide-film gauge motion picture film format, introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1965.

The film is 35 mm (1.4 in) wide with an image area of 24 x 36 mm on standard sized spools and is nominally 8 mils thick.

It was widely used for amateur moviemaking from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, when it was largely superseded by videotape formats. Super 8 is considered the first home video format, having been introduced before VHS (by over two years), although it would be pushed out by 8mm video formats later on.

It remains a popular method for processing 16 mm film stock today due to its superior image quality and lower cost compared to video tape.

Once considered an obsolete amateur format, Super-8 film has been undergoing a slow revival since the late 1990s due largely to the affordability of new digital cameras and projectors, which can be connected via HDMI or component output to modern HDTV sets.

However, professional conversion services exist to convert Super-8mm film footage to DVD or videotape, allowing preservation and presentation on contemporary equipment.

The Importance Of Film Gauge In Filmmaking?

A lot of filmmakers are familiar with the term “film gauge”, but not so many people know its importance. In short, film gauge is the width of the image area of a motion picture film, and is expressed in inches.

It’s important because it determines the aspect ratio of the frame and affects the overall look and feel of a movie. The aspect ratio or frame aspect ratio is an image’s proportional dimensions (height to width).

In this article I will briefly explain what aspect ratio means and how you can use it to take your filmmaking to the next level. Most people think that there’s only one correct aspect ratio for shooting movies and it’s called “Scope”.

However, there are actually several different types of aspect ratios used in filmmaking today. And each option has its own unique style and purpose.

The terms “width-to-height” or “horizontal resolution” are sometimes used instead of aspect ratio, especially in HDTV and widescreen displays such as computer monitors.

But the most common term used to describe the proportions of an image is simply “aspect ratio”. Aspect ratio comes from two Latin words “aspectus” which means view and “ratio” which means proportion.

What follows below is an infographic that covers many of the different types of film gauges available today and what they are typically used for.


While 35mm is still by far the most commonly used format, this doesn’t mean it should be your only choice when deciding what gauge to use for your next project.

For example, if you’re creating a documentary that focuses on a particular event or place, it might be best to shoot with a different film gauge so you don’t end up with images that are too similar to those captured by other filmmakers.

Why Aspect Ratio Matters

Aspect ratio refers to the relationship between the height of an image and its width. Your monitor’s aspect ratio is typically 16:9, which means that the height of the screen is 1.78 times greater than the width.

Tv’s aspect ratio is typically wider, at 16:10, while widescreen monitors can have a variety of different ratios, including 4:3 (the same as a standard tv), 5:4 and 16:10. The reason for this difference lies in how images are displayed on both devices.

A tvs screen is much larger than most computer monitors, so it needs to display an image that’s taller than it is wide in order to avoid making you scroll horizontally.

On a computer monitor, however, scrolling from left to right is less of an issue because you’re typically sitting close enough to use your mouse or touchpad to scroll up and down.

Aspect ratios also come into play when you’re viewing images on your computer. For example, if you load an image onto your hard drive that has an aspect ratio different from what your monitor is set at, it will appear as though the edges have been cropped off.

For this reason, if you plan on printing pictures out or displaying them across several monitors that. The aspect ratio, or AR for short, of your video is simply the dimensions of the frame.

For instance, if your video is 1280 x 720 pixels in size, then your aspect ratio is 1280/720, or 16:9. The most common aspect ratios for online video are 4:3 and 16:9.

Taller videos are often better for videos that feature a lot of text (like blog posts), whereas wider videos work well for promoting visual content (like photos) or to display more information in a single video (like an infographic).

Aspect ratio is one of the most important aspects of optimizing your videos for YouTube and it can affect the usefulness of sharing links on other platforms as well as how they look when embedded on your website.

When you upload a video to YouTube, you have the option to choose between three different aspect ratios: widescreen (16:9), standard (4:3) or custom. If you choose widescreen (which is automatically selected by default), then YouTube will put black bars at the top and bottom of your video to prevent it from looking cropped.

If you choose standard, then YouTube will show your video as it was originally recorded by removing any extra padding from either side of the frame.