Talk:Film speed

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Speed of Kodak T-MAX p3200[edit]

T-max p3200 is listed as 1000 along with delta 3200, but the Kodak T-MAX page says that it is a 800 speed film (this is my understanding a well). (talk) 20:46, 5 August 2016 (UTC)

Can we have an article without film?[edit]

Film is dead from a perspective of most people. People want to find out what ISO means from a digital perspective and don't care about film. Any suggestions how to rearrange things so people don't have to go halfway down the article to find the information they really wanted? Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 20:13, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Film is far from dead, Daniel. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
So, let me get this straight. You're complaining that the "film speed" article has information about... film speed? And that this is before an explanation of how digital cameras emulate the film-based standard? Just mind boggling. --Imroy (talk) 17:46, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Can we get an article that doesn't start out about film? I want to read about ISO on digital cameras as do most people. They don't want to be bothered about film that has been dead to most people for 10 years. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 19:33, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Daniel, two years ago I thought about splitting the article to separate film speed and digital sensitivity articles; consensus came up against this idea—see the discussion here. Strange you should say that film is "dead"; that's certainly not my perception. I wonder how you know what "most people" want to read about. Cheers, Baffle gab1978 (talk) 17:59, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Dead to most people. Do think most people consider film? If you mention film to a young adult they will think you are talking about some slimy substance. :)
If splitting the article is less than ideal than perhaps putting the digital aspect more prominently would be better solution. Rename the article, ISO / film speed?, and put the digital stuff in the intro. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 18:20, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes I agree there should be some digital info in the header; which should be a summary of the main points of the article, per WP:LEAD. I may get around to doing a full c/e one day (but not soon), but in the meantime you can always fix it yourself. I find your sweeping assertion about the ignorance of young people rather amusing. Cheers, Baffle gab1978 (talk) 23:06, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
The description of historical systems is mostly "dead", even to those of us that still use film. I would have no problem with moving most of that section to a separate "historical film speed systems" article. Just leave DIN, ASA, ISO, and perhaps GOST. And the conversion table is large while serving little purpose.
I like the idea of moving most of the digital stuff into a separate article too and have ISO (disambiguation) point to it so people can find out what this "ISO" thing is. And have the two articles link to each other for historical completeness. --Imroy (talk) 06:33, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree with splitting out any of the film speed related stuff (in fact, there's quite a bit more, that could and should be added).
If anything, the contents of chapter 4 ("digital camera ISO speed and exposure index") is the only stuff that does not directly belong into an article about "film speed". So, if this article would become too long somewhen in the future (it isn't too long at present), this digital camera related stuff is the info, that could be moved elsewhere, not the film-related stuff. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 16:49, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
The historical part is important as it leads to the later systems. Most of the changes were small refinements, not fundamentally new ideas. It does seem to me that separate film and digital articles might have been nice, but I won't argue the point. Film is more complicated, as it depends on developer and development time, two parameters that don't appear in digital cameras. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gah4 (talkcontribs) 03:17, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
It's not as different as you say. The film has an inherent speed, and can be "pushed" by modifying development; similarly, electronic sensors have a fundamental speed and can be "pushed" by processing. Some of the alternative standards for speed measurement get at the differences. Dicklyon (talk) 03:28, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

ISO Examples[edit]

Just now, experimenting with the same shot with a digital camera at different ISO settings, I have a series of five pictures with the ISO settings captioned in the corner.

Would it be a good idea for me to add them to the bottom for a visual example?

PS: Here's what they look like Youngwilliam (talk) 04:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Please don't. Get a clue first. If you just change the ISO setting, but leave the exposure time and aperture fixed, which is what it appears you did, then it will be pretty much like adjusting the white level in Photoshop: just a gain variation. But that's not how the ISO setting is normally used. Usually, you'd set the exposure to make the image as bright or dark as you want, for whatever ISO setting you're using; or let auto-exposure set it for you. Then the images would all look nearly alike, except that high ISO ones would be made from many fewer photons, so would have more noise, which you would not notice in small thumbnails like those anyway. Dicklyon (talk) 04:48, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
ps. There's no such thing as ISO 159. Dicklyon (talk) 04:49, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Okeydoke! I was basing the 159 off of what what Flickr was reporting post-upload. I was guessing it wasn't such an odd number, either, but was instead their setting detection trying to make the best of the default setting. Youngwilliam (talk) 04:52, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
How odd. Also odd is the fact the ISO is only defined for a discrete set of values; 160 is one and 159 is not. Dicklyon (talk) 04:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
As for "what ISO does" on a digital camera, the section you want is Film speed#Standard output sensitivity (SOS). It tells you (inversely) how many lux seconds of light the sensor needs to make a medium gray, and it adjusts the camera's processing gain to make it so. Dicklyon (talk) 04:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Simpler examples/language[edit]

You know what this page needs? Some basic, simpler examples in plain language. I am a Super8 hobbyist (speaking of the conversation you had concerning "Film is dead," there are a LOT of us out there), and it seems like every time I sit down to buy more film from my favorite supplier,, I have to try to remind myself what sort of ISO I need, and what it means. Is a small number more sensitive to light, or less? What looks best in bright light? What works fastest in low light? These are real and pressing questions for those of us shooting on film, and frankly, YoungWilliam's lo-tech example of the same picture in low light at different settings was exactly what I was looking for. It told me that my ISO 200 Reversal film was going to be OK in low light before I even pulled the trigger, which is why I came by, worried about wasting yet another roll. Having basic stuff like this alongside all the charts and graphs and gobbledygook would be swell. Playerpage (talk) 04:47, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

YoungWilliam's example is particularly useless. It doesn't tell you how the scene was lit. It may have been a dim bulb or a 500 W photoflood. Thus you do not know how bright the scene was to start with. Also, it doesn't tell you the aperture he used nor the shutter speed. My guess is the camera was on a tripod with a shutter speed too slow to handhold, and too slow to be usable on a Super 8 cam. But it's only a guess... Worse of all, it gives the false impression that 200 ISO is the right ISO for this particular kind of scene, which seems to be your conclusion and is 100% bogus. If this is what you take from his example, he did you a disservice by publishing it. Normal photography practice would be to adjust the shutter speed in order to get the same brightness at every ISO.
Personally, I find this Wikipedia article pretty clear: everything you need to know is in the lead; the rest is only encyclopedic content, for those who are curious. If you came here to get a practical tutorial on selecting film speed, you probably came to the wrong place. There is, however, a table of exposure values that could help. It tells you, for example, that home interiors are typically around EV5 – EV7 at ISO 100. This means that if you have ISO 200 film and require 1/60 s exposure, you would need a lens that opens up to somewhere between f/1.0 and f/2.0.
Now, if you are willing to take a film photographer's advice: buy an exposure meter (unless your camera has a built-in one) and learn how to use it. Not only will you waste less film, you will also be able to determine yourself whether a particular film speed is suitable for a particular lighting situation, taking into account the speed of the lenses you plan to use.
— Edgar.bonet (talk) 09:38, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

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