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I have a old LOMO analog film camera with four closures.

How should I choose film for my camera?

What ISO should I select? Is there anything else I have to be aware of when choosing film for this camera?

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if by 'analog' you mean film...you set the camera ISO to the same as indicated on the film you put in –  cmason Jun 9 '11 at 12:32
    
Hi @cmason, I updated my question to make it more clear. –  powtac Jun 9 '11 at 12:34
    
LOMO is a factory/brand - asking what ISO film to use with LOMO is like asking what ISO film to use with Canon or what tire to use on a Ford. What specific camera model are you asking about? –  Jędrek Kostecki Jun 10 '11 at 4:49

5 Answers 5

Some quick and dirty tips, for what it's worth:

  • Positive (slide) film can be stupendously good especially at ISO 100 and below but demands a very precise exposure for best results. Not best suited to a LOMO, I suspect. I find that 35mm slide film at 100 ISO, properly scanned, is easily as good as the pics output from my Canon 1Ds mark II.
  • Negative colour film is more forgiving when it comes to exposure but simply isn't as good as positive. More grain, less vibrant colour. Kodak Ektar 100 comes close, though, but has the downside of needing to be exposed as though it was a positive film!
  • Black and white... well, it's black and white. True black and white films can be a true pain to scan, because you cannot use the scanner's built-in dust removal system on it due to the presence of silver grains in the film. And there can be a surprising quantity of dust and scratches on a negative roll straight from the developer. Colour-chemistry (C41) black and white does not have this problem and is easier to get developed commercially - it's actually a colour negative film only without the colours!

When shooting negative film, try to overexpose rather than underexpose. The film can handle it.

I try not to use anything faster than 160 ISO for colour negatives, 100 ISO for colour positives. Simple reason: Fast colour film looks like crap (though I haven't tried the new Portra 400 which a lot of people speak highly of). For black and white this is not so much an issue, C41-chemistry 400 ISO (Kodak BW400 or the Ilford equivalent) is my weapon of choice here due to its ease of scanning. This may or may not be an issue for you. 400 ISO gives a lot of flexibility when shooting I find, and good quality images.

Different colour films render quite differently. Try a few, see which ones you like and which one you do not like.

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I tend to use ISO400 as my staple 'walk about' film speed, it can handle reasonably bright days but gives you some extra speed for murkier days if you don't have a flash to hand. It does make the images a bit more grainy but I quite like the film grain, it is quite different to digital noise. You also need to decide whether you're shooting colour or black and white.

You can chop and change films part way through the roll but it is a bit tricky to get right and you usually end up wasting a couple of frames.

Here are some images taken on Ilford HP5 400 in varying light conditions:

A very very bright sunny day: ML407, The Grace Spitfire

Overcast: Senatron Detail

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+1 for b&w - I am child of color :) –  Rafal Ziolkowski Jun 10 '11 at 11:49

It depends on your needs. Generally you may go this way:

  • ISO 100 / ISO 50 - for bright day, indoors with flash
  • ISO 200 - general purpose shooting
  • ISO 400 / ISO 800 - indoor or dark day - no flash

You have to be also aware that everything comes at price, so: - higher ISO = higher grain - there are different films for daylight and for tungsten light (you may call it constant white balance)

Personally I liked FUJICOLOR SUPERIA 200 as general purpose film - thou it works outdoors best, but it gave me always nice colors with good (low) grain.

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The (original) Lomo LC-A offered settings for 25-400 ISO/ASA (small wheel on the front left). As it is a semi-automatic with the ability to choose aperture if wanted but automatic exposure I'd suggest you choose in this range.

Can't say anything about the "Lomo is cool when you do sh*t with it"-models, though, I got mine for my 11th birthday as a real camera back in the 80s.

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The answer is very similar to similar issue with digital - use as low as you can (to minimize grain), but high enough to reach proper exposure with shutter speed to avoid underexposure or motion blur, both of which are even worse than grain.

As a rule of thumb, consider ISO less than 100 for tripod shots of inanimate subjects, ISO 100 for shots in sunshine, ISO 400 or higher for low-light shots, ISO 200 for mixed use. You might want a higher ISO if your shooting style requires faster shutter speeds or tighter apertures hand-held; e.g. ISO 400 has been suggested for photojournalism.

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