Light is the most important feature of both film and photography and for manyyears people have been trying to capture and replicate images accurately.The study of light sensitivity and photographic emulsions in 1876 byFerdinand Hunter and Vero Charles Driffield lead to the development of he first numerical measurement of film speed to be created.ISO, the international standard for rating film speed, is a combination of the American rating system (ASA) and the German institute for standardization(DIN)Before digital cameras were developed, celluloid film was the preferredchoice of medium for capturing images. For black and white images the celluloidfilm was coated in two chemicals, one that contains silver halide salts that arephotosensitive. The halides, also
known as “grains”, are suspended in a gelatin
.Once exposed to the light the grains of silver that have hit by photos haveundergone a photochemical reaction and later when mixed with a developersolution, the exposed areas are stripped away from the film, thus creating anegative of the image captured.Film speed plays an important role in photography and in film forcapturing more detail in darker areas of the image without increasing theaperture or decreasing the shutter speed.
For ‘slower’ film such as ISO 100 the silver halides crystals are very small,and when developed they produce a fine grain that wouldn’t be as noticeable.
However because the halide crystals were smaller they need to be exposed to thelight for longer. For the faster film speeds the halide crystals were much larger so
that they’d capture more light
and faster, but would start to become morenoticeable on the image produced.In digital photography there are still ISO ranges, but the grains that
appear in the image, often referred to as ‘noise’, are different to the silver halide
crystals as seen in film photography.In any electronic device there will always be a certain amount of noiseproduced when transmitting or receiving a signal. SNR, signal to noise ratio, isthe universal way of comparing the definition of the signal against thebackground noise.Noise produced in digital photography and film is produced whenamplifying the sensitivity of the sensor, as the signal becomes more pronounced
so does the noise when increasing the camera’s ISO.