The number is the ISO or ASA (both are a standards organisation) rating of the film that states how quickly it reacts to light.
The higher the number the more sensitive it is. Each increment is twice as sensitive for example
200 reacts twice as quickly as 100 this means that you can use a shutter speed that is twice as quick in the same lighting conditions.
There is a trade off between slow and fast films where the grain of the film gets courser the higher the speed, although, with modern film technologies this is becoming much less of an issue.
In answer to your question
50 for very clear detail e.g. portraits etc
100 - 200 is great for out doors.
400 a decent brand makes for a good all round film, better in dimmer light, maybe sports events, fireworks maybe. depends on how long you want your exposure to be
800 + for very fast sporting activities for example.
I hope this answers your question.
NoddyMember Since 31 Aug 2005
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