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The Rules of Sunny 16 in Black-and-White

Meter? We don’t need no stinkin’ meter

One thing that seems to be a fairly common question from our wide array of film shooters, is what’s up with these confounded Sunny f/16 rules. Learning how to shoot without a meter is a must for quality candids, and the main entree for gobbling up Street Photography’s tastiest tidbits, but also is just plain common sense in an ever evolving, common senseless world.

The Sunny F/16 Exposure Guide

It is certainly commonly accepted that a light meter, built in, or hand held, correctly implemented will indicate your ideal exposure for the given subject. It is possible to estimate daylight exposures with enough accuracy for black-and-white photography, mostly because the Sun turns out to be a very reliable light source. Also estimating exposures for low-light situations where a light meter may actually fail you somewhat, and not be giving you such an accurate reading. That is why a perfect starting point is with your low-light situations, optimally being able to bracket your exposures(expose extra frames at a greater and lesser exposure).

The BASIC EXPOSURE (BE) is for a normal subject in sunlight:

set the aperture at f16 and use the ISO rating of the film as the shutter speed.

Example:  ISO 125                                     ISO 500
Shutter 1/125 sec.                                     Shutter 1/500 sec.
Aperture f16                                              Aperture f16


Where the ISO does not directly correlate exactly to an existing shutter speed on your camera:

use the closest shutter speed available and modify the aperture to compensate

Example:  ISO 400
Shutter 1/500 sec.
Aperture F11 2/3

You can always double check your guesstimate with a hand held light meter until you hone your skill.
Typical Hand Held Lightmeter

Typical Hand Held Light Meter

To find the estimated exposure for a different light level, find the BASIC EXPOSURE (BE) for the film and then modify it by either adding or subtracting exposure in “stops” utilizing the following table. Please note that a change in exposure of a “stop” can be executed by either changing the aperture or the shutter speed.

ISO 500 ISO 500
Shutter 1/500 sec. Shutter 1/125 sec.
Aperture f16 Aperture f5.6
Notice in this example your are adding two “stops” of exposure with the shutter and three with the aperture.


Sunlight, normal subject                             Use BASIC EXPOSURE (BE)
Sunlight, silhouette effect                           Use BE minus 2 stops
Sunlight, bright snow or sand                    Use BE minus 1 stop
Sunlight, backlit portrait                             Use BE plus 2 stops

Overcast, hazy, soft shadows                      Use BE plus 1 stop
Overcast, normal                                           Use BE plus 2 stops
Overcast, heavy, or open shade                  Use BE plus 3 stops

Moon, full, close to sunset                           Use BE
Neon Signs                                                      Use BE plus 5 stops
Stage Show, Brightly lit                                Use BE plus 5 stops
Stage Show, average light                            Use BE plus 7 stops
Stage Show, Flood lighted                           Use BE plus 7 stops

Store windows at night                                  Use BE plus 6 stops
Fireworks display                                           Use BE plus 6 stops
Nighttime Sporting event                             Use BE plus 6 stops
Office, fluorescent light                                 Use BE plus 6 stops
Basketball, Hockey game                              Use BE plus 7 stops

Downtown Street at night                             Use BE plus 7 stops
Home Interior, brightly lit                            Use BE plus 8 stops
Home interior, average light                        Use BE plus 9 1/2 stops
School Stage, Auditorium                             Use BE plus 9 stops
Candlelit Close-up                                          Use BE plus 10 1/2 stops
Floodlit Building                                             Use BE plus 11 stops
Distant City Skyline, night                            Use BE plus 13 stops

There are lots of variables in our example scenarios, and for example, when shooting the moon (so to speak) there is a whole other set of guidelines, sometimes referred to as the Looney 11.
The whole idea here, is to try and get a basic understanding, in order to free up the creative side of your brain, as the shooting opportunities arise. Anybody can take metered shots with
automatic exposure compensation, auto focusing, and all of those other bells and whistles, but come on…your better than that!

PentaxK1000NOMETERWe have a great Sunny Sixteen Camera, the Pentax K1000, fully functional – except no light meter

  • June 1st, 2017

Advanced Photo System Black & White Film – A very rare animal

Kodak Advantix BW400CN APS 25 Exp

Kodak Advantix BW400CN APS 25

We have a small, well preserved stash, of Kodak APS film BW400CN Black-and-White, C-41 Process Film in 25 Exposure. We also have squirreled away a bunch of color print stock in the advanced Photo System format, but the main item on the film species extinction list is the B & W version, manufactured by Kodak, and much coveted, by the remaining APS enthusiasts. Most labs that are still processing C-41 standard color chemistry processing, would still have their APS cartridge interface for their processor, but you may want to check with your favorite photo lab if they can still handle the APS Cassette. One Processing Lab, that we highly recommend, out in our neck of the woods, is Color Services Photo Lab up in Santa Barbara, Ca. that handles quite a bit of APS processing traffic, and does a superior job. We recently shot a roll for the fun of it in a nicer Vintage APS Camera, fairly sophisticated in it’s hey day. As this format is heading towards extinction via the natural selection process, we wanted to give you the chance to practice a tiny bit of photo history conservation and prolong the memory of this much beloved photographic Dodo Bird.




KodakAPSBW400_4Kodak B & W APS Film ISO 400

There are a lot of excellent quality APS Cameras out there at affordable prices, because of the limited film availability that are fun to play with, and easy to use. Check out our APS Cameras and APS Films.



We have a large selection of APS Films that you may want to try out on your favorite APS Camera. If you haven’t utilized it in a while, go into the back of the closet and dust off your Advanced Photo System Camera and have some fun with it. We carry Fujifilm and Kodak as well as some 3rd party brands that cover the full spectrum of what APS film is all about.

We also carry a number of Advanced Photo System Cameras should you not be able to find your vintage unit in the garage or you just want to add to your collection of fun fantastic cameras!

The Advanced Photo System was a unique collaboration that included all of the major film photography Players of the time, and was mostly spearheaded by Kodak, just at the crack of dawn of the coming Digital Age. Each manufacturer had their own nomenclature to identify this unique “hybrid” product. Kodak adapted the Advantix name, Fuji called theirs Nexia, and Agfa labeled the film Futura, and so on. The Camera manufacturers got on board with monikers as well, such as Pronea, Nuvis, and Vectis, oft times the actual model was badged with the letters IX in the name, which stood for the formats much touted information exchange capabilities. So go out and utilize some APS Film before Darwin’s Theory wins out completely, as this rare species, continues it’s tumultuous shuffle, off this mortal coil . Enjoy!

  • June 25th, 2015

Kodak Plus-X Film available

Kodak Plus-X 120 Film shot in our house Holga

Kodak Plus-X 120 Film shot in our house Holga

We strive to keep film in the marketplace and not just private labeling the best Black and White around but also going out and securing large lots of reliable outdated film of discontinued old favorites. Take for example Kodak Plus-X. We have ample stocks of 35 mm x 36 Exposure and in 120 Format. We shot some here as we are apt to do and this popular emulsion will not disappoint. Fill up your freezer with the last of these old gems and keep shootin’ film.

Kodak Plus_x 120 Outdated and Cold Stored

Kodak Professional Plus-X 125 Film is a medium-speed, continuous-tone panchromatic film that is a good choice for general-purpose outdoor or studio photography. It features extremely fine grain and excellent sharpness.

Extremely fine grain, excellent sharpness, and high resolving power
Excellent general purpose film

Plus-X 35 mm x 36 Exposure rolls available here:

If anyone remembers this fantastic emulsion, here is a stroll down memory lane.
medium-speed, continuous-tone panchromatic film that is
a good choice for general-purpose outdoor or studio
photography. It features extremely fine grain and excellent
KODAK PROFESSIONAL PLUS-X Film is available in 135
size and 35 mm long rolls on a 5-mil gray acetate base, and
in 120 and 220 size on a 3.6-mil acetate base. The 120 and
220 sizes have a retouching surface on the emulsion side.

Kodak Plus-X Film

Kodak Plus-X Film

Use the exposures in the table below for average front-lit
subjects from 2 hours after sunrise to 2 hours before
* Use f/5.6 for backlighted close-up subjects. † Subject shaded from sun but lighted by a large area of clear sky.
Exposure and Development Adjustments for Long
and Short Exposures
At the exposure times in the table below, compensate for
the reciprocity characteristics of this film by increasing
exposure and adjusting the development as shown.
It may be difficult to use the table to estimate the
adjusted times for calculated exposure times between 1
and 100 seconds. The graph that follows will help you find
the adjusted times for calculated exposure times between
those given in the table.
Lighting Conditions Shutter Speed
Lens Opening
Bright/Hazy Sun on Light Sand
or Snow 1/250 f/16
Bright or Hazy Sun, Distinct
Shadows 1/250 f/11*
Weak, Hazy Sun (Soft Shadows) 1/250 f/8
Cloudy Bright (No Shadows) 1/250 f/5.6
Heavy Overcast, Open Shade† 1/250 f/4

Scoop some 35mm and 120 on up!

Scoop some 35mm and 120 on up!

Kodak Plus-X sat along side Panatomic – X and Double -X back in the day. Grab some history and shoot it!

  • September 15th, 2014

The Digital Diana gets a Fisheye Lens

The Digital Diana with Holga-120 Fisheye Lens

The Digital Diana with Holga-120 Fisheye Lens

Much like you can add a Holga Fisheye Lens to a Lomography Diana MINI, you can add a Holga-120 Fisheye Lens to your Digital Diana. Some folks have also done this with the Holga Tekle Lens, but as the Digital Diana already has a 4 1 Digital Ratio we did not see that much difference in the PICS.

There are a few You Tube videos that show the easiest way. Take some Rubber Foam Weatherstrip, 3/4″ Wide by 5/16″ thicknesss, and cut a piece 5 1/2″ x 6″ Long (these usually come in 10 Foot Rolls) and have adhesive tape on one side of the strip. Take the adhesive strip off, and position the strip on the inside of the Holga Lens Mount, and it should give you a pretty snug fit over the original Digital Diana Lens. Then you are ready to snap some Fisheye Shots.

The Digital Diana LodigiMO

The Digital Diana LodigiMO


Here is a link to the You Tube Video that illustrates utilizing the Holga Fisheye onto the Diana MINI by Kai Yamada – Toy Camera aficionado      <iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>



  • July 22nd, 2014

1/2 Frame Cameras, The Golden Half 35mm Film and Digital King (Gizmon Half D)

The venerable 1/2 Frame icon

The venerable 1/2 Frame icon



In the 1960′s the 1/2 Frame Camera became a true phenomena in Japan and then copied world wide, and perhaps the most famous was the Olympus Pen F.

Sometimes they are known by other names, such as “single-frame” and “split-frame”.  But whatever you call them, they are probably the most popular of all

the sub miniature formats, and of course these were just built off of the standard 35mm format.  As the slow tides of progress washed upon the shores of camera

innovation, and new technologies allowed for a more compact 35mm rangefinder the 1/2 frame eventually fell out of favor, but the format itself, the 35mm 1/2

frame remains one of our favorites and is still an available tool for those that have come to love it as well.  The half-frame camera was a natural outgrowth of 35mm

film, and the Superheadz Golden Half is an homage to those 1/2 frame glory days in film, and the Digital King (Gizmon Half D) as a toy electronic version.


The Golden Half has now become a true collectors item in it’s different packages, but it is indeed still a wonderful way to image on 35mm film. Allowing for 72 shots on a 35mm x 36 exposure roll.

Half Frame Shooting

Half Frame Shooting

2 Shots on a conventional frame

2 Shots on a conventional frame


There is no need to turn yourself or the camera, on it’s side. At the height of it’s craze,  the comparable smaller size of the half-frame

while still utilizing the standard 35mm film format, and getting twice as many pictures on a roll of film, made the camera a sure winner.

Unfortunately these cameras eventually stopped being manufactured although it is fantastic to find one of these iconic relics, it is indeed a

pleasure to use the Superheadz “stripped down” version, lending the strong vignetting and plastic lens artistry into the 1/2 frame mix.

And because you are using standard 35mm films, the results can be truly astonishing, even with the significant enlargement of the film.


The Superheadz Golden Half come in six fabulous versions:  Color Style: Original / Black Mountain / Hello Kitty / Green Tree / Telepathy / Zebra .  Each Factory Sealed highly collectible package comes with a match theme /

graphics, roll of 35mm film (Outdated, but we naturally keep these intact) and some of these models are indeed becoming quite rare.

The Golden Half Line up

The Golden Half Line up


Golden Half Green Trees

Golden Half Green TreesGolden_HalfO

The Golden Half is a 35 mm half-frame camera. This means that each standard 3×5 photo is split into two 3 x 2.5 frames, allowing you

to take twice as many photos. With a standard 36 exposure roll of film, you have 72 opportunities to make pure magic. The Golden Half

may look like a toy but don’t let its diminutive looks fool you. This pocket-sized camera features two shutter speeds as well as a hot shoe

to strap on your favorite flash and let the low light pictures fly.

It may be only half the size, but this Camera still plays with the big boys. The Half refers to the half frames that the camera captures.

Half frame means that when you put a roll of 36 exposure film into the Golden Half, you’ll actually get 72 pictures.    You’ll be quite

carefree when shooting with it, and almost forget that you are still shooting film. It wasn’t until we got our hands on this little beauty

that we realized how seriously unique that this camera is. When your film is developed and printed you’ll see two half frame images on

each of your full-frame prints. This gives you a lot more possibilities, as sometimes two photos may fit better together than apart.

You can start to tell micro-stories in two frames and you’ll be thrilled to find connections – unexpected, and planned, between the

shots giving greater insight into your photography. The camera is pocket sized so you can always have it with you so you’ll never again miss an opportunity to   capture

a great shot. This camera has a hot shoe too, so you can add a flash and turn the Golden Half into a shoot anytime, take anywhere little workhorse.   There are two apertures -

f/11 for super sunny days and when you’re using flash and f/8.5 so cloudier days.  The shutter and lens are fixed a 1/100 sec and 2mm respectively. Shoot subjects between

1.5 meters and infinity and always have crisp focus. Each Pack includes- Golden Half half sized 35 mm Camera 1 roll of 35 mm color film. Lens dust cap.


And remember 12 exp = 24 pictures, 24 exp – 48 pictures and 36 exp – 72 pictures.

- Focus: F = 22mm – Aperture: F8 – 11 – Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec – Shooting Range: 1.5m to infinite – Film Type: 35mm – Film Advance / Rewind manually – Photo Size: 24 x 18mm – Film Counter: 72 images maximum – Dimensions: 3 x 3″ -


The Toy Digital version of the Olympus Pen F was the famous Gizmoin Half D, which we sold for several years until the residual stocks ran out and we were lucky enough to find it being “RE-BORN” as the Digital King Camera

with all the great specs (foremost the “Digital” 35mm Half Frame format) and characteristics that we had come to know and love.

The "Original" Digital King Gizmon Half D and it's Grandfather

The “Original” Digital King Gizmon Half D and it’s Grandfathe



Digital King Front

The Gizmon Half D was reintroduced as the Digital King  Camera and is offered in a BONUS PACK with Free BONZ Brand Fisheye Lens. A small digital camera with retro style. 10 different color modes, and you can also record video with sound. Comes with a standard ring magnet conversion lens built in, so you can enjoy shooting with multiple lenses, just like with an old classic rangefinder. The Digi Toy King features three shooting formats, Square, Standard and Half Frame.

Digital King Back

No, it’s not an Olympus Pen F, it’s a Digital King (the natural successor to the Gizmon Half D). Featuring THREE different shooting aspects, SQUARE, HALF-FRAME, and STANDARD. With 10 different color modes, to emulate every mode of film photography. You can also record video with sound. Comes with a standard magnetic ring mount magnet for conversion lenses, so you can enjoy shooting with multiple lenses, just like a Micro Four Thirds format DSLR, but it is a minature Digital Camera. One of the coolest features of the Toideji Digital King, is this ability to mount different miniature lenses.  The HALF FRAME format, born in the 60′s and still with us today.

Half Frame

Digital King Half Frame Template



Split Frame

Digital King Half Frame Example



  • May 12th, 2014

ChobiCam Aotek A8 Mini Retro 5MP Digital DV Camera

The Aotek is a minature looking version of an old Leica, with ultra cool styling and is as tiny as they come. Touted to be the smallest Retro DV Camera in the world with high resolution capability. Including a Retro Sepia Tone function that takes your Lo-Fi imaging to new heights. Also known as the ChobiCam Mini this little DV camera is fun and easy to use.

This product is integrated into the classic and retro elements, not only can shoot color photos, you can also shoot the classic nostalgic photos. It is market launch of a mini HD digital video camera. This product also has the leading pack of high-quality digital camera, USB data transfer, USB charging function, network cameras and other functions that has a number of inventions and technical patents.

This small retro camera is designed by the famous designer——Martin- Wu , and inspired by the sepia toned family photo which was taken many years ago. Looking at this photo, the memories of by-gone days and childhood were recalled, and inspiration lead to a mini classic.

The Lens pops off and you can add other magnetic Mount Lenses to get  an incredible array of fantastic images or mini  movies.

Available now at Ultrafine! as the Aotek Chobi Cam Camera Kit alone……                                                                or with TWO additional Lenses

The Aotek ChobiCam Camera

The Aotek ChobiCam Camera


The Aotek Chobi Cam Two Additional Lens Set

The Aotek Chobi Cam Two Additional Lens Set



  • April 30th, 2014

Your On Line direct connection to the finest in Private label imaging Products in the world. From one of the leading Packaging, Converters, and Wholesalers of fine Photographic, Graphic Arts and Digital Imaging supplies.