Film Photography Podcast / Episode 54 – February 1, 2012


Film Photography Podcast / Episode 54 – February 1, 2012

Exploring Sunny 16, Light Meters, PX 70 for Polaroid SX-70 Cameras, 110 film, Your Print Portfolio and More! Hosted by Michael Raso and Mat Marrash with Dane Johnson and John Fedele!

Show Notes

Film Photography Podcast / Episode 54 – February 1, 2012

Topics discussed:

Sunny 16 - In photography, the Sunny 16 rule (also known as the Sunny f/16 rule) is a method of estimating correct daylight exposures without a light meter. Apart from the obvious advantage of independence from a light meter, the Sunny 16 rule can also aid in achieving correct exposure of difficult subjects. As the rule is based on incident light, rather than reflected light as with most camera light meters, very bright or very dark subjects are compensated for. The rule serves as a mnemonic for the camera settings obtained on a sunny day using the exposure value (EV) system.

The basic rule is, "On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight."



Dan Domme metering his shot outside the FPP Studio / photo: Michael Raso

Light Meter - A light meter is a device used to measure the amount of light. In photography, a light meter is often used to determine the proper exposure for a photograph. Typically a light meter will include a computer, either digital or analog, which allows the photographer to determine which shutter speed and f-number should be selected for an optimum exposure, given a certain lighting situation and film speed.

Light meters are also used in the fields of cinematography and scenic design, in order to determine the optimum light level for a scene. They are used in the general field of lighting, where they can help to reduce the amount of waste light used in the home, light pollution outdoors, and plant growing to ensure proper light levels.


116 film - Introduced in 1899 the 116 roll film format fit many early Kodak Brownie box cameras. The format was alive and well til 1984! More info on Kodak Brownie cameras here.

Kodak Brownie No.2 Box

Kodak Brownie #2 image by BottleDog on Flickr

Flash Bulbs -  flash bulbs; magnesium filaments were contained in bulbs filled with oxygen gas, and electrically ignited by a contact in the camera shutter. Such a bulb could only be used once, and was too hot to handle immediately after use, but the confinement of what would otherwise have amounted to a small explosion was an important advance. An innovation was the coating of flashbulbs with a blue plastic to match the spectral quality to daylight-balanced colour film and to make it look more moderate, as well as providing shielding for the bulb in the unlikely event of its shattering during the flash.

Source -

110 Film - 110 is a cartridge-based film format used in still photography. It was introduced by Kodak in 1972. 110 is a miniaturised version of Kodak's earlier 126 film format. Each frame is 13 × 17 mm (0.51 × 0.67 in), with one registration hole.

The film is fully housed in a plastic cartridge, which also registers the image when the film is advanced. There is a continuous backing paper, and the frame number and film type are visible through a window at the rear of the cartridge. The film does not need to be rewound and is very simple to load and unload. It is pre-exposed with frame lines and numbers, a feature intended to make it easier and more efficient for photofinishers to print.

Unlike later competing formats, such as disc and APS film, processed 110 negatives were returned in strips, without the original cartridge.

Source -


alex luyckx's picture
Great podcast as always! I'm not a fan of 110 myself, but if I happen across one of the 110 SLRs I'll be sure to pick it up! Also about a week after I sent the typewriter letter, a deal was reached and I was back at work. And I'll start looking for a new ribbon for it.
Brian Reynolds's picture

If you have an iOS device, and want to try Sunny-16, then you might want to look at the Expositor app. It's a lot like the Expo-Mat calculator mentioned in the podcast, except you don't have to assemble it, and it has a wider range of exposure possibilities.

You can find screenshots and instructions at the developer's website or search for it in the iTunes App Store.  There's a Lite version available to try for free.

The Pentax Auto 110 also had a dedicated flash, and a motor winder available as extras.

Neil K's picture
Hi! Just finished listening to the latest show. About old-school paper exposure calculators: Oh-so-many years ago when I was shooting professionally I kept a Black Cat exposure guide in my camera bag. It was particularly useful for getting a good starting point for hard to meter scenes like stage shows. When I got back into photography a few years ago I missed it, and found that you can still buy them for $20. After I bought a new one I found the old one, of course. The Black Cat is billed as an "extended range" exposure guide. Sure, it'll get you through full sun/partial shade/cloudy bright outdoor situations but it also lists about 100 specific lighting situations ("sailboat with white sails", "fog with dim lights at night", "illuminated Arch of Triumph", "city skylines with buildings 10 minutes after sunset"). There are a lot of suggestions for astrophotography, too. It's extended range in that it can do exposure calculations from ISO 1.5 million down to .1, apertures from 1 to 1024, and shutter speeds from 1/28000 s to 27 hours. The way it works is there are letter codes for each scene. Find the letter code for your scene in the table. Then use the first calculator dial to match the iso of the film you're using to the scene letter code. Finally use the second calculator dial to set your desired aperture and see the shutter speed (or you can set shutter speed and see the correct aperture). Whether it's worth $20 depends on how often you find yourself in these oddball lighting situations. There's an iPhone app too, but the interface drives me crazy so I don't use it.
wbfgum's picture
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Matt Whited's picture
I'm listening to this show now but had to pause and comment on the people using iPads as a camera. Let alone people doing this at museums... I've watched them do this as weddings including jumping in front of the paid photographers to get bridal march photos. I'm sure the bride is so happy the photos she paid for were ruined by aunt Linda and her iPad.

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