Sunny f/16

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sharp21, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. sharp21

    sharp21 TPF Noob!

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    As I understand it, the rule is such that on a sunny day, you set your aperture to f/16, then your film speed to match your ISO, ie, 1/100 for 100iso.
    When I do this with my GX10, it always reads underexposed! Would this be a quirk with the digital shooting, or is it in the meter?
    S.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    No two cameras will give an identical exposure, just the same as no two films, but still, they should be reasonably close. The sunny 16 rule is based on a subject being in direct full sun. If it is cloudy, you'll need to open up a stop. If your subject is in open shade, you'll need to open up 1 to 2 stops. My guess is that the conditions you were shooting in were not as "sunny" as the rule is based on.

    It certainly doesn't hurt to know about and understand the Sunny 16 rule, but in today's age, with the sophistication of light metering, even those built into p&s cameras, there is no reason not to use the technology and take an accurate meter reading, so you can get a good exposure.
     
  3. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Either that or you're shooting dark objects. Regardless of what the meter says, how do the photos look?

    Dave
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also, a thing to keep in mind about using higher apertures is that after a certain point, the sharpness of your images start to degrade... For most lenses, f/16 is not the sharpest setting.

    In the most simple terms, depending on your lens, images shot at f/16 may well not be as sharp as those shot at f/8 or f/11... nor is there really any general need (other than depth of field) to shoot at high apertures with most digital cameras.

    Personally, I would consider learning the "sweet spot" of your lenses a lot more important than archaic exposure rules of thumb (where you would be FAR better served to use a light meter -- either in your camera or external) than just guessing.

    But that is me.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another sad fact is that there is approx. 22% less sunlight getting through the atmosphere than there was about 50 years ago due to the pollution (see the journal Nature or catch a rerun on the Discovery channel). What you are seeing may well be a function of that.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Re-reading this, I think I misunderstood you. Your pictures aren't underexposed, but your meter is telling you that f/16 @1/100 will underexpose. Is that correct?

    If so, then you have to consider that a bright sunny day is an impossible dynamic range for a camera to capture. If your meter is reading off of something in shade, it will indeed be underexposed, and this portion of the scene will probably record underexposed. Bright sunny days are difficult to shoot.
     
  7. sharp21

    sharp21 TPF Noob!

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    Apologies, but when I said underexposed I meant overexposed! :blushing:
    But yes, its not that the pics are overexposed, its that the meter shows that it will be way overexposed.
    Like sabbath said, I AM trying to find the sweetspot, but this is my first dsrl & im just trying to find a base point to start from. This camera has a wide span of apertures so its tough to decide which to use!
    Im just trying to "understand" my shots better. I could always leave it in manual, but that kind of defeats the purpose!
    S.

    ps. samsung gx-10 fyi
     
  8. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Well, seeing that you're taking pictures and not capturing memorable meter readings, I'd say the sunny 16 rule did you some good. You are probably shooting some lighter than grey objects which fools your (and any reflective) meter. Do some reading on exposure.

    Dave
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you shooting in manual?

    If not do so and then check your histograms. If you spend 3 or 4 days straight shooting in manual you should start to get the hang of it.

    Look up some DOF tables to get an idea which aperture to use.
     
  10. sharp21

    sharp21 TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting in manual & ive got it set so that once you take the shot, the histogram is displayed. If its too far one way or the other ill adjust & go again.
    The apature goes from f/4 to f/29, so its a case of figuring out what to use for different shots. Ive been reading Understanding Exposure, which has helped, but im just trying to get away from shooting everythign in f/5.4 & f/11!
    Practice is the word of the day I suppose..
    S.
     
  11. Sweetsomedays

    Sweetsomedays TPF Noob!

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    Heck I nearly always shoot f/2.80-f/4 with a fast shutter speed (sporting events) unless I'm panning and it works just fine....
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take a photo of something white and look at it on the histogram. It should not be clipped using the sunny 16 rule. You really are exposing for the highlights. That said too in Europe it was more of a Sunny 11 rule. There really does not seem to be as much light as there used to.
     

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