5.6 vs. Sunny 16

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stevet1, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. stevet1

    stevet1 TPF Noob!

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    I've read that 5.6 is a good average aperture to use.
    Lately, I've learned about the Sunny 16 method. I know that circumstances are going to vary, but which would be better to use?

    Steve Thomas


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Sunny 16 doesn't mean you have to use f/16. It's just a starting point to guesstimate exposure.

    Once you figure your shutter speed, you can start changing them.
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    f/5.6 might be good for some circumstances, but probably not for every shot. Depends on what you want for the DOF, and the light conditions. Somebody told you that the mid-range aperture settings will probably give you a decent DOF, and many lenses actually perform better in the mid range.

    The "sunny 16" rule of thumb is a reasonable starting point when guessing at the exposure when you don't have a light meter. (Your camera has a light meter in it.)

    I'd say don't use either one reflexively, but use the technology that is in your camera to determine the correct exposure.
     
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  4. dennyr

    dennyr TPF Noob!

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    Maybe it is my imagination, but it seems like there are a lot of these "Better/Best" type of questions lately.

    Anyway.......Do you understand the different look you will get between 5.6 and 16.?

    If you want f/5.6 and you have the shutter speed (or ND filter) go for it. :)
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    An aperture value of f/5.6 gives you a shutter speed that is three stops faster then the speed needed for f/16. An aperture value of f/16 is very small and will usually cut down absolute sharpness compared with f/5.6, due to the effect of something called diffraction. However f/16 will have substantially more depth of field than will f/5.6.
    If you use the "sunny 16" rule by setting the shutter speed to1/100 of a second and use and Use an ISO level of 100,your shutter speed will be too slow for many types of action photographs, so it would be far better to use f/5.6 and a shutter speed that is three exposure value levels faster than 1/100 --or in other words 1/800 of a second at F5.6

    The idea that there is a best aperture or even a good average aperture to use is like saying that, "driving in third gear is the best"...
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wherever you read that f5.6 was a good average aperture to use seems to be providing some inaccurate information (at least I don't get why that would be recommended). You'd do better to learn how to meter a scene to determine if you're getting an appropriate amount of light for a proper exposure.

    Seems like Sunny 16 was usually used in a pinch if a photographer didn't have a meter handy.
     
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  7. BillM

    BillM TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    F/5.6 is a common aperture as it is the maximum aperture for many "kit lenses", so lots of people will just set their aperture to f/5.6 and adjust from there to get proper exposure as that is the widest aperture they have at their disposal. I did it all the time when I was getting started. And there is nothing wrong with f/5.6, I used it the other day to get the DOF I needed for a specific shot due to my distance to my subject. And I was using f/1.4 glass, if I had shot at an aperture of f/1.4 from that distance I might have only had a half an inch of depth of field instead of the 4 or so inches f/5.6 gave me. I wanted everything from the tip of his nose back to his ears in focus.


    850_2164.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
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  8. Original katomi

    Original katomi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would look up the review on your lens and find the sweet spot and go from there.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In general:
    If you are a beginner, instead of thinking f/5.6 is a good average aperture and learn about Sunny 16, I'd recommend you take a look at how the aperture affect the photos and how to effectively use the camera build-in reflective light meter with exposure compensation if needed.



    For choosing a aperture, you need to find out when you should shoot wide open or should NOT. In what circumstances that you better shoot with a smaller aperture or a doesn't matter aperture hence lens sweet spot (best aperture for a lens at a given focal length which produce a sharpest image) comes into play.

    Personally, I do not think there is a good average aperture to use, it all depends on what you are capturing, how you like your photos looks and what equipment you are using. Portrait photo with background isolation photo is going to be different than taking a wide view photo of the mountain in a distance and is going to be different than taking a head shot of a bee. Once you know more about the effect of the aperture on the photos and practice for awhile, you maybe able to choose the right aperture of the photo.
     
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  10. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    many fast-maximum sperture prime lenses have exquisite performance at F5.6. Most prime lenses between 24 mm and 135 mm offer extreme sharpness and high contrast at F5.6
     

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