Does Sunny 16 Rule Work?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by warheit12, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. warheit12

    warheit12 TPF Noob!

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    Like would it actually give me the correct exposure? In theory it sounds ok, and it seems like you wouldnt need the light meter.

    I just want to no before I start using film with this idea my friend just told me about lol.


     
  2. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    Sunny 16 will put you in the ballpark... pretty close to where you need to be. You can tweak it from there depending on conditions.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, the theory is good...and it should put you in the ballpark. But it really helps if you can read the conditions well....and learn to tell how far off of 'sunny' your light actually is. The good news is that most film has a nice wide latitude, so you have some leeway with your exposure.

    What sort of camera are you going to be using. Anything remotely modern will likely have a built-in light meter.
     
  4. warheit12

    warheit12 TPF Noob!

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    lol I have nothing modern. An old Canon TX film camera I think its from like 1975, my photography teacher from high school gave it to me for free nicely enough. It has some kind of light meter, but I think its either broken or I just dont really understand how to read it properly. It takes really nice pictures when I do get the exposures right. So far I have been guessing and how much light I "feel" is around me, its worked alright some pictures I get the exposure just right. On others I get it slightly off but the dudes I send my film to process/print correct over and under exposure and they are just nice in general. But I want to get better at photography, its just expensive to experiment around with film. I am soon getting a DSLR, but at the moment I am stuck with this camera, but I really do like film and even when i do go digital I wont stop with film.

    Maybe at some point I will switch over to a nicer film camera.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Years ago , Kodak place similar info on the box of the film, it is strange how close the suggestion came to being correct.

    I happen to use f11 instead of 16 as i like the negative that the switch creates for my equipment and process.

    That "rule" can be extrapolate up and down the scale depending on the lighting conditions and as Big Mike has suggested learning to understand the light and how you want to relate that to your work is critical to and for success
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, it does work on Planet Earth. It is however, as I understand it, only for above-ground shots, and not underwater. The Sunny 16 Rule is one of those weird intersections of a mathematical theory and simple environmental conditions. On light sand and snow, the lens must be closed down one f/stop to f/22. If clouds come out, the lens must be opened up one stop from f/16 to f/11. If heavier cloud cover develops, the lens needs to be opened to f/8. There used to be some very good illustrations of lighting conditions on the inside of boxes of film...those little drawings were excellent representations of the most common lighting conditions in everyday, real-world photography.
     
  7. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I just took my light meter outside (it's pretty sunny right now) and set it to ISO 100, f/16. It gave me a shutter speed of 1/90th - so I'd say the sunny 16 rule is a pretty good guide.
     
  8. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    Sunny16 works ridiculously well. Check out The Ultimate Exposure Computer and print out the parts of the tables that are relevant. You could fit them on a business card. An even better way if you have an old camera with a meter: Play around with it for a week or so asking guessing how many stops above/below Sunny16 your subject is before you meter. You will get good at it very quickly.
     
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  9. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    Double post.
     
  10. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Check out the links in my signature. They'll teach you how to change between equivalent exposures.
     
  11. Compaq

    Compaq Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I practice seeing lighting conditions in exposure values. It's easier than remembering shutter speed / aperture combinations, or remembering the sunny 16. I'm not very accurate yet, but I'm improving.
     
  12. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    On sunny days it works. Sucks in the rain and at night though.
     

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