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Thread: Have you ever have to use the Sunny 16 rule?

  1. #1

    Default Have you ever have to use the Sunny 16 rule?

    I just got a Rollei 35 LED from surfer18 (from CLUBsnap Buy & Sell) I was hoping to get the 35 S but drat! someone got to it first. The metering is very very off the mark amd since I dont have a light meter yet and dont wanna lug along an SLR just to meter.. that'd defeat the purpose of getting a small camera in the first place. So that leaves me with having to guess the exposure and shutter speed from the Sunny 16 rule...
    (Not the mention to guesstimate the focusing distance... a quirk of the Rollei 35)

    My question is have any of you guys come to a point where you have to use this rule? And how's the results?


    Sunny 16 rule:

    **************************************

    SUNNY 16 RULE
    When caught without a meter, one can use the "Sunny 16 Rule" as a guide for exposure. There are two steps to the rule, as outlined below:


    STEP 1: Set your shutter speed equal to your film speed.

    (i.e., Shutter = Film Speed)

    Examples: 1/60 for Velvia rated at ISO 50; 1/125 for TMax rated at ISO 100. Note that in most cases, the shutter speed will NOT EXACTLY EQUAL film speed, but will be set as close as possible to the film speed. It's simply easier to remember the rule as "Shutter = Film Speed."

    STEP 2: Set your aperture equal to f/16 for sunny sky.

    What if it's not sunny?
    If slightly overcast, open one stop to f/11. If overcast, open two stops to f/8. If deeply overcast, open three stops to f/5.6.

    How do I distinguish between slightly overcast, overcast and heavy overcast?

    Examine the shadow detail. If shadows are distinct but soft around the edges, then it's slightly overcast. If shadows are not distinct, but still visible - very soft - then it's overcast. If there are no shadows at all, then it's heavy overcast.

    The chart below provides a useful summary:



    SUNNY 16 CHART
    Aperture
    Lighting Conditions
    Shadow Detail

    f/16
    Sunny
    Distinct

    f/11
    Slight Overcast
    Soft around edges

    f/8
    Overcast
    Barely visible

    f/5.6
    Heavy Overcast
    No shadows

    *************************

  2. #2
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    Buy a box of Fuji Slide film, there is a small chart on the inner side of the paper box which recommend you a standard list of exposure setting to use for that film in different lighting condition.

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    Member patch17's Avatar
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    one thing to note, the sunny f16 rule doesn't restrict you to just adjusting aperture. One can also adjust the shutter speed to give an acceptable exposure.

    e.g. film = ISO 200, condition overcast without shadows.

    sunny f16 rule: Apperture f16; shutter speed 1/200 (if it was a bright sunny day). But because of the overcast conditions, you can either open up by 2 stops i.e. f8 at 1/200 or slow down shutter speed i.e. f16 at 1/60.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonpgc
    Buy a box of Fuji Slide film, there is a small chart on the inner side of the paper box which recommend you a standard list of exposure setting to use for that film in different lighting condition.
    Is it the same as the charts on the other films (on the boxes there's printed some rough guide)?


    Anyone knows where i can get one of these:
    http://www.harrisphotos.com/BetterPhot.html

  5. #5

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    Tried it out once for insects. Remember to compensate for tonality of subject and back/side lighting.

  6. #6

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    Hi tush, when you say your camera metering is way way off the mark, what do you exactly mean by that? Are you getting the meter from mid-tone area? What is the type of metering did you use?
    I believe that camera metering should fine if you work based on tonality.

  7. #7
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    i usually set my shutterspeed at 1/30 or 1/60 if i use ASA100 or 400 film,then i adjust the aperture according to my estimation..
    indoor with ASA400 is ard F2
    sunny outdoor f16 or 22( film handles overexposure better than under)
    overcast maybe 5.6

    bracket 2 stops if u are not sure..


    secret is practise and practise..

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Pepper
    Hi tush, when you say your camera metering is way way off the mark, what do you exactly mean by that? Are you getting the meter from mid-tone area? What is the type of metering did you use?
    I believe that camera metering should fine if you work based on tonality.
    Its not working properly. Afterall the camera is more than 20 years old. --> pointing at a very bright light, meter some times still show under exposed ( a situation that you definitely know is not right reading!)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tush
    Its not working properly. Afterall the camera is more than 20 years old. --> pointing at a very bright light, meter some times still show under exposed ( a situation that you definitely know is not right reading!)
    Any camera metering will be fooled if you point it to a very bright object. It's like you're instructing the camera to "make this bright object mid-tone". Thus, it will give you an underexpose reading, which is correct since camera metering is based on a mid-tone. If you will work on tonality and stops, say, you want to make the bright object appears as bright then you have to gauge how many stops this bright object from the mid-tone and adjust the aperture/shutter speed accordingly.

  10. #10
    Member patch17's Avatar
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    if you'd like to know more about calculating exposure mentally, try this link: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

    there's even some neat tables for exposure and shutter speed for different lighting situations.
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
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  11. #11

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    Thanks everybody for the advice and pointers. Just shot a roll of T400CN on the Rollei 35 LED this weekend. I'll see how it turns out. If OK then maybe I'll try to put up some shots here

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    Default Yes.....i have used it....b4

    Hi there....

    Yes, i have used it before with my manual cameras......Its when my pentax spotmatic metering battery was flat and used it with my TLR.

    Also tried many times with digital camera in manual mode referenced to ISO 100 scale .

    Well....its good to know this Sunny 16 rule as it helps you to have a feel of the setting that the camera choose...and the effects of the combination of the aperture and shutter.

    Regards,
    me
    Last edited by sulhan; 1st September 2003 at 09:05 AM.

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    I was shooting a wedding recently when I forgot to load batteries for my Pentax MX. The MX is a mechanical camera that uses batteries for its meter only so "make sure I got spare battery" check slip my mind. It was loaded with Reala film. When I got the negs back, I was actually quite surprised most of the exposures were acceptable. And for the few over/underexposed shots, the wide latitude of negative film still manage to churn out decent prints.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by patch17
    if you'd like to know more about calculating exposure mentally, try this link: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm

    there's even some neat tables for exposure and shutter speed for different lighting situations.
    I read the article, then they say to throw away the ultimate exposure computer guide and use the sunny 16 rule and work from there.

    What do they mean by this ? confused liao

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ansel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelvinang
    I was shooting a wedding recently when I forgot to load batteries for my Pentax MX. The MX is a mechanical camera that uses batteries for its meter only so "make sure I got spare battery" check slip my mind. It was loaded with Reala film. When I got the negs back, I was actually quite surprised most of the exposures were acceptable. And for the few over/underexposed shots, the wide latitude of negative film still manage to churn out decent prints.
    Yup. Agree with Kelvin. Use a consumer negative film such as Fuji Superia 200 or 400 and then apply the sunny 16 rule. The wide latitude of the negative film will allow for quite a bit or error, as much as 2 stops over and one stop under exposure. You'll be pleasantly surprised with your new found freedom!

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    Quote Originally Posted by myloplex
    I read the article, then they say to throw away the ultimate exposure computer guide and use the sunny 16 rule and work from there.

    What do they mean by this ? confused liao
    Do read that page again SLOWLY when you have time. It has lots of useful information and tips. Takes some time to digest.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by kelvinang
    Do read that page again SLOWLY when you have time. It has lots of useful information and tips. Takes some time to digest.

    I understand you need to use chart A and B to compare to choose the EV value then
    1) select the correct ASA
    2) Choose the aperture
    3) You get the shutter speed

    Choose different aperture to get different DOF

    Then it goes on to mention the sunny f16 rule.
    EV15 f16 1/125 ISO 100
    e.g cloudy day. EV value is 14.
    (Its says only 1 variable needs to be changed. But I tot if you change aperture your shutter needs to be changed to get the same exposure ?)

    So you can use:
    shutter change: 1/60 f22 ISO 100 (or isit 1/60 f16 ISO 100 ?)
    Aperture change: 1/250 f11 ISO 100 (or isit 1/125 f11 ISO 100 ?)
    ISO Change: f16 1/125 ISO 200

    So the main purpose of the ulimate exposure computer is to follow steps 1 to 3 above that's all ?

  18. #18
    Member patch17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myloplex
    I understand you need to use chart A and B to compare to choose the EV value then
    1) select the correct ASA
    2) Choose the aperture
    3) You get the shutter speed

    Choose different aperture to get different DOF

    Then it goes on to mention the sunny f16 rule.
    EV15 f16 1/125 ISO 100
    e.g cloudy day. EV value is 14.
    (Its says only 1 variable needs to be changed. But I tot if you change aperture your shutter needs to be changed to get the same exposure ?)

    So you can use:
    shutter change: 1/60 f22 ISO 100 (or isit 1/60 f16 ISO 100 ?)
    Aperture change: 1/250 f11 ISO 100 (or isit 1/125 f11 ISO 100 ?)
    ISO Change: f16 1/125 ISO 200

    So the main purpose of the ulimate exposure computer is to follow steps 1 to 3 above that's all ?
    hmmm... i think you miscalculated.

    let's take your example... cloudy day, ev 14. film is ISO 100.

    Sunny f16 exposure = f16 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    Since it's a cloudy day, ev is 14, so that means have to adjust by either:
    (1) opening up 1 stop. ie f11 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    (2) slowing down shutter speed. ie. 1/60 at f16
    (3) change your ISO setting to ISO 50 (hence sunny f16 rule becomes f16 at 1/60)

    get it?

    The trick is to use the rule as an "anchor" point from which to estimate suitable exposures. If you wanted more DOF, you'd keep the aperture small and adjust the shutter speed, but if you wanted to stop action, you'll want to use higher shutter speeds.

    ok, say it was a cloudy day, and your subject was a moving cyclist. You want to freeze the motion of the subject. Your loaded up with ISO 100 speed film.

    You prefocus at a point and wait for the subject to pass by, while waiting you work out your exposure....

    step 1: Sunny f16 "anchor" point - f16 at 1/100
    step 2: compensation for cloudy condition - f16 at 1/60 or f11 at 1/100

    you think, hey, i want to freeze the bugger, so i'll need at least 1/200 shutter speed.

    but your camera is set at f11, 1/100 (the "corrected" exposure from sunny f16 rule) this becomes your new anchor point (because of the cloudy conditions). Simply increase shutter speed to 1/200, which is an decrease of 1 stop, hence aperture needs to be opened up by 1 stop to compensate for increased shutter speed.

    Ergo, new exposure is f8 at 1/200

    sorry for the lengthy reply....
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
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  19. #19

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    "Sunny f16 exposure = f16 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    Since it's a cloudy day, ev is 14, so that means have to adjust by either:
    (1) opening up 1 stop. ie f11 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    (2) slowing down shutter speed. ie. 1/60 at f16
    (3) change your ISO setting to ISO 50 (hence sunny f16 rule becomes f16 at 1/60)"

    The above assumes you in Manual mode ?
    BUT
    in Av mode
    (1) f16 to f11 will cause the shutter to be f11 1/125 ?
    in Tv mode
    (2) 1/100 to 1/60 will cause the aperture to be f22 1/60 ?
    (3) I tot should be iso 200... since now cloudy, increase iso to allow more light

    I am saying the above you be the correct one based on you calculation
    f11, 1/100 -> you want 1/200 -> hence -> f8 1/200

    Hmm ...am I correct ?

  20. #20
    Member patch17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myloplex
    "Sunny f16 exposure = f16 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    Since it's a cloudy day, ev is 14, so that means have to adjust by either:
    (1) opening up 1 stop. ie f11 at 1/100 (or 1/125)
    (2) slowing down shutter speed. ie. 1/60 at f16
    (3) change your ISO setting to ISO 50 (hence sunny f16 rule becomes f16 at 1/60)"

    The above assumes you in Manual mode ?
    BUT
    in Av mode
    (1) f16 to f11 will cause the shutter to be f11 1/125 ?
    in Tv mode
    (2) 1/100 to 1/60 will cause the aperture to be f22 1/60 ?
    (3) I tot should be iso 200... since now cloudy, increase iso to allow more light

    I am saying the above you be the correct one based on you calculation
    f11, 1/100 -> you want 1/200 -> hence -> f8 1/200

    Hmm ...am I correct ?

    ummm.... If you use Av and Tv modes that means your camera is calculating the exposure for you. You simply adjust one of the variables and the camera take care of the rest. And if your camera can do that, why use the sunny f16 rule? The assumption was you have a dead or faulty meter so you need to manually calculate an exposure setting.

    ahhh... yes, you are right there. Should change film to ISO 200 to retain f16, 1/125 shutter speed setting. Thanks for the correction.

    (btw, increasing the ISO means you require less light to create an image. but this'll increase the grain size.)
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
    The toys

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