F16 Sunny Day Rules

alderney gate train yard

Lighthouse waxed on about sitting stoned in their back yard on sunny days, well Today is sunny and I’m going to try the F16 rule for the first time ever.  Yes, prior to today I have never used conventional measures of exposure.  I relied on the good old histogram, now I am going to embrace those historic film yardsticks.  I’ll post the results anon.

UPDATE: Gallery After the Jump

From Wikipedia.com

“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 basic rule is, “On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the ISO film speed.”[1] For example:

  • On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on most cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).
  • On a sunny day with ISO 200 film and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
  • On a sunny day with ISO 400 film and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.

As with other light readings, shutter speed can be changed as long as the f-number is altered to compensate, e.g. 1/250 second at f/11 gives equivalent exposure to 1/125 second at f/16.

An elaborated form of the Sunny 16 rule is to set shutter speed nearest to the ISO film speed and f-number according to this table:[2][3]

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
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~ by vwbora25 on 04/15/2009.

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