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Sunny Sixteen (sunny f/16) Rule!

Posted by oneslidephotogaraphy On January - 29 - 2016
Leica m7

Leica m7

Scenario: The light metering of your analogue camera is defective, but the camera itself still works well. What should you do to ensure you still get the results you want?
There is a savior of a guide for such a predicament: the “sunny sixteen.” This guide states: when shooting in an outdoor setting, with the sun shining bright on a clear cloudless day, one should turn and set the aperture of the lens to 16 (f/16) with the shutter speed matching the roll of film’s ISO model.

Sunny Sixteen  Rule

Sunny Sixteen Rule


For instance, if you were using an ISO 200 film, the settings combination would be of a 1/200 seconds shutter speed with the lens aperture set at f/16. Most analogues however, does not include a 1/200 seconds setting between the 1/125 and 1/250 seconds notch. To be on the safe side, set the shutter speed to 1/125 second. This will of course result in a bit of an overexposed shot. But when using a negative film, this won’t be much of a problem and can easily manipulated during the developing process.
I will further give you examples of other instances in lighting conditions in the listings below. You have to keep in mind, however, that these numbers serves as only a beginning guide. It would be best if you tested these, do trials in different lighting conditions, and adjust as you personally see fit.


This listis in the order of “lighting conditions”/”aperture setting”/”shutter speed”:
Clear and sunny; f/16; 1/(film’s ISO)
Cloudy; f/11; 1/(film’s ISO);
Overcast; f/8; 1/(film’s ISO);
Object under a shadow; f/5.6; 1/(film’s ISO);


Happy shooting!
S p o n s o r e d L i n k s





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