Sunny 16.. very accurate

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ToddB, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Hi guys,

    as long as I've been shooting.. I'm ambarrassed to say that i just found about Sunny 16 theory a couple of weeks ago. I tried it last weekend and I was amazed on how accurate the images came out as far as exposure.

    ToddB
     
  2. henk@apug

    henk@apug Member

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    Can come in very handy indeed !
     
  3. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    I use a lot of cameras without meters and I use the sunny 16 rule frequently, although I usually find it to be more like sunny 11 or sunny 13. It has to be pretty bright to go all the way to f16.

    I even find it extremely handy when I am using a camera with a meter. I commonly look at the scene and the light, decide what I want my exposure settings to be, and then check the metering in the viewfinder to see if the camera agrees with me. I frequently go with my own settings even if the camera doesn't totally agree and I am rarely wrong on my exposures. My compositions are frequently screwed up, but the exposure usually comes out pretty good.
     
  4. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Indeed, I was obsessed with having meters built in until I tried Sunny 16. With negative film, it works just fine. Err on the side of overexposure, and you can't go wrong really.
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    My first 35mm camera didnt have a meter, i went by the exposure recommendation packaged with the film. Nearly 50 years later I fing I still dont use a meter, unless its a critical shot. Mostly I go with sunny 11, unless a bright background, then its sunny 16.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    This works pretty well with negative materials. If you are using color reversal (and you should....get a projector for 6x6 slides and flabbergast the digikinder), you'll find that a meter is neccesary due to the very short scale - 5 stops in the case of Velvia - of the material.

    Another case where you'll need a meter is the zone system.
     
  7. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    cool.. Got any guesses on cloudy ?

    ToddB
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Get a meter and you don't need to guess.:wink:
     
  9. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    Printed on the Inside of a Box of Kodak Plus-X pan, ASA 125:

    Set your camera or meter to ASA 125 (if it has a meter) and shutter speed to 1/125 second.

    Bright or hazy sun on light sand or snow f/16

    Bright or hazy sun (distinct shadows) f/11—use f/5.6 for backlit close-up subjects

    Weak, hazy sun (soft shadows) f/8

    Cloudy bright (no shadows) f/5.6

    Heavy overcast/open shade f/4—subject shaded from the sun but lighted by a large area of clear sky
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    That is actually sunny 11 then as most photographs are not taken on sand or snow.

    My understanding was:

    f16 Bright sun
    f11 Cloudy
    f8 Overcast
    f5.6 Heavy overcast

    and that f22 should be used on sand or snow in bright sun.


    Steve.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Always worked well for me with K-64. 1/250th@f8 or equivalent.
     
  12. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    I have sekonic 408 and use it all the time.. but I thought just off the top to make snap call on Fstop it would be great to know.

    ToddB
     
  13. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Sure, it works great out on the lawn at 2:00pm.:smile: What do you do under difficult conditions? Meter.:wink: At no time over the past 40 years have I been wealthy enough that I could afford not to meter.
    With B&W, I use kind of a bastard zone system which doesn't leave room for error, either.
     
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  15. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I miss those little fold up sheets that used to come in the film boxes.

    Sunny-16 rules. Last summer I made a mistake of trusting my in-camera meter and a whole roll was drastically over exposed due to a dying meter battery.

    I should remember the habit of sanity checking the metered settings with Sunny-16 observations.
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    For me it's more like Sunny 8. :smile: I like thick, bullet proof negatives. :smile:
     
  17. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Well of course, it's "Sunny 16". That's when I use it-when it's sunny. No need to meter when I know the the conditions. On a very bright inland SoCal spring or fall day I close down 1/3 or 1/4 stop. On a smoggy summer day I seldom add exposure, because I usually want it to look the way it really does- a little dimmer and yellowish. We hardly ever have those really smoggy days we used to have, though.

    I meter or rely on experience, depending on the details of the situation.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Sunny 16 has saved me here, too. I always eyeball and compare my in-head exposure estimate with the one on the meter. If nothing else, it's good mental excersise
     
  19. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    When I was playing around last weekend. I double checked with my sekonic and found out that sunny 16 was accurate to sekonic for most cases. Pretty cool.

    ToddB
     
  20. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I broke my meter about 2 months ago and don't like the Mamiya's built in so have been using sunny 16 exclusively. More proper exposures than using Aperture priority.
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I use sunny 16 rule when my meter battery goes 'dead'.

    Jeff
     
  22. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Not necessarily the case. I have successfully shot plenty of Provia (in 4x5 no less!) at mid day with nothing more than Sunny-16.
     
  23. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    It's not really surprising that sunny 16 is accurate. The sun as a light source is a constant. The only thing modifying it is the amount of of diffusion added by clouds (and to a lesser extent, pollution in the air).

    The only variable is in our abilities to recognise it.

    Whilst we might not be able to accurately measure actual light levels using our eyes due to the fact that our irises open and close to compensate, we can recognise contrast which is also dependant upon the diffusion added by clouds.


    Steve.
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    for my own work at least it might be sunny 11, but a lot of the time it is sunny 8 or 5.6 ( box camera ) ...
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    For the last few years, the info was often printed on the inside of the box itself.
     
  26. John cox

    John cox Member

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    I do a night photography project every year and have found that similar rules apply at night. The moon is usually as bright as a sunny 16 day (If you were to take a picture of the moon), you can zone meter accordingly and get results that work. This comes in handy as sometimes batteries freeze in Canadian winter nights making light meters moot.