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  1. #21

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    I grew up on the Sunny 16 system and still at 63 use it before turning on the meter if I have it with me. With practice, you eye and mind can follow light and quickly judge the adjustments starting with the rule but I seriously doubt many have made a project or set a goal of learning the system. I used to teach it to my 1st year photogrpahy students who generally as a group quickly grasped the concepts as thye had not be trained to rely on a meter as of yet.

    If you want a good, actually excellent, system chart go find an older Rolleiflex that has the latitude and time adjustments on the chart for the system. In testing it I found it was a good refinement of the general rule but possibly because of changing atmospheric conditions and the ozone layer just provided a better jumoing off place to start.

    I think the largest issue with the system is one similar to using a meter which is what is the true speed of the film. It seems to me at least that with older film the listed speed seemed closer to its ideal; maybe a reult of more subjective testing back them. If the listed film speed is a stop or more off from the ideal you have to adjust accordingly and why you may have some error introduced with the system. An iso 100 film better rated at iso 50 will throw off the system by an entire stop and it is not unusual for todays' films to be that far off. Maybe the makers are simlply relying on the film latitude to make up the difference and they "need" a certain listed film speed for marketing reasons.

    I seem to remember Fuji (I remember it being Fuji) at 1 time published a modified Sunny 16 guide in one of its color film cartons that was a Sunny 11 syetem. A fellow photogrpaher who knew film better than I told me it was because the listed speed was not the same as the optimal speed and hence the maker modded the system on the box to advise buyers to set their metering to the preferred optimal speed. I guess a way to get a specific film speed to market for the marketing guys while telling those smart enough what the photographers what it really should be shot at.

  2. #22
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuggins View Post
    I'm sure this question has come up before, but I would like to hear different folks' experience with the Sunny 16 rule. I lived in Pennsylvania when I first became aware of exposure, and nothing was ever Sunny 16. The best you could hope for with the sun directly behind you at mid-day was Sunny 11; Sunny 8 was pretty common. Then I moved to Texas, and the summer sun directly behind would meter f16, but f11 was still more common. On trips to the Rockies, the Sunny 16 rule (as displayed on the back of my Olympus S II's) worked out right, and I could feel the increased sun's intensity on the back of my neck. I also saw f16 on trips to Hawaii. So for many years I was content to interpret Sunny 16 as a "brightest possible sun" rule, often seen in the tropics and a mile or more up in the Rockies, occassionally seen in Texas, never in Appalachians.

    I recently got back from a trip to England, in September. Two weeks before the equinox, at latitudes above 50 degrees, essentially at sea level I was concerned that the 100VS film would be pushing its practical limits. But the meter showed otherwise. England was metering a full stop faster than I would have expected in Texas. The processed film proved the meter was correct.

    What have other people observed about Sunny 16 at various locations?
    spot on!good enoigh to calibrte the metin grmany ,floridaand elsewhere!
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  3. #23

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    I recently bought the first camera I've ever had with an "A" on the shutter speed dial, and I'm sold. It's f/4 and A most of the time, except where it's f1.4 and A. :-) Like some of the others, I've been doing this for 50+ years, but when I look at my recent film compared with 30 years ago. . . well, the camera is doing a lot better than I did. And I was such a Luddite back then!

  4. #24
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    For the record, I went on a week long backpacking trip in SE Utah to some rock art and ruins I have been wanting to photograph for years and when I setup for my first shoot, I realized I forgot my meter. No worries, I used the sunny 16 and some common sense (that alcove seems a little darker...) and 75% of my slides were correct and easily 90% of my negs. Funny, it was almost a higher percentage than if I used a handheld meter because sometimes I overthink things.

    It works, just use your brain with it.
    K.S. Klain

  5. #25
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Did not Brett Weston say something like,,, what do I need a meter for, what would happen if it broke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    For the record, I went on a week long backpacking trip in SE Utah to some rock art and ruins I have been wanting to photograph for years and when I setup for my first shoot, I realized I forgot my meter. No worries, I used the sunny 16 and some common sense (that alcove seems a little darker...) and 75% of my slides were correct and easily 90% of my negs. Funny, it was almost a higher percentage than if I used a handheld meter because sometimes I overthink things.

    It works, just use your brain with it.

  6. #26
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    I live at the beach in Sunny Southern California USA. Sunny 16 must have been invented for us. I also use my gut (a gut that has been shooting with and without a meter for 50 years). On super bright days, on the sand with a glare off the ocean, I've shot at f22 with great results.

  7. #27

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    I remember reading somewhere that the Sunny 16 rule - for an f/16 exposure - means noonday sun. I've used it for a long time and I get fine results on negative film (I haven't shot slides in a long time and when I do it's usually with a camera with a built-in meter). One thing I did when I was first learning photography was carry my light meter, but no camera, and attempt to estimate the exposure and then check it against the meter. This taught me a lot about the variance of light throughout the day and weather conditions.

    My mentor, John Scarlata, said that his first trip to New Zealand gave him some exposure difficulties. He had to adjust his exposures down 20% or so to account for the bright light (compared to the Southeastern US especially).

  8. #28
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Sunny 16 works well in most mid latitude areas, even in low latitude areas.

    During the Winter in Rochester New York, it is Sunny 11 or Sunny 8. Why, because the color of the sky in the Winter in Rochester New York is the standard for the 18% middle gray card! That is one of the two reasons George Eastman founded Kodak in Rochester. The other reason is that Rochester New York is the World's Largest Natural Darkroom!
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #29

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    The most difficult time to estimate exposure is late afternoon, when light decreases rapidly but the eye compensates. Last summer I shot a sand sculpture competition on the beach and the meter fell three stops in a short duration. I'd have guessed no more than one.

  10. #30
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    My "sunny 16 " is to take a light meter reading first, then think about it taking my experience into consideration.
    Ben

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