Here’s a particular version of the “Sunny 16” rule that has given recommendations that closely mirror what my incident light meters read around 42° 28’ North (Ann Arbor, Michigan) in the main part of the day. It's better than the simple rule because it takes a variety of lighting conditions into considerration.
Printed on the Inside of a Box of Kodak Plus-X pan, ASA 125 expiration 05/1998:
“Set your camera or meter to ASA 125 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”
The weak link in the process is our ability to accurately access the lighting conditions. Early morning or late afternoon light is weaker than the main part of the day or in foul weather.
Of course, nothing beats an accurate light meter when exposures have to be correct.
Last edited by Ian C; 11-24-2011 at 10:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.