Sunny f/16 rule

From Academic Kids

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Image:quebec_mountain_small.jpg

In photography, the sunny f/16 rule is a method to obtain correct exposure without using a light meter.

The basis of the sunny f/16 rule are

1. Set your shutter speed to the closest setting above one over your film speed.

2. Set f stop according to the following table :

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

For example, to shoot 100 ISO speed film in sunny conditions, set the shutter speed to 1/125th, and the f-stop to f/16. With 200 ISO film, set the speed to 1/250th (always one speed faster than 1/film speed). As with other light readings, the shutter speed can be changed, as long as the f-stop is compensated. For example, 1/250th of a second at f/11 would be equivalent to 1/125th at f/16.

Similar rules exist for moonlight photography.

The rule works well for daylight outside photography. As the rule is based on incident light an experienced photographer could get better exposure than with any measure system based on reflected light.

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