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Thread: The f/16 RULE

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    Member becca's Avatar
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    The f/16 RULE

    I am currently doing an assignment on the f/16 RULE. So far, the info i have is:

    The rule states that if working in full sun, set the aperture to f/ 16 and the shutter speed will be equal to the reciprocal of the ISO. In practice, for example you are shooting at an ISO of 100 in full sun; simply set the aperture to f/ 16 and the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO, which is 1/100 second.

    You can of course use any combination of shutter speed and aperture as long as it converts back to f/ 16 at 1/100, such as f/8 at 1/400 or the like. This trick generally works quite well, but be mindful that if the scene is a bit shadowed then you must do a bit of interpretation and make some exposure adjustments

    I sort of understand it but the maths gets me a bit muddled up! Does anyone have an easier way of explaining it? Would that mean that f/4, would be ISO 1600, taken at 1/1600 ?!!
    Last edited by becca; 24-01-2009 at 1:23pm. Reason: Can't read colours

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    No idea about this myself
    However I had a lot of difficulty reading your post as you coloured your writing yellow and I have the white skin/background set for this site, meaning your text comes up as yellow on a white background, makes for hard viewing. Just so you know in future posts
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    Thanks - I'll change it.

    The f/16 RULE
    I am currently doing an assignment on the f/16 RULE. So far, the info i have is:

    The rule states that if working in full sun, set the aperture to f/ 16 and the shutter speed will be equal to the reciprocal of the ISO. In practice, for example you are shooting at an ISO of 100 in full sun; simply set the aperture to f/ 16 and the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO, which is 1/100 second.
    You can of course use any combination of shutter speed and aperture as long as it converts back to f/ 16 at 1/100, such as f/8 at 1/400 or the like. This trick generally works quite well, but be mindful that if the scene is a bit shadowed then you must do a bit of interpretation and make some exposure adjustments.

    I sort of understand it but the maths gets me a bit muddled up! Does anyone have an easier way of explaining it? Would that mean that f/4, would be ISO 1600, taken at 1/1600 ?!!
    Last edited by becca; 24-01-2009 at 2:48pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becca View Post
    Thanks - I'll change it.
    i changed it for you Becca. Members can only edit posts for 60 minutes after the original post time

    The Sunny 16 Rule, which like many photographic rules, is more a guide than a definitive Rule!

    Basically you have sunny 16 right. On a sunny day set your aperture to f16, then select your ISO, then set your shutter speed to 1/ISO. So if you set your ISO to 800, your shutter speed using the Sunny 16 Rule would be 1/ISO or 1/800th of a second.

    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

    The above table expands on the Sunny 16 Rule for other light conditions (ie Not Sunny).

    Here is a link to more information on this : http://guidetofilmphotography.com/su...-exposure.html
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    Thumbs up

    Great tip Rick.
    I will have to give that a try.
    I hadnt heard of it before.
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    Peter
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    Thanks - makes sense, I have got something to work with.
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    interesting. but wouldn't you just check your exposure as you do the shot and adjust?

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    interesting. but wouldn't you just check your exposure as you do the shot and adjust?
    Yep, but remember we are dealing with newbies, and its all part of the learning curve. This 'Rule" has been around from way before we had metering in cameras.

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    Thanks Rick. That's really helpful.

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Sunny 16 Rule
    The basic exposure rule for an average scene taken on a bright, sunny day is to use f/16 at a shutter speed equivalent to one over the ISO setting; that is, f/16 at 1/100 sec (or the nearest equivalent, 1/125) at ISO 100, etc. In other words, the shutter speed will vary according to the ISO you are using. From this you can interpolate other exposures.

    Here is the Sunny 16 rule laid out in tables for common settings.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Who me? dbax's Avatar
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    thats a handy little table Kym.
    Cheers
    Last edited by dbax; 26-01-2009 at 1:38pm. Reason: spooling
    Cheers David.

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    thanks for bringing this up Becc, and thanks to those who replied because it handy to recap on things to jog ones memory. so thanks again to those folk. ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    interesting. but wouldn't you just check your exposure as you do the shot and adjust?
    Remember that not everyone has a light meter in their camera and sometimes they don't have a hand held light meter. The sunny 16 rule is suprisingly accurate, good enough for transparencies. When shooting print film, then there is plenty of latitude to be even a couple of stops out on your calculation. It is also quite a buzz to shoot without a meter, without autofocus, manually setting all parameter with no electronics, and nail the shot.

    Some lenses, like those found on a Carl Zeiss Hasselblad lens, will allow you to set the shutter speed and aperture then lock the two together. This allows you to set any aperture or shutter speed desired, whilst keeping the original combination juxtoposed. This makes the 'maths' easier.

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