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09-11-2021, 12:17 PM - 3 Likes   #46
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Three more tips:

- Don't lock SS in the lost-sock drawer just because you don't have a meter-less film camera in hand. Develop a habit of evaluating lighting each time you . . . what? Look out the window? See a particular object or scene? Step outdoors? Start your automobile? Walk the dawg?

- There's smart phone apps you can use to evaluate ad hoc SS lighting exercises when you don't have a camera with you. Or, there's many pocketable, used, hand-held exposure meters available if you don't already have one forgotten in a drawer somewhere. (Expect to calibrate 'em to your application.)

- But here's the very best tip of all for quickly learning to use SS today. Review that stack of digital images in your computer and compare their EXIF data and histograms with your best estimate of a meter-less exposure. You'll be surprised how quickly you develop practical, meter-less skills for the type of shooting you actually do. Even works for evaluating typical indoor shots. EXIF data is a gold mine for learning, or teaching, photography skills.

- Oh, yeah. A slightly different, but equally useful, exercise: practice converting that EXIF TTL exposure data back to the basic SS equivalent numbers . . . or, invent your own basic guidelines for the shooting YOU do; SS isn't the ONLY way to SWAG ad hoc exposure.



Last edited by pacerr; 09-11-2021 at 12:56 PM.
09-11-2021, 03:00 PM - 2 Likes   #47
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We have it so good for estimating exposure via the SS guideline with digital. If I have the time I use digital preview to check the guess via the histogram or just start shooting and modify as you go.
Far better feedback than it used to be when you sent your film away for developing. It was so much harder to get a learning curve.
And also after a while shuffling the numbers get easier.
I simplify it by remembering that
f4 is 4 stops from f16
1/100 is 4 stops from 1/1600
as is iso100 to iso 1600.
And if it is a reasonable day out there chances are it is within 4 stops of full sun.
09-12-2021, 08:33 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I recommend bringing a Sextant along with the camera for proper application of the Sunny 16 rule.
Good idea, though if you already know your lat/lon and the date and time, you should be able to derive the sun angle from the appropriate tables in your Bowditch.

Last edited by Neuse River Sailor; 09-12-2021 at 08:38 AM.
09-12-2021, 09:40 AM - 2 Likes   #49
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Their Bowditch?! Oh, now you've opened a real can of Sunny Sixteen woolly-worms.

And, IME, pre-digital era exposure calculations will require an astrolabe and an hour-glass rather than a sextant; however, some may argue that an octant will suffice. Perhaps, but only if it has no noticeable purple fringing in the secondary mirror.



09-13-2021, 02:57 AM - 1 Like   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neuse River Sailor Quote
Good idea, though if you already know your lat/lon and the date and time, you should be able to derive the sun angle from the appropriate tables in your Bowditch.
Good idea. A laminated de-rating table base of latitude and time of the day, in camera bag, should be created to improve on the practical application of the Sunny 16 rule. The table could also include color temperature, since it's also function of position and time of the day (if not cloudy).
09-13-2021, 04:58 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Good idea. A laminated de-rating table base of latitude and time of the day, in camera bag, should be created to improve on the practical application of the Sunny 16 rule. The table could also include color temperature, since it's also function of position and time of the day (if not cloudy).
Heck you guys will be getting it down to a quarter stop accuracy!!
09-13-2021, 05:00 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Heck you guys will be getting it down to a quarter stop accuracy!!
Air pollution in Urban areas should be factored in, as some of the light is absorbed by dark particles.

09-13-2021, 09:09 AM - 1 Like   #53
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IME, y'all are tryin' to make a race horse out of a donkey.

Sunny Sixteen's a very simple, judgemental tool. It's one that needs no batteries -- hard to imagine that today, isn't it?.

But, like all tools, it does require a bit of mindful, practical experience to apply it effectively.

You can't become an instant, human digital light meter by trying to parse a simple, subjective evaluation of a light source and subject into micro-fine categories.

And . . . it's flexible too:

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
if I shoot at f/11, exposure is pretty much spot-on.
Mack's got a customized 'Sunny 11' tool.


The only simpler 'tools' I know of are "f-8 and be there" and "Don't forget to load the film, dummy!"

Last edited by pacerr; 09-13-2021 at 10:48 AM.
09-13-2021, 02:22 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
IME, y'all are tryin' to make a race horse out of a donkey.
That is probably because they are used to the camera metering making the appearance of a racehorse out of a donkey. All those smart metering options still just coming out with just one EV
09-13-2021, 08:27 PM   #55
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I honestly just straight up guess. If you're shooting color negative film (especially a film like Portra) your exposure latitude is insane for highlights.

My meter's battery had died for these shots and I just completely winged it at f8. I just shot what I thought would probably overexpose the film and it came out fine.
I feel like most people who have been shooting for a while can just have an intuition that'll be in the right ballpark.





---------- Post added 09-13-21 at 11:35 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
The only simpler 'tools' I know of are "f-8 and be there" and "Don't forget to load the film, dummy!"
I'm a big proponent of f8 and be there. Honestly it's the aperture that always just looks right no matter what I do (except for macro of course).
09-13-2021, 08:42 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I honestly just straight up guess. If you're shooting color negative film (especially a film like Portra) your exposure latitude is insane for highlights.
And that is a key difference of the SS on digital. If your "landscape" has a section of sky that you wish to retain tonal range in then you need to compensate for it.
09-13-2021, 09:16 PM   #57
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How does 'digital' make SS exposure evaluation different?
09-13-2021, 09:21 PM - 1 Like   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
How does 'digital' make SS exposure evaluation different?
Because you'd want to lean into preserving the highlights. On digital shadow information is trivial to bring back. It's where all the dynamic range is really.
09-13-2021, 11:48 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
Because you'd want to lean into preserving the highlights. On digital shadow information is trivial to bring back. It's where all the dynamic range is really.
Ya nailed it Zombie!
09-13-2021, 11:53 PM   #60
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But isn't that simply manipulating...uh, adjusting? the exposure solution to suit the scene regardless of the type of 'sensor'? We did that when evaluating for film too.

It was called using the Zone System -- that Ansel Adam's thing -- which is just a sophisticated SS process with lots of spot readings to mess with during both exposure and PP.

Today we have TTL metering (thanks Pentax Spotmatic) with three modes for reading SS lighting values:

- 1) There's Spot mode: a tightly focused, OEM-selected SS exposure solution with selective, optional +/- exposure biasing based on, guess what, your personal preference and experience.

- 2) Center Averaged mode: which is a w i d e r spot with simple biasing toward the center of the scene, say ~2x or 3x bias, which today is an automated SS solution with selective, optional +/- exposure biasing based on, again, your personal preference and experience.

- 3) Matrix mode: which is dozens of tiny 'spot sensors' arranged in a matrix that can be assigned variable, computer-driven bias values for each piece of the jigsaw puzzle -- with selective, overall +/- exposure biasing.

'Scene' modes are just a proprietary set of appropriate matrix biases assigned to various zones of the puzzle to satisfy different scenes with logical aperture and shutter speed choices favoring action or DOF. Which is exactly what I do when evaluating exposure without a meter.

- 4) Program mode's a SS solution programed for the middle of the variables with selectable ISO, often with the ability to select for speed (action) or DOF (landscape) scenes -- like on some older film bodies.

- 5) Green mode's an Auto, OEM-chosen, SS solution that's locked-down enough you can't screw up the basics and blame it on the camera. Fool-proof, right? Only if there's not an overly energetic fool around!

The biggest problem with understanding the Sunny Sixteen rule is its name.
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