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Sunny 16 Rule .. in what fxxxin universe?!?!

I've stumbled across tipsters here and there that talk about the sunny 16 rule that suggest to always use that.. Some created a few charts to help.. blabla. Doesn't work in my world. So in whose universe does the sunny16 rule actually work? Here's my rant.

“The basic rule is, “On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight.” (Wikipedia)

So I’m out in the city with my digital, sun behind me, I’m setting the ISO to 100, the shutter to 1/100, the aperture to f16.
What do I get? Shit. Underexposed on a sunny day.
Cloudy, f11, ISO 100, shutter 1/100. What do I get? Underexposure. Either I bump the f-stop up to f4 or the ISO to 800 to get what I want out of the picture.

Recently I got ISO 64 film (ektachrome, expired since 1991).
And I’m like “crap, what do I do with ISO 64?!?!”..
Out of experience I knew its better (for me) to over- rather than underexpose pics..
So, sunny day, lots of snow, light bouncing of here and there.. perfect to try the sunny16 rule, right?
The following pics are taken with a f4.5, shutter 1/60 with ISO 64 film, with the sun basically on top of us, so pretty much hard light.

Now what the hell would I have if i used f16 ?? Would I get any details? Would I get any colours? Would I get ANYTHING other than silhouettes?
f16 compared to 4.5 is frikkin 4 stops of exposure, 4 FULL STOPS.
Yes, I overexposed the two double exposures by one stop. That’s because I wasn’t planning on doubles, it just happened.

I’m already pissed because I took a full roll of pics with my Holga using the ISO64 film. Right now I regret it. Why? Because I thought the Holga could handle it, but it doesnt. With an aperture of f16 ONLY (Yes, I actually unscrewed the damn thing and guess what? The Holga only has 1 frikkin aperture, I took a ruler to measure it) I basically screwed up a roll of 20 year old film. For what? A blank negative?
No thanks and never again.

For the last weeks I’ve been shooting the ISO 64 film according to my intuition – using a wide aperture (in the Lubitel’s case f4.5) and a rather slow shutter setting – for real sunny days 1/125, for cloudier 1/60 or even 1/30.
Why? Because then it works.

So rant over.. would anyone mind explaining why the first picture is exposed well, bearing in mind my settings?

written by xxxanderrr


  1. disdis


    so many different conditions out there,....

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. bcartwright


    Well, one thing to consider is that as film ages it gets slower. Color more quickly than black and white.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. xxxanderrr


    that was my first idea as well, but then i contacted the buyer, he basically kept the film in the fridge for the past 20 years. So it wouldn't have expired *that* much.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. mikeman85


    I still think your pictures came out really awesome! So vintage looking.

    But yeah, 20 years is a long time to be the words of Forrest Gump, "Expired film is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you're gonna get."

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. xxxanderrr


    Damn, now I want myself a box of chocolates.. I could eat a million and a half of these.. ;))

    but yea, I still need to test my theory of the sunny16 rule not working with other ISO film, lets see where that gets me =D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam