Sunny 16 Rule
If you shoot with a mechanical camera with no light meter, a manual camera with broken meter, or you just want to learn how to shoot without using a meter with this is a great technique for you. The Sunny 16 rule will help you shoot without a meter and it’s very accurate when done right.
- Set your aperture based on your conditions.
- Set shutter speed* to match the film iso you’re shooting.
100iso = 100th | 200iso = 200th | 400iso = 400th | 800iso = 800th
*Round down if your camera doesn’t have the specific shutter speed. Example – both 100th, shoot at a 60th, no 200th, shoot at 125th.
Keep in mind, the Sunny 16 Rule is less of a rule and more of a guide. It’s really a starting point—and the more you use it the better you’ll understand it. When using this technique we recommend shooting only color negative and black & white film, which both have great exposure latitude. This way, you can safely err on the side of overexposure without worrying about blowing out your highlights.
Metering for Film Photography How to Get a Good Exposure