Sunny 16 on a grey day

by Helen Hooker December. 19, 2019 446 views

Inspired by a fellow student on the workshop I attended last week, I dug out my 1954 Voigtlander Vito B again today – a camera I last used in March. It’s a very simple camera, with no autofocus and no built-in exposure metering, so you have to engage your brain before every shot. In the past I’ve used an exposure app on my smartphone to work out the settings, but today I decided to go old school and use the Sunny 16 rule.

This rule states that on a sunny day at f16, your shutter speed will be the reciprocal of your film speed – so 1/400 of a second at ISO 400. All well and good, but today was a day of thick cloud and absolutely no sunshine! To speed the process up I created myself a little chart to refer to – so I knew that with heavy cloud the shutter speed would need to be a couple of stops faster or the aperture a couple of stops wider. The other challenge with the Vito B is the fact that it only has four shutter speeds, from 1/25 to 1/200 of a second so it ended up being a great brain teaser! I only shot a dozen or so frames, so it’ll be a while before I learn whether my mental gymnastics was correct, but it gave me some entertainment through the day!

19 December 2019

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There are 11 comments , add yours!
Nick Ambrose 2 weeks, 4 days ago

A great little camera Helen. I've just got the same waiting to see the results. Have you posted the results from this session?

2 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Nick Ambrose 2 weeks, 1 day ago

No, I've only shot about half the roll of film so far, so it'll be a little while before I get the pictures back. I've been sidetracked by shooting with my 'new' Olympus XA this week!

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Nick Ambrose Replied to Helen Hooker 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Going down to pick up the photos from my Vito B this afternoon. Normally would process them myself but a bit busy at the moment so just put them into Photosound. Need to know the camera is working fine before I use it for anything serious!

2 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Abigail Gossage 2 months ago

Back in the day, a hundred years ago, I got quite good at guessing exposure when I was using a tlr YashicaMat.  Practice and experience but I think nowadays I would give my aging brain cells a break and use the phone app or even my light meter!😃

2 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter Replied to Abigail Gossage 2 months ago

You can have a phone app for the dunny 16,works good

2 months ago Edited
Kay Hooker 2 months ago

Sorry Helen, didn't understand a word of that, but your camera still looks in good nik.

2 months ago Edited
John Waco Jr 2 months ago

Nice Voigtlander, looking farwrd to seeing the photos tuck with this camera.

2 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 2 months ago

Use the rule with some cameras. There are apps for the sunny 16,they work fine. Maybe a good one for the weekly theme. Or an article. Nice Voigtlander,just sold mine to buy a tlr.

2 months ago Edited
Jim Hooker Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 months ago

I also had a Vito B and sold it to buy a tlr, a 1930's Voigtlander Superb and it was well named.  Lever wind and a wonderful f3.5 Heliar lens but how I wished for a fresnel screen to make focussing easier, but I kept it for many years.  Eventually sold it to a US guy who was a collector of all things stereoscopic - not sure where the Superb fitted in that!

2 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter Replied to Jim Hooker 2 months ago

Tlr stereoscopic? Maybe in the US. Got a few tlr cameras now, just love them and love to get them back in working order.

2 months ago Edited
Jim Hooker Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 months ago

No, the tlr wasn't stereo,  I guess his tastes extended beyond stereo.

2 months ago Edited