Handy Incident Light Exposure Calculator based on Sunny f16 Rule

Paul Lange

Here you will find a very handy exposure calculator for when you don't have a light meter. Its very easy to use and quite easy to make too. It is made available by Andy Lawn who based it on various other calculators found on the web but added his own little touch. I printed mine on some fairly thick photo paper and will soon coat it with clear sticky back plastic to protect it in case it gets wet.


Why is it useful? Some old cameras don't have light meters and unless you own a handheld one you need to know your exposure setting. Also it calculates exposure based on incident light which is the light available rather than the reflected light which is the light reflected back from the subject and is what in camera meters measure. In tricky lighting situations the calculator can be handy even if your camera has a meter.

Squit Photo

More reading:
RPF Guide to understanding the "Sunny 16 Rule"
this is really helpful for newbies like me who don't know what they're doing (yet) :)
I used that when I was using my Bessa, works great, simple to make and I have tucked it in the Bessa case for when I do take it out, also shows how with older cameras the lack of faster shutter speeds really does limit what you can do if you don't have slower film lol
I use a Lightmeter App for my iPhone - it's surprisingly accurate! Usually within half a stop of what my D700 tells me.
I've got a lightmeter installed on the phone, too. I'm going to try both and see which I am more comfortable with, and hopefully train myself to get by without either (can that be done?)