The Life-saving F/16 Rule for Landscape Photographers


For a lot of us, landscape photography is one of our favourite past-times. Being out with nature doing the hobby you love, really is something we enjoy.

It can get a little frustrating if we're not producing the standard of shots that we would like to however.

Luckily, there's a quick and easy rule that can save your daytime landscapes (or any other daytime shot for that matter), at least in terms of exposure and light.

It's called the f/16 Rule and is sometimes known as the Sunny 16 Rule and is useful for those who like a guide to landscape photography settings at this time of day.

It's basically a way of ensuring a reasonable shot under sunny conditions without recourse to a light meter.

The basic rule states to shoot at an aperture of f/16 with a shutter speed of 1/125 when shooting on ISO 100 film.

Or f/16 with a shutter speed of 1/ISO setting (or as close as your camera settings will allow)

For example, let's say you were shooting on 400 ISO film.

The formula would be f/16 and 1/400 speed.

With ISO 800, it would be f/16 and 1/800 speed.

f/16 sunny rule, Alphin Pike

Just in case that still doesn't make sense, try out these other links on the f/16 Rule:

The Sunny f/16 Rule
And on Wikipedia
And one more…

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography pushed him into building this fantastic place, and you can get to know him better here.

Nice tip but….

Surely at ISO 400 the shutter speed should be 1/500 (and 1/1000 for ISO 800)

Will be testing this 🙂

great tip. the shutter speeds and f stop coordination actually make a lot of sense.
F16 is the same f stop we used to study the hyperfocal distance in school a couple of weeks ago. but this article just put new light to why we were restricted to that number, specially with the 1/ISO concept. well done!

What if your camera can only go as low as f/8? Would lowering the equivalent shutter speed to half work?

Let’s say at f/8 at ISO 100, equivalent shutter speed would be 1/50?

Thanks for sharing BTW.

thank you for the tip. I have problems figuring out what settings to use so this will be helpful to at least take the picture using the f16 rule and then experimenting with other settings.

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