How to estimate exposure with Minox A without exposure meter : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread

I shoot with a IIIs. I use this camera because of its size and convenience, which is made possible by not having a light meter or other photographic aids attached to it. I am able to set the camera for any film and any lighting conditions to within one stop in my head using the sunny 16 rule and EV system as per attached. Once you know the Sunny 16 setting, all settings fall in place. Sunny 16 is EV 15. The difference between EV 15 and the EV # that the subject falls on is the # of stops of adjustment to set the camera correctely. It takes only a few minutes to memorize the method and you can use it with any camera made. To use a light meter with a Minox defeats the purpose in my opinion.

EV Number Type of Lighting Situation

0            Subject under a full moon
1            Lightning with time exposure
2            Total eclipse of the moon
3            Candle lit close-ups.  Fireworks(with time exposures)
4            Night home interiors(average light).          
5            Night home interiors (brightly lit).  School auditoriums.
6            Fairs, amusement parks. Brightly lit nightime streets.
7            Indoor sports.  Stage shows.  Store windows.
8            Football, baseball, ice shows at night.  
9            Neon lights, spot lighted subjects.
10           Sunsets.  Rainy days.
11           Overcast Days.  Subjects in the shade.
12           Cloudy-Dull Days(no shadows).
13           Cloudy-Bright Days(soft shadows).
14           Bright Hazy Days(definite shadows).
15           Bright Sunny Days(Sunny 16 rule).
16           Bright daylight on sand or snow

-- Charlie Mallia (, February 12, 2000


Further to the post. Here is some further explanation.The Sunny 16 Rule states that on a bright sunny day the setting on any camera is F16 at 1/the film speed of the film that you are going to use. Eg: if you are using 400 speed film then the proper exposure on a bright sunny day is F16 and 1/400 second. If you use 100 speed film then it would be F16 at 1/100 second. Each EV#(exposure value #) represents one stop. That is if you take a photo on an overcast day (EV 11) the setting on the camera will be 4 stops different from a bright sunny day (EV15). If you are using 100 speed film. The setting would be F4 at 1/00, or F5.6 at 1/50, or F8 at 1/25, or F11 at 1/12.5, or F16 at 1/6.25. All of these are 4 stops of difference. These are exact but in practical terms 1/12.5 would become 1/10 and 1/6.25 would be 1/5. However as you are using a Minox which has a fixed F3.5 lens then the choice of Fsetting is set at F3.5. I use F4 for practicality. F4 is 4 stops from F16, so the speed using 100 speed film will remain at 1/00. But say it was a cloudy bright day (EV13). Then the difference is 2 stops from EV15. Your Minox lens at F4 is 4 stops from F16 and it is fixed so you can't change it, but you would change the shutter speed by 2 stops from 1/100 to 1/400 so that you have a 2 stop difference. The choices when using a Minox are limited to speed adjustments only compared to a 35mm that has adjustable Fstops, but once you get the hang of it it is much simpler. You just have to remember to compensate for the 4 stop difference by using the Minox fixed lens. If you have a light meter check the settings that you get using this method against it using different film speeds and you will be surprised how close you come to their readings. I hope that I haven't confused you. It is just like learning the scales on a piano, a pain in the butt but once you have mastered them you can play any tune. I had to learn this as when I started photography in 1953 there were no light meters on cameras then.



-- Charlie Mallia (, February 12, 2000.

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