So…Mr Shpics has had his cherry popped again, and lost his second time around ‘manual virginity’. Here are the first results from the WERRA 3, the bright & shiny ‘new’ 1958 film camera I told you about in my last post.

Was it good for me?

Well, yes and no…..

I’m happy with the camera, as it was really nice to handle. Everything worked…I used shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/750, and f-stops from 2.8 to 22, and, even though the day was absolutely shite weather-wise, managed to get an image at of all the settings…I’m not quite so happy with my brain, but sadly that isn’t covered by any warranty, so I just need to ‘man up’ and face facts that I’m going to have a bit of a steep climb to re-learn everything I’ve forgotten since last using a fully manual film camera back in the 70’s.


C’mon Mr Shpics…Stiff upper lip! Get climbing!

As I said yesterday the camera has no light meter so, given that I needed to use my noggin to decide on both F-stop and shutter speed, I had to rely on a very quick internet based refresher course on using the ‘Sunny 16’ law.


Ever heard of it?

No? Well even if you have there is no escape because I’m going to tell you about it anyway. (Ha Ha).


In its purest form the ‘Sunny 16’  rule is,

“On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight.”[1] For example:

  • On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on some cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).
  • On a sunny day with ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
  • On a sunny day with ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.

As with other light readings, shutter speed can be changed as long as the f-number is altered to compensate, e.g. 1/250 second at f/11 gives equivalent exposure to 1/125 second at f/16. More in general, the adjustment is done such that for each step in aperture increase (i.e., decreasing the f-number), the exposure time has to be halved (or equivalently, the shutter speed doubled), and vice versa. This follows the more general rule derived from the mathematical relationship between aperture and exposure time — within reasonable ranges, exposure is proportional to the square of the aperture ratio and proportional to exposure time; thus, to maintain a constant level of exposure, a change in aperture by a factor c requires a change in exposure time by a factor 1/c² and vice-versa. Steps in the aperture always correspond to a factor close to the square root of 2, thus the above rule.

An elaborated form of the Sunny 16 rule is to set shutter speed nearest to the reciprocal of the ISO film speed / setting and f-number according to this table:[2][3]

Aperture Lighting Conditions Shadow Detail
f/22 Snow/Sand Dark with sharp edges
f/16 Sunny Distinct
f/11 Slight Overcast Soft around edges
f/8 Overcast Barely visible
f/5.6 Heavy Overcast No shadows
f/4 Open Shade/Sunset No shadows
Add One Stop Backlighting n/a

Make sense?


In my case, it just about makes sense, but when wandering about trying to shoot ‘on the fly’ with a new camera, I found it pretty hard to get the settings anything like right. Consequently, I ended up with only around a dozen shots that I was in any way satisfied with, and in all honesty, All of them are a little under-exposed.


Still, as a first attempt I reckon I shouldn’t be too dispirited, and I’m showing the scans exactly as they came back from the lab.

I’ll say one thing for Dudley, on a shitty grey day like today, it looks a damned sight better in a grainy black and white than it does in real life.

All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the boring bits.

  1. George Weaver

    Well, I think they are marvelous. All of them. The tones are really fine too. I especially like the figures. And the birds. And the architectural ones. I guess that’s all of them. Yes.


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Hey George 🙂
      Thanks very much indeed…I really enjoyed myself taking them and surprisingly managed to curse no more than when I’m shooting digital…My ‘Curse-ometer’ is a tried and tested way of me deciding whether something is worth a second bash.
      So with that, AND your thumbs up, I reckon I’ll stick another film in.


  2. suej

    The sunny 16 rule…all film leaflets used to have this information….gosh, am I really old enough to remember! Anyway, well done for the inaugural negatives! Slight under exposure might mean you have to ‘trade’ the settings according to the camera, but all adds to the fun! Looking forward to seeing plenty more Werra posts… 🙂


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Don’t sweat it Sue, I think I was around when they invented it…(sob sob).
      Yes..I think given that all were a tad underexposed, and by much the same degree, it’s likely that the camera has a bit of a ‘foible’.
      I shall get all compensatory when next I venture forth!


  3. PSsquared

    I love all the lines! Very impressive to do all that with manual settings. I dip my toe into them and then jump back to auto when it gets challenging. Well done!


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      I tend to shoot aperture priority or full manual with my DSLR most of the time, but of course the difference is that you can see straight away if it’s all gone tits up….
      Not being able to check results as you go really did ramp up the fear factor.
      Those liney ones are my favourites of the shoot after the one of the crumbling stairs…
      Really glad you like them…Thanks so much.


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