This Bag Has a Big Flaw. Sunny 16 Voyager Camera Bag Review

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The most wonderful thing about the Sunny 16 Voyager is that it ends up being incredibly comfortable. Your gear inside may be a hot mess, getting a camera out through the side will be puzzling, the hardware is oddly constructed, and the waist straps may end up falling off by accident. But despite all of this, the Sunny 16 Voyager is like an awkward hug filled with love and comfort if you’re open to it. Think of a teenager that’s close to you in your life before the stage of them being too cool to hug their adult peers. It’s awkward. It’s weird. But the Sunny 16 Voyager is also the new kid on the block. And they have yet to grow into their own skin. It’s lovable nonetheless. 

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Photography Cheat Sheet: Sunny 16 Guide Wheel

No budget for a fancy light meter? Today’s handy photography cheat sheet has you covered.

One of the most useful tools for your shoots is an ever-reliable light meter. This is especially the case when shooting with a vintage camera without a built-in light meter. However, if it’s not possible for you to have one at the moment, we think today’s cheat sheet makes a good substitute. If you have a shoot planned, this could be one of the things you can prepare beforehand.

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Sunny 16, Seeing Light, and Improving Your Digital Photography with Analog Techniques

Pro Tip: The Sunny 16 rule dictates that, on a perfectly shadowless sunny day, you set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed becomes the reciprocal of your ISO to get the perfect light meter reading.

In our digital world, being able to see our images on an LCD or EVF screen moments after pressing the shutter, the art of being able to see light, to know the approximate exposure of a scene prior to taking a shot, is all a dying art. But back in analog film days this was an essential piece to a photographer’s process. Continue reading…

The Ultimate Guide to the Sunny 16 Rule: Part 2

This blog post was syndicated by Emanuele Faja. It and the images here are being used with permission. Check out Part 1 here.

So, you read Part 1 of the Ultimate guide to the Sunny 16 Rule and you are hungry for more?
 
That was just the starter, now, onto the main course…

Btw, if you have just landed on this page, you probably want to read Part 1 of this guide first, or even my Exposure 101 Guide before you tackle this article.

You have pretty much all information you need to get started using the Sunny 16 Rule  in Part 1. Part 2 is the advanced course for those who types who want to know everything and want to nail their exposures every time, without using a light meter. This is probably complete overkill for most people, but here we go…

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The Ultimate Guide to the Sunny 16 Rule: Part 1

Kodak-Sunny-16

This blog post was syndicated from Emanuele Faja. It and the images here are being used with permission.

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The Sunny 16 rule is actually simple set of rules to help you shoot without a light-meter but we are going to take it much further than that. In this article you will find all the information you will ever need to take photos without using light meters – whether handheld or in-camera. 

I decided to write this guide after having gone through the arduous process of mastering the Sunny 16 rule without really knowing what I was doing. I tried finding information online but most of it was just generic, run-of-the-mill information about the Sunny 16 rule that has been copied and pasted all around the web.

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Exposure Preview: The Worst Thing for Your Camera’s Autofocus?

We talked to a couple of photographers and tech reps, and it seems like Exposure Preview could be hurting your camera’s autofocus.

Most people shooting with mirrorless cameras shoot with the Exposure Preview on. I’ve never been a fan of it, and I’ve always turned it off. In my mind, you should just learn to read the damn light meter to begin with, and not rely on what the screen says. One could think this is an old school way of thinking, but there are lots of performance benefits. If you’re shooting with a strobe, for example, there’s a great reason to turn exposure preview off. You’re usually shooting at a low ISO setting and faster shutter speeds. Plus, the camera won’t render what the scene will look like with your strobe output anyway. And for years, folks have used exposure preview as a crutch. That isn’t a bad thing, it’s just how people evolved to use cameras. I still recommend that everyone learns to shoot film and learns the art of Sunny 16: it will make you a better photographer. But all this is the long way of my saying that exposure preview is also messing with your autofocus.

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Review: Leica M6 TTL (The Best Film Camera They Ever Made)

The Leica M6 TTL has everything that a photographer could possibly want in a Leica camera.

There was a time when I believed the Leica M4-P to be the best camera that Leica ever made–and in some ways I believe it to still be superior over the Leica M6 TTL. The Leica M6 TTL is just easier. But if you’re a photographer that is a true master of the Sunny 16 method, then the Leica M4-P could be all that you need. With the Leica M6 TTL the ability to shoot at events with a flash becomes much easier due to the TTL flash capabilities. And for that reason alone, most photographers will probably stick with the original Leica M6.

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Vintage Camera Review: Leica M4-P (Leica M Mount)

The Leica M4-P is one of the most beloved Leica cameras and it isn’t too expensive either!

If you ever happen to stumble on a deal like I did with the Leica M4-P, then snag it as soon as you possibly can. In many ways, the Leica M4-P is one of the most perfect analog cameras. Although the Leica M6 goes a step further and incorporates the inclusion of a working light meter while allowing the camera to operate completely and totally mechanically at all shutter speeds, the Leica M4-P is essentially the Leica M6 without a light meter. And if you’re like me, you don’t always need a light meter because you’ve shot so often that you know and understand how Sunny 16 works, or you’ve got an app on your phone that will help you figure out your lighting with ease.

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Useful Photography Tip #138: How to Meter a Scene Just by Looking at It

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Years before light meters were invented and used by photographers, they used a specific set of rules to figure out what their camera’s exposure settings should be adjusted to. Today, this method is still used by some film photographers and very much so by street photographers.

What are we talking about? It’s called the Sunny 16 rule–and it’s the basis for how the Phoblographer tests a camera’s metering system.

So how do you do it? The Sunny 16 rule states that on a bright sunny day with little shadows your scene will be exposed at f16 and your shutter speed will be the reciprocal of your ISO. So that means that if my film is ISO 100, then I’ll be shooting at 1/100th and f16 on a bright sunny day with little shadows. From there, you figure out the other parameters based on how much sunlight is affecting the scene. Is it getting a bit cloudy? Then open up to f11. Even more shade? Then go down to f8. In the NYC subway system? Well, you’re going to have to get really low down in the settings.

So why would you do this? By simply looking to a scene and knowing what the exposure will be, you won’t need to fully rely on a light meter or your camera’s metering and instead you’ll be able to figure out what the exposure will be. In turn, this will get you the image that you want in a much faster process.

Useful Photography Tip #82: The Best Skill You Will Learn As You Become More Advanced Is Metering

Chris Gampat Shooting Landscapes (9 of 10)

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Check them out here.

As you become a more advanced photographer, you’ll learn quite a bit. For example, composition can always be changed in the post-production phase–as can tilt, saturation or nearly anything else. But what you’ll really begin to see is just how well your camera’s meter works. On average, I feel that my aging Canon 5D Mk II underexposes by around one stop; in fact, lots of other owners feel the same way. And even though the camera’s meter will say that it is balanced, I find myself brightening the image by a full stop all the time. Over time, this led me to just overexpose in the camera; but it would also mean that my highlights eventually were destroyed in some cases.

Choosing Spot metering over evaluative helped at times, but not all the time.

So what is the solution?

All reviewers on the Phoblographer staff are required to be proficient in the tried and true Sunny 16. It’s how we test the metering of cameras. According to this rule: in a bright sunny scene with nary a shadow around, your f-stop will be f16 while your shutter speed will be the reciprocal of your ISO. So with that said, we mean that it will be 1/100th, ISO 100 and f16 in a bright sunny scene with barely any shadows. You’ll need to pay very careful attention to the scene and also figure out how dark and light the shadows are too.

By using this method, you can tell how much detail your camera can pull from the highlights and shadows in the post-production phase. This is known as the dynamic range. The dynamic range then can help you determine the individual color levels to give you the best image you can possibly get.

And once you know how to meter with your camera in order to get the right idea, your entire workflow will be much faster. How much faster? I’ve perfected it to the point where I can get exactly what I need in a single shot–which translates into a lot less work in post and a much less full hard drive.

Improved Animal and Face Detection! Sony A7 IV Review

Sometimes I find myself shaking my head at what cameras can do these days. The jury is still out as to whether it’s shaken in disbelief or wonderment. That is the case with the long-awaited and fairly priced Sony a7 IV. It packs a lot of features that photographers have been asking for along with capabilities that are overkill. I think Sony’s next camera could take an entirely black or even stark white image and recover almost every detail.

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Comfortable. Practical. Award-Winning. Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L Review

The camera bag world is truly fascinating. The camera world itself has shrunk. Fewer people are buying dedicated cameras, according to sales data of the past decade. But camera bags are ever more proliferated. With the addition of the brand new Morally Toxic company, the folks behind 3 Legged thing are getting into the game. Their Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L was designed and had input by a team of men and women. What’s more, the folks are all different sizes and shapes. And perhaps this is what helps to make the Morally Toxic Valkyrie 25L a genuinely fantastic bag.

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What a Value! Fujifilm GFX50s II Review

Fujifilm’s quest of making medium format accessible has revolutionized the industry. And now, they continue their pursuit of making quality medium format systems more attainable than ever with the Fujifilm GFX50s II. It will make its debut as a bundled kit with the Fujifilm 35-70 f4-5-5.6 lens or as a body only option. The competitive price is on par with many Full-Frame offerings and is sure to entice photographers looking for more real estate. If the optics are what we’ve come to expect and love from Fujifilm, this will be a great camera to make the switch. Spoiler alert, they are. Keep reading to find out why.

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A Simple Little Box That Shoots Vibrant Photos: Sigma Fp L Review

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The Sigma fp L is arguably one of the most innovative mirrorless cameras on the market. It’s a stripped-down camera that, with accessories, allows photographers to build back only what is needed. It’s got a lot: from grips to viewfinders and a hot shoe slot. Carrying on with the same body style as the original fp, the Sigma fp L adds a higher-resolution 61-megapixel sensor. The autofocus also gets a boost, and the camera houses more color profiles, along with other smaller tweaks.

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Rob Walwyn Captures the Bushfires’ Aftermath on Rare Aerochrome Film

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“On the 1st of March, 2020, I went for a drive and bushwalk in the Blue Mountains with some friends,” the photographer Rob Walwyn remembers. Two days later, on March 3rd, New South Wales would officially announce that all fires had been contained for the first time in 240 days. When all was said and done, 80% of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area would burn during the bushfire crisis of 2019-20. 

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This Beautiful White Canon TLB Belongs in Your Hands Shooting Film

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

Some cameras are just prettier than others. To that end, some lenses just make prettier images. It’s hard to beat Canon FD mount lenses, and luckily this gorgeous Canon TLB can use them. How often have you seen them in white? It’s rare–in fact, this one is most likely a one of a kind. But quite honestly, this Canon TLB checks all the boxes of what we want in a camera. It’s available through the Rare Camera Store right now. And trust me, you’re going to be pleased.

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The Black and White Landscapes You Want Use This Special Secret

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on the Phoblographer.

Black and white landscapes are kind of a tricky thing. Lots of landscape photographers will tell you that you have to do it all in post-production. We’re not going to disagree with that, but there’s a lot you can do beforehand to get it right in-camera or give yourself less post-production. The work of many photographers is inspiring to say the least. And today, we’re giving you a few short pointers to how to make better black and white landscapes.

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The Look of Kodak Movies: Panasonic GH5 II Review

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If I were to buy a brand new camera in 2021, I’m not sure it would be the Panasonic GH5 II. And that’s not at all to say that the Panasonic GH5 II is a bad camera. In fact, it’s probably one of the best Micro Four Thirds offerings on the market. But, I think the problem has to do with Panasonic’s lineup. The Panasonic S5, for all intents and purposes, is just a better camera. In fact, before I bought the Leica SL2s, the Panasonic S5 was a strong contender. It also does something almost no other camera does: full-frame, live, composite imagery. But still, the Panasonic GH5 II delivers on the cinematic-looking image quality the brand has recently become known for. And more than anything else, that’s a big reason to adore the Panasonic GH5 II.

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The Negative Supply Light Meter LM1 is Adorable, Small, and Powerful

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It’s not often that light meters come out anymore. The light meters in digital cameras are often good enough for most folks. But if you shoot film, you don’t always have that option. There are lots of light meters out there. But the new Negative Supply Light Meter LM1 is promising to fit into your pocket. They’re claiming that it’s only a bit larger than a roll of 120 film. Some pretty awesome features come with it that film photographers are really going to love!

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I’m Falling in Like Slowly with the New Z7. A Nikon Z7 II Review

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I have been a Nikonian photographer for more than a decade. Yet, after trying the company’s first full-frame mirrorless, I chose to stick with a DSLR. I simply didn’t have the confidence in the Z7 and Z6 autofocus system and lack of ability to record to two cards at once. That’s exactly what Nikon focused on in the second generation, however. The Nikon Z7 II keeps much of the first generation intact but steps up the autofocus, adds a second card slot, and moves to dual processors. Then, there’s also the price bump of a few hundred bucks.

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The Best Leica Lenses for Black and White Film Photography

Black and white film lovers rejoice!

Film has to be one of the most fun photography experiences we have! Some of us just want to create in a completely different way. Indeed, film does a lot of things that digital doesn’t. When used properly, it will ultimately make you think more about your photos before shooting. You’ll pay a lot of attention to the frame before you shoot. And eventually, you’ll become a master of the format. If you’re looking for the best Leica lenses for black and white film photography, check out our selects.

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