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What is my Aperture for?

Discussion in 'Camera and Photography Tips' started by Mark-60, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Mark-60

    Mark-60 Little Dog

    What is your aperture setting used for?

    The aperture in a camera lens is like the iris of your eye. It is basically what controls the amount of light that the lens allows get to the sensor. It closes down to a small hole (a higher number like “f22”) or a wide open hole (a lower number like” f2.8”). There are two reasons that lower f-stop lenses are more desirable than higher f-stop lenses. Reason one: Speed. Lenses that “stop down” to f2.8 and lower are sometimes called “fast glass”. This is because they let more light reach the sensor which allows you to use a higher shutter speed with less light. Reason two: shallow depth of field. The lower the aperture setting the less depth of field you have. This lets you isolate the subject from the background of the image, as well as do other creative things.
    When I shoot, I almost always shoot in “AV” or “Aperture Value” mode on my Canon camera. This lets me dial in the desired depth of field w/o having to worry too much about the shutter speed. I just need to make sure that the shutter speed is fast enough to get the shot w/o causing motion blur. A lot of the time I will use the AV to control the shutter speed as well. Not enough shutter speed for the shot? Just “stop down” or open (lower the number) the size of the aperture to let in more light.
    I hope this brief explanation of what your aperture does helps.

    Example of a shot with shallow depth of field.
    Camera Canon EOS-1D Mark II
    Exposure Time 0.002s (1/500)
    Aperture f/2.8
    ISO 250
    Focal Length 200mm (260mm in 35mm)
    [​IMG]


    Example of high f-stop

    Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark II
    Exposure Time: 0.002s (1/500)
    Aperture: f/8.
    ISO: 250
    FocalLength: 17mm (22.1mm in 35mm)
    [​IMG]

    Any questions?

    -Mark.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2011

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