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Understanding Aperture in Photograpy Options
photoling
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 4:04:33 PM

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Aperture is a hole within a lens, through which light travels into the camera body. Together with ISO and Shutter Speetd, they directly affect exposure and allow you to control how each photo will look. Specifically, aperture affects Depth-of-Field (DOF) in a photo - the amount of blur or sharpness around your subject.

In photography, aperture is expressed in f-numbers (for example f/5.6). These f-numbers that are known as “f-stops” are a way of describing the size of the aperture, or how open or closed the aperture is. A smaller f-stop means a larger aperture, while a larger f-stop means a smaller aperture. Most people find this awkward, since we are used to having larger numbers represent larger values, but not in this case. For example, f/1.4 is larger than f/2.0 and much larger than f/8.0.

F-numbers

The size of the circle represents the size of the lens aperture – the larger the f-number, the smaller the aperture.

 

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Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 4:04:33 PM
photoling
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 4:22:38 PM

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Depth of Field (DOF)

Depth of field is the amount of distance in front and behind the main subject that looks sharp.

In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large depth of field is appropriate. In other cases, a small/shallow depth of field may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background.

photoling
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 6:56:18 PM

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Aperture affects Depth of Field

Choose small f-numbers if you want a shallow depth of field where only the main subject looks sharp, and to choose big f-numbers if you want a broader depth of field where more in front and behind the subject will look sharp.

  • Wide apertures (e.g. f/2.8 to f/5.6) capture a shallow depth of field, so pretty much everything before and after your focal point will be knocked out of focus.
  • Mid-range apertures (e.g. f/9-f/11) will capture the majority of your subject or scene in focus.
  • Narrow apertures (e.g. f/16 to f/25) capture a large depth of field, so pretty much everything before and after your focal point will be acceptably in focus.

For these reasons, it’s good to use wide apertures when photographing subjects you want to stand out from their surrounding, such as people and wildlife, because a wide aperture will blur backgrounds. And that’s why it’s good practice to use narrow apertures when photographing landscapes – you want to ensure your scenes are in focus from foreground through to the horizon.

 

photoling
Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2016 1:03:23 PM

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Aperture Range

Each f-number represents one “stop” of light, a stop is a mathematical equation (which is the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperture opening) that determines how much light that enters the lens regardless of the length of the lens. Such that an f/4 on a 50mm has smaller opening than an f/4 on a 200mm, but an equivalent amount of light travels through both lenses to reach the image sensor thus providing the same exposure.

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