How to use the aperture on a camera?
What is the purpose of aperture on a camera?
You will need to master and control the aperture the amount of light that enters your camera in order to be able to have your photos correctly exposed (neither too bright nor too dark) and sharp.
This depends on three elements:
Before the light hits the electronic sensor of your camera, the light will pass into your lens through a diaphragm.
This diaphragm or aperture is a mechanism that can be opened or closed to bring a certain amount of light into the body of the camera.
Open the aperture = more light ==================> Close the aperture = less light
The aperture is equal to the focal length of the lens divided by its diameter.
It is a square root progression 2 (√(2) =1.414,which gives the following values: f/1.4 – f/2 – f/2.8 – f/4 – f/5.6 – f/8 – f/11 – f/16 – f/22, etc.
Adjust the aperture on a camera
Between two values of the scale, the aperture will let in twice as much light, i.e., when you increase it by one notch, you’ll double the amount of light entering, and when you decrease it by one notch, you will reduce the amount of light entering by half.
Don’t get confused:
Both the opening and the amount of light entering is opposite of the aperture value. Thus, the lower the value, the wider the opening, and the higher the value, the narrower the opening.
As you can see from the diagram, f/1.4 is the largest possible opening, so it lets in a lot of light while f/22 is a tiny opening, which lets in very little light.
The maximal aperture of your lens is written on the lens as a figure (for example, f/2.8), and not all lenses have the same maximal aperture, which is why some cost €100 and others cost €3,000. The more prominent (brighter) the aperture of the lens is, the more expensive it will be (and if the focal length is long, the price will be even higher).
Entry-level lenses usually have a maximal aperture of f/5.6 while high-end lenses have a maximal aperture of up to f/1.4.
We can also have several maximal apertures on the same lens. Zoom lenses can have variable maximal apertures depending on the focal length position.
For instance, take the Nikon 18-300 F/3.5-5.6 lens.
When the lens is in the 18 mm position, its maximal aperture is f/3.5, whereas if it is in the 300 mm position, its maximal aperture is f/5.6.
The aperture has an essential effect on the depth of field, and in order to learn more about this, I suggest that you read The Depth of Field tutorial.
In conclusion, mastering the aperture will allow you to produce incredible effects on your photos. With shutter speed and ISO sensitivity, these are the three most important settings for getting good exposure. Once you understand these three parameters, you’ll have no more blurry photos, and will feel the pleasure of photography.
Please give us your opinion, and also share your experience in the comments.