• 04 Jan 2022 20:55
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What is camera aperture, lens? What is the effect on photography?
  • What is Aperture?
  • Meaning of aperture
  • How does aperture affect depth of field?
  • How to choose a camera with the right aperture?

Despite its small size, aperture plays a very important role in a camera. If you wonder what the aperture in the camera is and how it affects the photography, let's find out right away!

What is Aperture?

Aperture is the opening of the lens that helps regulate the amount of light entering the camera's sensor.

The larger the aperture of the lens, the more light the sensor (or film) can receive in a given amount of time. The camera adjusts the aperture by opening or closing the aperture blades.


Meaning of aperture

Aperture greatly affects the effects of a photo, including exposure.

Simply put, aperture helps you to adjust the brightness of a photo. When you open the aperture wide, the amount of light entering the sensor will be more, making the image brighter. And vice versa, when opening a small aperture, the amount of light entering the sensor is less, making the image darker.


The numerical value of the aperture difference is called the f-number, the f-number standards such as: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, etc. When you If you open the aperture, the f-number will decrease, when the aperture is closed, the f-number will increase.

The in-focus image area becomes smaller when the f-number is smaller, conversely, when the f-number is large, the in-focus image area becomes larger. A large f-number results in sharpness all the way to the background of your photo.

When the f-number is the smallest, you get the maximum aperture, which lets in the most light, and you also get the most outstanding bokeh.

Therefore, when taking photos in low-light environments, you should open the aperture as wide as possible to capture as much light as possible.

How does aperture affect depth of field?

Depth of Field is a term used to describe the sharp areas of an image.

When the aperture is smaller, the depth of field also increases, all subjects in the foreground and background are guaranteed to be in focus.

When the camera aperture is wide open, the depth of field will be shallower, separating the subject from the background, making the subject sharp and the background blurred.

Therefore, you should open the maximum aperture when taking portraits, giving a beautiful bokeh effect to your photos. On the other hand, when taking landscape photos, you should keep the aperture small so that you can get a lot of details in the photo.

Maximum aperture and minimum aperture

Every lens has a limit on how big or small the aperture can be. If you look at the specs of your lens, it will tell you what the maximum and minimum aperture are. For most people, the maximum aperture will be more important, because it tells you how much light the lens can capture, affecting the quality of the photo.

A lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 is considered a fast lens, as it can let in more light than a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0 . That's why lenses with large apertures usually cost more.

In contrast, the minimum aperture is not very important, as almost all modern lenses can be adjusted to the minimum aperture at f/16. Daily photography does not require a very small minimum aperture.

With some zoom lenses, the maximum aperture changes as you zoom in and out. For example, with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-P lens, the maximum aperture will shift from f/3.5 to f/5.6.

More expensive zoom lenses are capable of maintaining a constant maximum aperture during their zoom, like the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 . Prime lenses often have larger maximum apertures than zoom lenses, which is one of their main benefits.

How to change aperture in camera

There are 2 ways to set the aperture:

- Choose “Aperture Priority” mode: You will be able to customize the aperture and the camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed for you.
- Choose “Manual” mode: You can adjust both aperture and shutter speed to your liking.

In manual mode, the exposure settings, also commonly referred to by photographers as "f stop", "EV", or exposure value allow you to adjust the amount of light entering the camera.

Increasing the aperture by 1 stop halves the amount of light entering the camera. Conversely, reducing the aperture by 1 stop doubles the amount of light entering the camera.

For most DSLR cameras, in addition to the standard 1 stop, you can also set the number of stops in 1/2 and 1/3 increments. For example, if you set 1/3 stop, the complete one stop range between f/2.8 and f/4 is divided into 3 parts, so it becomes f/2.8→f/3.2→f/3.5→f /4. Using 1/3 stops allows you to fine-tune the amount of light entering the camera.

How to choose a camera with the right aperture?

To find the right camera, you should consider what you will use the camera for and how much money you expect to spend.

Currently on the market there are fixed aperture types and dynamic aperture types. The type with a fixed aperture like f/2.8, f/2, f/1.8 is more often recommended because of its ability to shoot in low light conditions, no flash, and the ability to remove fonts when taking portraits.

In terms of aperture size, lenses with large apertures like f/2.8 will produce large background blur (ideal for shallow focus portraits), while small aperture values like f/8, f/11 or f/16 will help you capture sharp details in both the foreground and background (ideal for landscapes, architecture, and macro photography).


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Letha Kutch By, Letha Kutch
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