Posted on March 19th, 2011
When you purchase your digital camera if you are like me you pick up the manual and start thumbing through it. You might also come across somewhere in that manual that talks about ‘aperture’. If you are new to photography you might actually ask what aperture is in relationship to your camera. We are going to explain aperture in this article for you and hope it give you a better understanding.
The main function of a camera lens is to collect light. The size of the diaphragm opening in a camera lens allows light to pass through onto the film inside the camera the moment when the shutter curtain in camera opens during an exposure process. The larger the diameter of the aperture, then more light reaches the image sensor. Aperture is expressed as f-numbers or f-stops. Those numbers you see on the lens like f22 or f/22 or f/8.0 and f/5.6. The smaller the F-stop number, the larger the lens opening on your camera. A “fast” lens is one that has a large maximum aperture like F2.4 or F2.0.
A good aperture range is my opinion is somewhere between F1.8 and F16. A larger aperture range will give you more latitude with the kinds of pictures you can shoot. The larger the aperture the better your camera will perform in low light situations and will help negate camera shake. A larger aperture also allows you to use a fast shutter speed for freeze action. Another advantage of a large maximum aperture is to provide a shallow depth of field. This allows the background to blur nicely thus isolating your subject. A smaller aperture also has its good qualities by using a slow shutter speed which can help show objects in motion. Another advantage of a small minimum aperture is to increase the depth-of-field. An increased depth-of-field allows you to take landscape pictures where as much of the picture in the foreground and reaching all the way to the background.
We hope this short article on aperture for digital cameras has helped give you a better understanding.