How to Understand F-Stops | Digital Cameras


So assuming you’ve already learned what aperture
is, I’m going to talk a little bit about what F-stops are. F-stops a numerical scientific value assigned
to various openings in a camera lens in the physical aperture. And they go like this, these are full stops. It starts at F1.4, goes to F2.8, F4, F5, F6,
F8, F11, F16, and we’ll stop at F22 because most lenses don’t go much higher than that. So what do all these numbers mean? What it really actually breaks down to is
an algorithm about light refraction and how light’s passing through and it gets really
kind of scientific and confusing. It’s really not that important. Just knowing the values of the F-stops though
is really important. And there’s stops in between each of these. There’s half values, like in between F1.4
and F2.8, there’s F1.8 and F2 and F2.4. If you look at any lens, a lens like this
for instance, it has the same exact F-stops written out right on the lens barrel. Now, if you were using this on an old school
camera, you would physically stop down or stop open the aperture using the style here. On newer cameras you don’t. This is physically opening and closing down. F1.4 is going to look something like this. It’s going to be completely opened up. You get to F2.8, it’s going to be a little
bit smaller. The F4’s going to be a little bit smaller. F5.6 is going to be a little bit smaller. And so on and so forth, until you get to somewhere
around F22, which is a really tiny opening. F1.4, the most light is going to come in. You’re going to have the opportunity to have
a fast shutter speed. F22 is going to be the least amount of light
coming in. You’re going to have to have a very long,
well just a much longer shutter speed than if you’re at F1.4. And this is just some advice to help you understand
the numerical values of F-stops and how they relate to your camera and exposure.

18 Replies to “How to Understand F-Stops | Digital Cameras”

  1. This is very helpful.I always fail taking pictures when i always wanted to have a good shot exposure and this was it 🙂 thanks 😉 Eassy 😉

  2. big is slow and small is fast….at least that is what the short-cut method for learning f-stops was. I like this vid's explantion of it

  3. ok, this isn't new for me, but can someone please explain me how do I know when exactly I have half or dubble light is comming in? I mean the math of the shutterspeeds are simple just 2x shutterspeed is 2x light but. 2x f/stop is not 1/2 light.

  4. 2.8 is a little smaller than 1.4? That is a four times difference. f2 is half of f1.4. f2.8 is half of 2.8. Etc. These are all successive powers of square root of 2. That's the "complicated math".

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