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by clabacchio

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139

"The Exposure Triangle" is a catchy phrase meant to encompass the three factors which affect the exposure of a photograph of a scene with a given amount of light. It's often given to new photographers as a learning aid. I'm not sure if he invented it, but it is certainly popularized by Bryan Peterson, as in his book Understanding Exposure. (The popular web ...


56

An f-stop is kind of a combination of two terms. First off, f/N is generally the notation used to indicate the size of the diaphragm opening, or aperture, in a camera. Let me give a little detail about how that notation came about, before I go on to explain the meaning of a stop. Aperture Values and f/Stops Aperture openings are measured as fractions of ...


49

The exposure triangle refers to the three major settings that effect exposure: ISO Aperture Shutter Speed Digital Photography School has an excellent write up about this, but I will summarize as best as I can. As the name suggests, each element effects image exposure, or how bright/dark the image is. Pick a side of the triangle, increase its value ...


46

If you just want bokeh for bokeh's sake then you can achieve this with pretty much any lens and any type of camera, even a tiny sensor compact, by focusing extremely close. Depth of field diminishes very quickly with focus distance, so much so that it becomes a major problem with macro photography getting a non blurred background (or subject!) However this ...


45

My other answer aside, I think almost all "beginner mistakes" boil down to one of a few things: Not being mindful of what's in the composition. The uneven horizon falls under this, as does the classic photographer's shadow* in the frame, or a personal pet peeve of mine: chopped-off feet in otherwise full-length portraits. I know that when I look at my ...


44

It's not the lens that makes the picture, nor is it the camera body, nor is it I'm afraid the photographer. It's a system of integrated parts that work together that produce an image, no one part can claim all of the credit. The popular viewpoint that it's the photographer that matters not the gear, doesn't tell the whole story. I agree with the sentiment ...


38

Ok for a change I'm going to dispense with the formulas, photos of rulers and definitions of "magnification" and go with what you actually experience in practice. The major factors that actually matter to shooting are: Aperture. Wide aperture lenses give you a shallower depth of field. This is probably the least controversial factor! This is important as ...


36

I typically use aperture priority as well, but I also work a fair bit in manual mode. The typical case for me is if I am in an environment where the lighting situation is quite static, but the subject may have a lot of contrast. Here I switch to manual mode and shoot a few test frames to pinpoint the exposure (typically I try to spot meter on a white ...


33

Tv stands for "Time value". Similarly Av stands for "Aperture value". Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutter_priority


33

From a purely theoretical point of view: more megapixels good. People often talk about how high megapixel sensors were now outresolving most lenses, thus there was no point going higher unless using the very best glass. This is not always true. System resolution is the product of lens resolution and sensor resolution. Thus if you improve one, your system ...


30

The biggest benefit I can think of is consistency between shots. This is normally not much of an issue, but when you are wanting to capture the changing light in a scene for time lapse or do panorama stitching the consistency becomes really important.


30

SLR - Single Lens Reflex, meaning that there is only one lens through which the viewfinder and the film are exposed to the image. This is in contrast to other types of cameras, like rangefinders, where the viewfinder was a separated optical path than the film, usually in the form of a small lens on the top-side of the body. The Reflex part comes from the ...


30

Firstly the iPhone 5 lens has to be f/2.2, due to the small pixel size, the effects of diffraction which start to creep in at f/11 on a DSLR, start to creep in at f/1.45 on a 5.6mm (diagonal) sensor! I though that in order to have a big aperture such as f/2.2 a big amount of light should be able to enter to the sensor and in order to do it, a big lens ...


29

This is an excellent question, and one that has different answers depending on context. You mentioned several specific questions each of which might warrant their own answers. I'll try to address them more as a unified whole here. Q. Is it just a property of the lens? A. Simply put, no, although if you ignore CoC, one could (given the math) make the ...


27

Aperture simply means "opening", and in photography we use the term to refer to the diameter of the opening in a special adjustable diaphragm within each lens. When this diaphragm is constricted, there's less physical space for light to get in, so naturally the exposure is darker, and a more-open aperture allows more light and results in a lighter exposure. ...


27

The top mistake made by beginners is using the flash regardless of subject distance. This occurs by a huge margin above any other mistake. This is terrible not just because you should not be using the flash in most conditions but because when the flash fires in forced on or auto mode (not slow-sync or fill), the camera expects the flash to light up the ...


26

Leaving the batteries in your camera for a week or two between uses will be no problem. If you plan to leave your camera unused for six months to a year, you might want to take them out. And, the lithium battery pack used in your camera (like most current dSLRs) should hold its charge on the shelf fairly well, so you won't have to worry too much about it ...


25

Definition of SLR SLR consists of: SL Single lens. That is, it does not have a separate lens for a viewfinder. If it has a viewfinder, the viewfinder looks through the main lens. R Reflex. This means it has a mirror (called a "reflex mirror") that allows light from the main lens to be bounced upwards onto a ground glass screen. Modern SLRs usually ...


25

I think there a several reasons that together make sense to limit the shutter speed at about 30 seconds. At exposures requiring more than 30 seconds, light is so weak your TTL meter will not be able to measure it correctly. 30 seconds is already longer than you'd ever need for any "normal" night scene. In a digital camera, sensor heat starts to build up ...


24

What you are looking for is large depth of field. This is an optical property, not something applied as a special effect, so it's not something you can turn on or off. The raw image capture the light focused by the lens, and inevitably there will be parts of the scene out of the range where the rays are tightly organized by the lens. In fact, the fashion of ...


23

These letters refers to zooming depth as follows, W = Wide angle T = Telephoto Read more about wideangle and telephoto in the tags.


22

The two devices do entirely different things. Extension tube: An empty tube which moves the lens further away from the sensor. The point is that as you focus on closer and closer objects, the focused image (which you want to place on the sensor) moves further from the lens. Eventually the lens reaches the limit of its travel and closer objects focus ...


22

The bulb mode is simply a mode where you control the exposure time by holding down the shutter release button. The name comes from the time when the shutter was controlled by a rubber bulb at the end of a hose. You compressed the bulb to open the shutter, and it would stay open as long as you held the bulb compressed. Bulb mode is mostly used when you want ...


21

The aperture affects not only the amount of time required to take a photo, but also the depth of field within it. With a wide aperture (so a low number, like f/1.8) gives a shallow depth of field - sometimes less than a millimetre with a macro lens. Because a lot of light is reaching the sensor (be it film or digital), this allows for fast shutter speeds ...


20

Flash sync speed is the maximum shutter speed possible when using a flash. For most flashes, the flash sync speed, sometimes also referred to X-Sync speed due to the use of Xenon in the flash bulb itself, is around 1/200th to 1/250th of a second. When using flash, your maximum shutter speed is limited to the flash sync speed. In many cases, this is perfectly ...


20

A range of focal lengths indicates a zoom lens. There are two major classes of lenses. Primes, or primary lenses, have a single focal length. They tend to be higher quality, as there can be fewer lens elements, and fewer moving element groups. One exception to this rule is super telephoto prime lenses, particularly faster lenses (f/2.8), which are some of ...


19

There is a fairly simple explanation here: http://www.paragon-press.com/lens/lenchart.htm To summarize from that site: Simply put, the focal length of a lens is the distance from the lens to the sensor, when focused on a subject at infinity. To focus on something closer than infinity, the lens is moved farther away from the sensor. Focal ...


18

Shutter priority (Tv) gets used for a couple good reasons You want to control the shutter speed (obviously) and don't care about the aperture. You'd use this to have creative control over the shutter speed which mostly involves motion blur. Some techniques that use this are 'dragging the shutter' with flash to create motion streaks and a final 'flash' to ...


18

There are probably more formal answers, but for me it boils down to what kind of shot I am looking for. If I want to register something in time (either frozen or moving) then shutter speed is more important than aperture. If I want to register something in space (meaning a deeper or shallower area in focus) then aperture is more important than shutter ...



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