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Different Apertures example

edited March 2016 Posted in » General Discussion
Ever wonder what lens to buy? What about apertures considerations? I compared three lens. All pictures taken at 1/100 of a second shutter speed and at 100 ISO trying to make a consistent comparison.

First lens is a Nikon 18-55mm f1:3.5to 5.6 dx af-s, set a lowest aperture 3.5 at 18mm shows nothing, just darkness.
Second lens is a Nikon 24mm f1:2.8d prime. It shows good picture but a little dark.
Third lens is a Nikon 50mm f1:1.4g af prime, which shows pretty good.

Sorry took out reference to google photos, spent lots of time trying to get that site to share the link, BUT I'm tired of fighting with it. I will find another *better user friendly* photo web site.

This lets you see what different apertures can do with f/1.4 aperture seeing the most light, and f/3.5 sees less light.

Thanks for your time.


  • edited March 2016
    The above example was not a diabolical effort to declare all f/3.5 an above all lens worthless, and have you send your lens to me rather than trash out all the landfills across the world. Rather, it was just to show that f- stops really make a difference.

    It's amazing that cameras with their sensors can sense the surrounding light and objects and adjust automatically in low light to slow the shutter speed down and raise the ISO and focus to create a great picture.
  • Aperture affects exposure. So does shutter speed. So does ISO.
    If you change one while keeping the other two constant, then your exposure changes (i.e. it gets lighter/darker).

    See the links in this thread:
  • edited March 2016
    Your tutorials are wonderful. Being new to digital photography, I was trying to see if a relatively expensive f/1.4g or f/2. lens was worth the extra money.

    I will try to apply your links as I have many lenses to test for the fun of it.
    My wife used a quantary 28-200mm 3.5-5.6 for high school graduation pictures many years ago on a film Nikon N65,
    Nikon 70-300mm af 4-5.6d ed,
    Nikon 18-55mm DX af-s 3.5-5.6 gII vr
    Nikon 55-300 DX af-s g ed vr
    Nikon 24mm f2.8 d prime
    Nikon 50mm f1.4g prime

  • edited November 2016
    Do know another way to change change the f-stop on a D5100?
  • edited November 2016
    You can change the F stop on a D5100, or any of the D family, in one of four ways, depending on what else you are trying to do. Of course you can only use whatever F stops the lens you're using has available. If, for example, you are using the kit lens, which is a variable aperture zoom, you can go from f/3.5 to f/22 at the wide end, but from f/5.6 to f/3.6 at the narrow end.

    First, you can switch to manual mode, and alter F stop there. On the D3xxx and D5xxx, you do this by pressing down the exposure compensation [+/-] button, while rotating the rear wheel. You will go from whatever the lens's maximum opening is, to whatever its minimum opening is, in steps of 1/3 stop. If you have Auto ISO on, the camera's meter will try to compensate by changing ISO. In general, if you want to obey the meter, you should vary shutter speed as needed first. If you are not using Auto ISO, you must vary shutter speed, or manually vary ISO, to make your exposure agree with the meter. The meter's recommendation is shown on the display. If you do not want to obey the meter, manual mode with manual ISO is the best way to do it.

    Second, you can switch to A, or Aperture priority mode, and use the rear wheel alone. It will, as before, vary the aperture as you select. The camera's meter will automatically adjust shutter speed. If you have auto ISO on, it will switch ISO as the shutter speed goes too slow. If not, shutter speed will go as low as need be, even if it is too slow to hand hold.

    Third, you can switch to P mode. In P mode, the camera sets both aperture and shutter speed automatically, but when you move the rear wheel, it will, within a certain range, change the proportion between the two. If you have P mode and auto ISO on, your camera is basically "point and shoot" but with a number of controls available that Auto mode does not allow. It's a very good intermediate step when you want to take over AF, flash, and other functions, but still want the camera to make exposure decisions.

    Finally you can switch to S mode, which is shutter priority. In this case, you manually set a shutter speed, and the camera sets a corresponding aperture. You do not directly control the F stop here, but when you change the shutter speed it will change as the meter requires, so you could use this mode, and simply change shutter speed until the F stop you like appears. It's not the most efficient way to do this, but back in the days when some cameras had only shutter priority automation, such as old Konicas, that's how you'd do it.

    None of the auto and scenic modes allow you to manipulate F stop directly.

    F stop does indeed make a difference. As digital cameras become more and more capable of shooting quietly at high ISO, the difference in exposure becomes less and less, but there will always be a difference in depth of field and often in other aspects of rendition. Nowadays you can get a good sharp picture with a digital ISO speed that was only wished for back in film days, and that makes it possible to use slower lenses for many things. Since slower lenses tend to be less expensive and lighter, there has been a trend to slightly slower high quality lenses, such as the 300mm f/4, and the 200-500mm f/5.6. But a fast lens can still do what only a fast lens can which is why there are still fine quality fast lenses being made, such as Nikon's new 105mm f/1.4, said to be one of the sharpest and best lenses of its type ever made, and priced accordingly (they should include smelling salts with it!).

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