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Thread: How do you remember aperture sizes?

  1. #21

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Ok guys, I think this must be a chicken feet question for those who have been in photography long enough. But would you have any advice for a newbie who's trying to digest the different combinations of aperture and shutter speed settings?

    Personally I hate it that they have to invert the aperture number against the size. I'm sure there's a very good reason for it but couldn't they have come up with some international standard to make it easier for people to remember it?

    Ok I'm not here to go against the grain, but just wonder when you guys started out, did you have any tricks to help remember this quicker? Thanks!
    I am not too sure if I understood your questions. Are you refering to a guide such as the sunny 16 rule ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule

    Also, when I first started things were relatively straightforward. I didnt have to deal with 1/2 or 1/3 stops. The markings on the lens and body were always in 1-stop increments. For "normal" photography, I just ignore the reciprocal numbers ie f/16 1/125s etc. I'd just remember that it's 16 and 125. If I decrease one of the numbers, I'd just increase the other eg 8 and 250 would give the same exposure at 16 and 125. Of course, like I said we didnt have 1/2 or 1/3 markings then so it was relatively simpler.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Sorry I mean remember F numbers rather than actual size in mm

    Haha think you got me wrong. I didn't mean camera technology in terms of aperture and shutter, but in terms of the fact that the LCD display has a picture of an aperture and as you dial it will actually show a bigger or small aperture, so you practically don't even need to look at the F number but just look at the LCD (pictorial) display.

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    aperture, shutter... etc have been there for decades or probably centuries...

  3. #23
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by osocan View Post
    I am not too sure if I understood your questions. Are you refering to a guide such as the sunny 16 rule ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_16_rule

    Also, when I first started things were relatively straightforward. I didnt have to deal with 1/2 or 1/3 stops. The markings on the lens and body were always in 1-stop increments. For "normal" photography, I just ignore the reciprocal numbers ie f/16 1/125s etc. I'd just remember that it's 16 and 125. If I decrease one of the numbers, I'd just increase the other eg 8 and 250 would give the same exposure at 16 and 125. Of course, like I said we didnt have 1/2 or 1/3 markings then so it was relatively simpler.
    this is actually incorrect, f8 and f16 is 2stop off while 1/125 and 1/250 is only 1stop, but changing to f8 1/250, u are gaining 1 more extra stop of light than f16 1/125.
    beside film have also more tolerance against exposure than digital sensor which is pretty significant even with 1/3 of exposure different.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Haha think you got me wrong. I didn't mean camera technology in terms of aperture and shutter, but in terms of the fact that the LCD display has a picture of an aperture and as you dial it will actually show a bigger or small aperture, so you practically don't even need to look at the F number but just look at the LCD (pictorial) display.
    its better to look at the figure than the diagram, try seeing the different between f16 and f22, the diagram don't really show that much of change as the aperture go smaller and smaller
    Last edited by ExplorerZ; 22nd July 2008 at 04:17 PM.

  4. #24

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    this is actually incorrect, f8 and f16 is 2stop off while 1/125 and 1/250 is only 1stop, but changing to f8 1/250, u are gaining 1 more extra stop of light than f16 1/125.
    beside film have also more tolerance against exposure than digital sensor which is pretty significant even with 1/3 of exposure different.
    lol...yeah...you're right there. It was 11. What was I thinking?

  5. #25

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    YES! This is totally helpful! This is the kind of advice and tricks which I was hoping to find out from you experienced photographers.. Ah see now I know there's such a thing as the sunny 16 rule! Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by osocan View Post
    I am not too sure if I understood your questions. Are you refering to a guide such as the sunny 16 rule ?

  6. #26

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Haha yep I definitely agree. The diagram helps for now as a few-days-old newbie to get started. Once I get the hang of it I'll try to switch off the beginner screen :P

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    its better to look at the figure than the diagram, try seeing the different between f16 and f22, the diagram don't really show that much of change as the aperture go smaller and smaller

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Sorry I mean remember F numbers rather than actual size in mm

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Yep I never knew camera technology is so cool nowadays until I just got my D60

    Hee for now I'm playing with one component at a time, so playing with S and A modes to experiment with the different combinations. But mainly the camera will change the rest to ensure proper exposure. And yep that's basically why I started this thread cos eventually I'm sure I would want to play with the M mode and that's where I would have to have some idea what kind of combinations I can play with to get what kind of different desired results, right?
    The whole idea is there is no one fixed "magic" combination for each situation. That's why the camera makers put in a light meter so you can adjust your settings til you find out what suits the particular scene you are shooting.

  8. #28

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Huh, is it how it works (Sunny 16 rule)? I'm not doing that leh......

    I usually start off with shutter speed 1st leh e.g. I'm at focal length 200mm, shutter will be 1/200, f will be set at the particular's lens sharpest point then I adjust the ISO.......is this sequence wrong?

  9. #29
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sorry I mean remember F numbers rather than actual size in mm

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    aperture, shutter... etc have been there for decades or probably centuries...
    photography has already exist more than a century.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by windwaver View Post
    Huh, is it how it works (Sunny 16 rule)? I'm not doing that leh......

    I usually start off with shutter speed 1st leh e.g. I'm at focal length 200mm, shutter will be 1/200, f will be set at the particular's lens sharpest point then I adjust the ISO.......is this sequence wrong?
    your goal is to get the right amount of light to let sensor record images, and basic rule of thumb is using the slowest possible shutter for this subject you are shooting, smallest aperture to get what you want for the subject, lowest possible ISO for the subject you are shooting.

    for example, using a 200mm, you need at least 1/200s for handheld, unless you have tripod, if you shooting a kid running, you need at least 1/500s for stopping the action, or you want to have some movement effect, you can have 1/60s...

    so basically, it all depends on what are you shooting, and what effects you want to create, no one setting fix all issues.
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  11. #31

    Smile Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    of course, only an estimation.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Oh yep I wasn't intending to remember the actual size of the aperture but I guess what would be good is that if say I am trying to take a shot now (and assume I have set the shutter speed), it would be good if I could more or less tell what minimum aperture size I would need for that shot not to come out under-exposed. I'm sure you guys with experience would have an idea easily right by having a rough feel of how bright the object looks?

  12. #32

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Ok I'm not here to go against the grain, but just wonder when you guys started out, did you have any tricks to help remember this quicker? Thanks!
    with habit.. you remember.

    when you shoot enough, you will remember.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    I simply memorizes the aperture in 1-stop increment. It is useful when I am placing the subject with zone system. By moving it up and down in stops it allow me to place them in the 'preferred' zone quickly.

    And like what night86mare says, when u do it enough u will remember.

    dan
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  14. #34
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Personally I hate it that they have to invert the aperture number against the size. I'm sure there's a very good reason for it but couldn't they have come up with some international standard to make it easier for people to remember it?
    Thats because the relative aperture being a ratio makes comparisons across various lenses of different focal lengths more meaningful. Some time ago before the current system was in use, they actually tried to relate via the actual aperture which made comparisons inconvenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Ok I'm not here to go against the grain, but just wonder when you guys started out, did you have any tricks to help remember this quicker? Thanks!
    To simplify, think of root 2. Light doubles by a factor of root 2 for every stop.
    f stop = ( root 2 )^n where n = 1,2,3,4
    -> 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6 .... ( for every two stops multiply by 2 itself )

    Ryan

  15. #35

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Tha'ts a good point. So a quick question based on this. Suppose you are outside in the park on a relatively sunny day and you see a kid riding his bike slowly.. Like you said, you will set your shutter to 1/500s to take him still and maybe 1/60s to take him in action. And I know the camera can auto-adjust the aperture to get the right exposure. But as an experienced photographer, would you roughly know what aperture size to set for each of the two scenarios?

    Now I understand that that also depends on the focal length of the lens (right?) and you probably won't be dead accurate, but would you have an idea roughly in your head already?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    for example, using a 200mm, you need at least 1/200s for handheld, unless you have tripod, if you shooting a kid running, you need at least 1/500s for stopping the action, or you want to have some movement effect, you can have 1/60s...

  16. #36
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Tha'ts a good point. So a quick question based on this. Suppose you are outside in the park on a relatively sunny day and you see a kid riding his bike slowly.. Like you said, you will set your shutter to 1/500s to take him still and maybe 1/60s to take him in action. And I know the camera can auto-adjust the aperture to get the right exposure. But as an experienced photographer, would you roughly know what aperture size to set for each of the two scenarios?

    Now I understand that that also depends on the focal length of the lens (right?) and you probably won't be dead accurate, but would you have an idea roughly in your head already?
    I presume you are talking about using manual exposure mode..

    You can use the in camera light meter to give you an indication of exposure value, or using the Sunny 16 rule.
    From there, you decide what are the desired shutter speed, a appropriate aperture, and corresponding ISO setting to get correct exposure.

    to prevent hand shake, the rule of thumb, you should not use slower shutter than the focal length, eg, don't use slowest than 1/100s with a 100mm focal length lens, (it is just a guild, your camera handheld method are playing a greater role on preventing camera movement)
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  17. #37
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    And please remember the meter is only a guide. It can differ greatly when used in different modes, spot, centre weight and matrix....

    So you'd need to know what you need to expose for and when doing so, will you blow the highlight in the BG or otherwise...

    Final point, practise and practise to know better...
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  18. #38

    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Ok how about some advice here. Suppose you are at a brightly lit park at night and you see a kid cycling around slowly. You wanna take some nice shots of maybe some blurred motion to show his movement and maybe if even possible, have the background still clearly focused. Oh, and maybe if possible show trailing lights of his backlight.. How would you approach such shots in this scenario?

    Thanks!

  19. #39
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Ok how about some advice here. Suppose you are at a brightly lit park at night and you see a kid cycling around slowly. You wanna take some nice shots of maybe some blurred motion to show his movement and maybe if even possible, have the background still clearly focused. Oh, and maybe if possible show trailing lights of his backlight.. How would you approach such shots in this scenario?

    Thanks!
    Either you have the subject and BG still (high shutter speed) More for daylight senario

    Or you have the subject still and BG moving (slower shutter speed and pan together with the subject) More for daylight senario

    If you want the BG still, then you'd need to use tripod and a rear sync flash with slow shutter speed...
    Michael Lim
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonwoo View Post
    Ok how about some advice here. Suppose you are at a brightly lit park at night and you see a kid cycling around slowly. You wanna take some nice shots of maybe some blurred motion to show his movement and maybe if even possible, have the background still clearly focused. Oh, and maybe if possible show trailing lights of his backlight.. How would you approach such shots in this scenario?

    Thanks!
    I hope you realise that no matter how "brightly lit" a park is at night, you are talking about ISO speeds of 1600 or 3200, apertures that should be around f/2 or faster, and shutter speeds in the region of 1/8s - 1/15s.

    How do I know? I've shot a film in a park before, and was doing production stills.

    May I also ask how you would execute motion blur of the kid, while having the background still clearly focused? It's like I want a piece of cloth fully soaked in water, but dry at the same time.
    Last edited by calebk; 23rd July 2008 at 10:41 AM.

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