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Thread: Tip on using aperture size...

  1. #1

    Default Tip on using aperture size...

    Need advice on what aperture size to use..... for different types of situations, eg taking potraits, landscaps. night shots etc...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Perth Australia


    There's no right or wrong aperture for any style of photographic representation, it depends on what you wish to convey to the audience viewing your work.

    However a few general guidelines for 35mm format.

    Landscapes: Typically f8~f16 to maximise depth of field.

    Portraiture: Wide open to f8 is about average, depending on lens focal length, the size of the zone of focus you require and the effect you are after.

    Night shots, f4~f16 depending on lens focal length, effect you are after etc.

    The best advice I can give is to experiment and see for yourself what apertures do what with each type of shot.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  3. #3


    .......and remember to use depth of field preview often!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2002


    Your question is too broad.

    I always shoot still life so I am only discussing about sharpness and resolution at the edge here.

    Lenses are usually sharper or give a better edge resolution at 1 to 2 stops below its Wide open Aperture Size at a particular focal length.

    That to say, if you're using a consumer lens like EF 28-105 f4.5 - f5.6. This lens usually perform best at f8-f11.

    If you're using prime lens like the EF 85 f1.8, this lens will give edge to edge sharpness all the way from f2.8- f11.

    A EF 28-70 f2.8 Zoom will usually give better performance at the edge after f4.

    However, there are exception to this. Certain lenses are designed to perform even at wide open. These are usually the f4 series lenses. For example, EF 70-200 f4, EF 300 f4. I think its pretty sad Canon didn't offer a 28-70 f4 or 24-70 f4 to go along with the 70-200 and 17-40.

    If you will never print to S8R or larger, you can ignore all the above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003


    i love shooting at wide open appertures for portraits....especially closesups of faces. throws the background out of focus. but with cameras with a not too fantastic flash sync speed, shooting in daylight, this might not be possible due to overexposure.

    lack of sharpness wide open is not important to me... if it is, stop down a stop or two.


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