Aperture, how much it matters?


sirhcsky

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Aug 21, 2017
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#1
Lens with different maximum aperture can cost very different, so how much it actually matter? From what I understand is for most photography we do, do not use aperture like 1.8 or so. Correct me if I am wrong. Just curious when do we actually use high aperture during photography?

Was asking due to consideration between 70-200 f2 and f4.

Thanks
Chris

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sirhcsky

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Aug 21, 2017
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#3
[video=youtube;n_g2JRj-V-E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_g2JRj-V-E[/video]
Thanks, I would like to know application on high aperture too as it can be used for me to consider on other lens.

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Octarine

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Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#4
Thanks, I would like to know application on high aperture too as it can be used for me to consider on other lens.

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There's no 'high aperture'. It's either wide or narrow, or small / large aperture values.
It boils down to the impact of aperture setting on the resulting depth of field. The key word is 'subject isolation'. A typical genre where isolation is used is portrait photography. A typical case where it doesn't matter at all is landscape photography.
 

sirhcsky

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Aug 21, 2017
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#5
There's no 'high aperture'. It's either wide or narrow, or small / large aperture values.
It boils down to the impact of aperture setting on the resulting depth of field. The key word is 'subject isolation'. A typical genre where isolation is used is portrait photography. A typical case where it doesn't matter at all is landscape photography.
Ok thanks for the clarification.

Chris

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Oct 29, 2014
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Clementi
#6
There's no 'high aperture'. It's either wide or narrow, or small / large aperture values.
It boils down to the impact of aperture setting on the resulting depth of field. The key word is 'subject isolation'. A typical genre where isolation is used is portrait photography. A typical case where it doesn't matter at all is landscape photography.
^ this

I'd use the a wider aperture, say, f2.8 if I need the depth of field for example when shooting portraits or when I'm shooting in less than ideal conditions where there is poor lighting (such as most indoor venues) so as to allow more light into the camera, allowing me to have a faster shutter speed to freeze subject motion without pushing ISO up to introduce more noise. Stopping down to a narrower aperture such as f8 or f16 is more for landscape, where depth of field is not usually required. This way, more of what's in the field of view of the lens (in terms of distance from lens) is in focus. Another application where I would use a narrower aperture would be for group shots, so as to keep everyone in focus.

If you are picking between the two versions of the 70-200, do also consider if weight is an issue. The f2.8 version is quite a bit heavier than the f4 version. Personally I sold my Sigma 70-200 f2.8 a while ago for the Canon f4 version because it was lighter and (slightly) smaller.
 

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kcuf2

Senior Member
Dec 29, 2005
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#8
bigger aperture definitely helps in shooting.

but as to ur question of why big aperture lenses are so much more expensive: most of the big aperture lenses are much more well made optically than the smaller aperture lenses. The colors, the contrast, the sharpness are just simply better.

just compare the canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens vs 70-200 f2.8 lens: although it's f2.8 vs f4 (one stop difference), the image quality on the 70-200 f2.8 is simply unmatchable, and hence the much higher price.

There are 3rd party 70-200 f2.8 lens available - almost 50% of the canon's price, but once u see the image, u will know again why the price difference.
 

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one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
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#9
I'm not here to impress people by how much I know about photography but simply to tell the facts or truths regarding what TS wants to know.

1. Why are lenses with big/wide aperture more expensive than smaller ones?

This has to do with the cost to make such a product.With respect to machining the aluminium lens barrel to closer/precise/exact tolerances especially where the lens elements will be rest/sit on (plane of reference).

The design of the lens elements and choice and use of different types of glass to fulfill design objectives relevant to lens function which is transmission of light rays.

Grinding and shaping of lens curvature to precise tolerances.The precision
and quality of the machines used and the skill of the production operator.
You simply cannot employ a foreign worker and expect to produce good lenses
even with cnc (computer numerically control) machines from day one, it takes years to learn and practice. That's why they are known as craftsman in Japan and not simply a production worker.There is a sense of pride and value
appreciated by society.

2. Quality control procedures at every step of production in terms of man hours and testing to conform to minimum standards.

3. Facts of optical science. Light consists of different colours and because of this each colour is of different wavelengths.A simple analogy is taking different length of sticks and putting them in a cup (plane of reference)
one will notice not all sticks protrude at the same height.

This is the primary function of lens elements to zero in these light rays just like you zero the gunsight of a gun much like on film or image sensor plane. This is what makes a sharp image of contrast and colour. If it is a zoom lens it is much harder to do! More moving parts and variables.

4. F-stop vs photography.

Does it mean if you use a lens with wide f-stop you will make the best photos? The answer is sadly no! It all depends, F-stop is about how fast light is recieved vs ISO and depth of field of the subject.The difference between a canon and third party lens is quality.All lenses are sharp at the center but soft at the edges in general but a branded one is better as it is designed to be so. Basically it's marketing strategy of third party brands, they know people want large apertures but for a given price it is a compromise.So generally people who use third party lenses don't use it at widest f-stop because they know it is not as sharp unless it's the difference of getting the photo or not.Same as if the widest f-stop is F4 it will not be as sharp as a narrower aperture. so whatever lens you use it pays to know at which f-stop it is sharpest( it usually get sharper 1-2 stops from the widest).It does not mean the narrowest aperture is best because you will encounter the diffraction problem beyond a certain f-stop and just more depth of field but not more sharpness per se.

5. F-stop vs portrait photography. this you must really understand!

A sharp photo is nice to look at but wide f-stop is also a double edged sword so to speak. If you look at the side profile of the human head which feature
protrudes the furthest, forhead, nose right? A wide aperture has very shallow depth of field so the auto focus may focus on this even when you use face recognition feature.As a result you may get blurry eyes and nothing is more irritaing to see eyes that are out of focus.So it pays to check if this is the case if you do a head shot.

Secondly this is also what most people don't know because they see only portraits of young beautiful women with smooth skin all the time. Of course
digital photography is forgiving of smooth skin but what about the skin of mature women? Digital image sensors are too high resolution and you can be sure these women will not like what they see of themselves digitally.You still want very pin sharp photos of older women? You may not get paid after shooting them..haha. That's why film is more forgiving of older women as well as younger ones because the film is curved and therefore has a natural distortion much like soft focus! So the sharpest lens is not always good for older skin.

Best regards.:)
 

Apr 25, 2017
12
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Singapore
#10
Lens with different maximum aperture can cost very different, so how much it actually matter? From what I understand is for most photography we do, do not use aperture like 1.8 or so. Correct me if I am wrong. Just curious when do we actually use high aperture during photography?

Was asking due to consideration between 70-200 f2 and f4.

Thanks
Chris

Sent from my STV100-3 using Tapatalk
The idea here is depth of field. Too thin, you have nice subject isolation with chances of not requiring flash for acceptable shutter speed. Problem is focusing, subject moves or sway, You shifted your camera etc can easily lead to off focus.

The above are more of the general reason, there are more like lens sharpness (MTF), format size etc that might affect.
Internet is nice nowadays you can have some understanding about MTF and optics from here https://photographylife.com/how-to-read-mtf-charts

Just a side note that LPMM works along with your camera sensor which makes me have doubt about ultra high megapixel 35mm camera being compared with MF.
 

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Ah Keong

Senior Member
Dec 3, 2014
612
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#11
There are primarily two questions to answer?

a) Do you need f/2,8?
Nowadays, indoor lighting is getting darker and darker. For indoor action (sports, wedding, events, etc), the extra weight, size and money would be worth it. Even for outdoor events, you may find yourself using f/2,8 to f/4 for isolating DOF to enable your images to tell stories if you do not have time switching prime glasses.

b) Do you want f/2,8??
if you don't shoot indoor action or need DOF, then f/4 is sufficient for say landscape, outdoor action, travel, etc.

Regardless whether you get f/2,8 or f/4 depending on your needs. One must-must is to get IS lens.

 

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sirhcsky

New Member
Aug 21, 2017
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#12
Ok thanks alot

-Chris

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