F11 Manual Contradiction - Small/Large and Wide/Narrow Aperture Definition?


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phelan

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Nov 24, 2005
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Bedok
#1
I am a complete newbie to good photography and chose to buy the F11 recently because it offered Apertuare and Shutter modes and would allow me to progress once i got past how to use the basic functions of the camera. I was just going through the F11 Manual recently and was confused by some definitions and reccommendations inside it.

For those with the F11 manual,

pg 32 states that
(I)<To Achieve this result> To make the subject stand out by having the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.
<Sample Settings> Set the Photography mode to "A" and select a wide aperture setting.

AND
(II)<To Achieve this result> To get a very large depth of focus.
<Sample Settings> Set the Photography mode to "A" and select a narrow aperture
setting.

A) At this point, my understanding is -> Area around subject blurs equals wide aperture or small depth of focus. Correct?

However, pg 43 states that:
<By adjusting the aperture, you can change the depth of focus (depth of field). (III)Selecting a larger number of aperture obtains a larger depth of focus.
(IV)Selecting a smaller number of aperture has the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.>
There are two illustrations that state that a closed aperture results in <The area in front of and behind the subject is also in focus in the shot.> and an open aperture results in <The area in front of and behind the subject is out of focus.>

B) At this point, reading (III) and (IV) confuses me, as it seems to contradict both (I) and (II).
Because,
To get a picture where the area around subject blurs: (I) states that the user should use a wider aperture setting but (IV) states that to get the same effect, one should use a smaller aperture.
And to get a picture to get a large depth of focus, where everything is sharp and in focus, (II) states to use a narrow aperture setting, but (III) says to use a larger number of aperture.

C) So, is the manual wrong? Or is it normal to equal wide aperture = small aperture setting and for narrow aperture to = large aperture setting???

Can anyone properly define how to get a picture where the area around subject blurs, which extreme aperture setting (F11's F2.8 to F8 settings) should one use?

:eek: :( :what: :bsmilie:
 

foxtwo

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Mar 11, 2004
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#3
phelan said:
Or is it normal to equal wide aperture = small aperture setting and for narrow aperture to = large aperture setting???
yes. actually u should change the word 'setting' to the word 'number'.

it's a common understanding that everyone of us had to twist our minds around, dun worry bout it.
 

madmacs

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Dec 13, 2002
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#4
no contradiction. just confusing that they use 2 different ways of explaining.

widest aperture opening -> smallest aperture value -> least depth of field

narrowest aperture opening -> largest aperture value -> most depth of field

so to answer your question...

Can anyone properly define how to get a picture where the area around subject blurs, which extreme aperture setting (F11's F2.8 to F8 settings) should one use?
you would use f2.8
 

LittleWolf

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Jan 23, 2005
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#5
phelan said:
I am a complete newbie to good photography and chose to buy the F11 recently because it offered Apertuare and Shutter modes and would allow me to progress once i got past how to use the basic functions of the camera. I was just going through the F11 Manual recently and was confused by some definitions and reccommendations inside it.

For those with the F11 manual,

pg 32 states that
(I)<To Achieve this result> To make the subject stand out by having the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.
<Sample Settings> Set the Photography mode to "A" and select a wide aperture setting.

AND
(II)<To Achieve this result> To get a very large depth of focus.
<Sample Settings> Set the Photography mode to "A" and select a narrow aperture
setting.

A) At this point, my understanding is -> Area around subject blurs equals wide aperture or small depth of focus. Correct?

However, pg 43 states that:
<By adjusting the aperture, you can change the depth of focus (depth of field). (III)Selecting a larger number of aperture obtains a larger depth of focus.
(IV)Selecting a smaller number of aperture has the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.>
There are two illustrations that state that a closed aperture results in <The area in front of and behind the subject is also in focus in the shot.> and an open aperture results in <The area in front of and behind the subject is out of focus.>

B) At this point, reading (III) and (IV) confuses me, as it seems to contradict both (I) and (II).
Because,
To get a picture where the area around subject blurs: (I) states that the user should use a wider aperture setting but (IV) states that to get the same effect, one should use a smaller aperture.
And to get a picture to get a large depth of focus, where everything is sharp and in focus, (II) states to use a narrow aperture setting, but (III) says to use a larger number of aperture.

C) So, is the manual wrong? Or is it normal to equal wide aperture = small aperture setting and for narrow aperture to = large aperture setting???

Can anyone properly define how to get a picture where the area around subject blurs, which extreme aperture setting (F11's F2.8 to F8 settings) should one use?

:eek: :( :what: :bsmilie:

You're suffering the consequences from widespread sloppiness when it comes to specifying apertures.

Large apertures are characterized by larger numbers, and small apertures by smaller numbers. However, apertures are typically given as fractions: f/5.6, f/8, f/11 etc. where f is the focal length of the lens. E.g. for a lens with focal length f=50mm, an aperture of f/8 would mean the effective aperture has a diameter of 50mm/8 = 6.25mm.

In widespread (but incorrect) use, the slash indicating division is ignored, i.e. instead of the correct "f/11" people refer "F11" or just "11". This results in the paradox situation that larger "aperture values" stand for smaller apertures.

Your intuition that there's something wrong is absolutely justified. Unfortunately, getting people to use correct nomenclature for apertures is just about as difficult as getting US Americans to use the metric system.
 

phelan

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Nov 24, 2005
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Bedok
#6
Thanks guys!

The manual seems to be slightly misleading and it would have been better if they put down the proper range of numbers. I had dog-eared the pages for easy reference at first reading but was confused the second time round. :sweat:
 

foxtwo

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2004
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#7
phelan said:
Can anyone properly define how to get a picture where the area around subject blurs, which extreme aperture setting (F11's F2.8 to F8 settings) should one use?
i'm going to go an extra step to say that technically it is not possible to have 'the area around subject to blur', short of photoshop. the proper term is 'short depth-of-field (dof)'. At short dof, the foreground and background would blur, leaving the entire length of the focus plane in focus.

f2.8 will give u short dof. do experiment with your various aperture settings to have a feel of how much dof ur camera gives, it being a consumer digital camera would hugely differ from of a proper lense construction.
 

d7t3

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Oct 3, 2002
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In the Shepherd's hands
#8
phelan said:
(I) To make the subject stand out by having the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.... Set the Photography mode to "A" and select a wide aperture setting....

(IV) Selecting a smaller number of aperture has the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus.
Technically it might be wrong, but this is the popular concept:

A wider aperture has a smaller f-number. i.e. f/2.8 is a wider aperture than f/8.

to expand on foxtwo's comment, note also that DOF is dependent on actual focal length. the f11 lens zooms to focal lengths between 8 and 24mm. whether using f/2.8 at 8mm, or f/5 at 24mm (the biggest settings), that's still going to give you a lot of DOF (compared to SLR lenses with greater true focal lengths), not as blur as you might like.
 

phelan

New Member
Nov 24, 2005
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Bedok
#9
Thanks for the additional explanations. Looks like Fujifilm didnt QC their manual properly when it came to the aperture settings sections. I was being driven slightly crazy when I tried to figure it out. ;p
 

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