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Aperture settings and photos.

Article about: Most digital camera's have a manual mode and offer A or aperture priority. If your taking studio type photos this can be important for many reasons. Let's say you want only the decal on the

  1. #1

    Default Aperture settings and photos.

    Most digital camera's have a manual mode and offer A or aperture priority. If your taking studio type photos this can be important for many reasons. Let's say you want only the decal on the helmet to be in focus while the rest of the back ground fades or blurs out. Then you would use the lowest aperture your camera offered usually around 3.5-5. and make sure the focus point was on the decal or item you wanted in focus. I prefer images that the entire image is in focus even though the focus point is greatly different from one end of the photo to the other. In that case you would use a higher aperture. But I still need to know at what point my image will start to distort or lose quality from too little light.

    So what is the aperture? Aperture simply put is the size of the hole you open in the lens. For every change in setting from say f3.2 to f5 you would cut the size of the hole in half but shutter speed slows down for a longer exposure time. A good lens will go all the way down to f22 or higher. However you reach a point that the hole is so small that dust particles and other anomalies start to show up. Keeping that in mind each lens has sweet spots, points that just offer better image quality. If you have a better camera and lens you will probably find your lens and the sweet spot of the lens listed on the charts listed on this website.

    To show practical examples I took a few photos. Above each photo you will see the amount of "f" stop I used. For the lens I used the sweet spot is about f8-f11. The camera I used was a 7D with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The glass and construction of the lens is very good and I would call it a mid-grade lens. The top photo should give you an idea what I wanted to achieve, a semi crisp photo that you can even read the date on the envelope at the bottom. I copied and pasted the corner of each image so could you see better the focus point then I scaled all of the images.

    Top image is what I was trying to achieve.

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    f1.4 note only the lower center of the photo is in focus

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    f2 Slightly cleaner than f1.4 but still only the very center is in focus

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    f3.2
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    f4

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    f5

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    f6.3 You can see it is starting to clean up greatly

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    f8

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    f11 This is the point that my lens opening is starting to reach it's limit without showing dust or other items in the photo. Notice how crisp even the texture of the backdrop is though.

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  2. #2
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    What are you using for a camera Max?

    Good info Max, if you haven't already.....you should probably post this on GHW as well.

  3. #3

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    Thanks John. Most of the time I use a 7D Canon because of the image size. I can crop away and still leave myself with a decent size image. I keep my desktop as high of resolution as I can so good quality images make all the difference. If you want to see what the actual image looks like without all the crunching forum software does here is the raw image at f11 (it may be slow as I have it posted on a shared slow server).

  4. #4
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    Just looked, I really like the way it picked up the serrations on the back of the scabbard, the Luger grip checkering, and the 1937 coin date.

  5. #5

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    Quote by relicz View Post
    Just looked, I really like the way it picked up the serrations on the back of the scabbard, the Luger grip checkering, and the 1937 coin date.
    You can bring out an amazing amount of detail in an image using the aperture for focus. Like I say it can also be used to focus on a point in the photo . You can select your focus point and use a low aperture and it will make people look at exactly what you wanted. It can also hide flaws.

  6. #6
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    I am using a 40D. Great tips and illustrations. Has anybody ever tried one of these clip on Raynox lenses, they are great for extreme close ups and seeing detail that I normally have to squint to see. A little frustrating to use but they work great coupled with the above information.

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Logictox, Great information on taking closeups,etc.To a guy who is not great with photographs I plan on buying a new digital camera very soon.Any particular model # or brand you could tell me about?I was looking at a Canon powershot.Thanks.

  8. #8

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    Degens,

    The raynox clip on lenses can add a new dimension. I think there glass isn't perfect but it is a great bang for the buck. You do want to be careful when you shoot in the 24mm and smaller lenses though as barrel roll around the edges of the photos becomes quite pronounced. As long as you use the clip on with a 35mm or higher it shouldn't be an issue.

    goodbuys,

    Go to the store and hold and play with several cameras you think you like. Then go home and do a search and see what feedback you find. I am not a photographer by any stretch of the word. I was married to a newspaper editor for years that took photos and she got me involved. When she passed away I acquired enough to outfit my daughter and myself with good lenses and the enthusiasm for it that I play with it more than I should. When digital cameras first hit the market my wife was a huge Nikon fan. She purchased one of the first D1's to hit the market and it was a $5,000 nightmare. It spent more time at Nikon being fixed than it did taking photos. She then sold all her Nikon lenses and moved to the 1D Mark II from Canon and my daughter still has that camera today. So if I offer an opinion it is based on personal experience and I can't say one is better than any other. Like anything it's just what you get used to and how it functions. Different camera's offer different options. If your a complete novice and want good photos then just buy one that takes good auto setting point and shoot photos. But if your looking for something extra, make sure it has the manual settings to accomplish what you want. Or that's my .02 cents. The biggest mistake I see people make is spending too much on a camera and not enough on the lens. Good glass takes good photos. When your looking at the point and shoot look at the lens. The size of the lens makes a huge difference in quality and ability.

  9. #9

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    Thanks very much for the info on the cameras.Their is a big photo store about a half hour from me here on Long Island,NY.I will take your advise and check different cameras and also the settings,etc.Carl

  10. #10

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    Here is an example of using the aperture to set the focal point of the photo. Notice at the extreme f22 you can even see my great great grandfathers photo in the background. However at f3.5 only the Luftwaffe decal is clear.

    At f22 with a 4 second exposure, note the photo in the background is about 10 feet away from the first helmet.
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    At f3.5, I did take a test photo lower but not even the entire decal was in focus.

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