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Photography QnA: Photographic Field Techniques

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Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques

Ready to learn about field technique for large object photography? How about for small object photography? This Q & A covers it all. Or if you are interested in private instruction, check out Kerry Drager's Field Techniques: Light and Composition online photography course.

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Photography Question 
Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  461 .  Hyperfocal Points and Lens Focus Scales
Hi, All:

I have one last question regarding hyperfocal distance. :)

If I am using a focal length such as 60mm, the hyperfocal point is over 20', and the lens focus scale stops at 15' then goes to infinity, what should I do? Should I just focus on infinity, changing the focal length is not an option?

I have found the hyperfocal distance very helpful, but I've also found that you (at least I) can't use it when your focus scale doesn't give you that distance as an option. I am finding that this occurs mostly at the higher focal distances of my zoom lenses. For example, I most often use a 28mm-80mm, and 80mm - 200mm for landscapes. On my 28/80, anything after 55mm, I can't focus on the hyperfocal point; and with my 80/200, anything after 150mm, I can't use the hyperfocal point. The focus scales simply don't step up that far.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Glenn

8/8/2001 12:10:20 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Glenn,

If you have a DOF markings for lens apertures on the lens barrel, look at where exactly where focusing index lines up with the infinity marking. Then move that location to the DOF index for the lens aperture. DOF markings are approximate, so this is a starting point. If in doubt and I'm willing to give up a little at the near end to ensure infinity remains in apparent focus, I'll set focus for the next tighter aperture than the one being used (e.g. set the inifinity mark to the f/11 DOF mark when using f/8 on the lens).

Sadly, many current AF lenses do not have DOF markings. If your lenses do not, the best you can do is interpolate between the focus scale markings. With nearly all lenses they're approximate to begin with. A simple experiment with objects in the foreground at the near limit and very distant background using a few frames of film can be used to verify exactly where to set it.

As an aside, this seems to be more of a problem with zoom lenses than with primes, or at least the ones I have. A few of my older manual focus primes appear to have been marked rather conveniently regarding hyperfocal distances.

-- John

8/11/2001 12:13:28 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Glenn,

I see you're still struggling with your DOF! Just a note to let you know you're not alone, love!

Let me know when you've got it--you can explain it to me.....

pc

8/11/2001 1:12:00 PM

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Photography Question 
Ujjwal Mukherjee
Contact Ujjwal
Ujjwal's Gallery

member since: 3/21/2001
  462 .  Photography on Snow/Sand
Hi!

This question is bugging me for a long time. When taking photo's on a bright snow covered mountain or bright sand it has been advised to increase the f-stop by 2 over the camera's reading and take the photo. Will someone please explain it with an exaxmple. Like if the camera reading of the view is f/11 and 1/125 for a 100 ISO film what changes need to be done to take the photo.

Will it be different if the background is clouded or dark. If yes what will be the setting for the same case.

8/8/2001 6:54:13 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  This is a rule of thumb and like all rules of thumb it depends on a few factors. If your meter can take spot readings it becomes less critical to compensate.

For your example, if you are shooting a picture with a snow covered field and your meter is reading the whole area the snow will be the predominant feature. Your meter tells you the correct exposure to make the scene appear 18% gray. Of course the snow is white so this isn't what you want. So if the meter indicates f11 @ 1/125 you need to open up 2 stops to make the snow appear white. Something like f5.6 @ 1/125 or f11 @ 1/30.

If you can spot meter you can meter off of something in the scene that is 18% gray. In which case you need not compensate. When I take a reflective reading under these conditions I meter off of the palm of my hand (works with or without spot metering as long as your palm fills the frame) and open up 1 stop. But this really isn't any different than metering the snow and opening up two stops.

8/8/2001 11:51:24 AM

  Thanks a ton for the tip Jeff! One clarification related in making changes over camera's recommended meter reading: when I open up 2 stops or slow down by 1 or 2 stops, I 'll need to put my camera in manual mode and make the changes. I had experienced earlier that the camera'a exposure compensation meter starting giving signal of either over exposure or under exposure reading.

I assume in this also since I am opening up 2 stop's over it's recommended reading my camera's (Canon EOS Elan II) will probably indicate an overexposure. Should I go ahead and take the picture ignoring it?

The other clarification that I'll need if you can explain in details what is the 18% grey area of the scene.
Pls. forgive my ignorance.

8/9/2001 4:32:59 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Yes, since your camera's meter is trying to achieve 18% grey if you deviate from it's recommended exposure it will let you know that (in it's uneducated opinion) you are either over or underexposing the shot. Just ignore it and do what's right. Now you're a photographer and not a snap shooter!

18% grey takes some time to recognize. Basically, it is any tone in the scene that when shot in black and white will record as 18% gray. The color of it doesn't matter, just the tone. Is it necessary to always meter a mid tone (18% grey)? No. As in the example you can meter off of pure white and open up 2 stops. Or meter off of a white skin tone and open up one. Metering off of a mid tone is just convenient because you don't have to compensate.

8/9/2001 10:44:57 AM

Rob Kenning

member since: 6/16/2001
  One tip I can offer in the quest to simulate 18% grey cards is to use a typical newpaper. I have used this method quite successfully in the studio.

8/12/2001 6:26:10 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Note that opening 2 stops for a bright snow or white sandy beach scene and other exposure compensation rules of thumb are based on the common centerweighted average metering. The sophisticated algorithms used in multi-zone Canon Evaluative and Nikon Matrix metering (and Minolta, Pentax?) will attempt to make these exposure compensations automatically. For example: for bright scenes (above EV15) the Canon system will automatically add overexposure. See question http://bobatkins.com/photography/eosfaq/eosfaq24/0toc.html (Miscellany Q.20) and http://www.camera.canon.com.my/photography/art/art14/

8/20/2001 9:51:25 AM

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Photography Question 
Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  463 .  Why Objects Disappear in Extra-Long Exposures
Hey there everyone. I've got a question about shooting light trails from cars and/or long exposures of lights. Where on earth do the cars (non-lighted) objects go?!?!? How come we don't see the cars in the finished photograph--only the light trails left behind them? This one's been bugging me for a while now. thnx in advance. pc

8/7/2001 5:29:26 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Generally, you don't see the cars because there isn't enough light falling on them to make an exposure (especially since they are moving and are not exposing the film in on place).

8/7/2001 8:12:34 PM

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Photography Question 
Jason  Morgan

member since: 7/30/2001
  464 .  Easy Exposure Settings for Safari
Can you suggest a quick and simple way to ensure correct exposure? I use a fuly manual Pentax K1000. My main subjects will be wildlife (safari soon). At the moment I generally take a meter reading from grass or a similar tone and set my shutter and f number to suit, this seems to work quite well on most subjects. Should I then adjust the settings further for very light or dark subjects? I don't need to have perfectly exposed photos but I need them quite good so that I can use them for references to my paintings. All help appreciated.

8/7/2001 2:54:34 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Jason,

Check out Kodak's website and do a search in their library of info. They have at least one chart that lists their suggested exposures for existing light photos for both negative and slide films. You can download this chart in PDF for printing. Not sure, but this is the address I have as a header on my printout: www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/ac61/

8/7/2001 5:43:39 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Jason,
The link PC provided is a good one for estimating "available light" exposures for indoor and night photography.

For outdoor daylight exposure estimating, see this Q/A thread from a while ago. It contains details about the "sunny-16" rule. Note that the examples in it are based on ISO 100 film and you need to adjust for the film speed you are using.

Also . . . Kodak prints exposure recommendations on the inside of their film boxes and all the major film manufacturers have similar information in the data sheet for the film. These data sheets are available online at the Kodak, Fuji, Agfa and Ilford Web sites. Sometimes you have to poke around a little to find them, but they're there.

-- John

8/7/2001 8:32:58 PM

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Photography Question 
Mike Turner

member since: 3/16/2001
  465 .  Moon Photography
I want to take a good picture of the moon. I have two questions.

1.) Previously, I have taken pictures using 400 speed film, 75-300mm telephoto lense, and Canon Rebel 2000. The pictures have come out grainy (not enough light) even though I have the lowest aperture (5.6). Some come out OK but are still grainy. I have also went +/- 1 f-stop, still grainy. I also receive a moon-spot (like a sun spots). What would cause this? How would I prevent against it? I am going to go to 800 or higher speed film next. I think that will help a lot.

2.) Also, even the pictures that are real good still have the moon over-exposed. How would I capture the moon's craters and indentations, being so bright, when it's framed against the dark night sky? Does that make sense?

Thanks in advance,
Mike
P.S. I don't have a scanner, but will send them once I can get them scanned.

8/6/2001 4:44:22 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  The tricky part of photographing the moon is that, generally speaking, your surroundings are dark and the moon is a sunlit object. There isn't a film made that can handle that contrast. Since the moon is a sunlit object, to expose it correctly you must follow the Sunny 16 rule. In other words, use a shutter speed that is equivalent to the film ISO (ISO400 film = 1/500th ; ISO800 = 1/750th or 1/1000th if your camera doesn't have 1/750th) and an aperture of f16. Some prefer to open a stop (f11) so experiment and see what you like.

There are a few of ways to have a properly exposed moon within the context of a properly exposed landscape. One is to make a double exposure. You shoot the moon on a frame and then shoot the landscape (or sky) on that same frame exposing for each seperately. Another method that works when the sky isn't completely dark is to use a graduated neutral density filter to bring the exposure of the moon down a few stops. And of course the modern way is to digitally add the moon to whatever shot you want.

8/6/2001 7:42:59 PM

Mike Turner

member since: 3/16/2001
  Jeff,

First, what are you doing there at almost 8:00pm. Go home - enjoy life. Just kidding, I didn't mean to keep you there at work. Thanks for the tips. I think I will try the double exposure. I have been wanting a reason to mess around with that function. I probably need to learn more about filters too. I guess what I am saying is thanks for the ideas (except for the digital option - that's cheating) and for staying late to answer my question.

Take care & blessings,
Mike

-----

Proverbs 3:1-2
(1) My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments;
(2) for they shall add length of days, and long life, and peace to you.

8/6/2001 10:09:54 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
 
 
  Crescent Moon
Crescent Moon
Many shoot a full moon. A crescent can bring out the dimensions of the mountains and craters even though it's only a sliver.
 
 
A couple of tips and some information in addition to what Jeff has provided:

a. It takes about a 1200mm lens to fill a 35mm film frame with the moon. You can use this to gauge how big the moon will be in the photograph based on the focal length you use.

b. Be cautious about using long shutter speeds. The moon is orbiting and the earth rotating under it. The combined motion will blur the moon if your shutter speed is too long. The longer the focal length used, the more pronounced the effect. At 600mm I was continuously having to reposition the camera between frames made about a minute apart. Note its direction of motion in the viewfinder and frame slightly ahead of where it will be, then wait until it's in position. I try to keep shutter speed at 1/30th with 600mm. Slower risks blurring.

c. If it's a half-moon or crescent moon, you will need slightly more exposure, as the moon is sidelighted by the sun. However, you shouldn't need much more than about one stop more even with a crescent.

d. A crescent, although only a sliver, shows the dimensional quality of the mountains and craters that are illuminated, because of the sidelighting. Don't discount shooting a crescent moon some time. I've uploaded one I made about a year or so ago using a 600mm lens. Image is cropped to make it about twice the size of the full frame.

BTW, I'm writing this from home. :-)

-- John

8/7/2001 1:30:49 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  If you follow the Sunny 16 rule you shouldn't have a significant problem with the moon blurring since your shutter speed will be matching your ISO (unless you are shooting 25 or 50 speed film).

BTW my studio's in my home so I'm never (or always I guess) late at the office. ;-)))

8/7/2001 11:10:38 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Yes, should have realized that (was thinking about the slow ISO 64 film I use with apertures that put shutter speeds near the edge of blur).

Here's some additional recommendations from Kodak for exposure settings for other than full moons (just found these this evening on Kodak's site):

a. Full: same exposure as any fully sunlit subject ("sunny 16" as Jeff mentioned).
b. Gibbous (halfway between full and half): requires 1 stop more exposure than a full moon.
c. Half: requires 2 stops more exposure than a full moon.
d. Crescent (halfway between half and new): requires 3-1/2 stops more exposure than a full moon.

I do recall having to make exposures longer for other than full moons, but don't recall having to correct by quite this much, especially for a crescent. For other than full, I recommend bracketing exposure with several shots. My first attempt at a crescent moon used the same exposure as for a full one and was very underexposed.

-- John

8/7/2001 11:07:06 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  It did occur to me that if you were to use the GNDF method you would run into longer exposure times. So it is something to consider.

8/8/2001 12:13:11 AM

Mike Turner

member since: 3/16/2001
  You guys are a wealth of information. Thank you very much. John your picture of the cresent moon made me appreciate them very much. Before I was only interested in full moons but now they all capture my attention. Thanks again to you both Jeff and John.


P.S. Do you have any tips on how I could avoid getting moon spots?
--Mike

8/8/2001 10:53:03 AM

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Photography Question 
Albert Guevara

member since: 11/21/2000
  466 .  Best Zoom Range for Sharp Pictures
I shoot with a Canon Elan IIe and the 28-135mm USM IS lens. I have noticed that some pictures will be more sharp than others of the same subject depending on the zooming range. At what distance would this lens be sharpest? i.e. 70 mm/100mm... Thank you for your time and great service to us.

8/2/2001 9:51:48 AM

 Vasko

member since: 7/20/2001
  Albert,

When you use zoom lens you sacrifice quality, easy as that. You would have to experiment with your lens in order to determine at what length they are the sharpest. I know that my advice is far from helpful, but it's the best I got. Actually, the best advice I have for you is to go with fixed lens (non-zoom). They always give you the sharpest pictures. The reason for that is because they (fixed lens) have less glass to stop the light that gets to your film, therefore, the pictures are sharper.

I know I was not of much help, but consider this formula for any future lens that you might purchase:

more zoom= more glass= less light to film= poor quality

8/20/2001 3:00:30 AM

Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  Hi,

Although I completely agree with Vasko on the zoom/quality issue along theoretical points, I must disagree with his advice as to switching over to fixed lenses. In years prior, the quality of zoom lenses were noticeably inferior to that of fixed lenses. However, lens manufacturers have significantly increased the quality of zoom lenses, and their results are often indistiguishable from that of fixed lenses. In fact, it is possible to purchase an expensive zoom lens from an outstanding manufacturer that surpasses that of a cheaper fixed lens made by more average manufacturers.

There are also other issues to consider in the choice of zoom or fixed lenses. Using a fixed lens is, frankly, a pain in the ass compared to using a zoom lens. Who wants to move back and forth and switch lenses every time he/she needs to make a shot?

The only time that I could actually recommend using a fixed lens over that of a zoom would be when the situation calls for a very large focal length, such as that equal to or greater than 400mm. At that point, I would completely agree with Vasko's view. More zoom=more elements=less light and more abberations=poorer quality.

So, I would purchase only high quality zoom lenses that have the following characteristics: apochromatic, aspherical lens elements, and short zoom ranges.

As to your specific question, the only way to be sure is to test the lens under standard conditions. Simply use a standard subject and lighting and, then, repeatedly shoot using different focal lengths for each image. The only problem with this is that aperture can affect the results as well. The problem with this is that you can use many frames of film before getting an satisfactory answer. Another, perhaps, easier choice is to call the manufacturer directly, read reviews of lenses in photo magazines, and read the literature that accompanied your lens.

Cheers,
Glenn

9/9/2001 8:35:35 PM

Chuck 

member since: 4/23/2000
  Albert, Glenn nailed it on the head !
Zoom lenses can be a highly creative tool when one learns how to use it.
I have that lens and wouldn't trade it for anything. f11, f11 1/2 and f16 are fantastic. If you run a test, use a tripod....you might be surprised.

Chuck

9/14/2001 7:50:53 PM

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Photography Question 
Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  467 .  Appropriate Apertures for Landscapes
Hello:

I am wondering what the best aperture settings are for doing landscapes. From my own reading of DOF and hyperfocal charts, I have found F/stops between 5.6 and 11 to be most suitable. Specifically, those settings closest to 8, considering that it has the sharpest focus.

Am I correct in this judgement? Are there any situations in landscape photography where I would want to stop down the lens past F/stop 11?
I know that stopping down further will bring the near focus closer, but wouldn't reframing a shot be better than stopping down that much?

Thanks for the help.

Cheers,
Glenn

7/31/2001 1:14:47 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Sometimes you might want to wring out every last bit of depth-of-field, with the wildflowers in focus, as well as the distant mountains. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot at f16 with a 35- or 28-mm prime lens, and a lens hood, setting the focus at the hyperfocal distance.

8/1/2001 8:19:52 AM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Glenn, so much of it depends on what you want the final image to look like not to mention what lens you are using. There may be times when you want a very shallow DOF and will shoot wide open. There will be times when you want extreme DOF and shoot stopped all the way down. As far as lenses go, wide angle lenses have greater DOF and require less stopping down than telephoto lenses. Depending upon the quality of your lense you may get less softening effects of stopping down than on lower quality lenses. If I'm shooting a landscape and I want it all in focus but I'm not overly concerned about any one item being extremely sharp I will shoot all the way stopped down (f32 or f45). There will be times when the sharpness is the most important factor and you will want to shoot at the optimum aperture but for the most part I shoot at whatever aperture gives me the DOF I require.

8/1/2001 1:03:53 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Hi Glenn, I'm certainly no expert--I'm learning the technical stuff from the beginning. I thought maybe if I tried explaining to you what I've learned, it would help me retain the information--kill two birds....as they say.

First, a little review --
1) The farther you stop down (the smaller the aperture), the more depth of field you're going to get, (i.e. more of the subject(s) will be in sharper focus). By f/22, you get extensive DOF.

2) Shorter lenses have greater DOF than telephoto lenses.

3) The distance between you/the camera and the subject also makes a difference. The closer you are, the less DOF you will have.

*The catch is not only having enough light with the small aperture you are trying to get sufficient DOF with, but with the small apertures, you will get a very slow corresponding shutter speed.

So....here's what Nat'l Geog. Field Guide says:

"In landscape photographs we generally expect extensive DOF, with sharp focus from the foreground to the background. To achieve this effect, select a wide-angle lens, set a small aperture (perhaps f/11 or higher), and focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene before reframing and shooting."

I hope I'm not offering redundant information here. I'm quite sure you have this stuff down pat, but I am a little slow and frequently need to go back and refresh my rapidly decaying memory. I also don't have a DOF preview on my camera (rats!), so the "focus 1/3 of the way..." business will have to work for me until I upgrade in the very distant future...

PCL

8/1/2001 6:27:17 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  OH--and don't forget to use a tripod. pcl

8/1/2001 7:03:42 PM

Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  Thanks for all the help, everyone.

I have been focusing on infinity using wider angled lens, i.e. 28mm - 50mm. Obviously, the only reason that I would need any more stopping down than f/stop 8 would be to bring in the near focus.

I find it very interesting that NG recommends stopping down and focusing 1/3 of the distance into the scene. Considering that landscape shots travel very far into the distance (infinity), I am assuming that 1/3 into the scene would be 1/3 of focusing scale on your lens.

Very interesting. Thank-you.

Cheers,
Glenn

8/1/2001 11:22:46 PM

Glenn Theal

member since: 7/30/2001
  I think that I am finally starting understand this hyperfocal distance thing. Correct me if I am wrong, or just simply say that I've got it. :)

If I use a 35mm lens, use an f/stop of 16, and focus on the hyperfocal distance (in this case 8' 6"), everything from the near distance (in this case 4' 3") to infinity will be in focus. If this is true, it is way too cool!

Also, I take it that when shooting landscape shots, it is more appropriate to set the focusing distance manually rather than using Auto Focus.

I've only been doing this stuff for about 2 months now, and I love it more and more every day.

Cheers,
Glenn

8/1/2001 11:31:48 PM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Glenn, about the NG book--they say to focus 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the frame of your landscape since DOF extends roughly 1/3 in front and 2/3 behind the point you focus on. Same basic idea as using the hyperfocal charts. Stopping down will extend the hyperfocal range, thus your extent of DOF. pc

8/2/2001 8:12:24 AM

Piper Lehman
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/20/2001
  Glenn, found this discussion going on farther down the page. Plenty of different explanations for DOF and aperture. Here's something from Jeff on aperture choice and DOF:

"....F8 doesn't give you more DOF. When you focus on an object you have a critical focus spot and DOF. The critical focus spot is the sharpest point of focus. Your DOF is sharp but still not as sharp as the critical focus spot. F22 gives you a larger DOF but the critical focus point is not as sharp as it would be at f8. So unless you need the DOF provided by f22 you are better off with a wider aperture (ie f8,f11,f16 etc.). "

- Jeff 5/24/2001 1:41:25 PM

also check out kodak.com, fodors.com and don't forget about checking Canon's (or whatever your camera brand is) Web site for further info.

cheers,
pc

sorry to be a unsolicited buttinski...pc

8/2/2001 8:38:49 AM

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Photography Question 
Pravin Sanil

member since: 7/25/2001
  468 .  Shutter Speed and Aperture Settings
I have a Nikon F70 and I dont know how to use the shutter speed and aperture settings. I'm a beginner and love photography.

7/25/2001 8:52:54 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Exposure 101:
The combination of shutter speed and lens aperture set the film exposure, and this you undoubtedly already know. Most cameras allow the user to set them in full "stops."

Shutter speed is set in seconds and fractions of seconds, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 . . . 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, etc. Following the sequence, the shutter is open half the time in going from one shutter stop to the next.

Lens aperture is set using an f-number. This system was devised to create a common system of setting lens aperture so that the scheme means the same on any lens of any focal length. The f-number is the focal length of the lens divided by the diameter of the aperture. If you have a 100mm lens and the (effective) aperture is 25mm in diameter, the lens is set at f/4. For f/4 on a 200mm lens the (effective) aperture would have to be 50mm in diameter. An f/4 setting on any lens admits the same amount of light as an f/4 setting on any other lens.

Common f-numbers found on lenses are: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, and f/16. The higher the f-number the smaller the aperture opening, and less light is admitted. These, just like the shutter speed settings, are full stops. There are other numbers found, most often for the widest possible lens opening, such as f/3.5 or f/4.5 (these are 1/3 stop larger and smaller than f/4). Partial f-stops are almost always found in 1/3 stop increments.

Amount of light admitted by an aperture is directly related to the its area, not its diameter; area is directly related to the square of the diameter. If you double the diameter, you quadruple the amount of light. If you triple the diameter the amount of light goes up by nine times. That's why f-numbers are in increments of the square root of 2 (1.414 approximated).

Since shutter speed and aperture settings move in equal increments, you can trade shutter stops for aperture stops and have the same exposure. This gives you a range of aperture openings and shutter speeds that you can use.

What determines the required exposure? Basically it's subject brightness and film speed. This is a more complex subject in application because of the need to define what the subject brightness is. For most users, the averaging system of some type performed by the metering built in to the camera works under nearly all conditions.

Advanced users sometimes concern themselves with the the brightness level of the brightest highlights and deepest shadows in which detail is desired, and make decisions about how to average the two. Under some conditions, the difference between them is greater than the film can capture (the contrast is greater than film latitude), requiring more decisions on what to give up, some of the highlight or some of the shadow.

Control of shutter speed is most often desired to stop motion or prevent camera shake from causing visible blurring. Control of aperture is most often desired to set depth of field, the range around the lens focus distance which will appear in focus.

-- John

7/29/2001 11:25:36 AM

Roland Towey

member since: 5/28/2001
  Hi, when you say you don't know how to use shutter & aperture, do you mean you can't operate these functions? I too have the F70.

To set shutter, press 'function button' on left hand side. While holding this down, turn dial on right hand side. You will notice arrow in green area of display. When you turn the dial, the arrow moves into different sections. Stop arrow in area with letter P. Now depress SET button on left hand side and turn dial at same time. You will notice P turns to S or A. When S is displayed turn dial and you will see the shutter speed increase or decrease depending which way you dial.

To set aperture, follow the same steps until A appears in green zone. Don't forget to release the clip on the aperture ring. Turn the aperture ring on lens - you will notice f numbers increase or decrease.

Hope this is of use to you. It was said by critics that this camera is brilliant once you have mastered the controls. I agree. But with a little practice you to will be able to operate easily. I am very happy with the F70.

8/3/2001 6:32:08 PM

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Photography Question 
Lucie e. Moore

member since: 7/18/2001
  469 .  Comprehensive Exposure Charts
I have quite an old camera, passed down from the old man :) and its light meter is broken. I am looking for a comprehensive chart (the kind that used to be on the inside of film boxes) that relates light conditions, to aperture size and shutter speed etc, so that I don't have to buy a new meter. Is there one on the web anywhere? or in a book? I hope someone can help... thanks a lot!!

7/18/2001 1:19:39 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Check out this index of technical data for Kodak films

For example, clicking on the link for "KODAK GOLD 100 and 200 Films,
Pub. No. E-15" brings up the document with the following exposure info:

Daylight
Use the exposures in the table below for average frontlit subjects from 2 hours after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset.

Bright or hazy sun on light sand or snow:
GOLD 100 - 1/125, f/16
GOLD 200 - 1/250, f/16
Bright or hazy sun (distinct shadows)*:
GOLD 100 - 1/125, f/11
GOLD 200 - 1/250, f/11
Weak, hazy sun (soft shadows):
GOLD 100 - 1/125, f/8
GOLD 200 - 1/250, f/8
Cloudy bright (no shadows):
GOLD 100 - 1/125, f/5.6
GOLD 200 - 1/250, f/5.6
Heavy overcast or open shade :
GOLD 100 - 1/125, f/4
GOLD 200 - 1/250, f/4

* Use f/5.6 for backlit close-up subjects.
Subjects shaded from the sun but lighted by a large area of clear sky.

7/18/2001 2:44:07 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Lucie,
In addition to the data Jon has provided for your immediate use, see also my answer to a similar question a few days ago. The guide referenced can be found for less than $15, it's quite durable and it easily fits in a shirt pocket:
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=2082

-- John

7/18/2001 11:09:07 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Oops -
Forgot to mention, the guide has better descriptions (longer definitions) of what constitutes "open shade," "weak, hazy sun," plus how to adjust slightly for side lighting.

-- John

7/18/2001 11:11:32 PM

Michael J. Cunningham

member since: 12/6/2001
  The old rule of thumb which I picked up somewhere is the "Bright Sun" rule.

It says that a subject to be photographed in bright sun should be shot at f16 with a shutter speed of
1/(film speed). If you're shooting ASA 100 film in bright sun, use f16 at 1/100 or 1/125.

This is a great general rule which my experience has allowed me to adjust as lighting conditions or subject motion has changed.

--Mike C, Philadelphia

12/6/2001 10:47:24 AM

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