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Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Don K. Hewey

Aperture/ Shutter Speed Chart?

I am new to the settings-capable digital format. I have been reading the QnA selections regarding aperture and shutter speed settings ... apparently you need to make sure the settings jive for success in different situations. Is there a chart that tells what the best combination of settings are for aperture/shutter speed/ISO settings?

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11/21/2004 3:28:14 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Estimations are for general situations like bright daylight and overcast days ... because it all depends on light levels.
The F/16 rule is a general bright daylight that's pretty accurate. F/16 for aperture and shutter speed is 1/film speed. Go from there if you change film type or apertures.
Fpr overcast days, open 1 1/2 stops, but some overcast days are darker or lighter than others.

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11/21/2004 9:52:28 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Use your camera's meter. Shoot in shiftable Program (or aperture-priority or shutter-priority) and the camera will choose the appropriate exposure, then you can shift it to get the aperture (to control depth of field) or shutter speed (to control motion capture) you desire. If the combination is not to your liking you can further adjust it by changing ISO.

Example: ISO 200, P mode gives you initial f/8 1/250. For less depth of field, you can shift to f/5.6 1/500, f/4 1/1000, f/2.8 f/2000. If instead you want greater depth of field AND faster shutter speed to stop motion, switch to ISO 400, which will then get you to f/8 1/500.

The same applies in aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, where you can directly set the aperture or shutter speed you want.

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11/22/2004 7:05:58 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Oops, error in my change to ISO 400 example. That's just a 1 stop change from ISO 200, so instead of f/16 1/500, it should be f/8 1/500.

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11/22/2004 7:08:40 AM

Kathy Kult
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/19/2003
  There is a calculator (slide-rule) you can buy at that charts the aperture, shutter and film speeds for several different situations, particularly low-light, night-time and day-time shots. The link for this particular calculator is: . Hope that helps!

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11/23/2004 6:33:48 PM

Don K. Hewey   Thanks everyone for the information. I have tried a few of your examples and have some better success. I think I will give Kathy's suggestion of purchasing one of the calculators.

Thanks again, you all have been a great support... keep up the good work.


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11/25/2004 1:58:58 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  I hope it's cheap because a slide rule is still going to work on generalities.

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11/25/2004 3:07:42 AM

Jeff Lovinger
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2004
  Don, I know this can all be very confusing. It can all be very simple as well. It all became very clear to me after reading Bryan Petersons' new book "Understanding Exposure" revised edition. I also took his online course here at B.P. which was great. Then I went on to read and take his "Learning to see Creatively" course. These 2 were the best things I ever did, photographically speaking that is. Good luck.

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11/28/2004 8:18:49 AM

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