FocusEd: The Basics of Aperture

On this B&H video (made by Kelby Training) photographer Larry Becker goes back to basics to explore the lens aperture, its workings and some of the related terms such as f-stops, stopping sown, aperture ring as well as the effects the aperture will have on your photography.

This very well made quick video looks at some of the different things which you need to know about your lens’ aperture. For example minimum, and maximum apertures (how wide can the opening on your lens open or close), f-stops (specific numbers which specify these openings – smaller numbers = larger openings = more light gets through the lens and into your camera). Zoom lenses which (sometimes) have a changing maximum aperture (for example a lens with 18-55mm focal length will typically have a max aperture of f/3.5 on the wide side (18mm) and a f/5.6 max aperture on the telephoto side (55mm).

The video covers a few other topics but is pretty basic and quick. If you want more – we have covered this topic several times in the past including on Canon 101: Lens Basics (and a look at the Aperture)The Exposure Triangle in Action: Shooting an Eagle LandingPortraits: Looking at Aperture and Focal Length and Components of Exposure – How Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO Work Together.

You can watch many more photography tips on the LensVid technique section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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