Guide to high f-stop settings and when to use them.
Depending on your lens, a high f-stop may be the trick you need to capture an epic photo.
Your camera lens’ f-stop (also known as an f-number) measures aperture — or, how much light is let in. A higher f-stop lets in less light than a lower f-stop would and it’s used to create stunning photos under certain conditions. Are you ready to explore the world of high f-stop?
Adjust the depth of field.
Depth of field, often abbreviated as DOF, is one of photography’s most important pillars — and your f-stop has a lot to do with it because:
- Lower f-stop: A wide aperture sharpens the subject and blurs the background
- Higher f-stop: A narrow aperture sharpens both the subject and the background
To keep a photo’s foreground and background in focus, photographers use higher f-stop numbers. However, f-stop settings vary depending on the lens. A 35mm camera lens may not need as high of an f-stop as a macro lens to achieve the same depth of field.
Work with slower shutter speeds.
High f-stops are great for landscape and architecture photography because they keep everything in focus and show off the details. You can also create artistic shots by playing with light — especially if you use a slower shutter speed to capture, for example:
- Light trails
- Movement (motion-blur effect)
- Mysterious, dramatic, or magical moments
If you’re hesitant to use a high f-stop because of lens diffraction (or the loss of detail at smaller apertures), start with an f-number and work your way up until you find that sweet spot. Alternatively, you can learn more about photography and experiment with different aperture effects in a versatile photo editing app.
Explore everything you can do with Adobe Lightroom to discover the magic of high f-stop.