How to use a wide aperture lens and when to use it.
Learn how a wide aperture can help you take pictures in low-light conditions and add stylistic effects to your photography.
What does wide aperture mean?
Camera lenses work like your eyes; they can adjust how open or closed they are to let in more or less light. The aperture (also called f-stop) is how open or closed your lens is. A wide aperture means your lens is more open, letting more light reach the sensor.
It might seem backwards, but a low f-stop actually means a wider aperture. For example, f/2 is a wide aperture, while f/13 is a narrow aperture.
Typically, anything under (wider than) f/2.8 is considered a wide aperture, but it depends on your lens. Some lenses can’t go that low. In that case, whatever your lens’s lowest aperture setting is a wide aperture.
Benefits of using a wide aperture.
Wide aperture offers a few benefits to help you boost your photography skills:
- Low-light photography — A wider aperture lets more light reach your camera’s sensor. If you’re shooting in low-light environments, using a low aperture will help you maintain a fast shutter speed to avoid motion blur in your photos.
- Shallow depth of field — Wide aperture also creates a shallow depth of field, which means your subject is in focus but the background is blurry. It adds depth to your portraits, and can also help with special photographic techniques such as the unique bokeh effect.
Unless you’re shooting a wide-angle shot like a landscape or group portrait, most photographers prefer to use a wide aperture to add more depth to their single-subject photos.
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