What is aperture? Here’s an easy description

What is aperture in regards to camera settings? Aperture is one of three settings in the exposure triangle along with ISO and Shutter Speed, that you must get familiar with when you start to shoot in manual mode. All three components have a role in how much light is processed by the sensor to create your image. The aperture determines how much light reaches your sensor or film through the opening or iris you set in the lens. That setting, depending on your lens, has a range of numbers.

For example 2.0 to 22. The higher the number the smaller the opening – it feels backwards, I know … think of it as resistance … the higher the number the higher the resistance to the light entering the lens. In addition to determining how much light flows through your lens, aperture has another effect on your image called depth of field. However, I’ve found the term depth of focus to be more helpful. At the point where you focus there is an area AHEAD and BEHIND that point that will be in focus. Simply put, the higher the aperture number the larger your depth of focus is.

The aperture iris in an average lens.

I hope that was helpful. Keep in mind that the depth of focus effects are different for each lens. For example, the effects are much less prominent on a wide angle lens and much more noticeable on a zoom lens. That’s the basics … now go experiment with the lenses you have and see what you can discover.

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