Aperture, ISO, shutter speed?

  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

All right, this may be a bit of a broad question, but what are all these ... ? I already know that shutter speed is the time it takes the shutter to open and close and is measured 1/X where X is what you set it to, and I know that Aperture is the size of the Opening in the front, but how is it measured? and then ISO is the film speed, but how does that have an effect on the final result of the photo?

I do realize that these are explained on Wikipedia and elsewhere, but some of these explanations just don't make sense to me and I'd just like a more broad explanation of each to learn what effect it has on my photos, even if any of you could just give me a link to a site that explains this in more 'basic' English ...
  • digitalMedia
  • a.k.a. dM
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens that lets light in. Generally, we use it to control DOF(Depth of Field, or Depth of Focus). This is refered to by an F-Stop number. The lower the number, like 1.4 or 1.8 the more light and the shorter DOF. The higher the number, the less light and the broader the DOF. If you were doing a landscape, you'd typically use a higher f-stop. **Different lenses will have different capabilities of aperture. It's not the camera.

ISO refers to how sensitive the film is to light, or in this case your CCD. Lower ISO - less sensitive - for abundant light | higher ISO - more sensitive - for less light. Experiment, please.

For me, shutter speed is the last word when I'm taking pictures. I've already set my ISO, f-stop and white balance, and as I look through the lens I'm looking at the light meter and adjusting my shutter speed on the fly. I can go down to about 1/40 of a second and manage to get a decent focus.

  • Genius
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Excellent definitions and layman's terms dM. And while they are so good, I'll just throw this link to you as another reference: http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/
  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's worth noting that higher ISOs will have film-like grain instilled in the picture (also called noise), simply due to the way the light is being captured. When you can, learn how to utilize something in the ISO 100-200 range; this also must be something adapted to, as sometimes you simply can't get a shot using those settings (depending on what lenses you have available).

Also, when I was first learning about lenses, I had no idea what people/articles meant by "fast glass". Just to save you some headaches, fast is generally used to refer to lenses with an aperture range of 2.8 or lower - effectively allowing you to use higher shutter speeds to capture faster movement.

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