How Aperture Works in a Camera lens?

(Last Updated On: August 6, 2023)

How Aperture Works in a Camera lens?

Aperture is a petal-shaped aperture that opens during shooting. Its function is to let in the right amount of light. How Aperture Works in a Camera lens? Three main functions in a camera lens.

  • Depth of field: The more the hole is open, the greater the blur.
  • The brightness of the photo: The higher the number, the less light hits the sensor and the photograph gets less light.
  • Image quality: Fully open or closed aperture can distort the image. Therefore, do not pull up the diaphragm too much.

The principle of its operation can be described as follows: large (open) holes allow more light to reach the camera sensor, while smaller (closed) holes limit it. The pupil of your eye works the same way! Your pupils naturally constrict to limit light in bright light and dilate to give more light in the darkness.

Aperture is measured in numbers such as 2 or 2.8 etc. However, these numbers are not entirely clear. It is challenging to understand when we are told that increasing the aperture, for example, from f / 2.8 to f / 5.6, actually reduces the amount of incoming light. The reason for this is that aperture is measured as a fraction, similar to shutter speed. The number (f / 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6) is the denominator of this fraction.

Despite the same focal lengths, one of the characteristics unique to each lens model is how the aperture produces flare and starburst effects.

The term flare is used to describe any light source that enters the lens directly. The appearance of this flash depends a lot on the number of blades in the aperture design and the lens optics. Many modern lenses are designed to minimize flare or make them aesthetically pleasing.

However, you can also control the appearance of this flash by opening or closing the hole. In addition to increasing the depth of field, an aperture with a closed or small aperture will display incoming points of light in the form of “starbursts.”

The number of points on the star corresponds to the number of lamellas in the whole structure. Opening a wide aperture will make the highlights appear more circular and bloom around objects within the scene.

On the other hand, the unique appearance of this effect largely depends on the number of aperture blades and how rounded they are.

It would be wrong to assume that lens aperture only affects exposure and depth of field and that actual sharpness is a particular characteristic of the lens optics. The aperture also affects the sharpness of the image.

Lenses are inherently less sharp at the fastest and widest apertures, and closing them will sharpen the in-focus areas of the image, even in the regions that were already within the existing depth of field.

Thanks to modern technology, most new lenses are very sharp, even at the fastest apertures. Each camera setting plays an essential role in the exposure triangle and has a unique creative goal to help you achieve your creative vision.

Adjusting aperture, shutter speed, and ISO has various advantages and disadvantages that you can take advantage of in any situation.


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