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F-stops matter on a lens

March 31, 2010

{Taken with a 50mm f/1.4 lens at f/1.8}

The f-stop on that lens you want to buy means that is the largest aperture opening you have available to you to use.  It will come in really handy when you need to shoot in low light or you want a nice shallow depth of field.  The above picture that I took in Union Sq at night exhibits the need for the wide aperture for low light and the shallow depth of field that accompanies such a large aperture.  Most of her is acceptably sharp and then it quickly goes to blur.  It is a great effect to isolate a subject.  The bokeh as mentioned in an earlier post can be seen on the round light spots all over the picture.  Pretty isn’t it?  A lens with a wide aperture is also know as a fast lens (more light means faster shutter speed, hence a fast lens).  A good inexpensive fast lens would be a 50mm prime f/1.8 and can be had for around $100 or less from all camera makers.  We’ll talk about prime lens in another post, but today, think about those fast lenses.

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