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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: Hi, my name's Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And I'm Robbie Carman. Rich Harrington: And this week, we're going to continue our in-depth look at the exposure triangle. Last week, we took a look at how this was a three-sided relationship, balancing out the different features of the camera. And this week, we want to dig in-depth to that first one, which is aperture. But some of you know this as a different name. Rob, how do we express the aperture of the camera. Robbie Carman: Well, a lot of photographers are going to know this as an f-stop. And people who have you know, worked in the cinema industry might know it as a T-stop. Rich Harrington: Okay. Robbie Carman: And basically what this aperture refers to is how much light is going to be let into the lens, thus exposing the sensor or, back in the old days the film to light incoming into the camera.
Rich Harrington: So you have a prime lens there. Robbie Carman: I do. Rich Harrington: This is one of my older 28mm Primes. Robbie Carman: Yeah. And this is a great way to sort of visualize it, and we'll get a little tight shot on this. This lens, Rich, goes from an f-stop of 2.5, all the way up to F22. And right now it's set on F2.5. And you can see the eye of the lens is really wide open. Rich Harrington: Wide open. Robbie Carman: It's letting as much light in as possible. But as I step through and step down, you'll notice that the eye actually gets smaller, letting less light into the lens. And this actually has a couple aesthetic considerations, but also technical considerations.
Obviously the more open the lens is, the bigger that eye is, the more light that's going to come in, but you also get a shallower depth of field. And as you step down to a larger number like F10, F12, F15, and so on and so forth, you're going to be letting less light into the lens, but also increasing your depth of field. Rich Harrington: And this is one of the first things I end up setting. For example, I usually lock in my overall shutter speed where it's supposed to be. And then, I immediately go to aperture. Aperture is really the creative control that I use when I'm deciding how I'm going to design the shot.
I like to use aperture so I could use the shallow depth of field to really drive what's in focus for the subject. Now, this is a great narrative tool. But besides really these aesthetic reasons, there are some great technical reasons as well. Including like some of the shooting situations we're doing in our music video here, shooting in a night club, really having those faster lenses is, is critical. Robbie Carman: Yeah, absolutely. And so instead of having to depend on another part of the exposure triangle like ISO, with a faster lens. And by the way we should be clear about that, what a faster lens means, because you hear that all the time fast versus slow lens.
A fast lens is a lens that has a very wide maximum aperture, that lower number. So, F1.2, 1.4 and so on would be a fast lens compared to a lens that could only achieve an f-stop of say F3.5. Rich Harrington: But the 1.2 lenses are going to be some of your most expensive. This lens that you have in hand is a used lens from a camera shop. A 2.5 manual focus. Most people are like, why would you buy that lens? It doesn't auto focus. Robbie Carman: Right. Rich Harrington: It's not a one tube. This is one of my favorite lenses. It's an ancient lens, but it works great.
I use this on interviews all the time. That aperture two-five, I'll go somewhere around there. Between that and four. Gives me the depth of feel that I want for an interview, got great manual focus controls on it. Robbie Carman: Yeah, totally, and again, the advantage like in your nightclub situation is that if you were to shoot wider, you know with a wide open aperture. You're going to have to depend less on increasing the sensitivity of the camera and bumping up that ISO rating. What's that going to do for you? Less noise, cleaner shots. Rich Harrington: Alright, so let's head out into the field, we're going to be working with DP Jim Ball, and he's going to share with us some of his thoughts on using the aperture for both technical and creative reasons.
And we're going to walk through a few scenes and take a look at some of these shots and how they all come together.
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