You gain?

Dis­cover what a wide max­i­mum lens aper­ture can do for your favourite sort of sub­ject

NPhoto - - Nikopedia -

A wide max­i­mum aper­ture will let you shoot in­door por­traits with out-of-fo­cus back­grounds. It will also let you use faster shut­ter speeds in dim light. With a kit lens at full zoom you might get a speed of 1/8 sec, for ex­am­ple, but with an f/1.4 lens you could shoot at 1/125 sec in the same light.


For sports like soc­cer you need to be able to shoot at 1/500 sec or faster to freeze the ac­tion and stop the play­ers turn­ing into a blur. Nikon’s 70-300mm con­sumer lens has a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/5.6 at full zoom, but the 300mm f/2.8 pro lens of­fers speeds three stops faster.

The light lev­els at night are very low, and it’s not al­ways pos­si­ble to use a tri­pod. A lens with a wide aper­ture lets you shoot hand­held at fairly ‘safe’ shake-free shut­ter speeds with­out in­creas­ing the ISO. This ta­ble shows how much you must in­crease the ISO to al­low for a lower max­i­mum aper­ture.

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