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The Enthusiast's Guide to Composition by Khara Plicanic

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38. MAKE SENSE OF MAXIMUM APERTURE

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BEYOND FOCAL LENGTH, the other key component to choosing a lens is the maximum aperture, referring to the widest aperture setting the lens is capable of. One lens may have a maximum aperture of f/2.8, while another can open all the way to f/1.2. (Remember that they’re fractions, thus f/1.2 is a larger opening than f/2.8.)

Some zoom lenses have a maximum aperture that varies, depending on what focal length you’re using. Typically, these have maximum values of f/3.5–f/5.6, meaning that if you are zoomed all the way out (the widest angle available), the lens can achieve an aperture of f/3.5. However, when zoomed ...

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