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06-30-2011, 06:57 AM   #1
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Newbie question about f-stops

Apologies if this is a really stupid question. I've just started using M mode on my K-X which is exciting and a whole lot easier than I first thought. I have the kit lens which has something like 1:3.5 - 5.6 written on it (18- 55 mm). Does this mean my aperture settings can only go between 3.5 and 5.6? Would I be damaging/accomplishing anything by setting my aperture to, say, f11 on the camera settings? Thought I'd got the aperture settings and effects sorted but managed to thoroughly confuse myself last night.

Any help gratefully received.

06-30-2011, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #2
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No, it means that the widest aperture that you can set will vary as you zoom. f3.5 at 18mm and f5.6 at 55mm
06-30-2011, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Nope that's just the widest it will go at a given length. Try this - put it into Av mode (aperture priority). Then dial it down to the lowest f stop. It will be 3.5. Then zoom it out to 55mm. Now the widest you can get is 5.6.

You can put it at f/22 safely, until the aperture is a tiny pinhole. When you do that, notice how the exposure time changes. I would recommend going to the library and getting any basic book on photography. Even a film era book will work, the concept is exactly the same.
06-30-2011, 07:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for that both of you. Makes perfect sense now and I feel like slightly less of an idiot. I've just bought Understanding Exposure which is tremendous and I'm only about 5 pages in. There's a lot to take in and just when I think I'm getting to grips with it, something throws me. Ah well, still learnt a helluva lot in the week I've had the camera. Cheers.

06-30-2011, 08:24 AM   #5
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Don't worry about asking questions. If you don't ask any questions you don't get any answers.
06-30-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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Here at PFC there are no dumb questions, just dumb answers. Well, maybe the occasional troll question and droll answer. But many good answers too!

The 'stop' or EV is the basic unit of measurement in photography. Double or halve the amount of light that forms an image, that's one stop. Do that by adjusting aperture, shutter, ISO. Just get a firm grip on exposure stops, and on focusing, and the rest is gravy. Or art. Or whatever.
07-03-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
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The more questions you ask the more I learn so keep askin.

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