Why 'Stops' for exposure?

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
jbf
jbf
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,136
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Re: So you can easily compensate different exposure controls.
In reply to Mike_PEAT, Nov 13, 2012

Mike_PEAT wrote:

Say I have my camera set to the proper exposure, but now I want more depth of field so I adjust the aperture by two stops, but now my exposure is two stops too dark. Without having "stops", how do I know how much to adjust either my shutter speed or ISO if they also weren't calibrated to "stops"...if they were infinitely variable, you'd have to either look at the light meter, or take test exposures.

With "stops" I can quickly dial up one setting and count the stops, and then compensate by dialing down another by the same amount of stops.

That's a good reason why photographers who manually set the exposure prefer discrete numbers. Since most people who take photographs let the camera control the exposure, a continuous adjustment control would eliminate a layer of complexity that the average person doesn't care about. I think the OP makes a good point, and I think it will happen sooner rather than later, although it's clear that serious photographers have a number of good reasons not to adopt the new controls at least until technology gives us a more wysiwyg interface.

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