The Recent F/stop Controversy

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
riveredger Veteran Member • Posts: 3,304
Re: The Recent F/stop Controversy

Michael Fryd wrote:

bolt2014 wrote:

The post about getting rid of the "F/stop" definition turned into such a technical subject that most photographers become lost in the jargon. I think that too many photographers become so embroiled in the technical aspects that they forget that photography is more about being creative .

I don't think the issue was about being technical.

With photography, as with many other subjects, there are multiple frames of reference that one can use. A big part of the "f/stop" discussion was which frame of reference to use.

Traditionally, Photographers use the light per unit area ("exposure") as their frame of reference. The primary reason we use relative apertures (f/stops) is that it makes it easier to relate the aperture to the light per unit area. Light per unit area is key when shooting film.

The question is that when one is shooting digital, is it still a good idea to place such importance on light per unit area. In terms of the resulting image, the correlation is much stronger with total light captured.

That's a reasonable question to ask, and a reasonable discussion to have. There are certainly pros-and-cons to either frame of reference.

it's not so much a technical question as a philosophical one. Is the frame of reference designed for the limitations of film the best frame of reference to use for digital?

Well, sir, I think light per unit area is easier to maximize than is total light gathered.  One does not need a larger sensor for the former (which, incidentally will also maximize the total light captured for a given sensor), but will need a larger sensor to significantly impact the latter.

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tex
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