The Recent F/stop Controversy

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 11,241
Re: Really?

kiwi2 wrote:

Lee Jay wrote:

Pixel Pooper wrote:

The fact that the same aperture diameter gives the same total light at the same field of view is good to know, but it's not as useful when taking pictures.

It's useful if you're shooting with two formats at once or if you are planning to buy new equipment and want to compare on a fair basis.

I just took two photos off the back doorstep with two different format sizes. One with my APS-C X-T2 and another with a 1/2-inch sensor pocket camera...

Framing is roughly where I wanted it and DOF is ample for everything to be in focus with both.

Why exactly should I be worried about achieving equivalence between the two..??

You shouldn't be concerned about equivalence between these two. These are examples of images where a wide range of settings will give you a very similar image. A big factor in this is that you have a lot of light.

If you look at the minimum aperture diameter that gives you the depth of field you need, and the slowest shutter speed that stops motion blur, you still have more than enough total light reaching the sensor to keep noise below an acceptable level. This means that you have a lot of options for setting the camera that will give you a similar image.

In your case the particular settings aren't important, so there is no need to match them across formats.


But not everyone is shooting in such a bright environment.

There are many shots where the depth of field needs to fall into a particular range. You may want all of the model's face to be within the depth of field, but the background to be blurry.

Your model may be moving, and you may need a shutter speed fast enough to freeze motion.

In that case, there may be a very small range of acceptable settings. In such a situation equivalence would be quite helpful of you needed to switch cameras, but still wanted to capture the image you envisioned.


The bottom line is that different photographers are in different situations. We can absolutely imagine situations where equivalence is not important, and we can imagine situations where it is critical.

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