For the last several posts, we have been talking about exposure and how we can use it to creatively change the look of our photos. And in our previous post, we looked at using the aperture settings to change the depth of field of an image.
But it’s important to understand that your ability to change the different exposure controls depends on the limitations of your gear. In particular, your choice of aperture size is dependent on the limitations of your lens.
This is where the concept of lens speed comes into the picture.
The term ‘lens speed’ refers to the maximum aperture of a lens. A lens that has a maximum aperture of 2.8 or larger is often called a ‘fast lens’. That’s because the larger aperture lets in more light, allowing you to use a faster shutter speed and still have enough light to get proper exposure.
So a fast lens allows you more flexibility in terms of depth of field and in freezing motion with a faster shutter speed. They also allow you to shoot in lower lighting conditions without using a flash.
On the other hand, fast lenses are heavier and more expensive. That’s the tradeoff. There’s always a tradeoff, isn’t there?
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We've seen how managing the ISO setting allows you to control the amount of grain that shows in your photos. But it does more than that. Understanding and working with the ISO setting gives us added flexibility in terms of setting the other two exposure settings–aperture and shutter speed.
The bottom line is that ISO is an important and useful tool, and one that you will want to be comfortable with if you are looking to take creative control of your exposure.