Basic Definitions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CFRacer22, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. CFRacer22

    CFRacer22 TPF Noob!

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    Is there anywhere on this forum where definitions and basic functions of things have been explained for beginners. For example, ISO, f-stop, etc.

    Being a beginner at using an SLR i'm not 100% sure on what these things are and exactly thier function. I know there are hundreds of variations of these things but, for example in what basic situations would you want certain ISO, or certain f-stop, or shutter speeds...

    I know there's probably a lot to talk about there but the more info I can get the better lol. And I would read my manual for this stuff but it accidentaly got taken and I won't have it back for a few days...
     
  2. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

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    ISO originally described film speed. (e.g. ISO50, ISO400, ISO800, etc.) Higher ISO settings will result in more grain for film, or more noise for digital photos. Photos taken with a high ISO won't enlarge as well.

    An f-stop is an aperture setting, which is the size of the opening in the lens that allows in light to strike the media, be it sensor or film. It is written in terms of a fraction. f/2.8 would be the focal length of the lens (e.g. 50mm) divided by 2.8, which means a 50mm f/2.8 lens would have a maximum aperture of roughly 17.86mm. Aperture size is also the maiin factor in determining your Depth Of Field, commonly referred to as DOF. DOF refers to the depth of the image that will be sharply focused both in front of and behind your chosen point of focus. With a wide aperture ( such as f/2.8 ) most of the objects in front of and behind the subject will be out of focus. Reducing the aperture (going to a higher f/number) will render more of the depth of the photo sharply, but this will also require longer shutter speeds to keep the photo from being underexposed.

    Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open to allow light to pass through the aperture.

    The combination of these three factors (sometimes referred to as the "Exposure Triangle") will determine how your photograph is exposed. There are plenty of books, web articles and posts on this forum that will probably explain all of this better than I can. I'd recommend using the Search function on the forum, and whatever search engine you use for the web to look them up. Be prepared to do a lot of reading, and don't forget to use your camera to see the practical effects.

    Welcome to the forum!

    ~Adam
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    While this forum is a great place to learn, it would be who of you to get a good book, so you are not tied to the computer :)

    John Hedgecoe writes excellent technical books for beginners on photography. He explains the inner workings of the camera, including the aperture and shutter, and gives comparisons of focal lengths and how they affect photos. He also explains different film types and speeds. Very comprehensive, and easy to read.

    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Book-Photography-John-Hedgecoe/dp/075660947X/sr=8-2/qid=1167264698/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-7143841-3516827?ie=UTF8&s=books[/ame]
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your manual is your best friend - don't let it out of your sight! :lol:

    In the meantime, check out this article. It was written as part of a series for B&W film photography, but this section applies to the functions you are asking about.

    Hope this helps.
     

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