F stop question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PatK, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. PatK

    PatK TPF Noob!

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    I hesitate to even ask this because it's probably a dumb question, but here goes. It's been years since I've used an SLR camera. If I need the ability to use ,say F/16 because of a slow shutter speed for waterfalls, how do I know that a camera has that ability. My Kodak z980 does not. I'm looking at the Olympus E620 and the lens says F/4.0-5.6. What does that mean? That can't be the apeture range. Please help me understand where I check to make sure I have the range I need, or do all DSLRs have it? Thank you
     
  2. im_jacobf

    im_jacobf TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to the DSLR scene, but the F/4.0-5.6 means that is the largest aperture that is supported (the smallest number). I believe that most will go up to F22? I have an Olympus E-420 and that's how high the F-Stops go.

    Also, the camera doesn't determine the F-Stops, all of that is based on the lens that you have. Do you know which lens the E-620 comes with?
     
  3. PatK

    PatK TPF Noob!

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    It has 2 with it. One is 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6. the other one is 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6. I also planned on buying the 70-300 f/4.0-5.6.
     
  4. im_jacobf

    im_jacobf TPF Noob!

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    I can tell you for a fact that the 14-42mm will go to F22 (I have that lens). I am pretty sure both of the others will as well, but you may want to get a confirmation.
     
  5. jnm

    jnm TPF Noob!

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    the range you are seeing is the max aperature of the lens. it is variable in those lenses based on zoom. ex, the 14-42 f/3.5 - 5.6 will have a max aperture of 3.5 at 14mm and 5.6 at 42mm. it will progressively close down along the way. it is common for kit lenses to do this.

    if you see a lens that says, oh say 28-70 f/2.8, that means you can have f/2.8 at 28mm and f/2.8 at 70mm.

    the camera doesn't support a max or min aperture, that is a product of the lens. if you want a really small aperture look for the min aperture on the lens. it is usually published.
     
  6. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    the F/4.0-5.6 means that when you zoom in on the lens as much as possible you can acheive the highest aperature possible (4.0). When you zoom out all the way you can only get an aperature of 5.6. So if it's the kit lens of 18-55mm F/4.0-5.6 then you get the full aperature of 4.0 at 18mm and 5.6 at 55mm. Hope that helps and I hope I'm right lol.

    Edit: Just saw JNM get in there before me lol
     
  7. jnm

    jnm TPF Noob!

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  8. im_jacobf

    im_jacobf TPF Noob!

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    After checking:

    Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6:
    Maximum Aperture f 4 (40 mm)- f 5.6 (150 mm)
    Minimum Aperture f 22

    Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm f4.0-5.6
    Maximum Aperture f 4.0 (70mm) - f 5.6 (300mm)
    Minimum Aperture f 22

    I found these by going to the Olympus website and looking at the lenses. Then I clicked on the lens and clicked the specifications tab.

    Enjoy :)

    (They both go to F22)
     
  9. PatK

    PatK TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I get it now. I reallyl appreciate the help.
     
  10. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    You need to understand that no DSLR has an f/stop, either maximum or minimum. F/stops are an attribute of the lens. You need to research lenses, not bodies, to find their f/stop range.

    Most lenses made for "crop sensor" DSLRs (e.g. 4/3rds format like the Olympus models, DX format Nikons, most Canons, ...) will have minimum apertures around f/16. Variable aperture lenses, like the f/4-5.6 lens you mention will often have a range of minimum apertures that vary with the focal length set just as they have a range of maximum apertures. The minimum aperture of a lens is not generally marked on the lens itself. You need to find and read the lens' technical specifications to find that information.

    This page at Olympus' site has links to pages with specs for their lenses:

    Zuiko Digital Lenses
     
  11. iskoos

    iskoos TPF Noob!

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    Two of the statements you made in your above post are conflicting each other. You might want to fix it...
     

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