What Is An Aperture On A Camera?

By Kevin Graham

One of the most important settings on a camera is the lens’s aperture, also called its iris.

This setting dictates how much light is let through the lens into the sensor, which changes both exposure and depth of field (how much of the image is in focus).


Depending on the lens you’re using, aperture will be expressed in an “f” or “t” value, with a lower number being a wider aperture value.

At f2.8, for example, an image will be brighter and have a much shallower depth of field than it would at f6.7.

Aperture can usually be adjusted in-camera on photo lenses, and on the lens itself on cinema lenses.

And as a general rule of thumb, prime (fixed focal length) lenses can achieve lower apertures than zoom (variable focal length) lenses.

If you want to be a filmmaker or photographer, it is critical to understand what an aperture is, how to adjust it on your camera, and how to use it as a tool to achieve your desired look.


Kevin is the Music Director and Lead Composer at Filmpac.

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