Fabulous Friday: A Bit About F-Stops

Have you ever wondered what in the world and f-stop is? Or possibly even wondered what exactly photographers were saying when they mention "f". 

Argus C3 Camera

Well here are just a few facts about f-stops. 

  • F-stops are a part of the lens. The term f-stop refers to how far open or closed the lens is. Lenses work in a similar manner to human eyes, so wide open would be similar to how an eye dilates when it is dark out ( allowing a lot of light to enter the eye or the lens) and closed down a lens is similar to how a pupil constricts when around a lot of light.  
  • Aperture and f-stop mean exactly the same thing. Often they are used in different sentence structures though. I may mention that I have my aperture set wide open, but I would say that my f-stop is set on 8. 
  • To make it even more confusing an f-stop is often shortened down to just "f". I personally use this term most often when I'm talking about a particular lens, and how wide the max f-stop is on it.  You'll see this in writing, like on the lens in the photo above, how it says f/3.5. 
  • Aperture (aka f-stops) is one of the three basic elements of photography!