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Camera Facts: What is Aperture?

Aperture refers to the opening of a camera lens's diaphragm through which light passes.

Aperture refers to the opening of a camera lens’s diaphragm through which light passes. It is calibrated in f/stops and is generally written as numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and 22.  Ironically, the higher the number, the smaller the aperture.  Different lenses will offer different aperture ranges, some lenses going as low as an f-stop of 1.2 allowing image recording in very low light conditions.

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Narrow Aperture: For instance an f-stop of 22 means that your aperture is almost completely closed, allowing very little light into the camera.  This is suitable for situations that have excessive light like full sunlight.

Wide Aperture: An f-stop of 2.8 on the other hand means your aperture is wide open, allowing more light into your camera and being more suitable for low-light situations.  With regards to most lenses, opening your aperture will decrease your depth of field.  That means that the focal range becomes very limited – with the subject or focus point being in perfect focus, but anything a short distance in the background or foreground becoming blurry or out of focus.

With remote visual inspection usually being carried out in confined or low-light spaces, a wide aperture is more often than not required to allow more light into the camera and thus produce a better video or still image.

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