Aperture vs. F-Stop – The Difference Between

The difference between aperture and f-stop

The aperture is the small opening in a camera that lets light through to the film and has a direct impact on the quality of the photo. F-stop refers to f-number and is the diameter of the aperture in relation to the overall length of the camera. Both are important terms in photography and are the first things that a student will learn in a photography course.

To put the meaning of f-stop in simpler terms it is the ratio between the focal length of the camera and the diameter of the lens. It is directly related to the speed of the lens.

Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the camera at the time that the photo is being taken. When you hit the shutter on your camera to take a picture, this opening, which is very small, controls the amount of light that the photo will receive. The light sensor inside the camera uses this amount of light to capture the image on the film. The size of the aperture is measured in f-stops. Therefore f-stop refers to the size of the aperture.

It is somewhat confusing because the larger the f-stop, the smaller the aperture will be. The most commonly used f-stops range from f2 to f22, with f22 being the smallest. The lens of the camera is always open and is large. It is only when you press the shutter button that the lens blades make the appropriate aperture for the picture according to the setting that you choose.

In the world of photography, those that are used to using these terms often use aperture and f-stop as if they were the same thing. The two do have a direct relationship, but as the f-stop number increases, the size of the aperture decreases.

There are certain things that happen as you reduce the f-stop on the camera. These are:

  • More light comes into the camera and this reduces the exposure.
  • It makes the picture blurry because it reduces the depth.
  • It reduces the overall sharpness of the image on the film.

Summary

  1. F-stop and aperture are two commonly used terms in photography.
  2. Aperture refers to the size of the opening to let light through and f-stop is the measurement of this opening.
  3. Aperture and f-stops are the inverse of each other.