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What the fuck is a stop?

What is a stop? Seriously though, what the fuck is it…

 

A stop is a doubling or halving of a number associated with exposure. That’s it.

 

ISO: 100 to 200 is one stop. Amount of light has doubled. One stop difference.

Shutter speed: 1/250 to 1/125 is one stop. Amount of light has doubled. One stop difference.

Aperture: f/5.6 to f/4 is one stop. Amount of light has doubled. One stop difference.

 

ISO: 800 to 400 is one stop. Amount of light has halved. One stop difference.

Shutter speed: 1/60 to 1/125 is one stop. Amount of light has halved. One stop difference.

Aperture: f/11 to f/16 is one stop. Amount of light has halved. One stop difference.

 

Why does it go from f/11 to f/16 – that’s not half or double?

BECAUSE MATHS

It is a quantitative ratio, go wikipedia if you want to read about the technical and mathematical principles.

Visit the in depth page on what is Aperture to get all the info.

 

Stops when associated with Aperture

– The scale of f/numbers (or stops) progresses like this: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128

– Opening up or stopping down by one full stop doubles or halves the amount of light getting to the film or sensor.

– Opening up refers to making the aperture bigger (or the number smaller)

– Stopping down refers to making the aperture small (or the number bigger)

aperture stops

 

Stops when associated with Shutter Speed

– The scale of shutter speeds (or stops) progresses like this: 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250

– Doubling or halving the number, doubles or halves the amount of light getting to the film or sensor.

shutter speed stops

 

Stops when associated with ISO

– The scale of ISO (or stops) progresses like this: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400

– Doubling or halving the number, doubles or halves the amount of light getting to the film or sensor.

iso sensitivity stops

 

A third of a stop is a thing

 

Technology allows for minute adjustments in exposure, not just in full stops.

A full stop of aperture would be f/4 to f/5.6

Modern lenses allow you to make changes in increments of a third of a stop.

For example: f/4 – f/4.5 – f/5 – f/5.6

f/4 – f/4.5 is an increase of a third of a stop.

 

Pics credit: https://photographylife.com/

 

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