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When a lens list the appeture what does that mean?

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Thread started 28 Dec 2006 (Thursday) 13:50   
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troyer16
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sorry for the newbie question, but lets say like this:
Sigma Zoom Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Autofocus Lens for Canon Digital EOS



why does it list f/4-5.6?

Thanks:oops:

Post #1, Dec 28, 2006 13:50:59


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jjmucker
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troyer16 wrote in post #2455592external link
sorry for the newbie question, but lets say like this:
Sigma Zoom Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Autofocus Lens for Canon Digital EOS


why does it list f/4-5.6?

Thanks:oops:

f4 is as wide an aperature as it will go and as you zoom out to the 200mm mark it will have an aperature of f5.6

if that doesnt make sense im sure someone else can explain it a little bit better than me lol :)

Post #2, Dec 28, 2006 13:54:07


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liza
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That also means that lens won't be very good in low light. To get better pictures in situations with lower light, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or wider (i.e. lower number) is better.

Post #3, Dec 28, 2006 13:56:12



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nicksan
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troyer16 wrote in post #2455592external link
sorry for the newbie question, but lets say like this:
Sigma Zoom Normal-Telephoto 55-200mm f/4-5.6 DC Autofocus Lens for Canon Digital EOS

why does it list f/4-5.6?

Thanks:oops:


At 55mm its max aperture is f/4, at 200mm its max aperture is f/5.6.

So starting from 55mm f/4, when zooming the max aperture will become smaller (bigger f value) based on corresponding focal length...until it reaches 200mm f/5.6.

When you see a lens like EF 70-200 F/2.8 that means the max aperture at any given focal length between 70-200 is 2.8...so this is constant 2.8.

Post #4, Dec 28, 2006 13:58:08


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troyer16
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oh ok thanks! i kinda get it, so if i zoomed out to the 200mm mark, it would be an f of 5.6 but that doesnt mean it has to be, i can shoot at 200mm with an f of 11 if i want right?

Post #5, Dec 28, 2006 13:58:49


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nicksan
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troyer16 wrote in post #2455617external link
oh ok thanks! i kinda get it, so if i zoomed out to the 200mm mark, it would be an f of 5.6 but that doesnt mean it has to be, i can shoot at 200mm with an f of 11 if i want right?

Yes...the f/5.6 is just the max aperture...so you can go f/11...

Post #6, Dec 28, 2006 13:59:44


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NBEast
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If the max aperture of the lens is constant throughout it's zoom range, then you will only see one aperture listed.

Example: 70-200 f4.0

That's typical of the top zoom lenses.

Other lenses have varying max apertures. The less you zoom it out (like 55mm), the wider the aperture.

Example: 55-200 f4.0 - 5.6

So; at 55mm, the max is f4.0. At 200mm, the max is f5.6. At any mm in between, the max varies proportionally. So at 100mm it may be f4.5.

EDIT: Wow - a lot of people jumped on this one right away! Sorry about the repeat, guess I'm the slowest typer.

Post #7, Dec 28, 2006 14:01:04 as a reply to jjmucker's post 6 minutes earlier.


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troyer16
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thanks all, one more quick question
again lets say 200mm with the same lens, i could NOT shoot at f 5.0 though right, has to be at least 5.6?

Post #8, Dec 28, 2006 14:06:36


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nicksan
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troyer16 wrote in post #2455644external link
thanks all, one more quick question
again lets say 200mm with the same lens, i could NOT shoot at f 5.0 though right, has to be at least 5.6?

The max you could shoot at 200mm would indeed be at f/5.6.

Bing!

Post #9, Dec 28, 2006 14:08:50


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troyer16
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nicksan wrote in post #2455655external link
The max you could shoot at 200mm would indeed be at f/5.6.

Bing!

thanks makes perfect sense now!

Post #10, Dec 28, 2006 14:28:11


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