How to Read the Aperture Numbers on Your Lens?

February 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

How to Read the Aperture Numbers on Your Lens?

Each lens has a maximum and minimum aperture at which they can be used.  That is hieroglyphics on the barrel of your lens. Let’s use a Nikon telephoto lense for our example.  The following is written on the lens:

AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G

The “4.5-5.6” tells you the maximum aperture for this lens. It means that when you shoot at the 70mm focal length, the maximum aperture possible is f/4.5.  Alternatively, if you zoom all the way to 300mm, the maximum aperture narrows to f/5.6. If you compare that to:

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm 1:2.8 G

The lens is considered faster since the maximum possible aperture is f/2.8 (lots of light) regardless of the focal length you choose.

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