If you’re looking for a clear F Stops chart and explanation of the lens apertures, you came to the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn the details of lens apertures, shedding light on their significance, how they affect your photographs.

And, of course, you’ll find here a comprehensive F stop chart.


F Stops Chart

The aperture, represented by the f-stop value, determines the size of the lens opening and regulates the amount of light entering the camera.

f stops

F-Stop Chart

The following handy F-Stop Chart will serve as a comprehensive reference, allowing you to navigate through different f-stop values and their corresponding effects on your photographs.

F-Stop ValueAperture SizeCharacteristics
f/1.0WideLargest lens opening, exceptional for low-light conditions and extremely shallow depth of field.
f/1.2WideWide aperture providing excellent low-light performance and shallow depth of field.
f/1.4WideLarge lens opening suitable for low-light situations and achieving a shallow depth of field.
f/1.8WideAmple light intake, ideal for low-light photography and achieving pleasing background blur.
f/2.0WideWide aperture allowing for excellent low-light performance and artistic shallow depth of field.
f/2.8ModerateVersatile aperture for various photography genres, providing a good balance between depth of field and exposure.
f/3.2ModerateModerate aperture offering a balance between depth of field and low-light performance.
f/3.5ModerateAdequate light intake with reasonably balanced depth of field and exposure.
f/4.0ModerateVersatile aperture suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios, balancing depth of field and exposure.
f/4.5ModerateModerate aperture providing good depth of field control and well-balanced exposure.
f/5.0ModerateBalanced aperture offering a reasonable depth of field and exposure for general photography.
f/5.6ModerateVersatile aperture for landscape, portrait, and general photography, ensuring balanced depth of field and exposure.
f/6.3ModerateModerately narrow aperture providing good depth of field and balanced exposure in various shooting conditions.
f/7.1ModerateBalanced aperture suitable for general photography, offering a good compromise between depth of field and exposure.
f/8.0NarrowNarrow aperture providing a deeper depth of field and increased sharpness across the frame.
f/9.0NarrowNarrow aperture ensuring excellent depth of field and overall image sharpness.
f/10NarrowModerate narrow aperture offering a broad depth of field and ensuring a well-exposed image.
f/11NarrowNarrow aperture ideal for landscape and architectural photography, providing extended depth of field.
f/13NarrowNarrow aperture maintaining excellent depth of field, suitable for detailed and well-lit scenes.
f/14NarrowModerately narrow aperture offering an extended depth of field and balanced exposure.
f/16NarrowNarrow aperture providing a deep depth of field and increased overall sharpness.
f/18NarrowModerately narrow aperture ensuring an extensive depth of field and well-exposed image.
f/20NarrowNarrow aperture suitable for landscape and architectural photography, maximizing depth of field.
f/22NarrowSmallest lens opening, providing an extremely deep depth of field and excellent image sharpness.

This F-Stop Chart provides a quick reference for understanding the characteristics associated with different f-stop values. It helps photographers make informed decisions when selecting the appropriate aperture size for their desired exposure and depth of field requirements.

F-Stop Values and Aperture Sizes

The f-stop values on the chart represent a series of standardized aperture sizes. Each f-stop value corresponds to a specific lens opening, which directly influences the exposure and depth of field of your images. Here’s a breakdown of common f-stop values and their characteristics:

Wide Aperture (Small f-stop values like f/1.8, f/2.8)

These f-stop values indicate a larger lens opening, allowing ample light to reach the camera sensor. Wide apertures are ideal for low-light situations or when you desire a shallow depth of field with a beautifully blurred background. This aperture is just perfect for a portrait photography. If you own a Canon camera, here are the best lenses for portraits: 7 Best Canon Lenses for Capturing Stunning Portraits.

Moderate Aperture (Mid-range f-stop values like f/5.6, f/8)

These f-stop values strike a balance between light intake and depth of field. Moderate apertures are often used in landscape or portrait photography, where you want to maintain a reasonable depth of field while ensuring adequate exposure.

Narrow Aperture (Higher f-stop values like f/16, f/22)

Narrow apertures denote smaller lens openings, restricting the amount of light that enters the camera. They are typically employed in situations with abundant light or when a deep depth of field is desired, such as architectural or landscape photography.

Now, let’s have a breakdown of the f-stop values falling under each category – Full Stops, 1/2 Stops, and 1/3 Stops.

Full Stops

F-Stop ValueAperture Size

1/2 Stops

F-Stop ValueAperture Size

1/3 Stops

F-Stop ValueAperture Size

This breakdown helps photographers understand which f-stop values belong to each category, allowing them to precisely adjust their aperture settings based on their desired level of control over exposure and depth of field.


What is a Lens Aperture

A lens aperture refers to the adjustable opening within a camera lens that controls the amount of light entering the camera. It plays a vital role in photography by regulating the exposure and influencing the depth of field in an image. The aperture size is represented by an f-number or f-stop, which indicates the size of the aperture opening. Understanding the concept of lens aperture is essential for photographers as it allows them to manipulate the amount of light entering the camera, resulting in creative control over the image’s exposure and depth of field.

lens aperture

In simpler terms, the lens aperture acts like the pupil of a human eye, expanding or contracting to control the amount of light that reaches the camera’s image sensor. A wider aperture, represented by a smaller f-stop value, allows more light to pass through, resulting in a brighter exposure and a shallower depth of field. Conversely, a narrower aperture, represented by a larger f-stop value, restricts the amount of light, resulting in a darker exposure and a deeper depth of field. By understanding the lens aperture and its impact, photographers can effectively control the lighting conditions and achieve their desired creative effects.

Aperture Values and F Stops

Aperture values, expressed in f stops, determine the size of the lens opening. It might seem counterintuitive, but larger f-stop values correspond to smaller apertures, while smaller f-stop values represent larger apertures. For instance, an aperture of f/2.8 denotes a larger opening compared to f/16.

To visualize this concept, let’s consider a hypothetical scenario involving two lenses. Lens A has an aperture of f/1.8, while Lens B has an aperture of f/16. Lens A, with its wider aperture, allows more light to reach the camera’s image sensor, resulting in a shallower depth of field and a more pronounced background blur (bokeh). On the other hand, Lens B, with its narrower aperture, permits less light, resulting in a deeper depth of field, where more elements within the frame appear sharp and in focus.


Tips for Choosing the Right Aperture

Selecting the appropriate aperture is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your photographs. Here are some valuable tips to help you choose the right aperture for your specific shooting situation:

f stop chart

Consider the Depth of Field

Aperture plays a significant role in determining the depth of field in your image. If you want a shallow depth of field with a blurred background, choose a wider aperture (smaller f-stop value). On the other hand, if you need a larger depth of field with more elements in focus, opt for a narrower aperture (larger f-stop value).

Lighting Conditions

Take into account the available light when choosing your aperture. In low-light situations, wider apertures allow more light to enter the camera, ensuring proper exposure. Conversely, in well-lit scenes, narrower apertures can help prevent overexposure and maintain image quality.

Desired Creative Effect

Different apertures can create unique artistic effects. Wide apertures can produce a pleasing bokeh effect, isolating the subject and creating a dreamy background. Narrow apertures can render crisp details throughout the image, ideal for landscape or architectural photography.

Play more with your creativity, by changing  focal length as well: What’s The Best Focal Length For Portrait Photography?

Lens Considerations

Different lenses have varying maximum and minimum aperture ranges. Familiarize yourself with your lens’s capabilities and choose the aperture settings accordingly. Some lenses perform best at certain apertures, so it’s worth experimenting to find the sweet spot for optimal sharpness and image quality.

If you’re a beginner and want a simple solution, check out: 7 Affordable Cameras with Lens for Beginners.

Shooting Speed

The aperture setting can affect the shutter speed required to achieve proper exposure. Wider apertures allow more light, enabling faster shutter speeds for freezing action. Narrow apertures, however, reduce the amount of light, potentially requiring slower shutter speeds or the use of a tripod in low-light situations.


Achieving Creative Effects with Aperture

Aperture is a powerful tool that can unlock a world of creative possibilities in photography. By manipulating the aperture settings, you can achieve captivating effects and elevate the visual impact of your images.

Here are some creative effects you can experiment with:


Wider apertures (smaller f-stop values) create a shallow depth of field, resulting in a beautifully blurred background known as bokeh. Use this effect to isolate your subject from the surroundings and draw attention to the main focal point.


 Narrow apertures (larger f-stop values) can produce captivating starbursts when photographing point light sources, such as streetlights or the sun. The smaller the aperture, the more pronounced and defined the starburst effect will be.


Achieve striking silhouettes by placing your subject against a bright background and using a narrower aperture. This technique allows the background to be properly exposed while turning the subject into a captivating dark outline.

Deep Depth of Field

 Landscape and architectural photography often benefit from a large depth of field, which can be achieved with narrower apertures. By using a higher f-stop value, you can ensure that both the foreground and background elements are sharply in focus.

Selective Focus

 Wide apertures offer the opportunity to selectively focus on a specific area or subject within the frame. This technique allows you to create a sense of depth and draw attention to your chosen point of interest while creating a soft, blurred background.



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I hope this guide helped you learn all about lens apertures and F stops chart 🙂


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