LensRentals.com short, basic essay on aperture

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by JDMvW, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. Thanks for posting this, @JDMvW. I guess most members already know this stuff. And it's in many photography books. But it's a great overview (with good examples) for people wanting to learn this stuff. In theory I know about aperture and focal length but In practice, my photos don't always come out as I expected!

    About a year and a half ago I was asked to coach a relatively new 'volunteer photographer' in some basics of photography (like framing subjects without chopping off their feet ;)). He's a very friendly, gregarious Syrian refugee who was/is highly motivated to then learn the Dutch language and culture. That was his main motivation to become a volunteer photographer. With a borrowed (old) DSLR, he wanted to learn how to use manual exposure - despite my advice then, that semi-automatic exposure would probably be easier to start with. This linked website would have (then) been a great website to show to him instead of my hastily pencil-drawn diagrams.

    The good news is that my 'coachee' quickly became a respected independent photo contributor (without any further coaching by me). He now has a full-time paid job but he still voluntarily contributes photos when his morning/afternoon shifts allow.
  2. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    In a sense, I fear this sums up the prevalent attitude towards learning in general - far fewer people seem content to learn basics (or indeed almost anything) from books. With the current availability of vast amounts of information (or mis-information) on-line, it is possible to watch and listen to a video on almost any subject, with no knowledge of the skill or experience of the person who posted it. Being in my (very late) sixties, I have a preference for the printed word as a basis for obtaining information, although admittedly finding some videos helpful when attempting tasks which require examples of activities that are not easily explained in books. Each to their own, but I still own and treasure many 'Focal Press' books some forty or fifty years after their first publication. Then again, these days, books aren't 'cool'.
  3. Tony, I can't stand videos and I'm in my mid thirties, so, you're not alone!
    ericphelps, NetR and Tony Parsons like this.
  4. A video is linear - start at the start and go through to the end. With text I can skip sections that are not relevant, do a search and quickly find a section I want, highlight bits I might want to refer to again, etc much more easily than with a video.
    AJG, mikemorrell and Tony Parsons like this.
  5. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Exactly !
  6. And then you have to deal with the fact that any 15 year old can and DOES get online and create a youtube photo channel.
  7. Let's cut youngsters some slack, my parents never appreciated max-volume sounds of "Led Zeppelin" coming out from my bedroom:)
    YouTube is useful in so many ways, of course it all comes with warning "use at your own risk".
    As for photography, it is hard to explain it in video, in my opinion photo meant to be printed.
    Nothing can replace photo-book, cover photo or exhibition print.
  8. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... my favorite song
    is "Kashmir"...
  9. Not an age issue as far as I'm concerned, I just find that there is a tendency to present everything as a video, even when the subject would be far better suited to another means of presentation.

    Aside from a frequent mack of 'clarity', for want of a better word (bad choice of camera angle, hands obscuring things, shot from too far away), the thing that irks me most about videos (and why I never watch video reviews) is that I can't watch them without inflicting them on those around me.

  10. Video is good in the sense that you can actually see something down. Meaning, the book can tell you "open the film holder to a size that will fit your desired film size", You won't know how to open the plastic film holder until you see it done on youtube. UNLESS you are willing to break a 20$ piece of plastic.

    However, i can write ten short stories, go online with zulu.com and publish my own book.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2020
  11. What?
    What plastic film holder allows you to load any size of film you like? And fits into what camera?
  12. I think he means 'Paterson' spirals.

    Honestly, I don't know how we ever coped before 2005.

    Perhaps through the use of well written, clearly illustrated instructions produced by people who were thoroughly familiar with the product in question?

    Those seem to have all but died out now though. Industrial illustrators are an almost extinct species...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2020
    AJG likes this.
  13. exactly, on my microscopic instructions, it just says "pull apart" as in taking the lid off the tank itself,,,, not gonna work that way..... but a decent 20 second segment on a video of a guy taking them apart and rearranging... boom,,, i cans do it too.

    and the retaining clip in my kit thats put on after the spirals are on the central spindle,,,, isnt even mentioned in the instructions.
  14. I used to write documentation in my job and I tried hard to include everything essential to a range of readers and also to make it readable and not too long. These days I would rather read than watch a video except where explanation in words would be difficult or verbose. A recent example was changing a light bulb in my wife's Mercedes. I had to resort to several videos to succeed in a job that we used to do in a minute or two.

  15. badly written manuals are one thing, but education and skill is another. for example in my car i kind of need to replace two little things that control how the hot and cold air mixes in my heating and cooling system.. the ONLY way the mechanics "know" how to do it requires 800$ and removing the entire dashboard and several large components... when it can be done in a 1/10ths of the time from the bottom and not remove anything. except theyd have to be on their hands and knees using two different extension bits on their wrench
  16. Ah, right.
    In that case the video in question obviously didn't explain very well what the object being demonstrated was actually called!

    I know absolutely nothing about shotgun maintenance, but I'm now inspired to make a YouTube video about it. It'll probably be a lot more accurate than most 'how to develop a film' videos, and what's the worst that can happen?
    AJG likes this.
  17. I'm someone who's 32 years old.

    I see how-to videos as having their place. Sometimes something can be shown in 30 seconds on a video where it would take a lot of writing to get the point across.

    With that said, I'd largely rather read content. I can skim something, get the important points, and go back for where I need more clarification/instruction/information. It's just a much more efficient and expedient way for me to read information.

    In my work, a lot of the scientific instrument manufacturers have moved from giving you a solid maintenance/service manual and instead load up the software disks or the pre-installed computer with a bunch of videos covering maintenance. I have been known to sit there with an HP5971 from ~1990 manual open(back before I knew this stuff reasonably well off the top of my head) and use it to adjust a much newer(~2010) Agilent 5975. The newer one has the same basic adjustable parameters, but the older manual tells you more about what they do and how to think about adjusting them(as well as the interplay between them) than any video that came with the new one. Heaven forbid you want to do something like dip the RF coils-the 5971 manual says "Don't do it, but if you do, here's how to do it, but really don't do it." The 5975 doesn't address it as all, but the same general procedure is the same, and again I've turned to the older manual to do it. That's my rant on that.

    News articles are especially a pet peeve of mine, as a lot are a 1-2 minute read or less and I won't want to watch/listen to a 5 minute video.

    BTW, Joe, a specific type of feminine hygiene product is inexpensive and the single best item you can use to clean a shotgun barrel :) . Beyond that, Ed's Red(acetone+ATF) does a decent enough job on both powder fouling and also the plastic streaking that wadding tend to leave behind. There's your basics-go to it with your video.

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