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The postman rings the doorbell, he delivers the package, your new, used, analog 35mm reflex camera finally arrived!

The package is greedily torn open, the camera is looked at, touched, caressed (?), Played with ... and what else is there in the package: an analog rangefinder camera. You think: how awesome is that !! So quickly insert a film and it goes out, photos want to be taken! Completely understandable !! But...


Many of you probably know the basic relationships between light, aperture and shutter speed, if you are not sure, you are welcome to linger a little longer and read on ... please do not expect a scientific contribution, the text is intentionally kept easy to understand . If you want more ... the network is big!

Aperture and shutter speed

The film lies in the camera well packed and protected from light.

In order for an image to be created, however, light has to hit the film. The film has light-sensitive color layers or, in the case of black-and-white films, silver ions. These layers of color or silver ions are also responsible for the “grain” and the “richness of detail” in a film.

We control the amount of light acting on the film via the aperture - like the pupil in humans and animals - and via the duration of the incidence of light through the shutter speed (exposure time) .

The aperture row in whole f-stops looks like this:

1 - 1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22 - 32 - 64

There are also intermediate stages, which are referred to as half or third aperture; half f-stops look like this:

1 - 1.2 - 1.4 - 1.8 - 2 - 2.5 - 2.8 - 3.5 - 4 - 4.5 - 5.6 - 8 - 9.5 - 11 - 13 - 16 - 19-22-27-32-45-64


The aperture controls something very important in photography! In addition to the distance set on the lens, it determines the area that is also shown in focus, this is the depth of field.

By controlling the "sharp" mapped areas of an image, the image effect is significantly influenced! Therefore the choice of the correct aperture is an extremely important one in photography!

Basically, a lens can only focus or focus on one plane in the image. All areas in front of or behind are shown more or less sharply.


The aperture (aperture), abbreviated - f - , however, allows this area to be expanded.

In general, the following applies:


Large aperture = aperture is wide open = small number = shallow depth of field = only a small area is shown in focus!


Small aperture = aperture becomes narrower = large number = large depth of field = another area is shown in focus!


Take a look at the depth of field scale on the lenses!

Canon FD 1,4 50mm Arbeitsblende 4, aperture 4

The depth of field is also dependent on the focal length used: Simply put, wide-angle lenses have a greater depth of field than normal lenses, normal lenses in turn have a greater depth of field than telephoto lenses.


In the close range, the depth of field is also smaller for all lenses than in the far range.


The photographer correctly says that the achievable depth of field depends on the image scale.

The shutter speed or exposure time

The shutter speed can freeze movements of the subject (avoid motion blur) and prevent blurring by holding the camera-lens combination (avoid "blurring"). Of course, a longer shutter speed can also deliberately show movement in the image. For the picture of the wind turbines, the camera was mounted on a tripod. In this way, blurring with longer exposure times can be avoided, the turning of the system becomes visible through a longer exposure time, here 1/3 of a second ("motion blur") .

Getreide, Windkraft

In the table below I have given you a few tips regarding the use of exposure times.

Table of the usual shutter speeds in seconds in full steps

Verschlusszeit und Verwacklung 01

Good to know!

Objektiv Canon FD 1,4 50mm

There is one more simple rule to rule out blurring:

Always use the reciprocal value of the focal length as the longest shutter speed and ensure a steady, secure stance and hold your breath briefly if necessary!

Here are a few examples of the "reciprocal of the focal length":

With a 50 mm lens this would be 1/50 sec .; this corresponds to 1/60 sec. Exposure time.

With a 135 mm lens this would be 1/135 sec .; this corresponds to 1/125 sec. Exposure time.

With a 200mm lens this would be 1/200 sec .; this corresponds to 1/250 sec. Exposure time.


In addition to blurring, there is also motion blur.

It always arises when the subject moves towards or away from the camera.

Think of fast moving cars or children running, jumping, and hopping while exercising or romping around.


Short shutter speeds are generally necessary here. Less than 1/250 sec. or 1/500 sec. nothing works. Modern analog cameras offer a shutter speed of up to 1/8000 sec., Other models 1/1000 sec. or 1/2000 sec.

These "three friends" always work together: aperture - exposure time - film speed

In this example I will show you the relationship between aperture and exposure time (shutter speed).

Our exposure meter has a value of 1/60 sec. determined at f / 8 - regardless of the automatic mode, whether automatic shutter speed or automatic program. From this initial value, all the combinations shown here lead to a correctly exposed image, only the design options are different - see the information on aperture and time above!

Table 1


But what happens if we put other films in our camera that have different (light) film sensitivities?

In the example above, our film has a sensitivity of ISO / ASA 100. You can see the differences in the following table - the aperture 8 selected in table 1 is not changed in this example.

But remember, the higher the film speed, the more grain you will see in the finished picture, the richness of detail decreases and the color brilliance often suffers as well.

Also look at the table!

Table 2

Of course, not only the exposure time can be adjusted, but also the aperture or a combination of both. You can see a few possibilities of this in the following table 3. The starting value is again 1/60 sec. at f / 8 and a film of the (light) sensitivity of ISO / ASA 100 - DIN 21

Table 3

It's half as difficult, but keep these basic thoughts in mind when you're out and about with your cameras. And no matter how many automatic exposure controls there are, time, aperture or program controls - in the end there is only aperture and time. Conscious use can provide you with unique pictures!

Datenblatt Kodak Ektachrome 400

Here is an example of a data sheet for a film that is no longer available. It contains some interesting statements that I am sure you might find helpful.

Enjoy reading - I loved this movie.

Datenblatt Kodak Ektachrome 400
Canon EF Brennweitenvergleich

Canon showed this focal length comparison in a brochure about the Canon EOS system. The pictures were taken from the same point of view, only the lenses were changed. A fine example too. Comparison of the different focal lengths!

But now out with you! Have fun with your new camera and discovering analog photography!

Always remember:

No matter what you take pictures with,

The main thing is that you take photos.

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