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Photography Techniques
Elementary Skills
Camera 1
Exposure (photography) 13
Aperture 20
Shutter speed 26
Film speed 31
Metering mode 49
Focus (optics) 52
Depth of field 53
Color balance 79
Article Sources and Contributors 84
Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors 86
Article Licenses
License 88
A rangefinder camera.
Cin-Kodak Special II - 16mm movie camera (ca. 1948)
A camera is an optical instrument that
records images that can be stored directly,
transmitted to another location, or both.
These images may be still photographs or
moving images such as videos or movies.
The term camera comes from the word
camera obscura (Latin for "dark chamber"),
an early mechanism for projecting images.
The modern camera evolved from the
camera obscura.
Functional description
Cameras may work with the light of the
visible spectrum or with other portions of
the electromagnetic spectrum. A camera
generally consists of an enclosed hollow
with an opening (aperture) at one end for
light to enter, and a recording or viewing
surface for capturing the light at the other
end. A majority of cameras have a lens
positioned in front of the camera's opening
to gather the incoming light and focus all or
part of the image on the recording surface.
The diameter of the aperture is often
controlled by a diaphragm mechanism, but
some cameras have a fixed-size aperture.
Most cameras use an electronic image
sensor to store photographs on flash
memory. Other cameras, particularly the
majority of cameras from the 20th century,
use photographic film.
A typical still camera takes one photo each
time the user presses the shutter button (except in continuous-fire mode). A typical movie camera continuously takes
24 film frames per second as long as the user holds down the shutter button, or until the shutter button is pressed a
second time.
Camera obscura
The forerunner to the photographic camera was the camera
In the fifth century B.C., the Chinese philosopher
Mo Ti noted that a pinhole can form an inverted and focused
image, when light passes through the hole and into a dark
Mo Ti is the first recorded person to have exploited this
phenomenon to trace the inverted image to create a picture.
Writing in the fourth century B.C., Aristotle also mentioned this
He described observing a partial solar eclipse in 330
B.C. by seeing the image of the Sun projected through the small
spaces between the leaves of a tree.
In the tenth century, the
Arabic scholar Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) also wrote about
observing a solar eclipse through a pinhole,
and he described
how a sharper image could be produced by making the opening
of the pinhole smaller.
English philosopher Roger Bacon
wrote about these optical principles in his 1267 treatise
By the fifteenth century, artists and scientists
were using this phenomenon to make observations. Originally,
an observer had to enter an actual room, in a which a pinhole
was made on one wall. On the opposite wall, the observer would
view the inverted image of the outside.
The name camera
obscura, Latin for "dark room", derives from this early
implementation of the optical phenomenon.
The actual name of camera obscura was applied by mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler in his Ad
Vitellionem paralipomena of 1604. He later added a lens and made the apparatus transportable, in the form of a
British scientist Robert Boyle and his assistant Robert Hooke developed a portable camera obscura in the
The first camera obscura that was small enough for practical use as a portable drawing aid was built by Johann Zahn
in 1685.
At that time there was no way to preserve the images produced by such cameras except by manually
tracing them. However, it had long been known that various substances were bleached or darkened or otherwise
changed by exposure to light. Seeing the magical miniature pictures that light temporarily "painted" on the screen of
a small camera obscura inspired several experimenters to search for some way of automatically making highly
detailed permanent copies of them by means of some such substance.
Early photographic cameras were usually in the form of a pair of nested boxes, the end of one carrying the lens and
the end of the other carrying a removable ground glass focusing screen. By sliding them closer together or farther
apart, objects at various distances could be brought to the sharpest focus as desired. After a satisfactory image had
been focused on the screen, the lens was covered and the screen was replaced with the light-sensitive material. The
lens was then uncovered and the exposure continued for the required time, which for early experimental materials
could be several hours or even days. The first permanent photograph of a camera image was made in 1826 by Joseph
Nicphore Nipce using a sliding wooden box camera made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier in Paris.
Similar cameras were used for exposing the silver-surfaced copper Daguerreotype plates, commercially introduced in
1839, which were the first practical photographic medium. The collodion wet plate process that gradually replaced
the Daguerreotype during the 1850s required photographers to coat and sensitize thin glass or iron plates shortly
before use and expose them in the camera while still wet. Early wet plate cameras were very simple and little
different from Daguerreotype cameras, but more sophisticated designs eventually appeared. The Dubroni of 1864
allowed the sensitizing and developing of the plates to be carried out inside the camera itself rather than in a separate
darkroom. Other cameras were fitted with multiple lenses for photographing several small portraits on a single larger
plate, useful when making cartes de visite. It was during the wet plate era that the use of bellows for focusing
became widespread, making the bulkier and less easily adjusted nested box design obsolete.
For many years, exposure times were long enough that the photographer simply removed the lens cap, counted off
the number of seconds (or minutes) estimated to be required by the lighting conditions, then replaced the cap. As
more sensitive photographic materials became available, cameras began to incorporate mechanical shutter
mechanisms that allowed very short and accurately timed exposures to be made.
The electronic video camera tube was invented in the 1920s, starting a line of development that eventually resulted
in digital cameras, which largely supplanted film cameras around the start of the 21st century.
Image capture
19th century studio camera, with bellows for
Traditional cameras capture light onto photographic film or
photographic plate. Video and digital cameras use an electronic image
sensor, usually a charge coupled device (CCD) or a CMOS sensor to
capture images which can be transferred or stored in a memory card or
other storage inside the camera for later playback or processing.
Cameras that capture many images in sequence are known as movie
cameras or as cin cameras in Europe; those designed for single images
are still cameras.
However these categories overlap as still cameras are often used to
capture moving images in special effects work and many modern
cameras can quickly switch between still and motion recording modes.
A video camera is a category of movie camera that captures images electronically (either using analog or digital
Leica M9 with a Summicron-M 28/2 ASPH Lens
The lens of a camera captures the light from the subject and brings it to
a focus on the film or detector. The design and manufacture of the lens
is critical to the quality of the photograph being taken. The
technological revolution in camera design in the 19th century
revolutionized optical glass manufacture and lens design with great
benefits for modern lens manufacture in a wide range of optical
instruments from reading glasses to microscopes. Pioneers included
Zeiss and Leitz.
Camera lenses are made in a wide range of focal lengths. They range
from extreme wide angle, wide angle, standard, medium telephoto and
telephoto. Each lens is best suited a certain type of photography. The extreme wide angle may be preferred for
architecture because it has the capacity to capture a wide view of a building. The normal lens, because it often has a
wide aperture, is often used for street and documentary photography. The telephoto lens is useful for sports and
wildlife but it is more susceptible to camera shake.
The distance range in which objects appear clear
and sharp, called depth of field, can be adjusted
by many cameras. This allows for a photographer
to control which objects appear in focus, and
which do not.
Due to the optical properties of photographic lenses, only objects
within a limited range of distances from the camera will be reproduced
clearly. The process of adjusting this range is known as changing the
camera's focus. There are various ways of focusing a camera
accurately. The simplest cameras have fixed focus and use a small
aperture and wide-angle lens to ensure that everything within a certain
range of distance from the lens, usually around 3 metres (10ft) to
infinity, is in reasonable focus. Fixed focus cameras are usually
inexpensive types, such as single-use cameras. The camera can also
have a limited focusing range or scale-focus that is indicated on the
camera body. The user will guess or calculate the distance to the
subject and adjust the focus accordingly. On some cameras this is
indicated by symbols (head-and-shoulders; two people standing
upright; one tree; mountains).
Rangefinder cameras allow the distance to objects to be measured by means of a coupled parallax unit on top of the
camera, allowing the focus to be set with accuracy. Single-lens reflex cameras allow the photographer to determine
the focus and composition visually using the objective lens and a moving mirror to project the image onto a ground
glass or plastic micro-prism screen. Twin-lens reflex cameras use an objective lens and a focusing lens unit (usually
identical to the objective lens.) in a parallel body for composition and focusing. View cameras use a ground glass
screen which is removed and replaced by either a photographic plate or a reusable holder containing sheet film
before exposure. Modern cameras often offer autofocus systems to focus the camera automatically by a variety of
Some experimental cameras, for example the planar Fourier capture array (PFCA), do not require focusing to allow
them to take pictures. In conventional digital photography, lenses or mirrors map all of the light originating from a
single point of an in-focus object to a single point at the sensor plane. Each pixel thus relates an independent piece of
information about the far-away scene. In contrast, a PFCA does not have a lens or mirror, but each pixel has an
idiosyncratic pair of diffraction gratings above it, allowing each pixel to likewise relate an independent piece of
information (specifically, one component of the 2D Fourier transform) about the far-away scene. Together, complete
scene information is captured and images can be reconstructed by computation.
Some cameras have post focusing. Post focusing means take the pictures first and then focusing later at the personal
computer. The camera uses many tiny lenses on the sensor to capture light from every camera angle of a scene and is
called plenoptics technology. A current plenoptic camera design has 40,000 lenses working together to grab the
optimal picture.
Exposure control
The size of the aperture and the brightness of the scene controls the amount of light that enters the camera during a
period of time, and the shutter controls the length of time that the light hits the recording surface. Equivalent
exposures can be made with a larger aperture and a faster shutter speed or a corresponding smaller aperture and with
the shutter speed slowed down.
Although a range of different shutter devices have been used during the development of the camera only two types
have been widely used and remain in use today.
The Leaf shutter or more precisely the in-lens shutter is a shutter contained within the lens structure, often close to
the diaphragm consisting of a number of metal leaves which are maintained under spring tension and which are
opened and then closed when the shutter is released. The exposure time is determined by the interval between
opening and closing. In this shutter design, the whole film frame is exposed at one time. This makes flash
synchronisation much simpler as the flash only needs to fire once the shutter is fully open. Disadvantages of such
shutters are their inability to reliably produce very fast shutter speeds ( faster than 1/500th second or so) and the
additional cost and weight of having to include a shutter mechanism for every lens.
The focal-plane shutter operates as close to the film plane as possible and consists of cloth curtains that are pulled
across the film plane with a carefully determined gap between the two curtains (typically running horizontally) or
consisting of a series of metal plates (typically moving vertically) just in front of the film plane. The focal-plane
shutter is primarily associated with the single lens reflex type of cameras, since covering the film rather than
blocking light passing through the lens allows the photographer to view through the lens at all times except during
the exposure itself. Covering the film also facilitates removing the lens from a loaded camera (many SLRs have
interchangeable lenses).
Professional medium format SLR (single-lens-reflex) cameras (typically using 120/220 roll film) use a hybrid
solution, since such a large focal-plane shutter would be difficult to make and/or may run slowly. A manually
inserted blade known as a dark slide allows the film to be covered when changing lenses or film backs. A blind
inside the camera covers the film prior to and after the exposure (but is not designed to be able to give accurately
controlled exposure times) and a leaf shutter that is normally open is installed in the lens. To take a picture, the leaf
shutter closes, the blind opens, the leaf shutter opens then closes again, and finally the blind closes and the leaf
shutter re-opens (the last step may only occur when the shutter is re-cocked).
Using a focal-plane shutter, exposing the whole film plane can take much longer than the exposure time. The
exposure time does not depend on the time taken to make the exposure over all, only on the difference between the
time a specific point on the film is uncovered and then covered up again. For example an exposure of 1/1000 second
may be achieved by the shutter curtains moving across the film plane in 1/50th of a second but with the two curtains
only separated by 1/20th of the frame width. In fact in practice the curtains do not run at a constant speed as they
would in an ideal design, obtaining an even exposure time depends mainly on being able to make the two curtains
accelerate in a similar manner.
When photographing rapidly moving objects, the use of a focal-plane shutter can produce some unexpected effects,
since the film closest to the start position of the curtains is exposed earlier than the film closest to the end position.
Typically this can result in a moving object leaving a slanting image. The direction of the slant depends on the
direction the shutter curtains run in (noting also that as in all cameras the image is inverted and reversed by the lens,
i.e. "top-left" is at the bottom right of the sensor as seen by a photographer behind the camera).
Focal-plane shutters are also difficult to synchronise with flash bulbs and electronic flash and it is often only possible
to use flash at shutter speeds where the curtain that opens to reveal the film completes its run and the film is fully
uncovered, before the second curtain starts to travel and cover it up again. Typically 35mm film SLRs could sync
flash at only up to 1/60th second if the camera has horizontal run cloth curtains, and 1/125th if using a vertical run
metal shutter.
Film formats
French 1212" collodion camera (ca. 1878) next
to a 35mm SLR Nikon F (ca. 1970)
A wide range of film and plate formats has been used by cameras. In
the early history plate sizes were often specific for the make and model
of camera although there quickly developed some standardisation for
the more popular cameras. The introduction of roll film drove the
standardization process still further so that by the 1950s only a few
standard roll films were in use. These included 120 film providing 8,
12 or 16 exposures, 220 film providing 16 or 24 exposures, 127 film
providing 8 or 12 exposures (principally in Brownie cameras) and 135
(35 mm film) providing 12, 20 or 36 exposures or up to 72 exposures
in the half-frame format or in bulk cassettes for the Leica Camera
For cine cameras, film 35mm wide and perforated with sprocket holes was established as the standard format in the
1890s. It is still used for nearly all film-based professional motion picture production. For amateur use, several
smaller and therefore less expensive formats were introduced. 17.5mm film, created by splitting 35mm film, was
one early amateur format, but 9.5 mm film, introduced in Europe in 1922, and 16 mm film, introduced in the US in
1923, soon became the standards for "home movies" in their respective hemispheres. In 1932, the even more
economical 8 mm format was created by doubling the number of perforations in 16mm film, then splitting it, usually
after exposure and processing. The Super 8 format, still 8mm wide but with smaller perforations to make room for
substantially larger film frames, was introduced in 1965.
Camera accessories
Medium format SLR camera 6x7cm with
accessories: TTL-prism, wide-angle lens, matte
box, motorized film cassette, double cable
release, tripod
Accessories for cameras are mainly for care, protection, special effects
and functions.
Lens hood: used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light
source to prevent glare and lens flare (see also matte box).
Lens cap: covers and protects the lens during storage.
Lens adapter: sometimes called a step-ring, adapts the lens to other
size filters.
Lens filters: allow artificial colors or change light density.
Lens extension tubes allow close focus in macro photography.
Flash equipment: including light diffuser, mount and stand,
reflector, soft box, trigger and cord.
Care and protection: including camera case and cover, maintenance tools, and screen protector.
Large format cameras use special equipment which includes magnifier loupe, view finder, angle finder, focusing
rail /truck.
Battery and sometimes a charger.
Some professional SLR could be provided with interchangeable finders for eye-level or waist-level focusing,
focusing screens, eye-cup, data backs, motor-drives for film transportation or external battery packs.
Tripod, microscope adapter, cable release, electric wire release.
Camera designs
Plate camera
Graflex early SLR plate camera for 4x5" glass
plates (1924)
The earliest cameras produced in significant numbers used sensitised
glass plates and are now termed plate cameras. Light entered a lens
mounted on a lens board which was separated from the plate by an
extendible bellows.
There were simple box cameras for glass plates but also single-lens
reflex cameras with interchangeable lenses and even for color
photography (Autochrome Lumire).
Many of these cameras had controls to raise or lower the lens and to tilt
it forwards or backwards to control perspective.
Focussing of these plate cameras was by the use of a ground glass
screen at the point of focus. Because lens design only allowed rather
small aperture lenses, the image on the ground glass screen was faint
and most photographers had a dark cloth to cover their heads to allow
focussing and composition to be carried out more easily. When focus
and composition were satisfactory, the ground glass screen was
removed and a sensitised plate put in its place protected by a dark
slide. To make the exposure, the dark slide was carefully slid out and
the shutter opened and then closed and the dark slide replaced.
Glass plates were later replaced by sheet film in a dark slide for sheet film; adaptor sleeves were made to allow sheet
film to be used in plate holders. In addition to the ground glass, a simple optical viewfinder was often fitted.
Cameras which take single exposures on sheet film and are functionally identical to plate cameras are still used for
static, high-image-quality work; see Large-format camera, below.
Large-format camera
Linhof Technika III 5x7" large format camera
The large-format camera, taking sheet film, is a direct successor of the
early plate cameras and remain in use for high quality photography and
for technical, architectural and industrial photography. There are three
common types, the view camera with its monorail and field camera
variants, and the press camera. They have an extensible bellows with
the lens and shutter mounted on a lens plate at the front. Backs taking
rollfilm, and digital backs are available in addition to the standard dark
slideback. These cameras have a wide range of movements allowing
very close control of focus and perspective. Composition and focussing
is done on view cameras by viewing a ground-glass screen which is
replaced by the film to make the exposure; they are suitable for static subjects only, and are slow to use.
Medium-format camera
Medium-format cameras have a film size between the large-format cameras and smaller 35mm cameras. Typically
these systems use 120 or 220 rollfilm. The most common image sizes are 64.5cm, 66cm and 67cm; the older
69cm is rarely used. The designs of this kind of camera show greater variation than their larger brethren, ranging
from monorail systems through the classic Hasselblad model with separate backs, to smaller rangefinder cameras.
There are even compact amateur cameras available in this format.
Folding camera
The introduction of films enabled the existing designs for plate cameras to be made much smaller and for the
base-plate to be hinged so that it could be folded up compressing the bellows. These designs were very compact and
small models were dubbed vest pocket cameras. Folding rollfilm cameras were preceded by folding plate cameras,
more compact than other designs.
Box camera
Box cameras were introduced as a budget level camera and had few if any controls. The original box Brownie
models had a small reflex viewfinder mounted on the top of the camera and had no aperture or focusing controls and
just a simple shutter. Later models such as the Brownie 127 had larger direct view optical viewfinders together with
a curved film path to reduce the impact of deficiencies in the lens.
Rangefinder camera
Leica Rangefinder camera circa 1936
As camera and lens technology developed and wide aperture lenses
became more common, rangefinder cameras were introduced to make
focussing more precise. Early rangefinders had two separate
viewfinder windows, one of which is linked to the focusing
mechanisms and moved right or left as the focusing ring is turned. The
two separate images are brought together on a ground glass viewing
screen. When vertical lines in the object being photographed meet
exactly in the combined image, the object is in focus. A normal
composition viewfinder is also provided. Later the viewfinder and
rangefinder were combined. Many rangefinder cameras had
interchangeable lenses, each lens requiring its own range- and viewfinder linkages.
Rangefinder cameras were produced in half- and full-frame 35mm and rollfim (medium format).
Single-lens reflex
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds entry-level DSLR
with a 25mm pancake lens.
In the single-lens reflex camera the photographer sees the scene
through the camera lens. This avoids the problem of parallax which
occurs when the viewfinder or viewing lens is separated from the
taking lens. Single-lens reflex cameras have been made in several
formats including sheet film 5x7" and 4x5", roll film 220/120 taking
8,10, 12 or 16 photographs on a 120 roll and twice that number of a
220 film. These correspond to 6x9, 6x7, 6x6 and 6x4.5 respectively (all
dimensions in cm). Notable manufacturers of large format and roll film
SLR cameras include Bronica, Graflex, Hasselblad, Mamiya, and
Pentax. However the most common format of SLR cameras has been
35mm and subsequently the migration to digital SLR cameras, using
almost identical sized bodies and sometimes using the same lens
Almost all SLR cameras used a front surfaced mirror in the optical path to direct the light from the lens via a viewing
screen and pentaprism to the eyepiece. At the time of exposure the mirror flipped up out of the light path before the
shutter opened. Some early cameras experimented other methods of providing through the lens viewing including the
use of a semi transparent pellicle as in the Canon Pellix
and others with a small periscope such as in the Corfield
Periflex series.
Twin-lens reflex
Twin-lens reflex cameras used a pair of nearly identical lenses, one to form the image and one as a viewfinder. The
lenses were arranged with the viewing lens immediately above the taking lens. The viewing lens projects an image
onto a viewing screen which can be seen from above. Some manufacturers such as Mamiya also provided a reflex
head to attach to the viewing screen to allow the camera to be held to the eye when in use. The advantage of a TLR
was that it could be easily focussed using the viewing screen and that under most circumstances the view seen in the
viewing screen was identical to that recorded on film. At close distances however, parallax errors were encountered
and some cameras also included an indicator to show what part of the composition would be excluded.
Some TLR had interchangeable lenses but as these had to be paired lenses they were relatively heavy and did not
provide the range of focal lengths that the SLR could support. Most TLRs used 120 or 220 film; some used the
smaller 127 film.
Subminiature camera
Cameras taking film significantly smaller than 35mm were made. Subminiature cameras were first produced in the
nineteenth century. The expensive 811mm Minox, the only type of camera produced by the company from 1937 to
1976, became very widely known and was often used for espionage (the Minox company later also produced larger
cameras). Later inexpensive subminiatures were made for general use, some using rewound 16mm cine film. Image
quality with these small film sizes was limited.
Instant picture camera
Polaroid SX-70 Polasonic autofocus instant
picture SLR camera
After exposure every photograph is taken through pinch rollers inside
of the instant camera. Thereby the developer paste contained in the
paper 'sandwich' distributes on the image. After a minute, the cover
sheet just needs to be removed and one gets a single original positive
image with a fixed format. With some systems it was also possible to
create an instant image negative, from which then could be made
copies in the photo lab. The ultimate development was the SX-70
system of Polaroid, in which a row of ten shots - engine driven - could
be made without having to remove any cover sheets from the picture.
There were instant cameras for a variety of formats, as well as
cartridges with instant film for normal system cameras.
Cin camera
A cin camera or movie camera takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film. In contrast to a still camera,
which captures a single snapshot at a time, the cin camera takes a series of images, each called a "frame" through
the use of an intermittent mechanism.
Cin-Kodak Special II - 16mm movie camera (ca.
The frames are later played back in a cin projector at a specific speed,
called the "frame rate" (number of frames per second). While viewing,
a person's eyes and brain merge the separate pictures to create the
illusion of motion. The first cin camera was built around 1888 and by
1890 several types were being manufactured. The standard film size
for cin cameras was quickly established as 35mm film and this
remains in use to this day. Other professional standard formats include
70 mm film and 16mm film whilst amateurs film makers used 9.5 mm
film, 8mm film or Standard 8 and Super 8 before the move into digital
The size and complexity of cin cameras varies greatly depending on
the uses required of the camera. Some professional equipment is very large and too heavy to be hand held whilst
some amateur cameras were designed to be very small and light for single-handed operation. In the last quarter of the
20th century digital camcorders supplanted film motion cameras for amateurs. Professional video cameras did the
same for professional users around the start of the 20th century.
Image gallery
1922 Kodak Opened up Cine Kodak, used
16mm movie film
Silvestri Flexicam Voigtlnder Brillant
twin-lens reflex camera.
Contax S of 1949 the
world's first pentaprism SLR
1952 Voigtlander Vito II Asahiflex IIa of 1955 Kodak Retina IIIC of 1957
Nikon F of 1959 the first
35mm system camera
Voigtlnder Vitoret
of 1962
1988 A Soviet-era LOMO LC-A
2003 Canon EOS
300D, a model that
sparked the popularity of
consumer-level DSLRs
Nikon Coolpix 5200 One in a
line of small cameras by Nikon
A phone camera
[2] [2] Hirsch, pp. 3-4
[3] [3] Gustavson, p. 4
[4] [4] Johnson, Rice, and Williams, p. 36
[5] [5] Hirsch, p. 4
[6] [6] Gernsheim, pp. 3-4
[7] [7] Frizot, p. 18
[8] [8] Gernsheim, p. 3
[11] Explanatory Notes (section) of David Constantine's 1994 translation of Goethe's Elective Affinities, Oxford University Press.
[12] [12] Gersheim, p. 5
[13] [13] Gersheim, pp. 9-11
[15] Auto focus (http:/ / travel. autofocus. htm) - How Stuff Works
[18] Accessories to Photography (http:/ / www.virtualvillage. com/ photography)
[19] [19] Oxford Dictionary
[20] Picture of [[Goerz (company)|Goerz (http:/ / en.wikipedia. org/ wiki/ File:C. P. Goerz. jpg)] Taro-Tenax, a folding 9x12 cm plate camera
with some lens movements and optical viewfinder]
[21] Canon Pellix QL / FT QL Cameras (retrieved 19 April 2009) (http:/ / www. mir. com. my/ rb/ photography/ companies/ canon/ fdresources/
pellix/ )
[22] The Periflex series (retrieved 19 April 2009) (http:/ / www. localhistory. scit. wlv. ac. uk/ Museum/ CorfieldCameras/ page3. htm)
Frizot, Michel. "Light machines: On the threshold of invention". In Michel Frizot. A New History of Photography.
Koln, Germany: Konemann. ISBN3-8290-1328-0.
Gernsheim, Helmut (1986). A Concise History of Photography (3 ed.). Mineola, New York: Dover Publications,
Inc. ISBN0-486-25128-4.
Gustavson, Todd (2009). Camera: a history of photography from daguerreotype to digital. New York, New York:
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN978-1-4027-5656-6.
Hirsch, Robert (2000). Seizing the Light: A History of Photography. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill
Companies, Inc. ISBN0-697-14361-9.
Johnson, William S.; Rice, Mark; Williams, Carla (2005). Therese Mulligan and David Wooters, ed. A History of
Photography. Los Angeles, California: Taschen America. ISBN978-3-8228-4777-0.
External links
How camera works at How stuff works. (http:/ / science. howstuffworks. com/ camera. htm)
Exposure (photography)
Exposure (photography)
A long exposure showing stars rotating around
the southern and northern celestial poles. Credit:
European Southern Observatory
A photograph of the sea after sunset with an
exposure time of 15 seconds. The swell from the
waves appears as fog.
In photography, exposure is the amount of light allowed to fall on each
area unit of a photographic medium (photographic film or image
sensor) during the process of taking a photograph. Exposure is
measured in lux seconds, and can be computed from exposure value
(EV) and scene luminance in a specified region.
In photographic jargon, an exposure generally refers to a single shutter
cycle. For example: a long exposure refers to a single, protracted
shutter cycle to capture enough low-intensity light, whereas a multiple
exposure involves a series of relatively brief shutter cycles; effectively
layering a series of photographs in one image. For the same film speed,
the accumulated photometric exposure (H
) should be similar in both
Photometric and radiometric exposure
Photometric or luminous exposure
is the accumulated physical
quantity of visible light energy (weighted by the luminosity function)
applied to a surface during a given exposure time. It is defined as:
is the luminous exposure (usually in lux seconds)
is the image-plane illuminance (usually in lux)
t is the exposure time (in seconds)
The radiometric quantity radiant exposure
is sometimes used instead; it is the product of image-plane
irradiance E
and time, the accumulated amount of incident "light" energy per area:
is the radiant exposure (usually in joules per square metre (J/m
is the irradiance (usually in watts per square metre (W/m
t is the exposure time (in seconds)
If the measurement is adjusted to account only for light that reacts with the photo-sensitive surface, that is, weighted
by the appropriate spectral sensitivity, the exposure is still measured in radiometric units (joules per square meter),
rather than photometric units (weighted by the nominal sensitivity of the human eye).
Only in this appropriately
weighted case does the H measure the effective amount of light falling on the film, such that the characteristic curve
will be correct independent of the spectrum of the light.
Many photographic materials are also sensitive to "invisible" light, which can be a nuisance (see UV filter and IR
filter), or a benefit (see infrared photography and full-spectrum photography). The use of radiometric units is
appropriate to characterize such sensitivity to invisible light.
In sensitometric data, such as characteristic curves, the log exposure
is conventionally expressed as log
Photographers more familiar with base-2 logarithmic scales (such as exposure values) can convert using log
3.32 log
Exposure (photography)
Quantity Unit Dimension Notes
Name Symbol Symbol
Luminous energy

lumen second lms
units are sometimes called talbots
Luminous flux

lumen (=cdsr) lm
also called luminous power
Luminous intensity I
candela (=lm/sr) cd
an SI base unit, luminous flux per unit solid angle
Luminance L
candela per square metre
units are sometimes called nits
Illuminance E
v lux (=lm/m
used for light incident on asurface
Luminous emittance M
v lux (=lm/m
used for light emitted from asurface
Luminous exposure H
lux second lxs
Luminous energy density
v lumen second per metre
Luminous efficacy

lumen per watt lm/W
ratio of luminous flux to radiant flux
Luminous efficiency V 1 also called luminous coefficient
See also: SI Photometry Radiometry (Compare)
Quantity Unit Dimension Notes
Name Symbol Symbol
Radiant energy
joule J
2 energy
Radiant flux

watt W
3 radiant energy per unit time, also called radiantpower.
Spectral power

watt per metre
3 radiant power per wavelength.
Radiant intensity I
watt per steradian
3 power per unit solidangle.
Spectral intensity
watt per steradian per
3 radiant intensity per wavelength.
Radiance L
watt per steradian per
3 power per unit solid angle per unit projected source area.
confusingly called "intensity" in some other fields of
Spectral radiance
watt per steradian per
watt per steradian per
metre per hertz
commonly measured in Wsr
with surface
area and either wavelength or frequency.
watt per square metre
3 power incident on a surface, also called radiant flux
sometimes confusingly called "intensity" as well.
watt per metre
watt per square metre
per hertz
commonly measured in Wm
or 10
, known as solar flux unit.
Exposure (photography)
Radiant exitance /
watt per square metre
3 power emitted from a surface.
Spectral radiant
exitance /
Spectral radiant
watt per metre
watt per square
metre per hertz
power emitted from a surface per wavelength or
watt per square metre
3 emitted plus reflected power leaving a surface.
Radiant exposure H
joule per square metre
2 also referred to as fluence
Radiant energy

e joule per metre

See also: SI Radiometry Photometry (Compare)
Optimum exposure
"Correct" exposure may be defined as an exposure that achieves the effect the photographer intended.
A more technical approach recognises that a photographic film (or sensor) has a physically limited useful exposure
sometimes called its dynamic range.
If, for any part of the photograph, the actual exposure is outside
this range, the film cannot record it accurately. In a very simple model, for example, out-of-range values would be
recorded as "black" (underexposed) or "white" (overexposed) rather than the precisely graduated shades of colour
and tone required to describe "detail". Therefore, the purpose of exposure adjustment (and/or lighting adjustment) is
to control the physical amount of light from the subject that is allowed to fall on the film, so that 'significant' areas of
shadow and highlight detail do not exceed the film's useful exposure range. This ensures that no 'significant'
information is lost during capture.
It is worth noting that the photographer may carefully overexpose or underexpose the photograph to eliminate
"insignificant" or "unwanted" detail; to make, for example, a white altar cloth appear immaculately clean, or to
emulate the heavy, pitiless shadows of film noir. However, it is technically much easier to discard recorded
information during post processing than to try to 're-create' unrecorded information.
In a scene with strong or harsh lighting, the ratio between highlight and shadow luminance values may well be larger
than the ratio between the film's maximum and minimum useful exposure values. In this case, adjusting the camera's
exposure settings (which only applies changes to the whole image, not selectively to parts of the image) only allows
the photographer to choose between underexposed shadows or overexposed highlights; it cannot bring both into the
useful exposure range at the same time. Methods for dealing with this situation include: using some kind of fill
lighting to gently increase the illumination in shadow areas; using a graduated ND filter or gobo to reduce the
amount of light coming from the highlight areas; or varying the exposure between multiple, otherwise identical,
photographs (exposure bracketing) and then combining them afterwards in some kind of HDRI process.
Exposure (photography)
Overexposure and underexposure
White chair: Deliberate use of overexposure for
aesthetic purposes.
A photograph may be described as overexposed when it has a loss of
highlight detail, that is, when important bright parts of an image are
"washed out" or effectively all white, known as "blown out highlights"
or "clipped whites".
A photograph may be described as
underexposed when it has a loss of shadow detail, that is, when
important dark areas are "muddy" or indistinguishable from black,
known as "blocked up shadows" (or sometimes "crushed shadows,"
"crushed blacks," or "clipped blacks," especially in video).
As the image to the right shows, these terms are technical ones rather
than artistic judgments; an overexposed or underexposed image may be
"correct", in that it provides the effect that the photographer intended.
Intentionally over- or under- exposing (relative to a standard or the camera's automatic exposure) is casually referred
to as "shooting to the right" or "shooting to the left", respectively, as these shift the histogram of the image to the
right or left.
Exposure settings
Manual exposure
In manual mode, the photographer adjusts the lens aperture and/or shutter speed to achieve the desired exposure.
Many photographers choose to control aperture and shutter independently because opening up the aperture increases
exposure, but also decreases the depth of field, and a slower shutter increases exposure but also increases the
opportunity for motion blur.
"Manual" exposure calculations may be based on some method of light metering with a working knowledge of
exposure values, the APEX system and/or the Zone System.
Automatic exposure
A camera in automatic exposure (abbreviation: AE) mode automatically calculates and adjusts exposure settings to
match (as closely as possible) the subject's mid-tone to the mid-tone of the photograph. For most cameras this means
using an on-board TTL exposure meter.
Aperture priority mode (commonly abbreviated to Av) gives the photographer manual control of the aperture, whilst
the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to achieve the exposure specified by the TTL meter. Shutter
priority mode (commonly abbreviated to TV) gives manual shutter control, with automatic aperture compensation. In
each case, the actual exposure level is still determined by the camera's exposure meter.
Exposure (photography)
Exposure compensation
A street view of Taka-Tl, Helsinki, Finland,
during a very sunny winter day. The image has
been deliberately overexposed by +1 EV to
compensate for the bright sunlight and the
exposure time calculated by the camera's program
automatic metering is still 1/320 s.
The purpose of an exposure meter is to estimate the subject's mid-tone
luminance and indicate the camera exposure settings required to record
this as a mid-tone. In order to do this it has to make a number of
assumptions which, under certain circumstances, will be wrong. If the
exposure setting indicated by an exposure meter is taken as the
"reference" exposure, the photographer may wish to deliberately
overexpose or underexpose in order to compensate for known or
anticipated metering inaccuracies.
Cameras with any kind of internal exposure meter usually feature an
exposure compensation setting which is intended to allow the
photographer to simply offset the exposure level from the internal
meter's estimate of appropriate exposure. Frequently calibrated in
also known as EV units,
a "+1" exposure compensation
setting indicates one stop more (twice as much) exposure and "1"
means one stop less (half as much) exposure.
Exposure compensation is particularly useful in combination with auto-exposure mode, as it allows the photographer
to bias the exposure level without resorting to full manual exposure and losing the flexibility of auto exposure. On
low-end video camcorders, exposure compensation may be the only manual exposure control available.
Exposure control
A 1/30s exposure showing motion blur on
fountain at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
A 1/320s exposure showing individual drops on
fountain at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
An appropriate exposure for a photograph is determined by the
sensitivity of the medium used. For photographic film, sensitivity is
referred to as film speed and is measured on a scale published by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Faster film, that
is, film with a higher ISO rating, requires less exposure to make a good
image. Digital cameras usually have variable ISO settings that provide
additional flexibility. Exposure is a combination of the length of time
and the illuminance at the photosensitive material. Exposure time is
controlled in a camera by shutter speed and the illuminance by the lens
aperture and the scene luminance. Slower shutter speeds (exposing the
medium for a longer period of time), and greater lens apertures
(admitting more light), and higher-luminance scenes produce greater
An approximately correct exposure will be obtained on a sunny day
using ISO 100 film, an aperture of f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/100 of
a second. This is called the sunny 16 rule: at an aperture of f/16 on a
sunny day, a suitable shutter speed will be one over the film speed (or
closest equivalent).
A scene can be exposed in many ways, depending on the desired effect
a photographer wishes to convey.
Exposure (photography)
An important principle of exposure is reciprocity. If one exposes the film or sensor for a longer period, a reciprocally
smaller aperture is required to reduce the amount of light hitting the film to obtain the same exposure. For example,
the photographer may prefer to make his sunny-16 shot at an aperture of f/5.6 (to obtain a shallow depth of field). As
f/5.6 is 3 stops "faster" than f/16, with each stop meaning double the amount of light, a new shutter speed of
(1/125)/(222) = 1/1000 is needed. Once the photographer has determined the exposure, aperture stops can be traded
for halvings or doublings of speed, within limits.
A demonstration of the effect of exposure in night photography. Longer shutter speeds result in increased exposure.
The true characteristic of most photographic emulsions is not actually linear, (see sensitometry) but it is close
enough over the exposure range of about one second to 1/1000 of a second. Outside of this range, it becomes
necessary to increase the exposure from the calculated value to account for this characteristic of the emulsion. This
characteristic is known as reciprocity failure. The film manufacturer's data sheets should be consulted to arrive at the
correction required as different emulsions have different characteristics.
Digital camera image sensors can also be subject to a form of reciprocity failure.
Determining exposure
A fair ride taken with a 2/5 second exposure.
The Zone System is another method of determining exposure and
development combinations to achieve a greater tonality range over
conventional methods by varying the contrast of the film to fit the print
contrast capability. Digital cameras can achieve similar results (high
dynamic range) by combining several different exposures (varying
shutter or diaphram) made in quick succession.
Today, most cameras automatically determine the correct exposure at
the time of taking a photograph by using a built-in light meter, or
multiple point meters interpreted by a built-in computer, see metering
Negative/Print film tends to bias for exposing for the shadow areas (film dislikes being starved of light), with digital
favouring exposure for highlights. See latitude below.
Latitude is the degree by which one can over, or under expose an image, and still recover an acceptable level of
quality from an exposure. Typically negative film has a better ability to record a range of brightness than
slide/transparency film or digital. Digital should be considered to be the reverse of print film, with a good latitude in
the shadow range, and a narrow one in the highlight area; in contrast to film's large highlight latitude, and narrow
shadow latitude. Slide/Transparency film has a narrow latitude in both highlight and shadow areas, requiring greater
exposure accuracy.
Negative film's latitude increases somewhat with high ISO material, in contrast digital tends to narrow on latitude
with high ISO settings.
Exposure (photography)
Example image exhibiting blown-out highlights.
Top: original image, bottom: blown-out areas
marked red
Areas of a photo where information is lost due to extreme brightness
are described as having "blown-out highlights" or "flared highlights".
In digital images this information loss is often irreversible, though
small problems can be made less noticeable using photo manipulation
software. Recording to RAW format can ameliorate this problem to
some degree, as can using a digital camera with a better sensor.
Film can often have areas of extreme overexposure but still record
detail in those areas. This information is usually somewhat recoverable
when printing or transferring to digital.
A loss of highlights in a photograph is usually undesirable, but in some
cases can be considered to "enhance" appeal. Examples include
black-and-white photography and portraits with an out-of-focus
Areas of a photo where information is lost due to extreme darkness are
described as "crushed blacks". Digital capture tends to be more tolerant
of underexposure, allowing better recovery of shadow detail, than
same-ISO negative print film.
Crushed blacks cause loss of detail, but can be used for artistic effect.
[1] National Institute of Standards and Technology (http:/ / physics. nist. gov/ Divisions/ Div844/ facilities/ photo/ Flash/ flash. html). Retrieved
Feb 2009.
[5] Standards organizations recommend that photometric quantities be denoted with a suffix "v" (for "visual") to avoid confusion with
radiometric or photon quantities.
[6] Alternative symbols sometimes seen: W for luminous energy, P or F for luminous flux, and or K for luminous efficacy.
[7] "J" here is the symbol for the dimension of luminous intensity, not the symbol for the unit joules.
[8] Standards organizations recommend that radiometric quantities should be denoted with a suffix "e" (for "energetic") to avoid confusion with
photometric or photon quantities.
[9] Alternative symbols sometimes seen: W or E for radiant energy, P or F for radiant flux, I for irradiance, W for radiantemittance.
[10] Spectral quantities given per unit wavelength are denoted with suffix "" (Greek) to indicate a spectral concentration. Spectral functions of
wavelength are indicated by "()" in parentheses instead, for example in spectral transmittance, reflectance and responsivity.
[11] Spectral quantities given per unit frequency are denoted with suffix ""(Greek)not to be confused with the suffix "v" (for "visual")
indicating a photometric quantity.
[12] NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center (http:/ / www. swpc. noaa. gov/ forecast_verification/ F10. html) includes a definition of the
[13] [13] Peterson, Bryan, "Understanding Exposure", 2004, ISBN 0-8174-6300-3 : p.14
[14] [14] Ray, S.F. et al. 2000 "The Manual of Photography" Focal Press, ISBN 0-240-51574-9, p.230
[15] [15] Ray, S.F. et al. 2000 "The Manual of Photography" Focal Press, ISBN 0-240-51574-9, p.121 and p.245
Exposure (photography)
External links
The Exposure Triangle (http:/ / www. digitalphotographygear. com/ the-exposure-triangle/ )
A large (1) and a small (2) aperture
Aperture mechanism of Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
lens, with 5 blades
In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light
travels. More specifically, the aperture of an optical system is the
opening that determines the cone angle of a bundle of rays that come to
a focus in the image plane. The aperture determines how collimated the
admitted rays are, which is of great importance for the appearance at
the image plane.
If an aperture is narrow, then highly collimated rays
are admitted, resulting in a sharp focus at the image plane. If an
aperture is wide, then uncollimated rays are admitted, resulting in a
sharp focus only for rays with a certain focal length. This means that a
wide aperture results in an image that is sharp around what the lens is
focusing on and blurred otherwise. The aperture also determines how
many of the incoming rays are actually admitted and thus how much
light reaches the image plane (the narrower the aperture, the darker the
image for a given exposure time).
An optical system typically has many openings, or structures that limit
the ray bundles (ray bundles are also known as pencils of light). These
structures may be the edge of a lens or mirror, or a ring or other fixture
that holds an optical element in place, or may be a special element such
as a diaphragm placed in the optical path to limit the light admitted by
the system. In general, these structures are called stops, and the
aperture stop is the stop that determines the ray cone angle, or
equivalently the brightness, at an image point.
In some contexts, especially in photography and astronomy, aperture
refers to the diameter of the aperture stop rather than the physical stop
or the opening itself. For example, in a telescope the aperture stop is
typically the edges of the objective lens or mirror (or of the mount that
holds it). One then speaks of a telescope as having, for example, a 100
centimeter aperture. Note
Definitions of Aperture in the 1707 Glossographia Anglicana
that the aperture stop is not necessarily the smallest stop
in the system. Magnification and demagnification by
lenses and other elements can cause a relatively large
stop to be the aperture stop for the system.
Sometimes stops and diaphragms are called apertures,
even when they are not the aperture stop of the system.
The word aperture is also used in other contexts to
indicate a system which blocks off light outside a certain
region. In astronomy for example, a photometric
aperture around a star usually corresponds to a circular
window around the image of a star within which the light
intensity is assumed.
The aperture stop is an important element in most optical designs. Its most obvious feature is that it limits the amount
of light that can reach the image/film plane. This can be either unavoidable, as in a telescope where one wants to
collect as much light as possible; or deliberate, to prevent saturation of a detector or overexposure of film. In both
cases, the size of the aperture stop is constrained by things other than the amount of light admitted; however:
The size of the stop is one factor that affects depth of field. Smaller stops (larger f numbers) produce a longer
depth of field, allowing objects at a wide range of distances to all be in focus at the same time.
The stop limits the effect of optical aberrations. If the stop is too large, the image will be distorted. More
sophisticated optical system designs can mitigate the effect of aberrations, allowing a larger stop and therefore
greater light collecting ability.
The stop determines whether the image will be vignetted. Larger stops can cause the intensity reaching the film or
detector to fall off toward the edges of the picture, especially when for off-axis points a different stop becomes the
aperture stop by virtue of cutting off more light than did the stop that was the aperture stop on the optic axis.
A larger aperture stop requires larger diameter optics, which are heavier and more expensive.
In addition to an aperture stop, a photographic lens may have one or more field stops, which limit the system's field
of view. When the field of view is limited by a field stop in the lens (rather than at the film or sensor) vignetting
results; this is only a problem if the resulting field of view is less than was desired.
The biological pupil of the eye is its aperture in optics nomenclature; the iris is the diaphragm that serves as the
aperture stop. Refraction in the cornea causes the effective aperture (the entrance pupil in optics parlance) to differ
slightly from the physical pupil diameter. The entrance pupil is typically about 4mm in diameter, although it can
range from 2mm (f/8.3) in a brightly lit place to 8mm (f/2.1) in the dark.
In astronomy, the diameter of the aperture stop (called the aperture) is a critical parameter in the design of a
telescope. Generally, one would want the aperture to be as large as possible, to collect the maximum amount of light
from the distant objects being imaged. The size of the aperture is limited, however, in practice by considerations of
cost and weight, as well as prevention of aberrations (as mentioned above).
Apertures are also used in laser energy control, focusing, diffractions/patterns, and beam cleaning. Laser applications
include spatial filters, Q-switching, high intensity x-ray control.
In light microscopy, the word aperture may be used with reference to either the condenser (changes angle of light
onto specimen field), field iris (changes area of illumination) or possibly objective lens (forms primary image). See
Optical microscope.
In photography
The aperture stop of a photographic lens can be adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or image
sensor. In combination with variation of shutter speed, the aperture size will regulate the film's or image sensor's
degree of exposure to light. Typically, a fast shutter will require a larger aperture to ensure sufficient light exposure,
and a slow shutter will require a smaller aperture to avoid excessive exposure.
Diagram of decreasing aperture sizes (increasing f-numbers) for "full stop" increments
(factor of two aperture area per stop)
A device called a diaphragm usually
serves as the aperture stop, and
controls the aperture. The diaphragm
functions much like the iris of the
eye it controls the effective diameter
of the lens opening. Reducing the
aperture size increases the depth of
field, which describes the extent to
which subject matter lying closer than
or farther from the actual plane of
focus appears to be in focus. In
general, the smaller the aperture (the larger the number), the greater the distance from the plane of focus the subject
matter may be while still appearing in focus.
The lens aperture is usually specified as an f-number, the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A lens
typically has a set of marked "f-stops" that the f-number can be set to. A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture
opening which allows more light to reach the film or image sensor. The photography term "one f-stop" refers to a
factor of 2 (approx. 1.41) change in f-number, which in turn corresponds to a factor of 2 change in light intensity.
Aperture priority is a semi-automatic shooting mode used in cameras. It allows the photographer to choose an
aperture setting and allow the camera to decide the shutter speed and sometimes ISO sensitivity for the correct
exposure. This is sometimes referred to as Aperture Priority Auto Exposure, A mode, Av mode (aperture-value
mode), or semi-auto mode.
Typical ranges of apertures used in photography are about f/2.8f/22 or f/2f/16,
covering 6 stops, which may be
divided into wide, middle, and narrow of 2 stops each, roughly (using round numbers) f/2f/4, f/4f/8, and f/8f/16
or (for a slower lens) f/2.8f/5.6, f/5.6f/11, and f/11f/22. These are not sharp divisions, and ranges for specific
lenses vary.
Maximum and minimum apertures
The specifications for a given lens typically include the maximum and minimum aperture sizes, for example,
f/1.4f/22. In this case f/1.4 is the maximum aperture (the widest opening), and f/22 is the minimum aperture (the
smallest opening). The maximum aperture opening tends to be of most interest, and is always included when
describing a lens. This value is also known as the lens "speed", because it affects the exposure time. The aperture is
proportional to the square root of the light admitted, and thus inversely proportional to the square root of required
exposure time, such that an aperture of f/2 allows for exposure times one quarter that of f/4.
The aperture range of a 50mm Minolta lens,
Lenses with apertures opening f/2.8 or wider are referred to as "fast"
lenses, although the specific point has changed over time (for example,
in the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica aperture openings wider than f/6
were considered fast). The fastest lenses in general production have
apertures of f/1.2 or f/1.4, with more at f/1.8 and f/2.0, and many at
f/2.8 or slower; f/1.0 is unusual, though sees some use.
In exceptional circumstances lenses can have even wider aperatures
with f-numbers smaller than 1.0; see lens speed: fast lenses for a
detailed list. For instance, in photography, both the current Leica
Noctilux-M 50mm ASPH and a 1960s-era Canon 50mm rangefinder
lens have a maximum aperture of f/0.95. Such lenses tend to be optically exotic and very expensive; at launch, in
September 2008, the Leica Noctilux retailed for $11,000.
Professional lenses for some movie cameras have
f-numbers as small as f/0.75. Stanley Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon has scenes shot with a NASA/Zeiss 50mm
the fastest lens in film history. Beyond the expense, these lenses have limited application due to the
correspondingly shallower depth of field the scene must either be shallow, shot from a distance, or will be
significantly defocused, though this may be a desired effect.
The theoretical maximum aperture of a lens made of glass (which has an index of refraction equal to 1.5) and
surrounded by air is f/0.5, but if a lens were made with a material with a higher index of refraction, e.g. diamond
(index of refraction 2.417) then the theoretical maximum f-number can be lower than 0.5.
[citation needed][8]
Zoom lenses typically have a maximum relative aperture (minimum f-number) of f/2.8 to f/6.3 through their range.
High-end lenses will have a constant aperture, such as f/2.8 or f/4, which means that the relative aperture will stay the
same throughout the zoom range. A more typical consumer zoom will have a variable maximum relative aperture,
since it is harder and more expensive to keep the maximum relative aperture proportional to focal length at long
focal lengths; f/3.5 to f/5.6 is an example of a common variable aperture range in a consumer zoom lens.
By contrast, the minimum aperture does not depend on the focal length it is limited by how narrowly the aperture
closes, not the lens design and is instead generally chosen based on practicality: very small apertures have lower
sharpness due to diffraction, while the added depth of field is not generally useful, and thus there is generally little
benefit in using such apertures. Accordingly, DSLR lens typically have minimum aperture of f/16, f/22, or f/32,
while large format may go down to f/64, as reflected in the name of Group f/64. Depth of field is a significant
concern in macro photography, however, and there one sees smaller apertures. For example, the Canon MP-E 65mm
can have effective aperture (due to magnification) as small as f/96. The pinhole optic for Lensbaby creative lenses
has an aperture of just f/177.
32 small aperture and slow shutter 5.6 large aperture and fast shutter
Aperture area
The amount of light captured by a lens is proportional to the area of the aperture, equal to:
Where f is focal length and N is the f-number.
The focal length value is not required when comparing two lenses of the same focal length; a value of 1 can be used
instead, and the other factors can be dropped as well, leaving area proportion to the reciprocal square of the f-number
If two cameras of different format sizes and focal lengths have the same angle of view, and the same aperture area,
they gather the same amount of light from the scene. In that case, the relative focal-plane illuminance, however,
would depend only on the f-number N, so it is less in the camera with the larger format, longer focal length, and
higher f-number. This assumes both lenses have identical transmissivity.
Aperture control
Most SLR cameras provide automatic aperture control, which allows viewing and metering at the lenss maximum
aperture, stops the lens down to the working aperture during exposure, and returns the lens to maximum aperture
after exposure.
The first SLR cameras with internal (through-the-lens or TTL) meters (e.g., the Pentax Spotmatic) required that
the lens be stopped down to the working aperture when taking a meter reading. With a small aperture, this darkened
the viewfinder, making viewing, focusing, and composition difficult.
Subsequent models soon incorporated
mechanical coupling between the lens and the camera body, indicating the working aperture to the camera while
allowing the lens to be at its maximum aperture for composition and focusing;
this feature became known as
automatic aperture control or automatic diaphragm control.
For some lenses, including a few long telephotos, lenses mounted on bellows, and perspective-control and tilt/shift
lenses, the mechanical linkage was impractical,
and automatic aperture control was not provided. Many such
lenses incorporated a feature known as a preset aperture,
which allows the lens to be set to working aperture
and then quickly switched between working aperture and full aperture without looking at the aperture control.
Typical operation might be to establish rough composition, set the working aperture for metering, return to full
aperture for a final check of focus and composition, and focusing, and finally, return to working aperture just before
exposure. Although slightly easier than stopped-down metering, operation is less convenient than automatic
operation. Preset aperture controls have taken several forms; the most common has been the use of essentially two
lens aperture rings, with one ring setting the aperture and the other serving as a limit stop when switching to working
aperture. Examples of lenses with this type of preset aperture control are the Nikon PC Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 and the
SMC Pentax Shift 67 75mm f/4.5. The Nikon PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D lens incorporates a mechanical
pushbutton that sets working aperture when pressed and restores full aperture when pressed a second time.
Canon EF lenses, introduced in 1987,
have electromagnetic diaphragms,
eliminating the need for a mechanical
linkage between the camera and the lens, and allowing automatic aperture control with the Canon TS-E tilt/shift
lenses. Nikon PC-E perspective-control lenses,
introduced in 2008, also have electromagnetic diaphragms.
Automatic aperture control is provided with the newer Nikon digital SLR cameras; with some earlier cameras, the
lenses offer preset aperture control by means of a pushbutton that controls the electromagnetic diaphragm.
Optimal aperture
Optimal aperture depends both on optics (the depth of the scene versus diffraction), and on the performance of the
Optically, as a lens is stopped down, the defocus blur at the Depth of Field (DOF) limits decreases but diffraction
blur increases. The presence of these two opposing factors implies a point at which the combined blur spot is
minimized (Gibson 1975, 64); at that point, the f-number is optimal for image sharpness, for this given depth of
a wider aperture (lower f-number) causes more defocus, while a narrower aperture (higher f-number)
causes more diffraction.
As a matter of performance, lenses often do not perform optimally when fully opened, and thus generally have better
sharpness when stopped down some note that this is sharpness in the plane of critical focus, setting aside issues of
depth of field. Beyond a certain point there is no further sharpness benefit to stopping down, and the diffraction
begins to become significant. There is accordingly a sweet spot, generally in the f/4 f/8 range, depending on
camera, where sharpness is optimal, though some lenses are designed to perform optimally when wide open. How
significant this is varies between lenses, and opinions differ on how much practical impact this has.
While optimal aperture can be determined mechanically, how much sharpness is required depends on how the image
will be used if the final image is viewed under normal conditions (e.g., an 810 image viewed at 10), it may
suffice to determine the f-number using criteria for minimum required sharpness, and there may be no practical
benefit from further reducing the size of the blur spot. But this may not be true if the final image is viewed under
more demanding conditions, e.g., a very large final image viewed at normal distance, or a portion of an image
enlarged to normal size (Hansma 1996). Hansma also suggests that the final-image size may not be known when a
photograph is taken, and obtaining the maximum practicable sharpness allows the decision to make a large final
image to be made at a later time; see also critical sharpness.
In scanning or sampling
The terms scanning aperture and sampling aperture are often used to refer to the opening through which an image is
sampled, or scanned, for example in a Drum scanner, an image sensor, or a television pickup apparatus. The
sampling aperture can be a literal optical aperture, that is, a small opening in space, or it can be a time-domain
aperture for sampling a signal waveform.
For example, film grain is quantified as graininess via a measurement of film density fluctuations as seen through a
0.048mm sampling aperture.
Gibson, H. Lou. 1975. Close-Up Photography and Photomacrography. 2nd combined ed. Kodak Publication No.
N-16. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak Company, VolII: Photomacrography. ISBN 0-87985-160-0
Hansma, Paul K. 1996. View Camera Focusing in Practice. Photo Techniques, March/April 1996, 5457.
Available as GIF images on the Large Format page
[1] Thomas Blount, Glossographia Anglicana Nova: Or, A Dictionary, Interpreting Such Hard Words of whatever Language, as are at present
used in the English Tongue, with their Etymologies, Definitions, &c. Also, The Terms of Divinity, Law, Physick, Mathematics, History,
Agriculture, Logick, Metaphysicks, Grammar, Poetry, Musick, Heraldry, Architecture, Painting, War, and all other Arts and Sciences are
herein explain'd, from the best Modern Authors, as, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Harris, Dr. Gregory, Mr. Lock, Mr. Evelyn, Mr. Dryden, Mr. Blunt,
&c., London, 1707.
[3] Nicholas Eaton, Peter W. Draper & Alasdair Allan, Techniques of aperture photometry (http:// www. starlink. rl. ac. uk/ star/ docs/ sun45.
htx/ node36.html) in PHOTOM -- A Photometry Package, 20th August 2002
[4] [4] (original link no longer works, but page was saved by
[5] What is... Aperture? (http:/ / www. photoxels. com/ tutorial_aperture. html)
[6] Gizmodo: "Leica's $11,000 Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 Lens Is a Nightvision Owl Eye For Your Camera", September 2008 (http:// gizmodo. com/
5048115/ leicas-11000-noctilux-50mm-f095-lens-is-a-nightvision-owl-eye-for-your-camera)
[7] Ed DiGiulio (President, Cinema Products Corporation). "Two Special Lenses for Barry Lyndon" (http:/ / www. visual-memory. co. uk/ sk/ ac/
len/ page1.htm)
[8] http:/ / com/ answers/ threadview?id=241629
[10] Sidney F. Ray. The geometry of image formation. In The Manual of Photography: Photographic and Digital Imaging, 9th ed, pp. 136137.
Ed. Ralph E. Jacobson, Sidney F. Ray, Geoffrey G. Atteridge, and Norman R. Axford. Oxford: Focal Press, 2000. ISBN 0-240-51574-9
[12] B. Moose Peterson. Nikon System Handbook. New York: Images Press, 1997, pp. 4243. ISBN 0-929667-03-4
[13] Canon Camera Museum (http:/ / www. canon. com/ camera-museum/ history/ canon_story/ f_index. html). Accessed 12 December 2008.
[14] EF Lens Work III: The Eyes of EOS. Tokyo: Canon Inc., 2003, pp. 190191.
[15] Nikon USA web site (http:/ / Find-Your-Nikon/ Camera-Lenses/ Manual/ Perspective-Control. page). Accessed 12
December 2008.
[16] Nikon PC-E product comparison brochure (http:/ / www. nikonusa. com/ Assets/ Common-Assets/ PDF/ PCLenses_Compare2008. pdf)
(PDF). Accessed 12 December 2008.
[17] http:/ / www. bobatkins. com/ photography/ technical/ diffraction. html
[18] http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/
This articleincorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911).
Encyclopdia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Shutter speed
Shutter speed can have a dramatic impact on the
appearance of moving objects. Changes in
background blurring are apparent from the need
to adjust the aperture size to achieve proper
The shutter speed dial of a
Nikkormat EL
In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time a
camera's shutter is open when taking a photograph.
The amount of
light that reaches the film or image sensor is proportional to the
exposure time.
The camera's shutter speed, the lens's brightness (f-number), and the
scene's luminance together determine the amount of light that reaches
the film or sensor (the exposure). Exposure value (EV) is a single
quantity that accounts for the shutter speed and the f-number.
Multiple combinations of shutter speed and f-number can give the
same exposure value. Doubling the exposure time doubles the amount
of light (subtracts 1 EV). Making the f-number one stop brighter
(reducing the f-number by a factor of ) also doubles the amount of
light. A shutter speed of 1/50 s with an f/4.0 lens gives the same
exposure value as a 1/100 s shutter with an f/2.8 lens, and also the
same exposure value as a 1/200 s shutter with an f/2.0 lens.
In addition to its effect on exposure, the shutter speed changes the way
movement appears in photographs. Very short shutter speeds can be
used to freeze fast-moving subjects, for example at sporting events.
Very long shutter speeds are used to intentionally blur a moving
subject for artistic effect.
Short exposure times are sometimes called
"fast", and long exposure times "slow".
Adjustment to the aperture controls the depth of field, the distance range over which objects are acceptably sharp;
such adjustments need to be compensated by changes in the shutter speed.
Shutter speed
Slow shutter speed combined with panning the
camera can achieve a motion blur for moving
In early days of photography, available shutter speeds were not
standardized, though a typical sequence might have been 1/10 s, 1/25 s,
1/50 s, 1/100 s, 1/200 s and 1/500 s. Following the adoption of a
standardized way of representing aperture so that each major step
exactly doubled or halved the amount of light entering the camera
(f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, etc.), a standardized 2:1 scale was
adopted for shutter speed so that opening one aperture stop and
reducing the shutter speed by one step resulted in the identical
exposure. The agreed standards for shutter speeds are:
1/1000 s
1/500 s
1/250 s
1/125 s
1/60 s
1/30 s
1/15 s
1/8 s
1/4 s
1/2 s
1 s
An extended exposure can also allow
photographers to catch brief flashes
of light, as seen here. Exposure time
15 seconds.
With this scale, each increment roughly doubles the amount of light (longer time)
or halves it (shorter time).
Camera shutters often include one or two other settings for making very long
B (for bulb) keeps the shutter open as long as the shutter release is held.
T (for time) keeps the shutter open until the shutter release is pressed again.
The ability of the photographer to take images without noticeable blurring by
camera movement is an important parameter in the choice of slowest possible
shutter speed for a handheld camera. The rough guide used by most 35 mm
photographers is that the slowest shutter speed that can be used easily without
much blur due to camera shake is the shutter speed numerically closest to the
lens focal length. For example, for handheld use of a 35mm camera with a
50mm normal lens, the closest shutter speed is 1/60 s. This rule can be
augmented with knowledge of the intended application for the photograph, an image intended for significant
enlargement and closeup viewing would require faster shutter speeds to avoid obvious blur. Through practice and
special techniques such as bracing the camera, arms, or body to minimize camera movement longer shutter speeds
can be used without blur. If a shutter speed is too slow for hand holding, a camera support, usually a tripod, must be
used. Image stabilization can often permit the use of shutter speeds 34 stops slower (exposures 816 times longer).
Shutter priority refers to a shooting mode used in semi-automatic cameras. It allows the photographer to choose a
shutter speed setting and allow the camera to decide the correct aperture. This is sometimes referred to as Shutter
Speed Priority Auto Exposure, or TV (time value) mode.
Shutter speed
Creative utility in photography
The photograph to the right was taken with a slower shutter speed than that to the left, creating a more pronounced
motion blur effect and longer streaks of light from vehicle headlights.
Sparklers moved in a circular motion with an
exposure time of 4 seconds. This is an example of
Light painting
Shutter speed is one of several methods used to control the amount of
light recorded by the camera's digital sensor or film. It is also used to
manipulate the visual effects of the final image beyond its luminosity.
Images taken with a lower shutter speed invoke a
visual sense of movement. Exposure time 3
Slower shutter speeds are often selected to suggest movement in a still
photograph of a moving subject.
Excessively fast shutter speeds can cause a moving subject to appear
unnaturally frozen. For instance, a running person may be caught with
both feet in the air with all indication of movement lost in the frozen
When a slower shutter speed is selected, a longer time passes from the
moment the shutter opens till the moment it closes. More time is
available for movement in the subject to be recorded by the camera.
A slightly slower shutter speed will allow the photographer to
introduce an element of blur, either in the subject, where, in our
example, the feet, which are the fastest moving element in the frame, might be blurred while the rest remains sharp;
or if the camera is panned to follow a moving subject, the background is blurred while the subject remains sharp.
The exact point at which the background or subject will start to blur depends on the rate at which the object is
moving, the angle that the object is moving in relation to the camera, the distance it is from the camera and the focal
length of the lens in relation to the size of the digital sensor or film.
Shutter speed
When slower shutter speeds, in excess of about half a second, are used on running water, the photo will have a
ghostly white appearance reminiscent of fog. This effect can be used in landscape photography.
Zoom burst is a technique which entails the variation of the focal length of a zoom lens during a longer exposure. In
the moment that the shutter is opened, the lens is zoomed in, changing the focal length during the exposure. The
center of the image remains sharp, while the details away from the center form a radial blur, which causes a strong
visual effect, forcing the eye into the center of the image.
The following list provides an overview of common photographic uses for standard shutter speeds.
1/16000 s: The fastest speed available in APS-H or APS-C format DSLR cameras (as of 2012). (Canon EOS 1D,
Nikon D1, Nikon 1 J2, D1X, and D1H)
1/12000 s: The fastest speed available in any 35 mm film SLR camera. (Minolta Maxxum 9xi, Maxxum 9(de)
1/8000 s: The fastest speed available in production SLR cameras (as of 2013), also the fastest speed available in
any full-frame DSLR or SLT camera (as of 2013). Used to take sharp photographs of very fast subjects, such as
birds or planes, under good lighting conditions, with an ISO speed of 1,000 or more and a large-aperture lens.
1/4000 s: The fastest speed available in consumer SLR cameras (as of 2009); also the fastest speed available in
any leaf shutter camera (such as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1) (as of 2013). Used to take sharp photographs of
fast subjects, such as athletes or vehicles, under good lighting conditions and with an ISO setting of up to 800.
1/2000 s and 1/1000 s: Used to take sharp photographs of moderately fast subjects under normal lighting
1/500 s and 1/250 s: Used to take sharp photographs of people in motion in everyday situations. 1/250s is the
fastest speed useful for panning; it also allows for a smaller aperture (up to f/11) in motion shots, and hence for a
greater depth of field.
1/125 s: This speed, and slower ones, are no longer useful for freezing motion. 1/125s is used to obtain greater
depth of field and overall sharpness in landscape photography, and is also often used for panning shots.
1/60 s: Used for panning shots, for images taken under dim lighting conditions, and for available light portraits.
1/30 s: Used for panning subjects moving slower than 30 miles per hour (48km/h) and for available-light
photography. Images taken at this and slower speeds normally require a tripod or an image stabilized lens/camera
to be sharp.
1/15 s and 1/8 s: This and slower speeds are useful for photographs other than panning shots where motion blur is
employed for deliberate effect, or for taking sharp photographs of immobile subjects under bad lighting
conditions with a tripod-supported camera.
1/4 s, 1/2 s and 1 s: Also mainly used for motion blur effects and/or low-light photography, but only practical
with a tripod-supported camera.
B (bulb) (1 minute to several hours): Used with a mechanically fixed camera in astrophotography and for certain
special effects.
exposure of the
rotating New
The Whirligig ride
during night at SFGAm
at an exposure time of
0.8 Seconds.
Light streaks outside Waterloo
Rail Station in London
Light streaks on Tottenham Ct.
Rd. in London
Shutter speed
Light streaks on Tottenham Ct.
Rd. in London of turning Taxis
More Light streaks of a bus in
Bus moving at high speed Slow shutters cannot be handled
by hand, a side rail is being used.
Bus in London
Cinematographic shutter formula
Motion picture cameras used in traditional film cinematography employ a mechanical rotating shutter. The shutter
rotation is synchronized with film being pulled through the gate, hence shutter speed is a function of the frame rate
and shutter angle.
Where E = shutter speed (reciprocal of exposure time in seconds), F = frames per second, and S = shutter angle:
, for E in reciprocal seconds
With a traditional shutter angle of 180, film is exposed for 1/48 second at 24 frame/s.
To avoid effect of light
interference when shooting under artificial lights or when shooting television screens and computer monitors, 1/50s
(172.8) or 1/60s (144) shutter is often used.
Electronic video cameras do not have mechanical shutters and allow setting shutter speed directly in time units.
Professional video cameras often allow selecting shutter speed in terms of shutter angle instead of time units,
especially those that are capable of overcranking or undercranking.
[3] [3] Doeffinger, 5
[4] [4] Doeffinger, 6
[5] Doeffinger, 712
[6] Doeffinger, 1217
[7] Doeffinger, 2022
[8] [8] Doeffinger, 24
[9] Doeffinger, 2630
[10] Doeffinger, 3240
[11] [11] Doeffinger, 41 et seq.
Doeffinger, Derek (2009). Creative Shutter Speed: Master Your Cameras Most Powerful Control. Wiley.
Film speed
Film speed
Film speed is the measure of a photographic film's sensitivity to light, determined by sensitometry and measured on
various numerical scales, the most recent being the ISO system. A closely related ISO system is used to measure the
sensitivity of digital imaging systems.
Relatively insensitive film, with a correspondingly lower speed index requires more exposure to light to produce the
same image density as a more sensitive film, and is thus commonly termed a slow film. Highly sensitive films are
correspondingly termed fast films. In both digital and film photography, the reduction of exposure corresponding to
use of higher sensitivities generally leads to reduced image quality (via coarser film grain or higher image noise of
other types). In short, the higher the sensitivity, the grainier the image will be.
Film speed measurement systems
Historical systems
The first known practical sensitometer, which allowed measurements of the speed of photographic materials, was
invented by the Polish engineer Leon Warnerke
- pseudonym of Wadysaw Maachowski (18371900) - in 1880,
among the achievements for which he was awarded the Progress Medal of the Photographic Society of Great Britain
in 1882.
It was commercialized since 1881.
The Warnerke Standard Sensitometer consisted of a frame holding an opaque screen with an array of typically 25
numbered, gradually pigmented squares brought into contact with the photographic plate during a timed test
exposure under a phosphorescent tablet excited before by the light of a burning Magnesium ribbon.
The speed of
the emulsion was then expressed in 'degrees' Warnerke (sometimes seen as Warn. or W.) corresponding with the
last number visible on the exposed plate after development and fixation. Each number represented an increase of 1/3
in speed, typical plate speeds were between 10 and 25 Warnerke at the time.
His system saw some success but proved to be unreliable
due to its spectral sensitivity to light, the fading intensity
of the light emitted by the phosphorescent tablet after its excitation as well as high built-tolerances.
The concept,
however, was later built upon in 1900 by Henry Chapman Jones (18551932) in the development of his plate tester
and modified speed system.
Hurter & Driffield
Another early practical system for measuring the sensitivity of an emulsion was that of Hurter and Driffield (H&D),
originally described in 1890, by the Swiss-born Ferdinand Hurter (18441898) and British Vero Charles Driffield
(18481915). In their system, speed numbers were inversely proportional to the exposure required. For example, an
emulsion rated at 250 H&D would require ten times the exposure of an emulsion rated at 2500 H&D.
The methods to determine the sensitivity were later modified in 1925 (in regard to the light source used) and in 1928
(regarding light source, developer and proportional factor)this later variant was sometimes called "H&D 10". The
H&D system was officially
accepted as a standard in the former Soviet Union from 1928 until September 1951,
when it was superseded by GOST 2817-50.
Film speed
The Scheinergrade (Sch.) system was devised by the German astronomer Julius Scheiner (18581913) in 1894
originally as a method of comparing the speeds of plates used for astronomical photography. Scheiner's system rated
the speed of a plate by the least exposure to produce a visible darkening upon development. Speed was expressed in
degrees Scheiner, originally ranging from 1 Sch. to 20 Sch., where an increment of 19 Sch. corresponded to a
hundredfold increase in sensitivity, which meant that an increment of 3 Sch. came close to a doubling of
The system was later extended to cover larger ranges and some of its practical shortcomings were addressed by the
Austrian scientist Josef Maria Eder (18551944)
and Flemish-born botanist Walter Hecht(de) (18961960), (who,
in 1919/1920, jointly developed their EderHecht neutral wedge sensitometer measuring emulsion speeds in
EderHecht grades). Still, it remained difficult for manufactures to reliably determine film speeds, often only by
comparing with competing products,
so that an increasing number of modified semi-Scheiner-based systems
started to spread, which no longer followed Scheiner's original procedures and thereby defeated the idea of
Scheiner's system was eventually abandoned in Germany, when the standardized DIN system was introduced in
1934. In various forms, it continued to be in widespread use in other countries for some time.
The DIN system, officially DIN standard 4512 by Deutsches Institut fr Normung (but still named Deutscher
Normenausschu (DNA) at this time), was published in January 1934. It grew out of drafts for a standardized
method of sensitometry put forward by Deutscher Normenausschu fr Phototechnik
as proposed by the
committee for sensitometry of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fr photographische Forschung
since 1930
presented by Robert Luther(de)
(18681945) and Emanuel Goldberg
(18811970) at the influential VIII.
International Congress of Photography (German: Internationaler Kongre fr wissenschaftliche und angewandte
Photographie) held in Dresden from August 3 to 8, 1931.
The DIN system was inspired by Scheiner's system,
but the sensitivities were represented as the base 10 logarithm
of the sensitivity multiplied by 10, similar to decibels. Thus an increase of 20 (and not 19) represented a
hundredfold increase in sensitivity, and a difference of 3 was much closer to the base 10 logarithm of 2
As in the Scheiner system, speeds were expressed in 'degrees'. Originally the sensitivity was written as a fraction
with 'tenths' (for example "18/10 DIN"),
where the resultant value 1.8 represented the relative base 10 logarithm
of the speed. 'Tenths' were later abandoned with DIN 4512:1957-11, and the example above would be written as
"18 DIN".
The degree symbol was finally dropped with DIN 4512:1961-10. This revision also saw significant
changes in the definition of film speeds in order to accommodate then-recent changes in the American ASA
PH2.5-1960 standard, so that film speeds of black-and-white negative film effectively would become doubled, that
is, a film previously marked as "18 DIN" would now be labeled as "21 DIN" without emulsion changes.
Originally only meant for black-and-white negative film, the system was later extended and regrouped into nine
parts, including DIN 4512-1:1971-04 for black-and-white negative film, DIN 4512-4:1977-06 for color reversal film
and DIN 4512-5:1977-10 for color negative film.
On an international level the German DIN 4512 system has been effectively superseded in the 1980s by ISO
ISO 2240:1982,
and ISO 5800:1979
where the same sensitivity is written in linear and logarithmic
form as "ISO 100/21" (now again with degree symbol). These ISO standards were subsequently adopted by DIN as
well. Finally, the latest DIN 4512 revisions were replaced by corresponding ISO standards, DIN 4512-1:1993-05 by
Film speed
DIN ISO 6:1996-02 in September 2000, DIN 4512-4:1985-08 by DIN ISO 2240:1998-06 and DIN 4512-5:1990-11
by DIN ISO 5800:1998-06 both in July 2002.
The film speed scale recommended by the British Standards Institution (BSI) was almost identical to the DIN system
except that the BS number was 10 degrees greater than the DIN number.
[citation needed]
Before the advent of the ASA system, the system of Weston film speed ratings was introduced by Edward Faraday
Weston (18781971) and his father Dr. Edward Weston (18501936), a British-born electrical engineer, industrialist
and founder of the US-based Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation,
with the Weston model 617, one of the
earliest photo-electric exposure meters, in August 1932. The meter and film rating system were invented by William
Nelson Goodwin, Jr.,
who worked for them
and later received a Howard N. Potts Medal for his
contributions to engineering.
The company tested and frequently published speed ratings for most films of the time. Weston film speed ratings
could since be found on most Weston exposure meters and were sometimes referred to by film manufactures and
in their exposure guidelines. Since manufactures were sometimes creative about film speeds, the
company went as far as to warn users about unauthorized uses of their film ratings in their "Weston film ratings"
The Weston Cadet (model 852 introduced in 1949), Direct Reading (model 853 introduced 1954) and Master III
(models 737 and S141.3 introduced in 1956) were the first in their line of exposure meters to switch and utilize the
meanwhile established ASA scale instead. Other models used the original Weston scale up until ca. 1955. The
company continued to publish Weston film ratings after 1955,
but while their recommended values often differed
slightly from the ASA film speeds found on film boxes, these newer Weston values were based on the ASA system
and had to be converted for use with older Weston meters by subtracting 1/3 exposure stop as per Weston's
Vice versa, "old" Weston film speed ratings could be converted into "new" Westons and the
ASA scale by adding the same amount, that is, a film rating of 100 Weston (up to 1955) corresponded with 125 ASA
(as per ASA PH2.5-1954 and before). This conversion was not necessary on Weston meters manufactured and
Weston film ratings published since 1956 due to their inherent use of the ASA system; however the changes of the
ASA PH2.5-1960 revision may be taken into account when comparing with newer ASA or ISO values.
General Electric
Prior to the establishment of the ASA scale
and similar to Weston film speed ratings another manufacturer of
photo-electric exposure meters, General Electric, developed its own rating system of so-called General Electric film
values (often abbreviated as G-E or GE) around 1937.
Film speed values for use with their meters were published in regularly updated General Electric Film Values
leaflets and in the General Electric Photo Data Book.
General Electric switched to use the ASA scale in 1946. Meters manufactured since February 1946 were equipped
with the ASA scale (labeled "Exposure Index") already. For some of the older meters with scales in "Film Speed" or
"Film Value" (e.g. models DW-48, DW-49 as well as early DW-58 and GW-68 variants), replaceable hoods with
ASA scales were available from the manufacturer.
The company continued to publish recommended film
values after that date, however, they were now aligned to the ASA scale.
Film speed
Based on earlier research work by Loyd Ancile Jones (18841954) of Kodak and inspired by the systems of Weston
film speed ratings
and General Electric film values,
the American Standards Association (now named ANSI)
defined a new method to determine and specify film speeds of black-and-white negative films in 1943. ASA
Z38.2.1-1943 was revised in 1946 and 1947 before the standard grew into ASA PH2.5-1954. Originally, ASA values
were frequently referred to as American standard speed numbers or ASA exposure-index numbers. (See also:
Exposure Index (EI).)
The ASA scale was arithmetic, that is, a film denoted as having a film speed of 200 ASA was twice as fast as a film
with 100 ASA.
The ASA standard underwent a major revision in 1960 with ASA PH2.5-1960, when the method to determine film
speed was refined and previously applied safety factors against under-exposure were abandoned, effectively
doubling the nominal speed of many black-and-white negative films. For example, an Ilford HP3 that has been rated
at 200 ASA before 1960 was labeled 400 ASA afterwards without any change to the emulsion. Similar changes were
applied to the DIN system with DIN 4512:1961-10 and the BS system with BS 1380:1963 in the following years.
In addition to the established arithmetic speed scale, ASA PH2.5-1960 also introduced logarithmic ASA grades (100
ASA = 5 ASA), where a difference of 1 ASA represented a full exposure stop and therefore the doubling of a film
speed. For some while, ASA grades were also printed on film boxes, and they saw life in the form of the APEX
speed value S
(without degree symbol) as well.
ASA PH2.5-1960 was revised as ANSI PH2.5-1979, without the logarithmic speeds, and later replaced by NAPM
IT2.5-1986 of the National Association of Photographic Manufacturers, which represented the US adoption of the
international standard ISO6. The latest issue of ANSI/NAPM IT2.5 was published in 1993.
The standard for color negative film was introduced as ASA PH2.27-1965 and saw a string of revisions in 1971,
1976, 1979 and 1981, before it finally became ANSI IT2.27-1988 prior to its withdrawal.
Color reversal film speeds were defined in ANSI PH2.21-1983, which was revised in 1989 before it became
ANSI/NAPM IT2.21 in 1994, the US adoption of the ISO2240 standard.
On an international level, the ASA system was superseded by the ISO film speed system between 1982 and 1987,
however, the arithmetic ASA speed scale continued to live on as the linear speed value of the ISO system.
GOST (Cyrillic: ) was an arithmetic film speed scale defined in GOST 2817-45 and GOST 2817-50.
was used in the former Soviet Union since October 1951,
[citation needed]
replacing Hurter & Driffield (H&D, Cyrillic:
) numbers,
which had been used since 1928.
[citation needed]
GOST 2817-50 was similar to the ASA standard, having been based on a speed point at a density 0.2 above base plus
fog, as opposed to the ASA's 0.1.
GOST markings are only found on pre-1987 photographic equipment (film,
cameras, lightmeters, etc.) of Soviet Union manufacture.
On 1 January 1987, the GOST scale was realigned to the ISO scale with GOST 10691-84,
This evolved into multiple parts including GOST 10691.6-88
and GOST 10691.5-88,
which both became
functional on 1 January 1991.
Film speed
12. Digital camera manufacturers' arithmetic speeds from 12800 to 204800 are from specifications by Nikon
(12800, 25600, 51200 and 102400 in 2009,
and 204800 in 2012
), Canon (12800, 25600, 51200 and 102400
in 2009,
and 204800 in 2011
), Sony (12800 in 2009,
25600 in 2010
), Pentax (12800, 25600, 51200
in 2010
) and Fujifilm (12800 in 2011
Determining film speed
ISO 6:1993 method of determining speed for black-and-white film.
Film speed is found from a plot of
optical density vs. log of exposure for
the film, known as the Dlog H curve
or HurterDriffield curve. There
typically are five regions in the curve:
the base + fog, the toe, the linear
region, the shoulder, and the
overexposed region. For
black-and-white negative film, the
speed point m is the point on the
curve where density exceeds the base +
fog density by 0.1 when the negative is
developed so that a point n where the
log of exposure is 1.3 units greater
than the exposure at point m has a
density 0.8 greater than the density at
point m. The exposure H
, in lux-s, is that for point m when the specified contrast condition is satisfied. The ISO
arithmetic speed is determined from:
This value is then rounded to the nearest standard speed in Table1 of ISO 6:1993.
Determining speed for color negative film is similar in concept but more complex because it involves separate curves
for blue, green, and red. The film is processed according to the film manufacturers recommendations rather than to a
specified contrast. ISO speed for color reversal film is determined from the middle rather than the threshold of the
curve; it again involves separate curves for blue, green, and red, and the film is processed according to the film
manufacturers recommendations.
Applying film speed
Film speed is used in the exposure equations to find the appropriate exposure parameters. Four variables are
available to the photographer to obtain the desired effect: lighting, film speed, f-number (aperture size), and shutter
speed (exposure time). The equation may be expressed as ratios, or, by taking the logarithm (base 2) of both sides,
by addition, using the APEX system, in which every increment of 1 is a doubling of exposure; this increment is
commonly known as a "stop". The effective f-number is proportional to the ratio between the lens focal length and
aperture diameter, the diameter itself being proportional to the square root of the aperture area. Thus, a lens set to
f/1.4 allows twice as much light to strike the focal plane as a lens set to f/2. Therefore, each f-number factor of the
square root of two (approximately 1.4) is also a stop, so lenses are typically marked in that progression: f/1.4, 2, 2.8,
4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, etc.
The ISO arithmetic speed has a useful property for photographers without the equipment for taking a metered light
reading. Correct exposure will usually be achieved for a frontlighted scene in bright sun if the aperture of the lens is
Film speed
set to f/16 and the shutter speed is the reciprocal of the ISO film speed (e.g. 1/100 second for 100 ISO film). This
known as the sunny 16 rule.
Exposure index
Exposure index, or EI, refers to speed rating assigned to a particular film and shooting situation in variance to the
film's actual speed. It is used to compensate for equipment calibration inaccuracies or process variables, or to achieve
certain effects. The exposure index may simply be called the speed setting, as compared to the speed rating.
For example, a photographer may rate an ISO 400 film at EI 800 and then use push processing to obtain printable
negatives in low-light conditions. The film has been exposed at EI 800.
Another example occurs where a camera's shutter is miscalibrated and consistently overexposes or underexposes the
film; similarly, a light meter may be inaccurate. One may adjust the EI rating accordingly in order to compensate for
these defects and consistently produce correctly exposed negatives.
[citation needed]
Upon exposure, the amount of light energy that reaches the film determines the effect upon the emulsion. If the
brightness of the light is multiplied by a factor and the exposure of the film decreased by the same factor by varying
the camera's shutter speed and aperture, so that the energy received is the same, the film will be developed to the
same density. This rule is called reciprocity. The systems for determining the sensitivity for an emulsion are possible
because reciprocity holds. In practice, reciprocity works reasonably well for normal photographic films for the range
of exposures between 1/1000second to 1/2second. However, this relationship breaks down outside these limits, a
phenomenon known as reciprocity failure.
Film sensitivity and grain
Grainy high speed B/W film negative
The size of silver halide grains in the emulsion affects film sensitivity;
which is related to granularity because larger grains give film greater
sensitivity to light. Fine-grain film, such as film designed for
portraiture or copying original camera negatives, is relatively
insensitive, or "slow", because it requires brighter light or a longer
exposure than a "fast" film. Fast films, used for photographing in low
light or capturing high-speed motion, produce comparatively grainy
Kodak has defined a "Print Grain Index" (PGI) to characterize film
grain (color negative films only), based on perceptual just-noticeable
difference of graininess in prints. They also define "granularity", a
measurement of grain using an RMS measurement of density
fluctuations in uniformly exposed film, measured with a
microdensitometer with 48 micrometre aperture.
Granularity varies with exposure underexposed film looks
grainier than overexposed film.
Film speed
Marketing anomalies
Some high-speed black-and-white films, such as Ilford Delta3200 and Kodak T-MAXP3200, are marketed with
film speeds in excess of their true ISO speed as determined using the ISO testing method. For example, the Ilford
product is actually an ISO 1000 film, according to its data sheet. The manufacturers do not indicate that the 3200
number is an ISO rating on their packaging.
Kodak and Fuji also marketed E6 films designed for pushing (hence
the "P" prefix), such as Ektachrome P800/1600 and Fujichrome P1600, both with a base speed of ISO 400.
Digital camera ISO speed and exposure index
A CCD image sensor, 2/3 inch size
In digital camera systems, an arbitrary
relationship between exposure and sensor
data values can be achieved by setting the
signal gain of the sensor. The relationship
between the sensor data values and the
lightness of the finished image is also
arbitrary, depending on the parameters
chosen for the interpretation of the sensor
data into an image color space such as
For digital photo cameras ("digital still
cameras"), an exposure index (EI)
ratingcommonly called ISO settingis
specified by the manufacturer such that the
sRGB image files produced by the camera
will have a lightness similar to what would
be obtained with film of the same EI rating at the same exposure. The usual design is that the camera's parameters
for interpreting the sensor data values into sRGB values are fixed, and a number of different EI choices are
accommodated by varying the sensor's signal gain in the analog realm, prior to conversion to digital. Some camera
designs provide at least some EI choices by adjusting the sensor's signal gain in the digital realm. A few camera
designs also provide EI adjustment through a choice of lightness parameters for the interpretation of sensor data
values into sRGB; this variation allows different tradeoffs between the range of highlights that can be captured and
the amount of noise introduced into the shadow areas of the photo.
Digital cameras have far surpassed film in terms of sensitivity to light, with ISO equivalent speeds of up to 204800, a
number that is unfathomable in the realm of conventional film photography. Faster processors, as well as advances in
software noise reduction techniques allow this type of processing to be executed the moment the photo is captured,
allowing photographers to store images that have a higher level of refinement and would have been prohibitively
time consuming to process with earlier generations of digital camera hardware.
The ISO 12232:2006 standard
The ISO standard ISO 12232:2006
gives digital still camera manufacturers a choice of five different techniques
for determining the exposure index rating at each sensitivity setting provided by a particular camera model. Three of
the techniques in ISO 12232:2006 are carried over from the 1998 version of the standard, while two new techniques
allowing for measurement of JPEG output files are introduced from CIPA DC-004.
Depending on the technique
selected, the exposure index rating can depend on the sensor sensitivity, the sensor noise, and the appearance of the
resulting image. The standard specifies the measurement of light sensitivity of the entire digital camera system and
not of individual components such as digital sensors, although Kodak has reported
using a variation to
Film speed
characterize the sensitivity of two of their sensors in 2001.
The Recommended Exposure Index (REI) technique, new in the 2006 version of the standard, allows the
manufacturer to specify a camera models EI choices arbitrarily. The choices are based solely on the manufacturers
opinion of what EI values produce well-exposed sRGB images at the various sensor sensitivity settings. This is the
only technique available under the standard for output formats that are not in the sRGB color space. This is also the
only technique available under the standard when multi-zone metering (also called pattern metering) is used.
The Standard Output Sensitivity (SOS) technique, also new in the 2006 version of the standard, effectively specifies
that the average level in the sRGB image must be 18% gray plus or minus 1/3 stop when the exposure is controlled
by an automatic exposure control system calibrated per ISO 2721 and set to the EI with no exposure compensation.
Because the output level is measured in the sRGB output from the camera, it is only applicable to sRGB
imagestypically JPEGand not to output files in raw image format. It is not applicable when multi-zone metering
is used.
The CIPA DC-004 standard requires that Japanese manufacturers of digital still cameras use either the REI or SOS
techniques, and DC-008
updates the Exif specification to differentiate between these values. Consequently, the
three EI techniques carried over from ISO 12232:1998 are not widely used in recent camera models (approximately
2007 and later). As those earlier techniques did not allow for measurement from images produced with lossy
compression, they cannot be used at all on cameras that produce images only in JPEG format.
The saturation-based technique is closely related to the SOS technique, with the sRGB output level being measured
at 100% white rather than 18% gray. The saturation-based value is effectively 0.704 times the SOS value.
Because the output level is measured in the sRGB output from the camera, it is only applicable to sRGB
imagestypically TIFFand not to output files in raw image format. It is not applicable when multi-zone metering
is used.
The two noise-based techniques have rarely been used for consumer digital still cameras. These techniques specify
the highest EI that can be used while still providing either an excellent picture or a usable picture depending on
the technique chosen.
Measurements and calculations
ISO speed ratings of a digital camera are based on the properties of the sensor and the image processing done in the
camera, and are expressed in terms of the luminous exposure H (in lux seconds) arriving at the sensor. For a typical
camera lens with an effective focal length f that is much smaller than the distance between the camera and the
photographed scene, H is given by
where L is the luminance of the scene (in candela per m), t is the exposure time (in seconds), N is the aperture
f-number, and
is a factor depending on the transmittance T of the lens, the vignetting factor v(), and the angle relative to the axis
of the lens. A typical value is q=0.65, based on =10, T=0.9, and v=0.98.
Film speed
Saturation-based speed
The saturation-based speed is defined as
where is the maximum possible exposure that does not lead to a clipped or bloomed camera output. Typically,
the lower limit of the saturation speed is determined by the sensor itself, but with the gain of the amplifier between
the sensor and the analog-to-digital converter, the saturation speed can be increased. The factor 78 is chosen such
that exposure settings based on a standard light meter and an 18-percent reflective surface will result in an image
with a grey level of 18%/2 = 12.7% of saturation. The factor 2 indicates that there is half a stop of headroom to
deal with specular reflections that would appear brighter than a 100% reflecting white surface.
Noise-based speed
Digital noise at 3200 ISO vs. 100 ISO
The noise-based speed is defined as the exposure that will lead to a
given signal-to-noise ratio on individual pixels. Two ratios are used,
the 40:1 ("excellent image quality") and the 10:1 ("acceptable image
quality") ratio. These ratios have been subjectively determined based
on a resolution of 70 pixels per cm (180 DPI) when viewed at 25cm
(10inch) distance. The signal-to-noise ratio is defined as the standard
deviation of a weighted average of the luminance and color of
individual pixels. The noise-based speed is mostly determined by the
properties of the sensor and somewhat affected by the noise in the
electronic gain and AD converter.
Standard output sensitivity (SOS)
In addition to the above speed ratings, the standard also defines the standard output sensitivity (SOS), how the
exposure is related to the digital pixel values in the output image. It is defined as
where is the exposure that will lead to values of 118 in 8-bit pixels, which is 18 percent of the saturation value
in images encoded as sRGB or with gamma=2.2.
The standard specifies how speed ratings should be reported by the camera. If the noise-based speed (40:1) is higher
than the saturation-based speed, the noise-based speed should be reported, rounded downwards to a standard value
(e.g. 200, 250, 320, or 400). The rationale is that exposure according to the lower saturation-based speed would not
result in a visibly better image. In addition, an exposure latitude can be specified, ranging from the saturation-based
speed to the 10:1 noise-based speed. If the noise-based speed (40:1) is lower than the saturation-based speed, or
undefined because of high noise, the saturation-based speed is specified, rounded upwards to a standard value,
because using the noise-based speed would lead to overexposed images. The camera may also report the SOS-based
speed (explicitly as being an SOS speed), rounded to the nearest standard speed rating.
For example, a camera sensor may have the following properties: , , and
. According to the standard, the camera should report its sensitivity as
ISO 100 (daylight)
ISO speed latitude 501600
ISO 100 (SOS, daylight).
Film speed
The SOS rating could be user controlled. For a different camera with a noisier sensor, the properties might be
, , and . In this case, the camera should report
ISO 200 (daylight),
as well as a user-adjustable SOS value. In all cases, the camera should indicate for the white balance setting for
which the speed rating applies, such as daylight or tungsten (incandescent light).
Despite these detailed standard definitions, cameras typically do not clearly indicate whether the user "ISO" setting
refers to the noise-based speed, saturation-based speed, or the specified output sensitivity, or even some made-up
number for marketing purposes. Because the 1998 version of ISO 12232 did not permit measurement of camera
output that had lossy compression, it was not possible to correctly apply any of those measurements to cameras that
did not produce sRGB files in an uncompressed format such as TIFF. Following the publication of CIPA DC-004 in
2006, Japanese manufacturers of digital still cameras are required to specify whether a sensitivity rating is REI or
[citation needed]
As should be clear from the above, a greater SOS setting for a given sensor comes with some loss of image quality,
just like with analog film. However, this loss is visible as image noise rather than grain. Current (January 2010) APS
and 35mm sized digital image sensors, both CMOS and CCD based, do not produce significant noise until about ISO
[citation needed]
[1] DIN 4512:1934-01. Photographische Sensitometrie, Bestimmung der optischen Dichte. Deutscher Normenausschu (DNA), 1934: In the
introduction to the standard, Warnerke's system is described as the first practical system used to measure emulsion speeds, but as being
unreliable. In regard to Scheiner's system, it states: Auch hier erwies sich nach einiger Zeit, da das Meverfahren trotz der von Eder
vorgenommenen Abnderungen den Anforderungen der Praxis nicht vollstndig Rechnung zu tragen vermag, so da jeder Hersteller [] nach
seinem eigenen System die Empfindlichkeit in Scheinergraden ermitteln mu, hufig in sehr primitiver Weise durch [] Vergleich mit
Erzeugnissen anderer Hersteller. Die so ermittelten Gebrauchs-Scheinergrade haben mit dem ursprnglich [] ausgearbeiteten Meverfahren
nach Scheiner sachlich nichts mehr zu tun. [] Als Folge hiervon ist allmhlich eine Inflation in Empfindlichkeitsgraden eingetreten, fr die
das Scheiner'sche Verfahren nichts mehr als den Namen hergibt.
[2] Royal Photographic Society. Progress medal. Web-page listing people, who have received this award since 1878 ( (http:/ / www. rps. org/
annual-awards/ Progress-medal)): Instituted in 1878, this medal is awarded in recognition of any invention, research, publication or other
contribution which has resulted in an important advance in the scientific or technological development of photography or imaging in the
widest sense. This award also carries with it an Honorary Fellowship of The Society. [] 1882 Leon Warnerke [] 1884 J M Eder [] 1898
Ferdinand Hurter and Vero C Driffield [] 1910 Alfred Watkins [] 1912 H Chapman Jones [] 1948 Loyd A Jones []
[3] Berhard Edward Jones (editor). Cassell's cyclopaedia of photography, Cassell, London, 1911 ( (http:/ / www. archive. org/ details/
cu31924030707867)). Reprinted as Encyclopaedia of photography - With a New Picture Portfolio and introduction by Peter C. Bunnell and
Robert A. Sobieszek. Arno Press Inc., New York 1974, ISBN 0-405-04922-6, pp.472473: Soon after the introduction of the gelatine dry
plate, it was usual to express the speed of the emulsion as "x times," which meant that it was x times the speed of a wet collodion plate. This
speed was no fixed quantity, and the expression consequently meant but little. Warnerke introduced a sensitometer, consisting of a series of
numbered squares with increasing quantities of opaque pigment. The plate to be tested was placed in contact with this, and an exposure made
to light emanating from a tablet of luminous paint, excited by burning magnesium ribbon. After development and fixation the last number
visible was taken as the speed of the plate. The chief objections to this method were that practically no two numbered tablets agreed, that the
pigment possessed selective spectral absorption, and that the luminosity of the tablet varied considerably with the lapse of time between its
excitation and the exposure of the plate. [] Chapman Jones has introduced a modified Warnerke tablet containing a series of twenty-five
graduated densities, a series of coloured squares, and a strip of neutral grey, all five being of approximately equal luminosity, and a series of
four squares passing a definite portion of the spectrum; finally, there is a square of a line design, over which is superposed a half-tone
negative. This plate tester, [] is used with a standard candle as the source of light, and is useful for rough tests of both plates and printing
[4] Paul Nooncree Hasluck (1905). The Book of Photography: Practical, Theoretical and Applied. ( (http:/ / www. archive. org/ details/
bookofphotograph00hasl)): THE CHAPMAN JONES PLATE TESTER. A convenient means of testing the colour rendering and other
properties of a sensitive plate, or for ascertaining the effect of various colour screens, is afforded by the plate tester devised by Mr. Chapman
Jones in 1900. This consists of a number of graduated squares by which the sensitiveness and range of gradation of the plate examined may be
determined; a series of squares of different colours and mixtures of colours of equal visual intensity, which will indicate the colour
sensitiveness; and a strip of uncoloured space for comparison purposes. It is simply necessary to expose the plate being tested, in contact with
the screen, to the light of a standard candle. A suitable frame and stand are supplied for the purpose; any other light may, however, be used if
desired. The plate is then developed, when an examination of the negative will yield the desired information. The idea of the coloured squares
Film speed
is based on that of the Abney Colour Sensitometer, where three or four squares of coloured and one of uncoloured glass are brought to an
equal visual intensity by backing where necessary with squares of exposed celluloid film developed to suitable density.
[5] Martin Riat. Graphische Techniken - Eine Einfhrung in die verschiedenen Techniken und ihre Geschichte. E-Book, 3. German edition,
Burriana, spring 2006 ( (http:/ / www. g_tech_3. pdf)), based on a Spanish book: Martin Riat. Tecniques Grafiques: Una
Introduccio a Les Diferents Tecniques I a La Seva Historia. 1. edition, Aubert, September 1983, ISBN 84-86243-00-9.
[6] Samuel Edward Sheppard. Resum of the Proceedings of the Dresden International Photographic Congress. In: Sylvan Harris (editor).
Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. Volume XVIII, Number 2 (February 1932), pp.232-242 ( (http:/ / www. archive. org/
details/ journalofsociety18socirich)): [] The 8th International Congress of Photography was held at Dresden, Germany, from August 3 to 8,
1931, inclusive. [] In regard to sensitometric standardization, several important developments occurred. First, the other national committees
on sensitometric standardization accepted the light source and filter proposed by the American Committee at Paris, 1925, and accepted by the
British in 1928. In the meantime, no definite agreement had been reached, nor indeed had very definite proposals been made on the subjects of
sensitometers or exposure meters, development, density measurement, and methods of expressing sensitometric results, although much
discussion and controversy on this subject had taken place. At the present Congress, a body of recommendations for sensitometric standards
was put forward by the Deutschen Normenausschusses fur Phototechnik, which endeavored to cover the latter questions and bring the subject
of sensitometric standardization into the industrial field. It was stated by the German committee that this action had been forced on them by
difficulties arising from indiscriminate and uncontrolled placing of speed numbers on photographic sensitive goods, a situation which was
summarized at the Congress by the term Scheiner-inflation. The gist of these recommendations was as follows: (a) Acceptance of the light
source and daylight filter as proposed by the American commission. (b) As exposure meter, a density step-wedge combined with a drop
shutter accurate to 1/20 second. (c) Brush development in a tray with a prescribed solution of metol-hydroquinone according to a so-called
optimal development. (d) Expression of the sensitivity by that illumination at which a density of 0.1 in excess of fog is reached. (e) Density
measurement shall be carried out in diffused light according to details to be discussed later. These proposals aroused a very lively discussion.
The American and the British delegations criticized the proposals both as a whole and in detail. As a whole they considered that the time was
not ripe for application of sensitometric standards to industrial usage. In matters of detail they criticized the proposed employment of a
step-wedge, and the particular sensitivity number proposed. The latter approaches very roughly the idea of an exposure for minimum gradient,
but even such a number is not adequate for certain photographic uses of certain materials. The upshot of the discussion was that the German
proposals in somewhat modified form are to be submitted simply as proposals of the German committee for sensitometric standardization to
the various national committees for definite expression of opinion within six months of the expiration of the Congress. Further, in case of
general approval of these recommendations by the other national committees, that a small International Committee on Sensitometric
Standardization shall, within a further period of six months, work out a body of sensitometric practices for commercial usage. In this
connection it should be noted that it was agreed that both the lamps and filters and exposure meters should be certified as within certain
tolerances by the national testing laboratories of the countries in question. []
[7] Martin Biltz. ber DIN-Grade, das neue deutsche Ma der photographischen Empfindlichkeit. In: Naturwissenschaften, Volume 21, Number
41, 1933, pp.734-736, Springer, : [] Im folgenden soll an Hand der seither gebruchlichen sensitometrischen Systeme nach Scheiner [],
nach Hurter und Driffield [] und nach Eder und [] kurz gezeigt werden, wie man bisher verfahren ist. Im Anschlusse daran wird das neue
vom Deutschen Normenausschusse fr Phototechnik auf Empfehlung des Ausschusses fr Sensitometrie der Deutschen Gesellschaft fr
photographische Forschung vorgeschlagene System [] betrachtet werden. [].
[8] E. Heisenberg. Mitteilungen aus verschiedenen Gebieten Bericht ber die Grndung und erste Tagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft fr
photographische Forschung (23. bis 25. Mai 1930). In: Naturwissenschaften, Volume 18, Number 52, 1930, pp.1130-1131, Springer, : []
Weitere 3 Vortrge von Prof. Dr. R. Luther, Dresden, Prof. Dr. Lehmann, Berlin, Prof. Dr. Pirani, Berlin, behandelten die Normung der
sensitometrischen Methoden. Zu normen sind: die Lichtquelle, die Art der Belichtung (zeitliche oder Intensittsabstufung), die Entwicklung,
die Auswertung. Auf den Internationalen Kongressen in Paris 1925 und London 1928 sind diese Fragen schon eingehend behandelt und in
einzelnen Punkten genaue Vorschlge gemacht worden. Die Farbtemperatur der Lichtquelle soll 2360 betragen. Vor dieselbe soll ein
Tageslichtfilter, welches vom Bureau of Standards ausgearbeitet worden ist, geschaltet werden. Herr Luther hat an der Filterflssigkeit durch
eigene Versuche gewisse Verbesserungen erzielt. Schwierigkeiten bereitet die Konstanthaltung der Farbtemperatur bei Nitralampen. Herr
Pirani schlug deshalb in seinem Vortrag die Verwendung von Glimmlampen vor, deren Farbe von der Stromstrke weitgehend unabhngig ist.
In der Frage: Zeit- oder Intensittsskala befrworten die Herren Luther und Lehmann die Intensittsskala. Herr Lehmann behandelte einige
Fragen, die mit der Herstellung der Intensittsskala zusammenhngen. Ausfhrlicher wurde noch die Auswertung (zahlenmige Angabe der
Empfindlichkeit und Gradation) besprochen, die eine der wichtigsten Fragen der Sensitometrie darstellt. In der Diskussion wurde betont, da
es zunchst nicht so sehr auf eine wissenschaftlich erschpfende Auswertung ankomme als darauf, da die Empfindlichkeit der Materialien in
mglichst einfacher, aber eindeutiger und fr den Praktiker ausreichender Weise charakterisiert wird. [].
[9] Waltraud Voss. Robert Luther der erste Ordinarius fr Wissenschaftliche Photographie in Deutschland - Zur Geschichte der
Naturwissenschaften an der TU Dresden (12). In: Dresdner UniversittsJournal, 13. Jahrgang, Nr.5, p.7, 12 March 2002, ( (http:/ /
tu-dresden. de/ die_tu_dresden/ verwaltung/ dezernat_5/ sachgebiet_5_7/ uj/ bilder/ pdf2002/ UJ05-02. pdf)): [] war Mitglied des Komitees
zur Veranstaltung internationaler Kongresse fr wissenschaftliche und angewandte Photographie; die Kongresse 1909 und 1931 in Dresden
hat er wesentlich mit vorbereitet. 1930 gehrte er zu den Mitbegrndern der Deutschen Gesellschaft fr Photographische Forschung. Er
grndete und leitete den Ausschuss fr Sensitometrie der Gesellschaft, aus dessen Ttigkeit u.a. das DIN-Verfahren zur Bestimmung der
Empfindlichkeit photographischer Materialien hervorging. []
[10] Michael Keeble Buckland. The Kinamo movie camera, Emanuel Goldberg and Joris Ivens. Preprint of Film History 20, No. 1 (2008),
pp.49-58 ( (http:/ / people. ischool. berkeley. edu/ ~buckland/ kinamo08. pdf)): Ivens returned to Dresden in August 1931 to attend the VIII
Film speed
International Congress of Photography, organised by Goldberg; , head of research at the Agfa plant in Wolfen, near Leipzig; and , the
founding Director of the Institute for Scientific Photography at the Technical University in Dresden and Goldberg's dissertation advisor. The
proceedings were heavily technical and dominated by discussion of the measurement of film speeds. The Congress was noteworthy because a
film speed standard proposed by Goldberg and Luther was approved and, in Germany, became DIN 4512, [].
[11] John Eggert, Arpad von Biehler (editors). Bericht ber den VIII. Internationalen Kongre fr wissenschaftliche und angewandte
Photographie Dresden 1931. J. A. Barth-Verlag, Leipzig, 1932.
[14] Charles J. Mulhern. Letter to John D. de Vries. 15th June 1990, ( Copyscript on John D. de Vries' web-site (http:/ / www. johndesq. com/
westonmaster/ edward.htm)): In 1931, Edward Faraday Weston applied for a U.S patent on the first Weston Exposure meter, which was
granted patent No. 2016469 (http:/ / patents/ about?id=ncNPAAAAEBAJ) on October 8, 1935, also an improved version
was applied for and granted U.S patent No. 2042665 (http:/ / patft. uspto. gov/ netacgi/ nph-Parser?patentnumber=2042665) on July 7th 1936.
From 1932 to around 1967, over 36 varieties of Weston Photographic Exposure Meters were produced in large quantities and sold throughout
the world, mostly by Photographic dealers or agents, which also included the Weston film speed ratings, as there were no ASA or DIN data
available at that time.
[15] William Nelson Goodwin, Jr. Weston emulsion speed ratings: What they are and how they are determined. American Photographer, August
1938, 4 pages.
[16] Everett Roseborough. The Contributions of Edward W. Weston and his company. In: Photographic Canadiana, Volume 22, Issue 3, 1996, (
(http:/ / www.phsc. ca/ excerpt22.html)).
[17] Martin Tipper. Weston The company and the man (http:/ / www. westonmeter. org. uk/ thecompany. htm). In:,
a web-page on Weston exposure meters: [] the Weston method of measuring film speeds. While it had some shortcomings it had the
advantage of being based on a method which gave practical speeds for actual use and it was independent of any film manufacturer. Previous
speed systems such as the H&D and early Scheiner speeds were both threshold speeds and capable of considerable manipulation by
manufacturers. Weston's method measured the speed well up on the curve making it more nearly what one would get in actual practice. (This
means that he was a bit less optimistic about film sensitivity than the manufacturers of the day who were notorious for pretending their films
were more sensitive than they really were.) A certain Mr. W. N. Goodwin of Weston is usually credited with this system.
[18] Harold M. Hefley. A method of calculating exposures for photomicrographs. In: Arkansas Academy of Science Journal, Issue 4, 1951,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, USA, ( (http:/ / libinfo. uark. edu/ aas/ issues/ 1951v4/ v4a28. pdf)), research paper on an exposure
system for micro-photography based on a variation of Weston film speed ratings.
[19] Weston (publisher). Weston film ratings Weston system of emulsion ratings. Newark, USA, 1946. Booklet, 16 pages, ( (http:/ / www.
cameramanuals. org/ flashes_meters/ weston_film_ratings_1946. pdf)): You cannot necessarily depend on Weston speed values from any
[20] Sangamo Weston (publisher). Weston ratings. Enfield, UK, 1956. Booklet, 20 pages, ( (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/ flashes_meters/
weston_sangamo_ ratings.pdf)): WESTON RATINGSCorrect exposure depends on two variables: (1) the available light and (2) its effect
on the film in use. WESTON have always considered these two to be of equal importance and therefore introduced their own system of film
ratings. Subsequently this system was found to be so successful that it was widely accepted in photographic circles and formed the basis for
internationally agreed standards.
[21] General Electric (publisher). GW-68. Manual GES-2810, USA: The manual states that ASA was working on standardized values, but none
had been established at this time.
[22] General Electric (publisher). General Electric Film Values. Leaflet GED-744, USA, 1947. General Electric publication code GED-744,
Booklet, 12 pages, ( (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/ flashes_meters/ film_values. pdf)): This General Electric Film Value Booklet
contains the [] exposure-index numbers for [] photographic films in accordance with the new system for rating photographic films that
has been devised by the American Standards Association. This system has been under development for several years and is the result of
co-operative effort on the part of all the film manufacturers, meter manufacturers, the Optical Society of America, and the Bureau of
Standards. It was used by all of the military services during the war. The new ASA exposure-index numbers provide the photographer with the
most accurate film-rating information that has yet been devised. The G-E exposure meter uses the ASA exposure-index numbers, not only in
the interest of standardization, but also because this system represents a real advancement in the field of measurement. The exposure-index
number have been so arranged that all earlier model G-E meters can be used with this series of numbers. For some films the values are exactly
the same; and where differences exist, the new ASA exposure-index value will cause but a slight increase in exposure. However [] a
comparison of the new ASA exposure-index numbers and the G-E film values is shown [] A complete comparison of all systems of
emulsion speed values can be found in the G-E Photo Data Book. [] All G-E meters manufactured after January, 1946, utilize the ASA
exposure indexes. Although the new ASA values can be used with all previous model G-E meters, interchangeable calculator-hoods with ASA
exposure indexes are available for Types DW-48, DW-49, and DW-58 meters.
[23] General Electric (publisher). General Electric Photo Data Book. GET-I717.
[24] General Electric. Attention exposure meter owners. Advertisement, 1946 ( (http:/ / www. jollinger. com/ photo/ meters/ images/ ads/ GE/
ge_dw58hood(1946). jpg)): Attention! Exposure meter owners! Modernizing Hood $3.50 [] Modernize your G-E meter (Type DW-48 or
early DW-58) with a new G-E Hood. Makes it easy to use the new film-exposure ratings developed by the American Standards Association
now the only basis for data published by leading film makers. See your photo dealer and snap on a new G-E hood! General Electric Company,
Schenectady 5, N.Y..
Film speed
[25] Yu. N. Gorokhovskiy. Fotograficheskaya metrologiya. Uspekhi Nauchnoy Fotografii (Advances in Scientific Photography), Volume 15,
1970, pp.183-195 (English translation: Photographic Metrology. NASA Technical Translation II F-13,921, National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Washington, D.C. 20546, November 1972, (http:/ / ntrs. nasa. gov/ archive/ nasa/ casi. ntrs. nasa. gov/
19730001888_1973001888. pdf)).
[26] GOST 2817-50 Transparent sublayer photographic materials. Method of general sensitometric test. ( (http:// www. gostrf. com/ standart/
Pages_gost/ 46030. htm)): GOST 2817-45 was replaced by GOST 2817-50, which in turn was replaced by GOST 10691.6-88, which defines
black-and-white films, whereas GOST 10691.5-88 defines black-and-white films for aerial photography.
[27] GOST 10691.0-84 Black-and-white photographic materials with transparent sublaver. Method of general sensitometric test. ( (http:// www. standart/ Pages_gost/ 29411.htm)).
[28] GOST 10691.6-88 Black-and-white phototechnical films, films for scientific researches and industry. Method for determination of speed
numbers.( (http:/ / www. gostrf. com/ standart/ Pages_gost/ 11439. htm)).
[29] GOST 10691.5-88 Black-and-white aerophotographic films. Method for determination of speed numbers. ( (http:// www. gostrf. com/
standart/ Pages_gost/ 11651. htm)).
[32] ISO 2721:1982. Photography Cameras Automatic controls of exposure (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/
catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=7692) (paid download). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization (http:/ / www. iso. org/ ).
[33] Leica Camera AG (2002). Leica R9 Bedienungsanleitung / Instructions. Leica publication 930 53 VII/03/GX/L, Solms, Germany, p.197 (
(http:/ / en. leica-camera. com/ assets/ file/ download. php?filename=file_2048. pdf)): Film speed range: Manual setting from ISO 6/9 to ISO
12500/42 (with additional exposure compensation of up to 3 EV, overall films from ISO 0.8/0 to ISO 100000/51 can be exposed), DX
scanning from ISO 25/15 to ISO 5000/38.. Accessed 30 July 2011.
[34] Leica Camera AG (1996). Leica Instructions - Leica R8. Solms, Germany, p.16 ( (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/ leica_pdf/ leica_r8-1.
pdf)): The DX-setting for automatic speed scanning appears after the position 12800. and p.65 ( (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/
leica_pdf/ leica_r8-2. pdf)): Film speed range: Manual setting from ISO 6/9 to ISO 12,800/42. (With additional override of 3 EV to +3
EV, films from 0 DIN to 51 DIN can be exposed as well.) DX scanning from ISO 25/15 to ISO 5000/38.. Accessed 30 July 2011.
[35] Canon. ( (http:/ / www. mir. rb/ photography/ companies/ canon/ fdresources/ ftql/ index. htm)): Acceptable film speed has been
increased to a range of between ASA 25 and an incredible ASA 12,800 by the use of the CANON BOOSTER. The light-measuring range of
the newly developed CANON FT QL has been extended from a low of EV 3.5, f/1.2 15 seconds to EV 18 with ASA 100 film. This is the
first time a TTL camera has been capable of such astonishing performance.
[36] Canon (1978). Canon A-1 Instructions. p.28, p.29, p.46, p.70, p.98 ( (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/ canon_pdf/ canon_a1-1. pdf)
(http:/ / www.cameramanuals. org/ canon_pdf/ canon_a1-2. pdf) (http:/ / www. cameramanuals. org/ canon_pdf/ canon_a1-3. pdf))
[37] Nikon USA Web page for Nikon D3s (http:/ / www. nikonusa. com/ Find-Your-Nikon/ Product/ Digital-SLR/ 25466/ D3S. html). Accessed
11January 2010.
[38] Canon USA Web page for Canon EOS-1D Mark IV (http:/ / www. usa. canon. com/ consumer/ controller?act=ModelInfoAct&
fcategoryid=139& modelid=19584#ModelTechSpecsAct). Accessed 11January 2010.
[39] [39] ASA PH2.12-1961, Table2, p.9, showed (but did not specify) a speed of 12500 as the next full step greater than 6400.
[40] Canon USA Web page for Canon EOS-1D X (http:/ / www. usa. canon. com/ cusa/ consumer/ products/ cameras/ slr_cameras/ eos_1d_x).
Accessed October 2011.
[41] Nikon D4 page for Nikon D4 (http:/ / www. nikon. com/ news/ 2012/ 0106_flagship_01. htm). Accessed 6January 2012.
[42] Sony Europe Web page for DSLR-A500/DSLR-A550 (http:/ / presscentre. sony. eu/ Content/ Detail. aspx?NewsAreaId=2&
ReleaseID=4744) (2009-08-27): Dramatically reduced picture noise now allows super-sensitive shooting at up to ISO 12800, allowing
attractive results when shooting handheld in challenging situations like candlelit interiors.. Accessed 30July 2011.
[43] Sony Europe Web page for DSLR-A560/DSLR-A580 (http:/ / presscentre. sony. eu/ content/ detail. aspx?ReleaseID=6109&
NewsAreaId=2) (2010-08-27): Multi-frame Noise Reduction stacks' a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure
that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.. Accessed 30July 2011.
[44] Pentax USA Web page for Pentax K-5 (http:/ / www. pentaximaging. com/ slr/ K-5/ ) (2010): ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100-12800 (1, 1/2, 1/3
steps), expandable to ISO 8051200. Accessed 29July 2011.
[45] Fujifilm Canada Web page for Fuji FinePix X100 (http:/ / www. fujifilm. ca/ products/ digital_cameras/ x/ finepix_x100/ specifications/ )
(2011-02): Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100 or 12800. Accessed 30July 2011.
[47] Fact Sheet, Delta 3200 Professional (http:/ / www. ilfordphoto. com/ Webfiles/ 200613019405339. pdf). Knutsford, U.K.: Ilford Photo.
[48] ISO 12232:2006. Photography Digital still cameras Determination of exposure index, ISO speed ratings, standard output sensitivity,
and recommended exposure index (http:/ / www. iso/ en/ CatalogueDetailPage. CatalogueDetail?CSNUMBER=37777) (paid
download). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization (http:/ / www. iso. org/ ).
[49] CIPA DC-004 (http:/ / www. cipa. jp/ english/ hyoujunka/ kikaku/ pdf/ DC-004_EN. pdf). Sensitivity of digital cameras. Tokyo: Camera &
Imaging Products Association.
[50] Kodak Image Sensors ISO Measurement (http:/ / www. kodak. com/ global/ plugins/ acrobat/ en/ business/ ISS/ supportdocs/
ISOMeasurements. pdf). Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak.
[51] New Measures of the Sensitivity of a Digital Camera (http:/ / doug. kerr. home. att. net/ pumpkin/ SOS_REI. pdf). Douglas A. Kerr, August
30, 2007.
[52] ISO 12232:1998. Photography Electronic still-picture cameras Determination of ISO speed, p. 12.
Film speed
ISO 6:1974 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_ics/ catalogue_detail_ics. htm?csnumber=3579),
ISO 6:1993 (http:// www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/ catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=3580)
(1993-02). Photography Black-and-white pictorial still camera negative film/process systems
Determination of ISO speed. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
ISO 2240:1982 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_ics/ catalogue_detail_ics.
htm?csnumber=7049) (1982-07), ISO 2240:1994 (http:// www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_ics/
catalogue_detail_ics. htm?csnumber=7050) (1994-09), ISO 2240:2003 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/
catalogue_tc/ catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=34533) (200310). Photography Colour reversal camera films
Determination of ISO speed. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
ISO 2720:1974 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/ catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=7690).
General Purpose Photographic Exposure Meters (Photoelectric Type) Guide to Product Specification.
Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
ISO 5800:1979 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_ics/ catalogue_detail_ics.
htm?csnumber=11947), ISO 5800:1987 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ en/ CatalogueDetailPage.
CatalogueDetail?csnumber=11948) (1987-11), ISO 5800:1987/Cor 1:2001 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/
iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/ catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=35540) (200106). Photography Colour
negative films for still photography Determination of ISO speed. Geneva: International Organization for
ISO 12232:1998 (http:/ / www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_ics/ catalogue_detail_ics.
htm?csnumber=21020) (1998-08), ISO 12232:2006 (http:// www. iso. org/ iso/ iso_catalogue/ catalogue_tc/
catalogue_detail. htm?csnumber=37777) (2006-04-15), ISO 12232:2006 (2006-10-01). Photography Digital
still cameras Determination of exposure index, ISO speed ratings, standard output sensitivity, and
recommended exposure index. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
ASA Z38.2.1-1943, ASA Z38.2.1-1946, ASA Z38.2.1-1947 (1947-07-15). American Standard Method for
Determining Photographic Speed and Speed Number. New York: American Standards Association. Superseded
by ASA PH2.5-1954.
ASA PH2.5-1954, ASA PH2.5-1960. American Standard Method for Determining Speed of photographic
Negative Materials (Monochrome, Continuous Tone). New York: United States of America Standards Institute
(USASI). Superseded by ANSI PH2.5-1972.
ANSI PH2.5-1972, ANSI PH2.5-1979 (1979-01-01), ANSI PH2.5-1979(R1986). Speed of photographic negative
materials (monochrome, continuous tone), method for determining). New York: American National Standards
Institute. Superseded by NAPM IT2.5-1986.
NAPM IT2.5-1986, ANSI/ISO 6-1993 ANSI/NAPM IT2.5-1993 (http:/ / webstore. ansi. org/ RecordDetail.
aspx?sku=ANSI/ ISO+ 6-1993+ ANSI/ NAPM+ IT2. 5-1993) (1993-01-01). Photography Black-and-White
Pictorial Still Camera Negative Film/Process Systems Determination of ISO Speed (same as ANSI/ISO
6-1993). National Association of Photographic Manufacturers. This represents the US adoption of ISO 6.
ASA PH2.12-1957, ASA PH2.12-1961. American Standard, General-Purpose Photographic Exposure Meters
(photoelectric type). New York: American Standards Association. Superseded by ANSI PH3.49-1971.
ANSI PH2.21-1983 (1983-09-23), ANSI PH2.21-1983(R1989). Photography (Sensitometry) Color reversal
camera films - Determination of ISO speed. New York: American Standards Association. Superseded by
ANSI/ISO 2240-1994 ANSI/NAPM IT2.21-1994.
ANSI/ISO 2240-1994 ANSI/NAPM IT2.21-1994. Photography - Colour reversal camera films - determination of
ISO speed. New York: American National Standards Institute. This represents the US adoption of ISO 2240.
ASA PH2.27-1965 (1965-07-06), ASA PH2.27-1971, ASA PH2.27-1976, ANSI PH2.27-1979, ANSI
PH2.27-1981, ANSI PH2.27-1988 (1988-08-04). Photography - Colour negative films for still photography -
Determination of ISO speed (withdrawn). New York: American Standards Association. Superseded by ANSI
Film speed
ANSI IT2.27-1988 (1994-08/09?). Photography Color negative films for still photography - Determination of ISO
speed. New York: American National Standards Institute. Withdrawn. This represented the US adoption of ISO
ANSI PH3.49-1971, ANSI PH3.49-1971(R1987). American National Standard for general-purpose photographic
exposure meters (photoelectric type). New York: American National Standards Institute. After several revisions,
this standard was withdrawn in favor of ANSI/ISO 2720:1974.
ANSI/ISO 2720:1974, ANSI/ISO 2720:1974(R1994) ANSI/NAPM IT3.302-1994. General Purpose
Photographic Exposure Meters (Photoelectric Type) Guide to Product Specification. New York: American
National Standards Institute. This represents the US adoption of ISO 2720.
BSI BS 1380:1947, BSI BS 1380:1963. Speed and exposure index. British Standards Institution. Superseded by
BSI BS 1380-1:1973 (1973-12), BSI BS 1380-2:1984 (1984-09), BSI BS 1380-3:1980 (1980-04) and others.
BSI BS 1380-1:1973 (http:/ / shop. bsigroup. com/ en/ ProductDetail/ ?pid=000000000000040980) (1973-12-31).
Speed of sensitized photographic materials: Negative monochrome material for still and cine photography.
British Standards Institution. Replaced by BSI BS ISO 6:1993, superseded by BSI BS ISO 2240:1994.
BSI BS 1380-2:1984 ISO 2240:1982 (http:/ / shop. bsigroup. com/ en/ ProductDetail/
?pid=000000000000049468) (1984-09-28). Speed of sensitized photographic materials. Method for determining
the speed of colour reversal film for still and amateur cine photography. British Standards Institution. Superseded
by BSI BS ISO 2240:1994.
BSI BS 1380-3:1980 ISO 5800:1979 (http:/ / shop. bsigroup. com/ en/ ProductDetail/
?pid=000000000000040992) (1980-04-30). Speed of sensitized photographic materials. Colour negative film for
still photography. British Standards Institution. Superseded by BSI BS ISO 5800:1987.
BSI BS ISO 6:1993 (http:/ / shop. bsigroup. com/ en/ ProductDetail/ ?pid=000000000000483185) (1995-03-15).
Photography. Black-and-white pictorial still camera negative film/process systems. Determination of ISO speed.
British Standards Institution. This represents the British adoption of ISO 6:1993.
BSI BS ISO 2240:1994 (http:/ / shop. en/ ProductDetail/ ?pid=000000000000497946)
(1993-03-15), BSI BS ISO 2240:2003 (http:/ / shop. bsigroup. com/ en/ ProductDetail/
?pid=000000000030046567) (2004-02-11). Photography. Colour reversal camera films. Determination of ISO
speed. British Standards Institution. This represents the British adoption of ISO 2240:2003.
BSI BS ISO 5800:1987 (http:/ / shop. en/ ProductDetail/ ?pid=000000000030050685)
(1995-03-15). Photography. Colour negative films for still photography. Determination of ISO speed. British
Standards Institution. This represents the British adoption of ISO 5800:1987.
DIN 4512:1934-01, DIN 4512:1957-11 (Blatt 1), DIN 4512:1961-10 (Blatt 1). Photographische Sensitometrie,
Bestimmung der optischen Dichte. Berlin: Deutscher Normenausschu (DNA). Superseded by DIN
4512-1:1971-04, DIN 4512-4:1977-06, DIN 4512-5:1977-10 and others.
DIN 4512-1:1971-04 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-1-1971-04/ en/ 1830007. html), DIN
4512-1:1993-05 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-1-1993-05/ en/ 3236175. html). Photographic
sensitometry; systems of black and white negative films and their process for pictorial photography;
determination of speed. Berlin: Deutsches Institut fr Normung (before 1975: Deutscher Normenausschu
(DNA)). Superseded by DIN ISO 6:1996-02.
DIN 4512-4:1977-06 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-4-1977-06/ en/ 1846945. html), DIN
4512-4:1985-08 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-4-1985-08/ en/ 1225729. html). Photographic
sensitometry; determination of the speed of colour reversal films. Berlin: Deutsches Institut fr Normung.
Superseded by DIN ISO 2240:1998-06.
DIN 4512-5:1977-10 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-5-1977-10/ en/ 1871467. html), DIN
4512-5:1990-11 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-4512-5-1990-11/ en/ 1622790. html). Photographic
sensitometry; determination of the speed of colour negative films. Berlin: Deutsches Institut fr Normung.
Superseded by DIN ISO 5800:1998-06.
Film speed
DIN ISO 6:1996-02 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-ISO-6-1996-02/ en/ 2699500. html). Photography
- Black-and-white pictorial still camera negative film/process systems - Determination of ISO speed (ISO
6:1993). Berlin: Deutsches Institut fr Normung. This represents the German adoption of ISO 6:1993.
DIN ISO 2240:1998-06 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-ISO-2240-1998-06/ en/ 3367243. html), DIN
ISO 2240:2005-10 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-ISO-2240-2005-10/ en/ 82165961. html).
Photography - Colour reversal camera films - Determination of ISO speed (ISO 2240:2003). Berlin: Deutsches
Institut fr Normung. This represents the German adoption of ISO 2240:2003.
DIN ISO 5800:1998-06 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-ISO-5800-1998-06/ en/ 3367409. html), DIN
ISO 5800:2003-11 (http:/ / www. beuth. de/ langanzeige/ DIN-ISO-5800/ en/ 66332092. html). Photography -
Colour negative films for still photography - Determination of ISO speed (ISO 5800:1987 + Corr. 1:2001).
Berlin: Deutsches Institut fr Normung. This represents the German adoption of ISO 5800:2001.
Leslie B. Stroebel, John Compton, Ira Current, Richard B. Zakia. Basic Photographic Materials and Processes,
second edition. Boston: Focal Press, 2000. ISBN 0-240-80405-8.
External links
What is the meaning of ISO for digital cameras? (http:/ / www. cs. duke. edu/ ~parr/ photography/ faq.
html#isomeaning) Digital Photography FAQ
Signal-dependent noise modeling, estimation, and removal for digital imaging sensors (http:/ / www. cs. tut. fi/
~foi/ sensornoise. html)
Metering mode
In photography, the metering mode refers to the way in which a camera determines the exposure.
Digital metering feedback
Analog metering feedback (light meter)
Examples of metering modes
Cameras generally allow the user to select between spot,
center-weighted average, or multi-zone metering modes.
Various metering modes are provided to allow the user to select the
most appropriate one for use in a variety of lighting conditions.
Spot metering
With spot metering, the camera will only measure a very small area of
the scene (between 1-5% of the viewfinder area). This will typically be
the very centre of the scene, but some cameras allow the user to select
a different off-centre spot, or to recompose by moving the camera after
metering. The first spot meter was built by Arthur James Dalladay,
editor of The British Journal of Photography in about 1935 and
described it in the BJP Almanac of 1937 on pages 127 to 138.
A few models (including the Olympus OM-4, Canon T90 and in the
digital world, the Olympus C-5050z) support a Multi-Spot mode which
allows multiple spot meter readings to be taken of a scene that are
averaged. Some cameras, the OM-4 and T90 included, also support
metering of highlight and shadow areas.
Metering mode
Spot metering is very accurate and is not influenced by other areas in the frame. It is commonly used to shoot very
high contrast scenes. For example, if the subject's back is being hit by the rising sun and the face is a lot darker than
the bright halo around the subject's back and hairline (the subject is "backlit"), spot metering allows the photographer
to measure the light bouncing off the subject's face and expose properly for that, instead of the much brighter light
around the hairline. The area around the back and hairline will then become over-exposed. Spot metering is a method
upon which the Zone System depends.
Another example of spot metering usage would be when photographing the moon. Due to the very dark nature of the
scene, other metering methods tend to overexpose the moon. Spot metering will allow for more detail to be brought
out in the moon while underexposing the rest of the scene. More commonly, spot metering is used in theatre
photography, where the brightly lit actors stand before a dark or even black curtain or scrim. Spot metering only
considers the actors in this case, while ignoring the overall darkness of the scene.
Center-weighted average metering
In this system, the meter concentrates between 60 to 80 percent of the sensitivity towards the central part of the
viewfinder. The balance is then "feathered" out towards the edges. Some cameras will allow the user to adjust the
weight/balance of the central portion to the peripheral one. One advantage of this method is that it is less influenced
by small areas that vary greatly in brightness at the edges of the viewfinder; as many subjects are in the central part
of the frame, consistent results can be obtained.
Average metering
In this metering mode the camera will use the light information coming from the entire scene and averages for the
final exposure setting, giving no weighting to any particular portion of the metered area.
Partial metering
This mode meters a larger area than spot metering (around 10-15% of the entire frame), and is generally used when
very bright or very dark areas on the edges of the frame would otherwise influence the metering unduly. Like spot
metering, some cameras can use variable points to take readings from, (in general autofocus points), or have a fixed
point in the centre of the viewfinder. Partial metering is found mostly on Canon cameras.
Metering mode
Multi-zone metering
Honeycomb Metering on a Dynax 5D. The AF
point was set to the eye of the toy; the camera has
been able to produce a good exposure, by not
being fooled by the strong back lighting of the
out of focus areas.
This mode is also called matrix, evaluative, honeycomb, segment
metering, or esp (electro selective pattern) metering on some cameras.
This metering mode was first introduced by the Nikon FA, where it
was called Automatic Multi-Pattern metering. On a number of cameras
this is the default/standard metering setting. Here the camera measures
the light intensity in several points in the scene, and then combines the
results to find the settings for the best exposure. How they are
combined/calculated deviates from camera to camera. The actual
number of zones used varies wildly, from several to over a thousand.
However performance should not be concluded on the number of zones
alone, or the layout. In general, the most advanced metering is found
on single-lens reflex cameras.
Many manufacturers are less than open about the exact calculations
used to determine the exposure. A number of factors are taken into
consideration, including the following: Autofocus point, distance to
subject, areas in focus or out of focus, colours/hues of the scene, and
backlighting. Multi-zone tends to bias its exposure towards the
autofocus point being used (whilst taking into account other areas of
the frame too), thus ensuring that the point of interest has been exposed
for properly, (this often means the subject area being exposed for as a
mid-tone). A database of many thousands of exposures is pre-stored in
the camera, and the processor can use a selective pattern to determine
what is being photographed.
Some cameras allow the user to link or unlink the autofocus and metering, and allow the option of locking exposure
once AF confirmation is achieved, AEL, (auto-exposure lock). Using manual focus, and on many compacts/bridge
cameras, the AF point is not used as part of the exposure calculation, in such instances it is common for the metering
to default to a central point in the viewfinder, using a pattern based on that area. There is considerable variation from
different manufacturers as to how multi-zone metering is implemented, and even from the same maker in their model
range, and how much "priority" is given to the AF point itself. Some "Scene" modes, such as sunset, sports, night
exposures etc., also often affect the calculations of this metering pattern.
However, some photographers may be uncomfortable with multi-zone metering. This tends to stem from a lack of
clarity about "how" the camera reacts in certain situations. The design concept behind multi-zone is to reduce the
need to use exposure compensation.
Some users have problems making wide-angle shots with high contrast, due to the large area which can vary greatly
in brightness. It is important to understand that even in this situation, the focus point can be critical to the overall
Metering mode
[3] Canon technology description for evaluative metering. (http:// www. canon. com/ technology/ canon_tech/ explanation/ multi_zone. html)
External links
Metering (http:/ / www. dpreview. com/ learn/ ?/ Glossary/ Exposure/ Metering_01. htm) in the Digital
Photography Review (http:/ / www. dpreview. com/ ) glossary.
Focus (optics)
Eye focusing ideally collects all light rays from a
point on an object into a corresponding point on
the retina.
An image that is partially in focus, but mostly out
of focus in varying degrees.
In geometrical optics, a focus, also called an image point, is the point
where light rays originating from a point on the object converge.
Although the focus is conceptually a point, physically the focus has a
spatial extent, called the blur circle. This non-ideal focusing may be
caused by aberrations of the imaging optics. In the absence of
significant aberrations, the smallest possible blur circle is the Airy disc,
which is caused by diffraction from the optical system's aperture.
Aberrations tend to get worse as the aperture diameter increases, while
the Airy circle is smallest for large apertures.
An image, or image point or region, is in focus if light from object
points is converged almost as much as possible in the image, and out
of focus if light is not well converged. The border between these is
sometimes defined using a circle of confusion criterion.
A principal focus or focal point is a special focus:
For a lens, or a spherical or parabolic mirror, it is a point onto which
collimated light parallel to the axis is focused. Since light can pass
through a lens in either direction, a lens has two focal pointsone
on each side. The distance in air from the lens or mirror's principal
plane to the focus is called the focal length.
Elliptical mirrors have two focal points: light that passes through
one of these before striking the mirror is reflected such that it passes
through the other.
The focus of a hyperbolic mirror is either of two points which have the property that light from one is reflected as
if it came from the other.
Focus (optics)
Focal blur is simulated in this computer generated image of glasses, which was
rendered in POV-Ray.
A diverging (negative) lens, or a convex
mirror, does not focus a collimated beam to
a point. Instead, the focus is the point from
which the light appears to be emanating,
after it travels through the lens or reflects
from the mirror. A convex parabolic mirror
will reflect a beam of collimated light to
make it appear as if it were radiating from
the focal point, or conversely, reflect rays
directed toward the focus as a collimated
beam. A convex elliptical mirror will reflect
light directed towards one focus as if it were
radiating from the other focus, both of
which are behind the mirror. A convex
hyperbolic mirror will reflect rays
emanating from the focal point in front of
the mirror as if they were emanating from
the focal point behind the mirror. Conversely, it can focus rays directed at the focal point that is behind the mirror
towards the focal point that is in front of the mirror as in a Cassegrain telescope.
Depth of field
A macro photograph with very shallow depth of
In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of
field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in
a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can
precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness
is gradual on each side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF,
the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions.
In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a
large DOF is appropriate. In other cases, a small DOF may be more
effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the
Depth of field
Digital techniques, such as ray tracing, can also
render 3D models with shallow depth of field for
the same effect.
The area within the depth of field appears sharp, while the areas in front of and beyond
the depth of field appear blurry.
and background. In cinematography, a
large DOF is often called deep focus,
and a small DOF is often called
shallow focus.
Circle of confusion
criterion for depth of field
Precise focus is possible at only one
distance; at that distance, a point object
will produce a point image.
At any
other distance, a point object is
defocused, and will produce a blur spot
shaped like the aperture, which for the
purpose of analysis is usually assumed
to be circular. When this circular spot
is sufficiently small, it is
indistinguishable from a point, and
appears to be in focus; it is rendered as
acceptably sharp. The diameter of the
circle increases with distance from the point of focus; the largest circle that is indistinguishable from a point is
known as the acceptable circle of confusion, or informally, simply as the circle of confusion. The acceptable circle of
confusion is influenced by visual acuity, viewing conditions, and the amount by which the image is enlarged (Ray
2000, 5253). The increase of the circle diameter with defocus is gradual, so the limits of depth of field are not hard
boundaries between sharp and unsharp.
For a 35mm motion picture, the image area on the negative is roughly 22mm by 16mm (0.87in by 0.63in). The
limit of tolerable error is usually set at 0.05mm (0.002in) diameter. For 16mmfilm, where the image area is
smaller, the tolerance is stricter, 0.025mm (0.001in). Standard depth-of-field tables are constructed on this basis,
although generally 35mm productions set it at 0.025mm (0.001in). Note that the acceptable circle of confusion
values for these formats are different because of the relative amount of magnification each format will need in order
to be projected on a full-sized movie screen. (A table for 35mm still photography would be somewhat different
since more of the film is used for each image and the amount of enlargement is usually much less.)
Object field methods
Traditional depth-of-field formulas and tables assume equal circles of confusion for near and far objects. Some
authors, such as Merklinger (1992),
have suggested that distant objects often need to be much sharper to be
clearly recognizable, whereas closer objects, being larger on the film, do not need to be so sharp. The loss of detail in
distant objects may be particularly noticeable with extreme enlargements. Achieving this additional sharpness in
distant objects usually requires focusing beyond the hyperfocal distance, sometimes almost at infinity. For example,
if photographing a cityscape with a traffic bollard in the foreground, this approach, termed the object field method by
Merklinger, would recommend focusing very close to infinity, and stopping down to make the bollard sharp enough.
With this approach, foreground objects cannot always be made perfectly sharp, but the loss of sharpness in near
objects may be acceptable if recognizability of distant objects is paramount.
Other authors (Adams 1980, 51) have taken the opposite position, maintaining that slight unsharpness in foreground
objects is usually more disturbing than slight unsharpness in distant parts of a scene.
Depth of field
Moritz von Rohr also used an object field method, but unlike Merklinger, he used the conventional criterion of a
maximum circle of confusion diameter in the image plane, leading to unequal front and rear depths of field.
Factors affecting depth of field
A 35mm lens set to f/11. The depth-of-field scale
(top) indicates that a subject which is anywhere
between 1 and 2 meters in front of the camera
will be rendered acceptably sharp. If the aperture
were set to f/22 instead, everything from just over
0.7meters almost to infinity would appear to be
in focus.
Out-of-focus highlights have the shape of the lens
Several other factors, such as subject matter, movement,
camera-to-subject distance, lens focal length, selected lens f-number,
format size, and circle of confusion criterion also influence when a
given defocus becomes noticeable. The combination of focal length,
subject distance, and format size defines magnification at the film /
sensor plane.
DOF is determined by subject magnification at the film / sensor plane
and the selected lens aperture or f-number. For a given f-number,
increasing the magnification, either by moving closer to the subject or
using a lens of greater focal length, decreases the DOF; decreasing
magnification increases DOF. For a given subject magnification,
increasing the f-number (decreasing the aperture diameter) increases
the DOF; decreasing f-number decreases DOF.
If the original image is enlarged to make the final image, the circle of
confusion in the original image must be smaller than that in the final
image by the ratio of enlargement. Cropping an image and enlarging to
the same size final image as an uncropped image taken under the same
conditions is equivalent to using a smaller format under the same
conditions, so the cropped image has less DOF. (Stroebel 1976, 134,
When focus is set to the hyperfocal distance, the DOF extends from
half the hyperfocal distance to infinity, and the DOF is the largest
possible for a given f-number.
Relationship of DOF to format size
The comparative DOFs of two different format sizes depend on the
conditions of the comparison. The DOF for the smaller format can be
either more than or less than that for the larger format. In the
discussion that follows, it is assumed that the final images from both formats are the same size, are viewed from the
same distance, and are judged with the same circle of confusion criterion. (Derivations of the effects of format size
are given under Derivation of the DOF formulas.)
Same picture for both formats
When the same picture is taken in two different format sizes from the same distance at the same f-number with
lenses that give the same angle of view, and the final images (e.g., in prints, or on a projection screen or electronic
display) are the same size, DOF is, to a first approximation, inversely proportional to format size (Stroebel 1976,
139). Though commonly used when comparing formats, the approximation is valid only when the subject distance is
large in comparison with the focal length of the larger format and small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance
of the smaller format.
Moreover, the larger the format size, the longer a lens will need to be to capture the same framing as a smaller
format. In motion pictures, for example, a frame with a 12 degree horizontal field of view will require a 50mm lens
Depth of field
on 16mm film, a 100mm lens on 35mm film, and a 250mm lens on 65mm film. Conversely, using the same focal
length lens with each of these formats will yield a progressively wider image as the film format gets larger: a 50mm
lens has a horizontal field of view of 12degrees on 16mm film, 23.6degrees on 35mm film, and 55.6degrees on
65mm film. Therefore, because the larger formats require longer lenses than the smaller ones, they will accordingly
have a smaller depth of field. Compensations in exposure, framing, or subject distance need to be made in order to
make one format look like it was filmed in another format.
Same focal length for both formats
Many small-format digital SLR camera systems allow using many of the same lenses on both full-frame and
cropped format cameras. If, for the same focal length setting, the subject distance is adjusted to provide the same
field of view at the subject, at the same f-number and final-image size, the smaller format has greater DOF, as with
the same picture comparison above. If pictures are taken from the same distance using the same f-number, same
focal length, and the final images are the same size, the smaller format has less DOF. If pictures taken from the same
subject distance using the same focal length, are given the same enlargement, both final images will have the same
DOF. The pictures from the two formats will differ because of the different angles of view. If the larger format is
cropped to the captured area of the smaller format, the final images will have the same angle of view, have been
given the same enlargement, and have the same DOF.
Same DOF for both formats
In many cases, the DOF is fixed by the requirements of the desired image. For a given DOF and field of view, the
required f-number is proportional to the format size. For example, if a 35mm camera required f/11, a 45 camera
would require f/45 to give the same DOF. For the same ISO speed, the exposure time on the 45 would be sixteen
times as long; if the 35camera required 1/250 second, the 45 camera would require 1/15 second. The longer
exposure time with the larger camera might result in motion blur, especially with windy conditions, a moving
subject, or an unsteady camera.
Adjusting the f-number to the camera format is equivalent to maintaining the same absolute aperture diameter; when
set to the same absolute aperture diameters, both formats have the same DOF.
Camera movements and DOF
Scheimpflug principle.
When the lens axis is perpendicular to the image plane,
as is normally the case, the plane of focus (POF) is
parallel to the image plane, and the DOF extends
between parallel planes on either side of the POF.
When the lens axis is not perpendicular to the image
plane, the POF is no longer parallel to the image plane;
the ability to rotate the POF is known as the
Scheimpflug principle. Rotation of the POF is
accomplished with camera movements (tilt, a rotation
of the lens about a horizontal axis, or swing, a rotation
about a vertical axis). Tilt and swing are available on
most view cameras, and are also available with specific lenses on some small- and medium-format cameras.
When the POF is rotated, the near and far limits of DOF are no longer parallel; the DOF becomes wedge-shaped,
with the apex of the wedge nearest the camera (Merklinger 1993, 3132; Tillmanns 1997, 71). With tilt, the height of
the DOF increases with distance from the camera; with swing, the width of the DOF increases with distance.
In some cases, rotating the POF can better fit the DOF to the scene, and achieve the required sharpness at a smaller
f-number. Alternatively, rotating the POF, in combination with a small f-number, can minimize the part of an
image that is within the DOF.
Depth of field
Digital techniques affecting DOF
Series of images demonstrating a 6 image focus bracket of a Tachinid fly. First two
images illustrate typical DOF of a single image at f/10 while the third image is the
composite of 6 images.
The advent of digital technology in
photography has provided additional
means of controlling the extent of
image sharpness; some methods allow
extended DOF that would be
impossible with traditional techniques,
and some allow the DOF to be
determined after the image is made.
Focus stacking is a digital image
processing technique which combines
multiple images taken at different
focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field than any of the individual source images.
Available programs for multi-shot DOF enhancement include Adobe Photoshop, Syncroscopy AutoMontage,
PhotoAcute Studio, Helicon Focus and CombineZ. Getting sufficient depth of field can be particularly challenging in
macro photography. The images to the right illustrate the extended DOF that can be achieved by combining multiple
Wavefront coding is a method that convolves rays in such a way that it provides an image where fields are in focus
simultaneously with all planes out of focus by a constant amount.
A plenoptic camera uses a microlens array to capture 4D light field information about a scene.
Colour apodisation is a technique combining a modified lens design with image processing to achieve an increased
depth of field. The lens is modified such that each colour channel has a different lens aperture. For example the red
channel may be f/2.4, green may be f/2.4, whilst the blue channel may be f/5.6. Therefore the blue channel will have
a greater depth of field than the other colours. The image processing identifies blurred regions in the red and green
channels and in these regions copies the sharper edge data from the blue channel. The result is an image that
combines the best features from the different f-numbers, (Kay 2011).
Diffraction and DOF
If the camera position and image framing (i.e., angle of view) have been chosen, the only means of controlling DOF
is the lens aperture. Most DOF formulas imply that any arbitrary DOF can be achieved by using a sufficiently large
f-number. Because of diffraction, however, this isn't really true. Once a lens is stopped down to where most
aberrations are well corrected, stopping down further will decrease sharpness in the plane of focus. At the DOF
limits, however, further stopping down decreases the size of the defocus blur spot, and the overall sharpness may still
increase. Eventually, the defocus blur spot becomes negligibly small, and further stopping down serves only to
decrease sharpness even at DOF limits (Gibson 1975, 64). There is thus a tradeoff between sharpness in the POF and
sharpness at the DOF limits. But the sharpness in the POF is always greater than that at the DOF limits; if the blur at
the DOF limits is imperceptible, the blur in the POF is imperceptible as well.
For general photography, diffraction at DOF limits typically becomes significant only at fairly large f-numbers;
because large f-numbers typically require long exposure times, motion blur may cause greater loss of sharpness than
the loss from diffraction. The size of the diffraction blur spot depends on the effective f-number ,
however, so diffraction is a greater issue in close-up photography, and the tradeoff between DOF and overall
sharpness can become quite noticeable (Gibson 1975, 53; Lefkowitz 1979, 84).
Depth of field
Lens DOF scales
Detail from the lens shown above. The point
half-way between the 1m and 2m marks
represents approximately 1.3m.
Many lenses for small- and medium-format cameras include scales that
indicate the DOF for a given focus distance and f-number; the 35mm
lens in the image above is typical. That lens includes distance scales in
feet and meters; when a marked distance is set opposite the large white
index mark, the focus is set to that distance. The DOF scale below the
distance scales includes markings on either side of the index that
correspond to f-numbers. When the lens is set to a given f-number,
the DOF extends between the distances that align with the f-number
Zone focusing
When the 35mm lens above is set to f/11 and focused at approximately 1.3m, the DOF (a zone of acceptable
sharpness) extends from 1m to 2m. Conversely, the required focus and f-number can be determined from the
desired DOF limits by locating the near and far DOF limits on the lens distance scale and setting focus so that the
index mark is centered between the near and far distance marks. The required f-number is determined by finding the
markings on the DOF scale that are closest to the near and far distance marks (Ray 1994, 315). For the 35mm lens
above, if it were desired for the DOF to extend from 1m to 2m, focus would be set so that index mark was centered
between the marks for those distances, and the aperture would be set to f/11.
The focus so determined would be about 1.3m, the approximate harmonic mean of the near and far distances.
the section Focus and f-number from DOF limits for additional discussion.
If the marks for the near and far distances fall outside the marks for the largest f-number on the DOF scale, the
desired DOF cannot be obtained; for example, with the 35mm lens above, it is not possible to have the DOF extend
from 0.7m to infinity. The DOF limits can be determined visually, by focusing on the farthest object to be within the
DOF and noting the distance mark on the lens distance scale, and repeating the process for the nearest object to be
within the DOF.
Some distance scales have markings for only a few distances; for example, the 35mm lens above shows only 3ft
and 5ft on its upper scale. Using other distances for DOF limits requires visual interpolation between marked
distances. Since the distance scale is nonlinear, accurate interpolation can be difficult. In most cases, English and
metric distance markings are not coincident, so using both scales to note focused distances can sometimes lessen the
need for interpolation. Many autofocus lenses have smaller distance and DOF scales and fewer markings than do
comparable manual-focus lenses, so that determining focus and f-number from the scales on an autofocus lens may
be more difficult than with a comparable manual-focus lens. In most cases, determining these settings using the lens
DOF scales on an autofocus lens requires that the lens or camera body be set to manual focus.
On a view camera, the focus and f-number can be obtained by measuring the focus spread and performing simple
calculations. The procedure is described in more detail in the section Focus and f-number from DOF limits. Some
view cameras include DOF calculators that indicate focus and f-number without the need for any calculations by the
photographer (Tillmanns 1997, 6768; Ray 2002, 23031).
Depth of field
Hyperfocal distance
The hyperfocal distance is the nearest focus distance at which the DOF extends to infinity; focusing the camera at the
hyperfocal distance results in the largest possible depth of field for a given f-number (Ray 2000, 55). Focusing
beyond the hyperfocal distance does not increase the far DOF (which already extends to infinity), but it does
decrease the DOF in front of the subject, decreasing the total DOF. Some photographers consider this wasting DOF;
however, see Object field methods below for a rationale for doing so. Focusing on the hyperfocal distance is a
special case of zone focusing in which the far limit of DOF is at infinity.
If the lens includes a DOF scale, the hyperfocal distance can be set by aligning the infinity mark on the distance
scale with the mark on the DOF scale corresponding to the f-number to which the lens is set. For example, with the
35mm lens shown above set to f/11, aligning the infinity mark with the 11 to the left of the index mark on the
DOF scale would set the focus to the hyperfocal distance.
Limited DOF: selective focus
At f/32, the background competes for the viewers
At f/5.6, the flowers are isolated from the
At f/2.8, the cat is isolated from the background.
Depth of field can be anywhere from a fraction of a millimeter to
virtually infinite. In some cases, such as landscapes, it may be
desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large DOF is
appropriate. In other cases, artistic considerations may dictate that only
a part of the image be in focus, emphasizing the subject while
de-emphasizing the background, perhaps giving only a suggestion of
the environment (Langford 1973, 81). For example, a common
technique in melodramas and horror films is a closeup of a person's
face, with someone just behind that person visible but out of focus. A
portrait or close-up still photograph might use a small DOF to isolate
the subject from a distracting background. The use of limited DOF to
emphasize one part of an image is known as selective focus,
differential focus or shallow focus.
Although a small DOF implies that other parts of the image will be
unsharp, it does not, by itself, determine how unsharp those parts will
be. The amount of background (or foreground) blur depends on the
distance from the plane of focus, so if a background is close to the
subject, it may be difficult to blur sufficiently even with a small DOF.
In practice, the lens f-number is usually adjusted until the background
or foreground is acceptably blurred, often without direct concern for
the DOF.
Sometimes, however, it is desirable to have the entire subject sharp
while ensuring that the background is sufficiently unsharp. When the
distance between subject and background is fixed, as is the case with
many scenes, the DOF and the amount of background blur are not
independent. Although it is not always possible to achieve both the
desired subject sharpness and the desired background unsharpness,
several techniques can be used to increase the separation of subject and
Depth of field
For a given scene and subject magnification, the background blur increases with lens focal length. If it is not
important that background objects be unrecognizable, background de-emphasis can be increased by using a lens of
longer focal length and increasing the subject distance to maintain the same magnification. This technique requires
that sufficient space in front of the subject be available; moreover, the perspective of the scene changes because of
the different camera position, and this may or may not be acceptable.
The situation is not as simple if it is important that a background object, such as a sign, be unrecognizable. The
magnification of background objects also increases with focal length, so with the technique just described, there is
little change in the recognizability of background objects.
However, a lens of longer focal length may still be of
some help; because of the narrower angle of view, a slight change of camera position may suffice to eliminate the
distracting object from the field of view.
Although tilt and swing are normally used to maximize the part of the image that is within the DOF, they also can be
used, in combination with a small f-number, to give selective focus to a plane that isn't perpendicular to the lens
axis. With this technique, it is possible to have objects at greatly different distances from the camera in sharp focus
and yet have a very shallow DOF. The effect can be interesting because it differs from what most viewers are
accustomed to seeing.
Near:far distribution
The DOF beyond the subject is always greater than the DOF in front of the subject. When the subject is at the
hyperfocal distance or beyond, the far DOF is infinite, so the ratio is 1:; as the subject distance decreases, near:far
DOF ratio increases, approaching unity at high magnification. For large apertures at typical portrait distances, the
ratio is still close to 1:1. The oft-cited rule that 1/3 of the DOF is in front of the subject and 2/3 is beyond (a 1:2
ratio) is true only when the subject distance is 1/3 the hyperfocal distance.
Optimal f-number
As a lens is stopped down, the defocus blur at the DOF limits decreases but diffraction blur increases. The presence
of these two opposing factors implies a point at which the combined blur spot is minimized (Gibson 1975, 64); at
that point, the f-number is optimal for image sharpness. If the final image is viewed under normal conditions (e.g.,
an 810 image viewed at 10), it may suffice to determine the f-number using criteria for minimum required
sharpness, and there may be no practical benefit from further reducing the size of the blur spot. But this may not be
true if the final image is viewed under more demanding conditions, e.g., a very large final image viewed at normal
distance, or a portion of an image enlarged to normal size (Hansma 1996). Hansma also suggests that the final-image
size may not be known when a photograph is taken, and obtaining the maximum practicable sharpness allows the
decision to make a large final image to be made at a later time.
Determining combined defocus and diffraction
Hansma (1996) and Peterson (1996) have discussed determining the combined effects of defocus and diffraction
using a root-square combination of the individual blur spots. Hansma's approach determines the f-number that will
give the maximum possible sharpness; Peterson's approach determines the minimum f-number that will give the
desired sharpness in the final image, and yields a maximum focus spread for which the desired sharpness can be
In combination, the two methods can be regarded as giving a maximum and minimum f-number for a
given situation, with the photographer free to choose any value within the range, as conditions (e.g., potential motion
blur) permit. Gibson (1975), 64) gives a similar discussion, additionally considering blurring effects of camera lens
aberrations, enlarging lens diffraction and aberrations, the negative emulsion, and the printing paper.
(1982), 1098) gave a formula essentially the same as Hansmas for optimal f-number, but did not discuss its
Depth of field
Hopkins (1955), Stokseth (1969), and Williams and Becklund (1989) have discussed the combined effects using the
modulation transfer function. Conrad's Depth of Field in Depth
(PDF), and Jacobson's Photographic Lenses
discuss the use of Hopkins's method specifically in regard to DOF.
Other applications
In semiconductor photolithography applications, depth of field is extremely important as integrated circuit layout
features must be printed with high accuracy at extremely small size. The difficulty is that the wafer surface is not
perfectly flat, but may vary by several micrometres. Even this small variation causes some distortion in the projected
image, and results in unwanted variations in the resulting pattern. Thus photolithography engineers take extreme
measures to maximize the optical depth of field of the photolithography equipment. To minimize this distortion
further, semiconductor manufacturers may use chemical mechanical polishing to make the wafer surface even flatter
before lithographic patterning.
Ophthalmology and optometry
A person may sometimes experience better vision in daylight than at night because of an increased depth of field due
to constriction of the pupil (i.e., miosis).
DOF formulas
The basis of these formulas is given in the section Derivation of the DOF formulas;
refer to the diagram in that
section for illustration of the quantities discussed below.
Hyperfocal distance
Let be the lens focal length, be the lens f-number, and be the circle of confusion for a given image format.
The hyperfocal distance is given by
Moderate-to-large distances
Let be the distance at which the camera is focused (the subject distance). When is large in comparison with
the lens focal length, the distance from the camera to the near limit of DOF and the distance from the
camera to the far limit of DOF are
The depth of field is
Substituting for and rearranging, DOF can be expressed as
Depth of field
Thus, for a given image format, depth of field is determined by three factors: the focal length of the lens, the
f-number of the lens opening (the aperture), and the camera-to-subject distance.
When the subject distance is the hyperfocal distance,
For , the far limit of DOF is at infinity and the DOF is infinite; of course, only objects at or beyond the near
limit of DOF will be recorded with acceptable sharpness.
The integrated circuit package, which is in focus
in this macro shot, is 2.5mm higher than the
circuit board it is mounted on. In macro
photography objects at even small distances from
the plane of focus can be unsharp. At f/32 every
object is within the DOF, whereas the closer to
f/5 the aperture gets, the fewer the objects that are
sharp. There is a tradeoff, however: at f/32, the
lettering on the IC package is noticeably softer
than at f/5 because of diffraction. At f/5 the small
dust particles at the bottom right corner form blur
spots in the shape of the aperture stop. The
images were taken with a 105mm f/2.8 macro
When the subject distance approaches the focal length, using the
formulas given above can result in significant errors. For close-up
work, the hyperfocal distance has little applicability, and it usually is
more convenient to express DOF in terms of image magnification. Let
be the magnification; when the subject distance is small in
comparison with the hyperfocal distance,
so that for a given magnification, DOF is independent of focal length.
Stated otherwise, for the same subject magnification, at the same
f-number, all focal lengths used on a given image format give
approximately the same DOF. This statement is true only when the
subject distance is small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance,
The discussion thus far has assumed a symmetrical lens for which the
entrance and exit pupils coincide with the front and rear nodal planes,
and for which the pupil magnification (the ratio of exit pupil diameter
to that of the entrance pupil)
is unity. Although this assumption
usually is reasonable for large-format lenses, it often is invalid for
medium- and small-format lenses.
When , the DOF for an asymmetrical lens is
where is the pupil magnification. When the pupil magnification is
unity, this equation reduces to that for a symmetrical lens.
Except for close-up and macro photography, the effect of lens
asymmetry is minimal. At unity magnification, however, the errors
from neglecting the pupil magnification can be significant. Consider a telephoto lens with and a
retrofocus wide-angle lens with , at . The asymmetrical-lens formula gives and
, respectively. The symmetrical-lens formula gives in either case. The errors are
33% and 33%, respectively.
Focus and f-number from DOF limits
Depth of field
For given near and far DOF limits and , the required f-number is smallest when focus is set to
the harmonic mean of the near and far distances. When the subject distance is large in comparison with the lens focal
length, the required f-number is
When the far limit of DOF is at infinity,
In practice, these settings usually are determined on the image side of the lens, using measurements on the bed or rail
with a view camera, or using lens DOF scales on manual-focus lenses for small- and medium-format cameras. If
and are the image distances that correspond to the near and far limits of DOF, the required f-number is
minimized when the image distance is
In practical terms, focus is set to halfway between the near and far image distances. The required f-number is
The image distances are measured from the camera's image plane to the lens's image nodal plane, which is not
always easy to locate. In most cases, focus and f-number can be determined with sufficient accuracy using the
approximate formulas above, which require only the difference between the near and far image distances; view
camera users sometimes refer to the difference as the focus spread (Hansma 1996, 55). Most lens DOF
scales are based on the same concept.
The focus spread is related to the depth of focus. Ray (2000, 56) gives two definitions of the latter. The first is the
tolerance of the position of the image plane for which an object remains acceptably sharp; the second is that the
limits of depth of focus are the image-side conjugates of the near and far limits of DOF. With the first definition,
focus spread and depth of focus are usually close in value though conceptually different. With the second definition,
focus spread and depth of focus are the same.
Foreground and background blur
If a subject is at distance and the foreground or background is at distance , let the distance between the subject
and the foreground or background be indicated by
The blur disk diameter of a detail at distance from the subject can be expressed as a function of the subject
magnification , focal length , f-number or alternatively the diameter of the entrance pupil (often called
the aperture) according to
The minus sign applies to a foreground object, and the plus sign applies to a background object.
The blur increases with the distance from the subject; when , the detail is within the depth of field, and the
blur is imperceptible. If the detail is only slightly outside the DOF, the blur may be only barely perceptible.
Depth of field
For a given subject magnification, f-number, and distance from the subject of the foreground or background detail,
the degree of detail blur varies with the lens focal length. For a background detail, the blur increases with focal
length; for a foreground detail, the blur decreases with focal length. For a given scene, the positions of the subject,
foreground, and background usually are fixed, and the distance between subject and the foreground or background
remains constant regardless of the camera position; however, to maintain constant magnification, the subject distance
must vary if the focal length is changed. For small distance between the foreground or background detail, the effect
of focal length is small; for large distance, the effect can be significant. For a reasonably distant background detail,
the blur disk diameter is
depending only on focal length.
The blur diameter of foreground details is very large if the details are close to the lens.
The magnification of the detail also varies with focal length; for a given detail, the ratio of the blur disk diameter to
imaged size of the detail is independent of focal length, depending only on the detail size and its distance from the
subject. This ratio can be useful when it is important that the background be recognizable (as usually is the case in
evidence or surveillance photography), or unrecognizable (as might be the case for a pictorial photographer using
selective focus to isolate the subject from a distracting background). As a general rule, an object is recognizable if
the blur disk diameter is one-tenth to one-fifth the size of the object or smaller (Williams 1990, 205),
unrecognizable when the blur disk diameter is the object size or greater.
The effect of focal length on background blur is illustrated in van Walree's article on Depth of field
Practical complications
The distance scales on most medium- and small-format lenses indicate distance from the cameras image plane. Most
DOF formulas, including those in this article, use the object distance from the lenss front nodal plane, which
often is not easy to locate. Moreover, for many zoom lenses and internal-focusing non-zoom lenses, the location of
the front nodal plane, as well as focal length, changes with subject distance. When the subject distance is large in
comparison with the lens focal length, the exact location of the front nodal plane is not critical; the distance is
essentially the same whether measured from the front of the lens, the image plane, or the actual nodal plane. The
same is not true for close-up photography; at unity magnification, a slight error in the location of the front nodal
plane can result in a DOF error greater than the errors from any approximations in the DOF equations.
The asymmetrical lens formulas require knowledge of the pupil magnification, which usually is not specified for
medium- and small-format lenses. The pupil magnification can be estimated by looking into the front and rear of the
lens and measuring the diameters of the apparent apertures, and computing the ratio of rear diameter to front
diameter (Shipman 1977, 144). However, for many zoom lenses and internal-focusing non-zoom lenses, the pupil
magnification changes with subject distance, and several measurements may be required.
Most DOF formulas, including those discussed in this article, employ several simplifications:
1. Paraxial (Gaussian) optics is assumed, and technically, the formulas are valid only for rays that are infinitesimally
close to the lens axis. However, Gaussian optics usually is more than adequate for determining DOF, and
non-paraxial formulas are sufficiently complex that requiring their use would make determination of DOF
impractical in most cases.
2. Lens aberrations are ignored. Including the effects of aberrations is nearly impossible, because doing so requires
knowledge of the specific lens design. Moreover, in well-designed lenses, most aberrations are well corrected,
and at least near the optical axis, often are almost negligible when the lens is stopped down 23 steps from
maximum aperture. Because lenses usually are stopped down at least to this point when DOF is of interest,
Depth of field
ignoring aberrations usually is reasonable. Not all aberrations are reduced by stopping down, however, so actual
sharpness may be slightly less than predicted by DOF formulas.
3. Diffraction is ignored. DOF formulas imply that any arbitrary DOF can be achieved by using a sufficiently large
f-number. Because of diffraction, however, this isn't really true, as is discussed further in the section DOF and
4. For digital capture with color filter array sensors, demosaicing is ignored. Demosaicing alone would normally
decrease sharpness, but the demosaicing algorithm used might also include sharpening.
5. Post-capture manipulation of the image is ignored. Sharpening via techniques such as deconvolution or unsharp
mask can increase the apparent sharpness in the final image; conversely, image noise reduction can reduce
6. 6. The resolutions of the imaging medium and the display medium are ignored. If the resolution of either medium is
of the same order of magnitude as the optical resolution, the sharpness of the final image is reduced, and optical
blurring is harder to detect.
The lens designer cannot restrict analysis to Gaussian optics and cannot ignore lens aberrations. However, the
requirements of practical photography are less demanding than those of lens design, and despite the simplifications
employed in development of most DOF formulas, these formulas have proven useful in determining camera settings
that result in acceptably sharp pictures. It should be recognized that DOF limits are not hard boundaries between
sharp and unsharp, and that there is little point in determining DOF limits to a precision of many significant figures.
Derivation of the DOF formulas
DOF for symmetrical lens.
DOF limits
A symmetrical lens is illustrated at
right. The subject, at distance , is in
focus at image distance . Point
objects at distances and
would be in focus at image distances
and , respectively; at image
distance , they are imaged as blur
spots. The depth of field is controlled
by the aperture stop diameter ;
when the blur spot diameter is equal to
the acceptable circle of confusion ,
the near and far limits of DOF are at
and . From similar triangles,
It usually is more convenient to work with the lens f-number than the aperture diameter; the f-number is related
to the lens focal length and the aperture diameter by
substitution into the previous equations gives
Depth of field
Rearranging to solve for and gives
The image distance is related to an object distance by the thin lens equation
applying this to and gives
solving for , , and in these three equations, substituting into the two previous equations, and rearranging
gives the near and far limits of DOF:
Hyperfocal distance
Solving for the focus distance and setting the far limit of DOF to infinity gives
where is the hyperfocal distance. Setting the subject distance to the hyperfocal distance and solving for the near
limit of DOF gives
For any practical value of , the focal length is negligible in comparison, so that
Substituting the approximate expression for hyperfocal distance into the formulas for the near and far limits of DOF
Depth of field
Combining, the depth of field is
Hyperfocal magnification
Magnification can be expressed as
at the hyperfocal distance, the magnification then is
Substituting for and simplifying gives
DOF in terms of magnification
It is sometimes convenient to express DOF in terms of magnification . Substituting
into the formula for DOF and rearranging gives
after Larmore (1965), 163).
DOF vs. focal length
Multiplying the numerator and denominator of the exact formula above by
If the f-number and circle of confusion are constant, decreasing the focal length increases the second term in the
denominator, decreasing the denominator and increasing the value of the right-hand side, so that a shorter focal
length gives greater DOF.
The term in parentheses in the denominator is the hyperfocal magnification , so that
A subject distance is decreased, the subject magnification increases, and eventually becomes large in comparison
with the hyperfocal magnification. Thus the effect of focal length is greatest near the hyperfocal distance, and
decreases as subject distance is decreased. However, the near/far perspective will differ for different focal lengths, so
Depth of field
the difference in DOF may not be readily apparent.
When , , and
so that for a given magnification, DOF is essentially independent of focal length. Stated otherwise, for the same
subject magnification and the same f-number, all focal lengths for a given image format give approximately the same
DOF. This statement is true only when the subject distance is small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance,
Moderate-to-large distances
When the subject distance is large in comparison with the lens focal length,
so that
For , the far limit of DOF is at infinity and the DOF is infinite; of course, only objects at or beyond the near
limit of DOF will be recorded with acceptable sharpness.
When the subject distance approaches the lens focal length, the focal length no longer is negligible, and the
approximate formulas above cannot be used without introducing significant error. At close distances, the hyperfocal
distance has little applicability, and it usually is more convenient to express DOF in terms of magnification. The
distance is small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance, so the simplified formula
can be used with good accuracy. For a given magnification, DOF is independent of focal length.
Near:far DOF ratio
From the exact equations for near and far limits of DOF, the DOF in front of the subject is
and the DOF beyond the subject is
The near:far DOF ratio is
This ratio is always less than unity; at moderate-to-large subject distances, , and
Depth of field
When the subject is at the hyperfocal distance or beyond, the far DOF is infinite, and the near:far ratio is zero. Its
commonly stated that approximately 1/3 of the DOF is in front of the subject and approximately 2/3 is beyond;
however, this is true only when .
At closer subject distances, its often more convenient to express the DOF ratio in terms of the magnification
substitution into the exact equation for DOF ratio gives
As magnification increases, the near:far ratio approaches a limiting value of unity.
DOF vs. format size
When the subject distance is much less than hyperfocal, the total DOF is given to good approximation by
When additionally the magnification is small compared to unity, the value of in the numerator can be neglected,
and the formula further simplifies to
The DOF ratio for two different formats is then
Essentially the same approach is described in Stroebel (1976), 13639).
Same picture for both formats
The results of the comparison depend on what is assumed. One approach is to assume that essentially the same
picture is taken with each format and enlarged to produce the same size final image, so the subject distance remains
the same, the focal length is adjusted to maintain the same angle of view, and to a first approximation, magnification
is in direct proportion to some characteristic dimension of each format. If both pictures are enlarged to give the same
size final images with the same sharpness criteria, the circle of confusion is also in direct proportion to the format
size. Thus if is the characteristic dimension of the format,
With the same f-number, the DOF ratio is then
so the DOF ratio is in inverse proportion to the format size. This ratio is approximate, and breaks down in the macro
range of the larger format (the value of in the numerator is no longer negligible) or as distance approaches the
hyperfocal distance for the smaller format (the DOF of the smaller format approaches infinity).
If the formats have approximately the same aspect ratios, the characteristic dimensions can be the format diagonals;
if the aspect ratios differ considerably (e.g., 45 vs. 617), the dimensions must be chosen more carefully, and the
DOF comparison may not even be meaningful.
If the DOF is to be the same for both formats the required f-number is in direct proportion to the format size:
Depth of field
Adjusting the f-number in proportion to format size is equivalent to using the same absolute aperture diameter for
both formats, discussed in detail below in Use of absolute aperture diameter.
Same focal length for both formats
If the same lens focal length is used in both formats, magnifications can be maintained in the ratio of the format sizes
by adjusting subject distances; the DOF ratio is the same as that given above, but the images differ because of the
different perspectives and angles of view.
If the same DOF is required for each format, an analysis similar to that above shows that the required f-number is in
direct proportion to the format size.
Another approach is to use the same focal length with both formats at the same subject distance, so the magnification
is the same, and with the same f-number,
so the DOF ratio is in direct proportion to the format size. The perspective is the same for both formats, but because
of the different angles of view, the pictures are not the same.
Cropping an image and enlarging to the same size final image as an uncropped image taken under the same
conditions is equivalent to using a smaller format; the cropped image requires greater enlargement and consequently
has a smaller circle of confusion. A cropped then enlarged image has less DOF than the uncropped image.
Use of absolute aperture diameter
The aperture diameter is normally given in terms of the f-number because all lenses set to the same f-number give
approximately the same image illuminance (Ray 2002, 130), simplifying exposure settings. In deriving the basic
DOF equations, the substitution of for the absolute aperture diameter can be omitted, giving the DOF in
terms of the absolute aperture diameter:
after Larmore (1965), 163). When the subject distance is small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance, the
second term in the denominator can be neglected, leading to
With the same subject distance and angle of view for both formats, , and
so the DOFs are in inverse proportion to the absolute aperture diameters. When the diameters are the same, the two
formats have the same DOF. Von Rohr (1906) made this same observation, saying At this point it will be sufficient
to note that all these formulae involve quantities relating exclusively to the entrance-pupil and its position with
respect to the object-point, whereas the focal length of the transforming system does not enter into them. Lyons
Depth of Field Outside the Box
describes an approach very similar to that of von Rohr.
Using the same absolute aperture diameter for both formats with the same picture criterion is equivalent to
adjusting the f-number in proportion to the format sizes, discussed above under Same picture for both formats
Depth of field
Focus and f-number from DOF limits
Object-side relationships
The equations for the DOF limits can be combined to eliminate and solve for the subject distance. For given
near and far DOF limits and , the subject distance is
the harmonic mean of the near and far distances. The equations for DOF limits also can be combined to eliminate
and solve for the required f-number, giving
When the subject distance is large in comparison with the lens focal length, this simplifies to
When the far limit of DOF is at infinity, the equations for and give indeterminate results. But if all terms in
the numerator and denominator on the right-hand side of the equation for are divided by , it is seen that when
is at infinity,
Similarly, if all terms in the numerator and denominator on the right-hand side of the equation for are divided by
, it is seen that when is at infinity,
Image-side relationships
Most discussions of DOF concentrate on the object side of the lens, but the formulas are simpler and the
measurements usually easier to make on the image side. If the basic image-side equations
are combined and solved for the image distance , the result is
the harmonic mean of the near and far image distances. The basic image-side equations can also be combined and
solved for , giving
The image distances are measured from the camera's image plane to the lens's image nodal plane, which is not
always easy to locate. The harmonic mean is always less than the arithmentic mean, but when the difference between
the near and far image distances is reasonably small, the two means are close to equal, and focus can be set with
sufficient accuracy using
Depth of field
This formula requires only the difference between the near and far image distances. View camera users
often refer to this difference as the focus spread; it usually is measured on the bed or focusing rail. Focus is simply
set to halfway between the near and far image distances.
Substituting into the equation for and rearranging gives
One variant of the thin-lens equation is , where is the magnification; substituting this into the
equation for gives
At moderate-to-large subject distances, is small compared to unity, and the f-number can often be determined
with sufficient accuracy using
For close-up photography, the magnification cannot be ignored, and the f-number should be determined using the
first approximate formula.
As with the approximate formula for , the approximate formulas for require only the focus spread
rather than the absolute image distances.
When the far limit of DOF is at infinity, .
On manual-focus small- and medium-format lenses, the focus and f-number usually are determined using the lens
DOF scales, which often are based on the approximate equations above.
Defocus blur for background object at B.
Foreground and background
If the equation for the far limit of DOF
is solved for , and the far distance
replaced by an arbitrary distance ,
the blur disk diameter at that
distance is
When the background is at the far limit of DOF, the blur disk diameter is equal to the circle of confusion , and the
blur is just imperceptible. The diameter of the background blur disk increases with the distance to the background. A
similar relationship holds for the foreground; the general expression for a defocused object at distance is
For a given scene, the distance between the subject and a foreground or background object is usually fixed; let that
distance be represented by
or, in terms of subject distance,
Depth of field
with the minus sign used for foreground objects and the plus sign used for background objects. For a relatively
distant background object,
In terms of subject magnification, the subject distance is
so that, for a given f-number and subject magnification,
Differentiating with respect to gives
With the plus sign, the derivative is everywhere positive, so that for a background object, the blur disk size increases
with focal length. With the minus sign, the derivative is everywhere negative, so that for a foreground object, the
blur disk size decreases with focal length.
The magnification of the defocused object also varies with focal length; the magnification of the defocused object is
where is the image distance of the subject. For a defocused object with some characteristic dimension , the
imaged size of that object is
The ratio of the blur disk size to the imaged size of that object then is
so for a given defocused object, the ratio of the blur disk diameter to object size is independent of focal length, and
depends only on the object size and its distance from the subject.
Asymmetrical lenses
This discussion thus far has assumed a symmetrical lens for which the entrance and exit pupils coincide with the
object and image nodal planes, and for which the pupil magnification is unity. Although this assumption usually is
reasonable for large-format lenses, it often is invalid for medium- and small-format lenses.
For an asymmetrical lens, the DOF ahead of the subject distance and the DOF beyond the subject distance are given
where is the pupil magnification.
Combining gives the total DOF:
Depth of field
When , the second term in the denominator becomes small in comparison with the first, and (Shipman
1977, 147)
When the pupil magnification is unity, the equations for asymmetrical lenses reduce to those given earlier for
symmetrical lenses.
Effect of lens asymmetry
Except for close-up and macro photography, the effect of lens asymmetry is minimal. A slight rearrangement of the
last equation gives
As magnification decreases, the term becomes smaller in comparison with the term, and eventually the
effect of pupil magnification becomes negligible.
[1] Strictly, because of lens aberrations and diffraction, a point object in precise focus is imaged not as a point but rather as a small spot, often
called the least circle of confusion. For most treatments of DOF, including this article, the assumption of a point is sufficient.
[2] Englander describes a similar approach in his paper Apparent Depth of Field: Practical Use in Landscape Photography (http:/ / www.
englander-workshops. com/ documents/ depth.pdf). (PDF); Conrad discusses this approach, under Different Circles of Confusion for Near
and Far Limits of Depth of Field, and The Object Field Method, in Depth of Field in Depth (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/
articles/ DoFinDepth.pdf) (PDF)
[3] The focus distance to have the DOF extend between given near and far object distances is the harmonic mean of the object conjugates. Most
helicoid-focused lenses are marked with image planetosubject distances, so the focus determined from the lens distance scale is not exactly
the harmonic mean of the marked near and far distances.
[4] Higher-end models in the Canon EOS line of cameras included a feature called depth-of-field AE (DEP) that set focus and f-number from
user-determined near and far points in much the same manner as using DOF scales on manual-focus lenses (Canon Inc. 2000, 6162). The
feature has not been included on models introduced after April 2004.
[5] Using the object field method, Merklinger (1992), 3235) describes a situation in which a portrait subject is to be sharp but a distracting sign
in the background is to be unrecognizable. He concludes that with the subject and background distances fixed, no f-number will achieve both
objectives, and that using a lens of different focal length will make no difference in the result.
[6] Peterson does not give a closed-form expression for the minimum f-number, though such an expression obtains from simple algebraic
manipulation of his Equation3.
[7] The analytical section at the end of Gibson (1975) was originally published as Magnification and Depth of Detail in Photomacrography in
the Journal of the Photographic Society of America, Vol. 26, No. 6, June 1960.
[8] http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ articles/ DoFinDepth. pdf
[9] http:/ / www. faqs. org/ faqs/ rec-photo/ lenses/ tutorial/
[10] Derivations of DOF formulas are given in many texts, including Larmore (1965), 161166), Ray (2000, 5356), and Ray (2002), 217220).
Complete derivations also are given in Conrad's Depth of Field in Depth (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ articles/ DoFinDepth.
pdf) (PDF) and van Walree's Derivation of the DOF equations (http:/ / toothwalker. org/ optics/ dofderivation. html).
[11] A well-illustrated discussion of pupils and pupil magnification that assumes minimal knowledge of optics and mathematics is given in
Shipman (1977), 144147).
[12] Williams gives the criteria for object recognition in terms of the system resolution. When resolution is limited by defocus blur, as in the
context of DOF, the resolution is the blur disk diameter; when resolution is limited by diffraction, the resolution is the radius of the Airy disk,
according to the Rayleigh criterion.
[13] http:/ / toothwalker. org/ optics/ dof.html#backgroundblur
[14] http:/ / www. dicklyon. com/ tech/ Photography/ DepthOfField-Lyon. pdf
[15] This is discussed in Jacobson's Photographic Lenses Tutorial (http:/ / www. faqs. org/ faqs/ rec-photo/ lenses/ tutorial/ ), and complete
derivations are given in Conrad's Depth of Field in Depth (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ articles/ DoFinDepth. pdf) (PDF) and
van Walree's Derivation of the DOF quations (http:/ / toothwalker. org/ optics/ dofderivation. html).
Depth of field
Adams, Ansel. 1980. The Camera. The New Ansel Adams Photography Series/Book 1. Boston: New York
Graphic Society. ISBN 0-8212-1092-0
Canon Inc. 2000. Canon EOS-1v/EOS-1v HS Instructions. Tokyo: Canon Inc.
Couzin, Dennis. 1982. Depths of Field. SMPTE Journal, November 1982, 10961098. Available in PDF at https:/
/ sites. google. com/ site/ cinetechinfo/ atts/ dof_82. pdf (https:/ / sites. google. com/ site/ cinetechinfo/ atts/
dof_82. pdf).
Gibson, H. Lou. 1975. Close-Up Photography and Photomacrography. 2nd combined ed. Kodak Publication No.
N-16. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak Company, VolII: Photomacrography. ISBN 0-87985-160-0
Hansma, Paul K. 1996. View Camera Focusing in Practice. Photo Techniques, March/April 1996, 5457.
Available as GIF images on the Large Format page (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ ).
Hopkins, H.H. 1955. The frequency response of a defocused optical system. Proceedings of the Royal Society A,
Langford, Michael J. 1973. Basic Photography. 3rd ed. Garden City, NY: Amphoto. ISBN 0-8174-0640-9
Larmore, Lewis. 1965. Introduction to Photographic Principles. 2nd ed. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Lefkowitz, Lester. 1979 The Manual of Close-Up Photography. Garden City, NY: Amphoto. ISBN
Merklinger, Harold M. 1992. The INs and OUTs of FOCUS: An Alternative Way to Estimate Depth-of-Field and
Sharpness in the Photographic Image. v. 1.0.3. Bedford, Nova Scotia: Seaboard Printing Limited. ISBN
0-9695025-0-8. Version 1.03e available in PDF at http:// www. trenholm. org/ hmmerk/ .
Merklinger, Harold M. 1993. Focusing the View Camera: A Scientific Way to Focus the View Camera and
Estimate Depth of Field. v. 1.0. Bedford, Nova Scotia: Seaboard Printing Limited. ISBN 0-9695025-2-4. Version
1.6.1 available in PDF at http:/ / www. trenholm. org/ hmmerk/ .
Peterson, Stephen. 1996. Image Sharpness and Focusing the View Camera. Photo Techniques, March/April 1996,
5153. Available as GIF images on the Large Format page (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ ).
Ray, Sidney F. 1994. Photographic Lenses and Optics. Oxford: Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-51387-8
Ray, Sidney F. 2000. The geometry of image formation. In The Manual of Photography: Photographic and
Digital Imaging, 9th ed. Ed. Ralph E. Jacobson, Sidney F. Ray, Geoffrey G. Atteridge, and Norman R. Axford.
Oxford: Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-51574-9
Ray, Sidney F. 2002. Applied Photographic Optics (http:/ / www. elsevierdirect. com/ product.
jsp?isbn=9780240515403). 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-51540-4
Shipman, Carl. 1977. SLR Photographers Handbook. Tucson: H.P. Books. ISBN 0-912656-59-X
Stokseth, Per A. 1969. Properties of a Defocused Optical System. Journal of the Optical Society of America
59:10, Oct. 1969, 13141321.
Stroebel, Leslie. 1976. View Camera Technique. 3rd ed. London: Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-50901-3
Tillmanns, Urs. 1997. Creative Large Format: Basics and Applications. 2nd ed. Feuerthalen, Switzerland: Sinar
AG. ISBN 3-7231-0030-9
von Rohr, Moritz. 1906. Die optischen Instrumente. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner
Williams, Charles S., and Becklund, Orville. 1989. Introduction to the Optical Transfer Function. New York:
Wiley. Reprinted 2002, Bellingham, WA: SPIE Press, 293300. ISBN 0-8194-4336-0
Williams, John B. 1990. Image Clarity: High-Resolution Photography. Boston: Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-80033-8
Andrew Kay, Jonathan Mather, and Harry Walton, "Extended depth of field by colored apodization", Optics
Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 23, pp. 4614-4616 (2011).
Depth of field
Further reading
Hummel, Rob (editor). 2001. American Cinematographer Manual. 8th ed. Hollywood: ASC Press. ISBN
External links
Depth of field explained (http:/ / www. naturessecretlarder. co. uk/ wildlife-photography-tutorials/
depth-of-field-explained. htm)
DoF (depth of field) calculator Multiline depth of field/hyperfocal distance/circle of confusion calculator with all
parameters configurable. Provides two calculation methods: direct (camera+lens+distance+aperture=dof) and
'reversed' (camera+lens+object size+desired dof=distance/aperture) (http:/ / www. altersky. com/ photo/ dof)
Carl Zeiss Depth of Field and Bokeh (http:/ / www. zeiss. de/ C12567A8003B8B6F/ EmbedTitelIntern/
CLN_35_Bokeh_EN/ $File/ CLN35_Bokeh_en. pdf). Camera Lens News #35. April 2010. Accessed 2010-04-13.
Jeff Conrad's Depth of Field in Depth (http:/ / www. largeformatphotography. info/ articles/ DoFinDepth. pdf)
(PDF). Includes derivations of most DoF formulas
Doug Kerr's Depth of Field in Film and Digital Cameras (http:/ / dougkerr. net/ pumpkin/ articles/
Depth_of_Field. pdf)
Rik Littlefield's An Introduction to Extended Depth of Field Digital Photography (http:/ / www. janrik. net/
insects/ ExtendedDOF/ LepSocNewsFinal/ EDOF_NewsLepSoc_2005summer. htm)
Dick Lyon's Depth of Field Outside the Box (http:/ / www. dicklyon. com/ tech/ Photography/
DepthOfField-Lyon. pdf) (PDF). A format-independent look at DOF
Stanford University CS 178 interactive Flash applet (http:/ / graphics. stanford. edu/ courses/ cs178/ applets/ dof.
html) on depth of field, with formula and geometric construction.
Paul van Walree's Depth of field (http:/ / toothwalker. org/ optics/ dof. html).
Paul van Walree's DOF with Pupil Magnification (http:/ / toothwalker. org/ optics/ dofderivation. html). Includes
Color balance
Color balance
The left half shows the photo as it came from the digital camera. The right half
shows the photo adjusted to make a gray surface neutral in the same light.
A seascape photograph at Clifton Beach, South Arm, Tasmania, Australia. The
white balance has been adjusted towards the warm side for creative effect.
In photography and image processing, color
balance is the global adjustment of the
intensities of the colors (typically red, green,
and blue primary colors). An important goal
of this adjustment is to render specific
colors particularly neutral colors
correctly; hence, the general method is
sometimes called gray balance, neutral
balance, or white balance. Color balance
changes the overall mixture of colors in an
image and is used for color correction;
generalized versions of color balance are
used to get colors other than neutrals to also
appear correct or pleasing.
Image data acquired by sensors either film
or electronic image sensors must be
transformed from the acquired values to new
values that are appropriate for color
reproduction or display. Several aspects of
the acquisition and display process make
such color correction essential including
the fact that the acquisition sensors do not
match the sensors in the human eye, that the
properties of the display medium must be
accounted for, and that the ambient viewing
conditions of the acquisition differ from the
display viewing conditions.
The color balance operations in popular
image editing applications usually operate
directly on the red, green, and blue channel
pixel values,
without respect to any
color sensing or reproduction model. In shooting film, color balance is typically achieved by using color correction
filters over the lights or on the camera lens.
Generalized color balance
Sometimes the adjustment to keep neutrals neutral is called white balance, and the phrase color balance refers to the
Color balance
Photograph of a ColorChecker as a reference shot for color balance adjustments.
Two photos of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center building in Miami, Florida
taken with a Samsung SL50 point and shoot camera. Left photo shows a "normal",
accurate color balance, while the right side shows a "vivid" color balance
Comparison of color versions (raw, natural, white balance) of "Mount Sharp" on
Mars (August 23, 2012).
adjustment that in addition makes other
colors in a displayed image appear to have
the same general appearance as the colors in
an original scene.
It is particularly
important that neutral (gray, achromatic,
white) colors in a scene appear neutral in the
reproduction. Hence, the special case of
balancing the neutral colors (sometimes
gray balance, neutral balance, or white
balance) is a particularly important
perhaps dominant element of color
Normally, one would not use the phrase
color balance to describe the adjustments
needed to account for differences between
the sensors and the human eye, or the details
of the display primaries. Color balance is
normally reserved to refer to correction for
differences in the ambient illumination
conditions. However, the algorithms for
transforming the data do not always clearly
separate out the different elements of the
correction. Hence, it can be difficult to
assign color balance to a specific step in the
color correction process. Moreover, there
can be significant differences in the color
balancing goal. Some applications are
created to produce an accurate rendering
as suggested above. In other applications,
the goal of color balancing is to produce a
pleasing rendering. This difference also
creates difficulty in defining the color
balancing processing operations.
Illuminant estimation and
Most digital cameras have a means to select
a color correction based on the type of scene
illumination, using either manual illuminant
selection, or automatic white balance
(AWB), or custom white balance. The
algorithm that performs this analysis
performs generalized color balancing,
known as illuminant adaptation or chromatic
Color balance
A white balanced image of ""Mount Sharp" on Mars (August 8, 2012).
Many methods are used to achieve color
balancing. Setting a button on a camera is a
way for the user to indicate to the processor
the nature of the scene lighting. Another
option on some cameras is a button which
one may press when the camera is pointed at
a gray card or other neutral object. This
"custom white balance" step captures an
image of the ambient light, and this
information is helpful in controlling color
There is a large literature on how one might estimate the ambient illumination from the camera data and then use this
information to transform the image data. A variety of algorithms have been proposed, and the quality of these have
been debated. A few examples and examination of the references therein will lead the reader to many others.
Examples are Retinex, an artificial neural network
or a Bayesian method.
Color balance and chromatic colors
Color balancing an image affects not only the neutrals, but other colors as well. An image that is not color balanced
is said to have a color cast, as everything in the image appears to have been shifted towards one color or
Wikipedia:Citing sources Color balancing may be thought in terms of removing this color cast.
Color balance is also related to color constancy. Algorithms and techniques used to attain color constancy are
frequently used for color balancing, as well. Color constancy is, in turn, related to chromatic adaptation.
Conceptually, color balancing consists of two steps: first, determining the illuminant under which an image was
captured; and second, scaling the components (e.g., R, G, and B) of the image or otherwise transforming the
components so they conform to the viewing illuminant.
Viggiano found that white balancing in the camera's native RGB tended to produce less color inconstancy (i.e., less
distortion of the colors) than in monitor RGB for over 4000 hypothetical sets of camera sensitivities.
difference typically amounted to a factor of more than two in favor of camera RGB. This means that it is
advantageous to get color balance right at the time an image is captured, rather than edit later on a monitor. If one
must color balance later, balancing the raw image data will tend to produce less distortion of chromatic colors than
balancing in monitor RGB.
Mathematics of color balance
Color balancing is sometimes performed on a three-component image (e.g., RGB) using a 3x3 matrix. This type of
transformation is appropriate if the image were captured using the wrong white balance setting on a digital camera,
or through a color filter.
Scaling monitor R, G, and B
In principle, one wants to scale all relative luminances in an image so that objects which are believed to be neutral
appear so. If, say, a surface with was believed to be a white object, and if 255 is the count which
corresponds to white, one could multiply all red values by 255/240. Doing analogously for green and blue would
result, at least in theory, in a color balanced image. In this type of transformation the 3x3 matrix is a diagonal matrix.
Color balance
where , , and are the color balanced red, green, and blue components of a pixel in the image; , ,
and are the red, green, and blue components of the image before color balancing, and , , and are
the red, green, and blue components of a pixel which is believed to be a white surface in the image before color
balancing. This is a simple scaling of the red, green, and blue channels, and is why color balance tools in Photoshop
and the GIMP have a white eyedropper tool. It has been demonstrated that performing the white balancing in the
phosphor set assumed by sRGB tends to produce large errors in chromatic colors, even though it can render the
neutral surfaces perfectly neutral.
Scaling X, Y, Z
If the image may be transformed into CIE XYZ tristimulus values, the color balancing may be performed there. This
has been termed a wrong von Kries transformation.
Although it has been demonstrated to offer usually poorer
results than balancing in monitor RGB, it is mentioned here as a bridge to other things. Mathematically, one
where , , and are the color-balanced tristimulus values; , , and are the tristimulus values of
the viewing illuminant (the white point to which the image is being transformed to conform to); , , and
are the tristimulus values of an object believed to be white in the un-color-balanced image, and , , and
are the tristimulus values of a pixel in the un-color-balanced image. If the tristimulus values of the monitor primaries
are in a matrix so that:
where , , and are the un-gamma corrected monitor RGB, one may use:
Von Kries's method
Johannes von Kries, whose theory of rods and three color-sensitive cone types in the retina has survived as the
dominant explanation of color sensation for over 100 years, motivated the method of converting color to the LMS
color space, representing the effective stimuli for the Long-, Medium-, and Short-wavelength cone types that are
modeled as adapting independently. A 3x3 matrix converts RGB or XYZ to LMS, and then the three LMS primary
values are scaled to balance the neutral; the color can then be converted back to the desired final color space:
where , , and are the color-balanced LMS cone tristimulus values; , , and are the
tristimulus values of an object believed to be white in the un-color-balanced image, and , , and are the
tristimulus values of a pixel in the un-color-balanced image.
Color balance
Matrices to convert to LMS space were not specified by von Kries, but can be derived from CIE color matching
functions and LMS color matching functions when the latter are specified; matrices can also be found in reference
Scaling camera RGB
By Viggiano's measure, and using his model of gaussian camera spectral sensitivities, most camera RGB spaces
performed better than either monitor RGB or XYZ.
If the camera's raw RGB values are known, one may use the
3x3 diagonal matrix:
and then convert to a working RGB space such as sRGB or Adobe RGB after balancing.
Preferred chromatic adaptation spaces
Comparisons of images balanced by diagonal transforms in a number of different RGB spaces have identified
several such spaces that work better than others, and better than camera or monitor spaces, for chromatic adaptation,
as measured by several color appearance models; the systems that performed statistically as well as the best on the
majority of the image test sets used were the "Sharp", "Bradford", "CMCCAT", and "ROMM" spaces.
General illuminant adaptation
The best color matrix for adapting to a change in illuminant is not necessarily a diagonal matrix in a fixed color
space. It has long been known that if the space of illuminants can be described as a linear model with N basis terms,
the proper color transformation will be the weighted sum of N fixed linear transformations, not necessarily
consistently diagonalizable.
[5] Brian Funt, Vlad Cardei, and Kobus Barnard, " Learning color constancy (http:// www. cs. sfu. ca/ ~colour/ publications/ ARIZONA/
arizona_abs. html)," in Proceedings of the Fourth IS&T/SID Color Imaging Conference, p 58-60 (1996).
[6] John A C Yule, Principles of Color Reproduction. New York: Wiley, 1967.
[7] J A Stephen Viggiano, " Comparison of the accuracy of different white balancing options as quantified by their color constancy (http:/ / www. papers/ EI_2004. pdf)." Sensors and Camera Systems for Scientific, Industrial, and Digital Photography Applications V:
Proceedings of the SPIE, volume 5301. Bellingham, WA: SPIE: the International Society for Optical Engineering, p 323-333 (2004), retrieved
online 2008-07-28.
[8] Mark D Fairchild, Color Appearance Models. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1998.
External links
White Balance (http:/ / www. nikondigital. org/ articles/ white_balance. htm) - Intro at
Understanding White Balance (http:/ / www.photoxels. com/ tutorial_white-balance. html) - Tutorial
Affine color balance with saturation, with code and on-line demonstration (http:/ / www. ipol. im/ pub/ algo/
lmps_simplest_color_balance/ )
Article Sources and Contributors
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Focus (optics) Source: Contributors: AED, Aboalbiss, Ancheta Wis, Andres, Bjankuloski06en, Borg*Continuum, CanOfWorms,
Ckelloug, Cmglee, Complexica, DadaNeem, Darklilac, Dicklyon, Diliff, ESCapade, Erudecorp, Ewlyahoocom, Fieldday-sunday, Filu, Fropuff, Fryed-peach, Fudoreaper, Gail, Headbomb,
HenrikP, Hyacinth, Javalenok, Jean-Franois Clet, Josh3580, Jtkiefer, Ld100, Li4kata, Mark Dingemanse, Mild Bill Hiccup, Mindmatrix, Nharish04, Obradovic Goran, Pegasus1138, Perfect
Proposal, Pflatau, Qutezuce, Reinyday, Sidesninth, Smsarmad, Srleffler, Tagremover, Thomas Gilling, Voidxor, , , , 48 anonymous edits
Depth of field Source: Contributors: !nok, .:Ajvol:.,, 75th Trombone, AED, Adrian1906, Ahmedkamal1987, Ajuniper,
Althepal, Ancheta Wis, AndyBrandt, Ap, Arpingstone, Artiom.chaplygin, Asankegalgomuwa, Atlant, Autophoto, Autopilot, Avicennasis, B137, Beland, BenFrantzDale, Bender235, Bernie Kohl,
Betacommand, Beukebo, BigFatBuddha, Binksternet, Blue520, Blueshade, BoP, BornisMedia, Brion VIBBER, Calculist, Causa sui, Cburnett, Ceoil, ChicXulub, Chokity, Cmglee, Coneslayer,
Conversion script, Curtdbz, DARTH SIDIOUS 2, DarkPhoenix, Dcouzin, De728631, Delicious carbuncle, DesmondW, Dicklyon, Digitalmoron, Discospinster, Dllu, Dmsar, Doug Pardee,
Dschwen, Dswader, Egil, Ehn, Emijrp, Ericd, Erik9, Fifedog, Fir0002, Fireallconsuming, Fireworks, Fitzhugh, Fletcher, Fratrep, Freezing in Wisconsin, Gioto, Girolamo Savonarola,
Glockenklang1, Gomm, GoneAwayNowAndRetired, Gphoto, H, Harriv, Hede2000, Hellbus, Hirumon, Hoary, Hooperbloob, Hoot, Hughcharlesparker, I am Me true, Icd, Ignacio Icke, Imohano,
Imroy, J.delanoy, JHMM13, Jacobolus, Jacopo188, Jamesington, Jamesmcardle, JayQew87, Jbattersby, JeffConrad, Jeffmedkeff, Jeremy Butler, JetLover, Jfliu, Jochen 0x90h, Jogloran,
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MarnetteD, Matthiaspaul, Maximilian Schnherr, Mehmetaergun, Mi6el, Michael Hardy, Michel192cm, Michi zh, MightyWarrior, Mihanolis, Mindmatrix, Minesweeper, Miskatonic, Mogism,
Moxfyre, MuZemike, NaBUru38, Naufana, Nbarth, Odo Benus, Ohnoitsjamie, Onceler, Onorem, Pakaran, Parande, Parkis, Pengo, Peter S., Pfeldman, Pflatau, Phydend, Piano non troppo,
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Srleffler, Starheart3d, TastyPoutine, Technopilgrim, Terrycallen, The Anome, The Thing That Should Not Be, The wub, Thegreenj, Timo Honkasalo, Tony Wills, Towsonu2003, Tricajus,
Tubehahaha, TyArnberg, Ubiquity, Unknown1234321, Vitz-RS, WOSlinker, WalrusJR, Walvis, WazzoTheMartian, Weihao.chiu, William Avery, William Grimes, XJaM, Zippo, , 314
anonymous edits
Color balance Source: Contributors: AS, Adoniscik, Ancheta Wis, Andreas Kaufmann, Andrewferrier, Atcold, B137, Betacommand,
Brettr, ChestRockwell, ColorScientist, Dave.Dunford, Dicklyon, Drbogdan, Fg2, Fotaun, Geekinspired, Giraffedata, Glane23, JJ Harrison, Jacobolus, Jfriedl, Jordash, Kjlewis, Lovibond,
MCTales, Mindmatrix, Nbarth, NekoDaemon, NeonMerlin, Nilx, Okki, P00r, Razorx, Rjwilmsi, Rooh23, Sbisolo, Sdgjake, Sfiga, Sterrys, Suckindiesel, Tabletop, The Thing That Should Not Be,
Thorseth, VMS Mosaic, Vegaswikian, Wandell, William Graham, Ykhwong, Zarex, Zephyrnoid, 37 anonymous edits
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