Formal and Informal F Stops

Click on the image to expand into a new page. These are formal and informal F stops. Each number that’s on bold is a true f stop. The others, the in between numbers, are smaller or larger increments. Why is this important? Well because F stops work in pretty well with shutter speed. It means you can work with certain shutter speeds based on the mathematics.

This chart above means that if you have correct exposure at F5.6 and 1/250th of a second, then by moving left or right by one f stop and shutter speed, you should have the correct exposure again. Look for the pattern to help you remember this.

I know it’s confusing and you can feel like a cup of a tea and a lie down when you are done, but believe me, it does get easier.

Happy shooting!

Amy Renfrey

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time.

Comments (6)

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  1. Penni says:

    This is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing, like always.

  2. Baz says:

    This is the best article I have read, thank you, I have learned a lot of knowledge from you already.

  3. Ellie says:

    Do you always use this technique?

  4. Bahen says:

    I can understand it more, thanks.

  5. Gerri says:

    Still confusing!

  6. Sami says:

    You have made it so much easier to understand.

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