What aperture can/should I use?

Question by Grant O’connell: What aperture can/should I use?
I’m fairly new to the photography/filmography world and I was wondering, if I have a lens with a fixed aperture (for example: a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens on my Canon 60d), do I have to film at 2.8 aperture? Do I have to set the camera’s aperture to that and can I only use that aperture? Or can I set a different one on my camera and film with that? A detailed answer would be appreciated.


Best answer:

Answer by fhotoace
Too bad you did not take the time to learn the fundamentals of photography.

If you hand any lens in your hands right now, you would see that there is a range of lens apertures from f/2.8 all the way to f/22 on the EF 24-70 mm lens

If your true goal is to shoot video, the first question is why didn’t you just buy a video camera?

Add your own answer in the comments!

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6 Responses to What aperture can/should I use?

  1. Hondo says:

    Oh for God's sake… Please go read a beginner's photography book.

  2. Photofox says:

    You have a Canon L series lens and don’t know how to use it?!
    It will have a range of apertures but for videoing, you would have been better off with a Camcorder.

  3. Pete says:

    The largest lens aperture is 2.8. Depending on the lighting conditions, what auto programme you’ve set it up with, whether or not you’re using a flash, the camera will use any aperture as appropriate to the shutter speed. My advice would be for you to take your camera out and start taking photographs. As a general rule use a manual setting to start with and use the in-built light meter guide you to the best exposure. The Canon is a very good camera but its only as good as the user. There is a lot to learn. There’s no need to rush, have fun and avoid advice from d/heads.

  4. BriaR says:

    Your 24-70 f/2.8 L does not have a “fixed” aperture. It has a “constant” aperture. That means that the maximum aperture of f/2.8 is held across the whole range.
    You set the aperture that is relevant and suitable for whatever you are shooting.
    Unfortunately you have learnt the hard way that buying an expensive “professional” camera doesn’t turn you overnight into a brilliant videographer/photographer. Giving an answer in the detail you need as a total beginner is beyond the remit of Y!A. You need to buy a book on photography for beginners.

    The series “xxxxxxxx for Dummies” is excellent for total beginners and would be a good start.

    There is one for your camera:

    and a couple of general photography


  5. deep blue2 says:

    It’s not a fixed aperture, it’s the widest aperture it can go to!!

    You can use whatever you want to between f2.8 and f22 for this lens.

    You use the aperture you want depending on the amount of light available and the depth of field you want.

    Why not take a course in photography basics??? If you are going to buy top end gear what’s the point if you don’t understand how to use it? You might as well have bought a point & shoot.

  6. keerok says:

    Fixed aperture means the lens will maintain the aperture setting no matter what focal length you zoom it in. So if you set the lens to f/5.6 at 70mm, zooming out to 24mm will still be f/5.6. You can use any aperture size available on that lens. If you don’t know what you’re doing, set the camera to auto mode and let it decide what’s best.

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