- A Beginner's Guide to Aperture and Depth of Field
- Camera Lens Terms Explained for Beginner Photographers
Have you ever wondered what in the world that button on the front of your camera near the lens housing does?
I mean, if you push it, nothing happens, right?
Well, believe it or not, that little button actually performs a very valuable function, one that could help you take better photos.
In the video above, ZY Productions offers a quick tutorial on what that button - the depth of field preview button - does.
As explained in the video, if you have the aperture set to the maximum aperture value of the lens, the button won't do a thing.
However, if you use a smaller aperture and then press the depth of field preview button, you'll hear a sound coming from the camera.
If you look through your viewfinder while pressing the button, you'll see that the view gets darker. But why?
The darker view results from the camera closing down the aperture to the setting that you've selected, and in doing so, the view through the viewfinder allows you to see the depth of field you would get in the image if you used that specific aperture.
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So why is this button even needed?
What many photographers don't understand is that the aperture of the lens remains wide open until the moment the shutter button is pressed.
That means that if you're composing your shot using an aperture of f/8, but the largest aperture the lens is capable of is f/1.8, when you look through the viewfinder, the depth of field you see is what you get at f/1.8.
That's a little misleading, right?
But that's why the depth of field preview button is there - so you know precisely what the depth of field will look like before you press the shutter button.
And now you know what that little button on the front of your camera does!
Be sure to watch the complete video above for more insights (including why the viewfinder defaults to the maximum aperture) and tips on using this feature. Also be sure to check out other tutorials on XY Productions' YouTube channel.