One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The ratio of the focal length of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot (e.g. f8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter).
- ‘The f-numbers marked on a lens are only truly accurate when the lens is focused at infinity.’
- ‘All these f-numbers, focal lengths, film speeds and apertures are actually really simple to get to grips with once you understand how they relate to each other and to the finished picture.’
- ‘So if you want to have that window frame, the couple, and the envelope all in focus, you need a narrow aperture, and so a large f-number, such as f22.’
- ‘The configuration offers the advantage of high image quality, low distortion, and low f-number, making it ideal for spectral imaging.’
- ‘The higher f-numbers mean the diameter of the lens can be smaller, so the lens, using only 20% to 25% as much material, will cost less and weigh less.’
Early 20th century: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
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