ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed Full Stop Chart

ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed Full Stop Chart

In previous posts about ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed, I explained how these values are measured in what are called stops. I created this chart so you can easily see what one full stop to the next is in ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

I created this because I do a lot of what’s called HDR bracketing. I’ll do a more in depth post on HDR at a later date. The basic idea is that camera sensors are very limited in the range of detail from the brightest highlight to the darkest shadow that they can capture. It’s typically no more than about 1 to 2 stops max. If you want to capture the full range possible in a scene (or even beyond), and your subject isn’t moving, then do a bracketed exposure. This is when you take multiple pictures at different exposure levels and combine them in the computer. So for example: let’s say you are photographing a landscape and the correct exposure is 1/125th of a second at f8.0, and 100 ISO. A 2 stop bracket would have you taking one picture at 2 stops underexposed (1/500th at f8.0 and 100 ISO), one at the correct exposure, and one 2 stops overexposed (1/30th at f8.0 and 100 ISO). Then you can combine the 3 images in Photoshop or some other HDR merging program, and have a final image with 5 stops of dynamic range instead of 2. I will often do images with 12 stops. I only change the shutter speed so my ISO and aperture remain the same. The problem is that my camera has limitations on how high the shutter speed will go. My fastest shutter speed is 1/8000th of a second. Most cameras are limited to 1/4000th. So if I want to do an exposure that is 6 stops under exposed then the fastest my starting out shutter speed could be is 1/125th of a second. So I would adjust my ISO and aperture until my starting shutter speed was 1/125th of a second and shoot my bracket. To do this right you will need a tripod and cable release as you will get into some seriously slow shutter speeds. This chart helps me quickly see what my shutter speed will be at the extreme ends of my bracket.

This is the correct exposure as metered by the camera. Side note- using the small aperture (f16) not only gave me the depth of field I needed, but it also gives the star burst effect with the lights. A more open aperture wouldn't do that. It was something I wanted for this photo. Using a low ISO gave me a cleaner image. The low ISO and small aperture gave me the very slow shutter speed I wanted to capture just the blur and lights of the car driving through the parking lot.  Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 3.2 Seconds, f16. Manual exposure, manual white balance, on tripod.

This is the correct exposure as metered by the camera. Side note- using the small aperture (f16) not only gave me the depth of field I needed, but it also gives the star burst effect with the lights. A more open aperture wouldn’t do that. It was something I wanted for this photo. Using a low ISO gave me a cleaner image. The low ISO and small aperture gave me the very slow shutter speed I wanted to capture just the blur and lights of the car driving through the parking lot.Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 3.2 Seconds, f16. Manual exposure, manual white balance, on tripod. 

This image is -2 stops under exposed from where the camera's meter indicated. The purpose of this is to get all of the detail in the highlight (bright) areas of the image. Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 0.8 Second, f16. Manual exposure, manual, white balance, tripod.

This image is -2 stops under exposed from where the camera’s meter indicated. The purpose of this is to get all of the detail in the highlight (bright) areas of the image.Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 0.8 Second, f16. Manual exposure, manual, white balance, tripod. 

This frame is +2 stops overexposed from the indicated exposure. The point of this image is to get the detail in the shadow (dark) areas of the image. Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 13 Seconds, f16. Manual exposure, manual white balance, tripod.

This frame is +2 stops overexposed from the indicated exposure. The point of this image is to get the detail in the shadow (dark) areas of the image.Canon 1D Mark III, Sigma 50mm 1.4, ISO 100, 13 Seconds, f16. Manual exposure, manual white balance, tripod. 

This is the merged HDR (high dynamic range) image. You can see more detail in the bright and dark areas of the image than the correct overall exposure as indicated by the camera. I use the HDR module in Photoshop CS6 to merge the 3 files.

This is the merged HDR (high dynamic range) image. You can see more detail in the bright and dark areas of the image than the correct overall exposure as indicated by the camera. I use the HDR module in Photoshop CS6 to merge the 3 files.

I added the values for ISO and aperture as well so you can see the order of whole stops. Note, if it’s in yellow then it’s outside the range of current camera technology. I just put them in for illustration.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 4.07.24 PM

Bracket Table

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Tommy
If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
Icon Icon Icon

One Response

Tommy
04.05.13

[...] niche of photography, there is almost certainly a group for it. I have a group on Flickr for my photography class where students can upload their work for critique and [...]

Leave Your Response

Tommy
* Name, Email, Comment are Required

Search

Enter your email address to subscribe and get automatic updates with photography tips, lessons, and reviews. Plus an exclusive newsletter! But wait, there's more! Subscribe in the month of May and be entered to win a FREE t-shirt. The subscription is FREE too! What are you waiting for?

Class Flikr Group Photos

DSC_0374IMG_4345KellyMaternity-002.jpgKellyMaternity-003.jpgPortrail Class Day 2-0860Portrait Class 03222014-0756untitled shoot-0645untitled shoot-0710DSC_0283DSC_0334bee-in-flowerOak Mtn State Park 1

Archives

Categories

lens rental