My Favorite F-Stop

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

When I was a kid I always had a favorite color, super hero, car, etc. Now that I’m an adult I have a favorite f-stop; It’s f/7.1.

When I was shooting events and weddings for a living I found that when I shot at larger apertures, such as f/2.8 there was always someone in the image wouldn’t be sharp. If you have several people standing together and you want them all to be in focus you need the depth of field that you get at a smaller aperture like f/7.1. On an APS-C or Micro Four-thirds sensor f/7.1 pretty much guarantees that no one will be out of focus and you still don’t have to use a high ISO. And you can usually shoot at ISO 400 or 800 hand held.


Sure you and get the same affect from f/6.3 or f/8, but 7.1 just sounds good to me. It also works great if you are using a flash on your camera like you need to at weddings and events.

An aperture of f/7.1 is also the sweet spot for sharpness for a lot of lenses. The old rule that a lens is usually sharpest at two stops from it’s minimum aperture still holds as far as I’m concerned and f/7.1 is close to that for a lot of zoom lenses.

It also works great for keeping everybody in focus in selfies as you can see in the photo of my son, granddaughter and me.

What’s your favorite f/stop? Click Contact and tell us about it…