Lenses have many apertures available for use. Aperture is used to modify the amount of light entering the camera body and can have the effect of increasing or decreasing shutter speeds and depth of field. It also has an effect on the sharpness of your image.
Stopping down a lens (using a smaller f-stop / a larger f number) has the effect of perceived increases in sharpness. Because of diffraction though, a lenses optimal sharpness occurs a few stops before minimum aperture, which for most lenses is between f8-11 and possible as high as f16.
Until next time, happy shooting.
The digital photography tip of the week is written by the PCIN Assistant Editor, Chris Empey. Chris is a long time photographer and is currently the President of the Niagara Falls Camera Club. You can see more of his photography at his Photo of the Day website.
If you have a tip to send Chris, or a question about digital photography he can address in the newsletter, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.