CameraTechnica Labs: High Speed Video of Aperture Blades Closing

If you’ve been following this site, you’ve already read about the science behind aperture and depth of field. You’ve also read about how the number of aperture blades controls the number of points in your starburst highlights.  The mechanics of the aperture blades behind these effects are a marvel in and of themselves.  Aperture blades must not only be precise in the amount of light they allow through, they must be lightning fast.  In the split second that you press the shutter button, the razor thin aperture blades must close to a precisely sized hole, await the shutter exposure, and then snap back into the wide open position before you can blink your eye.

The description sounds nice, but a picture is a thousand words.  Actually, a video is worth 10,000 words.

The stunning video below was taken from  a Canon 18-55 lens after some careful excavation.  Don’t worry, no lenses were harmed in the making of this film.



For  an even closer look at the aperture blade action, check out this high speed camera video.




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