If you have read my blog over the last few months, you may have noticed that the logo has slightly changed. In general, I really like the aperture symbol, and I am constantly thinking of getting a small tattoo of it on my right shoulder blade…. right behind the one with the long scar on the front side from surgery.
Oh yeah, I got my plate removed last November! That was a really busy month….. surgery, interviews, Japan, Thanksgiving. Things are finally starting to settle down.
But anyway, back to the aperture symbol!
An aperture is a controlled opening in an imaging system to control how much light enters the camera. If you open up the aperture, more light comes in, and you don’t have to expose the film or CCD array as long to get an appropriate image. However, the larger the aperture system, the faster objects become more blurry as they get out-of-focus. The smaller the aperture, the sharper the background appears to the camera.
This is why the pinhole camera was the first, and ideal, camera. With an “infinitesimally small hole” as an aperture, a lens system is not even needed and everything is in focus. However, the TIME required to capture one image with these systems makes them impractical for most applications.
If you “google” the term aperture, you’ll notice that most aperture symbols are illustrated with six “wings” (I’m not sure of the actual name of them). This results in the standard hexagon symbol insert as a result. Of course, most optical engineers would prefer a circle instead of a polygon, since the corners of the opening would result in more stray light and changing the f-stop value of your image (making more of the image that is out-of-focus more blurry).
But of course, these wings are never straight edges. Curved wings make a more uniform, circle-light opening. No surprise there…..less parts means cheaper design.
My original symbol was made with 12 wings. However, I thought it looked a little goofy after a while….and made it a little less realistic to the original symbol. I still didn’t want 6 flaps, so I decided to alter the logo to an 8 wing design (the right). However, I probably should change the “overlapping scheme,” so that bottom flap doesn’t eat up so much space. Right?
In addition, I initially labeled my logo a “broken aperture.” With each wing set for a different aperture size, it gives a non-uniform opening to the camera. One could speculate that this would make some portions of the image blurry while keeping others sharp. However, the rays entering the system sees all portions of the aperture, so all objects in the camera’s sight would be equally as affected. I’ll have to look into the details sometime and give a more detailed explanation on the impact of a lopsided aperture on a camera.
On a side note….if your aperture breaks, please let a professional try to fix it. Optical components are one heck of a mess. And while I did learn a lot about how the inner working look inside a SLR lens system, including sliders, springs, and numerous lenses, it’s really not meant to be taken apart. A small piece of plastic snapped off and permanently closed my aperture, and a futile effort to fix what is long gone. Not only did the aperture not open, but the broken piece also messed up the gears that control the aperture system.
Sorry Alex…… I tried.