iPhone aperture control. How to change the f-stop

The iPhone camera gets more and more features from an SLR camera. With special camera apps you can, for example, set the shutter speed and ISO for motion blur and long exposures. But can the iPhone aperture be adjusted?

What is aperture?

The aperture is the opening in a lens that determines the amount of light that falls on the sensor. The size of the aperture is expressed with an f-number or f-stop. You can enlarge and reduce the aperture of an SLR camera to change the depth of field of a photo. A small aperture has a high f-number and vice versa. The larger the aperture (small f-number), the smaller the depth of field.

The iPhone aperture

The aperture of the iPhone camera cannot be changed. The effect of a larger or smaller aperture on the depth of field can be simulated with software. Apple calls this feature Depth Control. On the iPhone XS, XS max and XR or later models you can change the depth of field during and after shooting. For older devices you can get comparable results with the Focos app.

Demo during the September Event 2018

Set the depth of field in the iPhone camera app

Change the depth of field during shooting

In the iPhone camera app you can change the depth of field and view the result while shooting. Open the iPhone camera app in Portrait mode and tap the f setting at the top left of the screen. Swipe your finger on the slider to change the depth of field.

Change the depth of field of a photo

You can adjust the depth of field of photos taken in Portrait mode in the Photos app. Proceed as follows.

  1. Take the photo in Portrait mode.
  2. Open the photo in the Photos app.
  3. Tap edit at the top right of the screen.
  4. Tap the f setting at the top left of the screen for the Depth Control.
  5. Swipe your finger on the slider to the right for a small f-number and a small depth of field. The background becomes more blurred.
  6. Swipe your finger on the slider to the left for a large f-number and a large depth of field.
aperture of the iPhone
Tap edit and then the f setting at the top left of the screen for the depth control.
aperture of the iPhone
F 1.4 / small depth of field.
aperture of the iPhone
Swipe your finger
to change the f-number.
aperture of the iPhone
F 16 / large depth of field.

Change the iPhone aperture with the camera app Focos

For older iPhone models and photos that were not made with Portrait mode, you can download the Focos app. With this app you can change the depth of field with the aperture and even adjust the focus point. Proceed as follows.

  • Start the app and open a photo. The depth of field is calculated and applied automatically.
  • You can use the slider to increase or decrease the aperture to adjust the depth of field.
  • Tap another object in the photo to move the focus point.
Change the aperture in Focos.
The focus point has been moved to the rear candle.

You need the paid Focos Pro version to save photos in full resolution and for extra functions.

Conclusion iPhone aperture

The photographic possibilities of the iPhone camera are becoming more powerful and the differences with an SLR camera are getting smaller. Adjusting the aperture during shooting was only possible with a “real” camera. The effect of a larger or smaller aperture on the depth of field can be simulated on the iPhone with software.

Download

Focos App Store

Also read my blog about HDR iPhone photography or go to the overview with all iPhone photography blogs.

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