The exposure triangle is a fundamental concept in photography that refers to the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These three elements work together to determine the final exposure of an image.

In this article, we will explore how to operate the exposure triangle using the top dials on a Fujifilm camera. Fujifilm cameras, especially the X-T range utilises the top dials to help us change the three aspects of the exposure triangle in an analogue fashion, rather than just through the digital menu systems like other brands.

Here’s a quick overview of the exposure triangle:

Aperture: The aperture is the opening in the lens that controls the amount of light that enters the camera. The aperture is measured in f-stops, with a lower f-stop indicating a wider aperture and a higher f-stop indicating a narrower aperture. On a Fujifilm camera, the aperture is controlled by the aperture ring on the lens. To change the aperture, simply rotate the ring to the desired f-stop.

Shutter Speed: The shutter speed refers to the amount of time that the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. Shutter speed is measured in seconds or fractions of a second. On a Fujifilm camera, the shutter speed is controlled by the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera. To change the shutter speed, rotate the dial to the desired setting.

ISO: ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A lower ISO value indicates a lower sensitivity and a higher ISO value indicates a higher sensitivity. On a Fujifilm camera, the ISO is controlled by the ISO dial on the top of the camera. To change the ISO, rotate the dial to the desired setting.

The exposure triangle
The exposure triangle is available on the top dials

Read about Dynamic Range settings here

When operating the exposure triangle on a Fujifilm camera, it is important to keep in mind that changing one element of the triangle will affect the others. For example, if you increase the aperture, you will need to either slow down the shutter speed or increase the ISO to maintain the same exposure.

Experimenting with different combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will help you understand how these elements work together to create different effects in your photos.

The top dials on Fujifilm cameras such as the X-T series have a top dial for the shutter speed, another for the ISO settings and the ring on the lens can be turned to change the aperture. This completes the exposure triangle on the top dials.

Read about the science behind photography here

I find that the best way to start this process is to set the ISO and aperture manually, but leave the shutter speed in A (automatic) and the camera will then choose your shutter speed for you. Keep an eye on your shutter speed to ensure it doesn’t go below 1/100th second if you’re shooting handheld.

You can adjust the exposure compensation dial accordingly to control shutter speed. For handheld shots where you don’t have Image stabilization, I suggest keeping your shutter speed above 1/100th.

Learn more about the exposure triangle here

One thing to mention, if you set all three values manually (aperture, ISO, shutter) then the exposure compensation dial won’t work. You need at least one of the three areas to be in A mode to use the exposure compensation dial.

Please keep in mind that the camera I am talking about is an X-T model which may not be the same specific Fujifilm camera model you have. However, Fujifilm have added dials to nearly all their cameras, so you’ll be able to put this process into practice on nearly all their analogue style cameras. Watch this short video to see this process in action.

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