What are your favorite lens apertures? After running the stats on 20K+ photos on one of my hard drives, I plotted the data in this chart.
My most popular aperture is f/8. It looks like I am the “set the lens at f/8 and shoot away” type. The fact is that I shoot lots of landscapes and f/8 works well most of the time. I go to extremes of f/2.8 when I want to have very shallow depth of field (DOF). For most family activity and informal portrait shots, I use f/5.6 to ensure sufficient DOF and avoid busy background associated with smaller apertures.
The next chart shows my lens usage information.
My most popular lens is the Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5, followed by Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, etc. The lens “140-420mm f/5.6″ is actually the “100-300mm f/4″ (Sigma EX DG) with a 1.4X teleconverter (TC) attached. It appears that I had the TC attached half of the time I used the lens.
The last chart shows my favorite focal lengths. Most of my photos were taken at focal length < 100mm. It is not strange because I have the Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 and the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 as my most popular lenses.
To find out your own shooting habits, you can download Exif Stats Utility. It can collect statistics data on aperture, exposure time, focal length, and ISO. It does not plot the chart for you though. For that, you will need to get the data into program such as Microsoft Excel.
Keywords: aperture, exif, Exif Stats Utility, ExifTool, lens setting, shooting information