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Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 14 of 58

Aperture: Starburst Effect


Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 14 of 58

Aperture: Starburst Effect


Lesson Info

Aperture: Starburst Effect

how about we lighten things up and have some fun? All right, let's talk about the starburst effect, and this is an impact of the aperture in the lens, which is why it's in this section. So if your if your brain is hurting a little bit, this is a little bit final, a bit easier to take hold up. And so when you point your camera at a bright light source, sometimes here, seen in Seattle, known as the Sun, we will get these rays of light coming out of the sun, which is have a nice little effect off cameras, and it is there for a particular reason, and we're gonna talk about how to create this and how toe implemented. Now it is kind of a nice little bonus. And if I do have these bright light sources and they could just be little lights that are, you know, here in the sidewalk that you can get to kind of pop out and it's just kind of a nice little extra thing to have in the photograph. So what's interesting is that this shape of these stars is different with the different lenses that you migh...

t use So you see how many different raise air coming out and the exact look to it depends on the lens, and in particular it has to do with the aperture in the lens. If you have a five bladed versus six plated versus seven bladed aperture, it's gonna change the look of the starburst in your image. So what's causing the starburst? Are these points where the blades meet at a very sharp angle? And so what's gonna happen is that you're gonna have a really strong concentration of light coming through reflected off of these blades in in the lens. Now, if you have five blades, what also happens is that it gets kicked in the opposite direction. So with an odd number of blades, you actually double the number of points you will see in your starburst. And so a five bladed aperture will result in 10 points with a six bladed aperture. Light will go out through those areas of intersection and what's in the opposite direction? Well, that's just another set of blades. And so what happens with a six played? It is, It kind of is intensifies because you kind of have double raise right on top of each other. And so that's going to be on Lee six points. And so you always end up with an even number of points, no matter how many blades that you have in your camera. But one of the things you can dio if your investigator if you're a lawyer, detective, is you can tell what lens was used, or at least you can tell how Maney aperture blades was used in a lens. So odd numbers a blades double the points, even number of blades keep the same number. And so here you can see different lenses shot in the same situation that have a different starburst pattern. Now is this a reason that I would buy a lens that it has a starburst pattern that I like? I like starburst, but not that much. Somebody might buy a lens because it's got the right number of blades on it, but it's just something Toby aware of so that you know how to use it in your photographs. Maybe you like that style. You know, I really like the Starburst here. Some other ones I don't like quite as much. It depends on the nature of that particular lens. Now, to create the Starburst, you need to be shooting at the correct apertures. And so I wanted to shoot a series of photographs at all different apertures to show you what the Starburst would look like. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna shoot the series of photos and we'll clip out the starburst from each of these starting at F four working our way down to F 22. And one of the things that you'll notice is that the more you stop your lens down, the more the bigger the starburst, the more impact it's gonna have on it. And if you think about it, your aperture is closing down more. Those little cuts in the aperture become more and more significant on the light that's coming in the lens, and so you can see this starburst growing here. I think we'll be able to get down to F 22 here in a second. So here is a nice comparison of the different apertures and how far you need to go with those aperture settings in order to get that starburst. So you really need to stop it down to F 11 16 or 22 to get a pretty good effect out of it. Now, if you do want to do a starburst, things you need to do is first off, you need to find a bright light source. That's where the light's gonna be coming from either the sun or a fairly bright, small light source usually helps out. Stop the aperture down F 11 16 22. The more you stop it down, the more you're going to get that effect, and you need to obscure part of the light. And that's where we can really see. The light is if there is some sort of dark background member. In each of those cases where there was a starburst, there is something dark nearby so that that light has some. You need something dark behind it so that you can actually see where that light ISS, and it's gonna help out a lot using a wide angle lens. What's gonna what that's going to do? It is it's going to make the light source even smaller in the frame, and it's gonna improve that amount of starburst that you're going to get from it

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. 

You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system

John will cover the full range of Canon lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Canon Lens Basics

    John Greengo gets you up-to-speed on the basics of working with interchangeable Canon® lenses.

  3. Focal Length: Angle of View
  4. Focal Length: Normal Lenses
  5. Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses
  6. Focal Length: Telephoto Lens
  7. Focal Length Rule of Thumb
  8. Field of View
  9. Aperture Basics
  10. Aperture: Maximum Aperture
  11. Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length
  12. Aperture: Depth of Field
  13. Aperture: Maximum Sharpness
  14. Aperture: Starburst Effect
  15. Aperture: Flare
  16. Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance
  17. Camera Mount System
  18. Canon Lens Compatibility
  19. Canon Lens Design
  20. Canon Lens Composition
  21. Canon Lens Shape
  22. Canon Lens Coating
  23. Canon Lens Focusing
  24. Lens Autofocus
  25. Canon Lens Image Stabilization
  26. Canon L Lenses
  27. Image Quality
  28. Canon Zoom Lenses: Standard
  29. Canon Super Zooms
  30. Canon Wide Zooms
  31. Canon Telephoto Zooms
  32. Prime Lens: Normal Lenses
  33. Prime Lens: Moderate Wide
  34. Prime Lens: Wide Angle
  35. Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide
  36. Prime Lens: Short Telephoto
  37. Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto
  38. Prime Lens: Super Telephoto
  39. 3rd Party Lenses Overview
  40. 3rd Party Prime Lenses
  41. 3rd Party Zoom Lenses
  42. Lens Accessories: Filters
  43. Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods
  44. Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount
  45. Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes
  46. Lens Accessories: Extenders
  47. Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio
  48. Macro Lens: Technique and Choices
  49. Fisheye: Technique and Choices
  50. Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices
  51. Make a Lens System Choice
  52. Choosing A Portrait Lens
  53. Choosing A Sports Lens
  54. Choosing A Landscape Lens
  55. Best Lenses for You
  56. Lens Maintenance
  57. Buying and Selling Lens
  58. What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?



I so appreciate what a good teacher John is. I wish I would have known this much about lenses when I first started out buying my lenses. It was hard finding information about lenses. I didn't want to spend money on a lens I wouldn't use. The better understanding we have about our gear the better photographers we will be. I have never seen a class like this. Invaluable...yes I bought the class! I am really impressed with the high quality photography classes available on Creative Live!

a Creativelive Student

Have loved the other John Greengo classes I've watched & purchased - and this is another winner! Having been a high school/college science teacher, it is refreshing to take a course with someone who not only is extremely experienced, seems to be a computer having stored so much knowledge, but is equally concerned about making the information truly understandable to different levels. And he shares the information using every tool he can: slides, video, interactive presentations, and great quizzes. I learned so much about my Canon lenses - and lenses in general with their many components. I am excited about testing each of mine to see what macro ratio they handle, and especially appreciated the tutorial on testing each for their specific quirk that affects super sharpness. This class is great whether you own Canon lenses or not. Thanks John Greengo!


This was a great class not just about the lenses that Canon offers but also how each lens works. As usual, John's slides are alway informative and entertaining. There is a phrase: John has a slide for that! I am not even a Canon user and found this class to have great information for the use of each specific lens. Great work John! Thank you Creative Live for another great class!