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hello,your particular problem sounds,back to front,are you sure your camera is working perfectly? are you able to meter manually?is it an all auto exposure/auto everything?because by design an aperture of say F4.5 is pretty much wide open to allow maximum light in,so depending on what shutter speed you select(if your able to,manual settings on camera?) so as you progress through the F stops,the higher the number,the smaller the aperture,so henceforth you are letting in smaller amount of light in,because from 1 setting to the next,you either halve or double the amount of light that enters the lens.do have a close look through the front element of the lens to see if the aperture is actually corresponding to what your settings are on the camera.hope that helps,cheers.
The aperture of a lens system is the opening between the actual lens elements, typically made of glass or plastic, and the camera's digital sensor that translates the light into image data. Aperture openings are referred to in terms of stops or f-stops that equate to the ratio of the lens focal length to the diameter of the opening. A lens system with a focal length of 50mm and an aperture opening that is 25mm in diameter would equate to an f-stop of 2, and would be known as a 50mm f2 lens. Some lenses have variable apertures that can be set to one of multiple f-stop values. Reducing the aperture size decreases the amount of light that makes it to the sensor as well as increases the amount of depth of field that the lens will provide.
If you're using the kit lens (17-85mm f/4-5.6), the maximum aperture achieveable when fully zoomed out (wide) is f/4 and when fully zoomed in, f/5.6 (that's what the f/4-5.6 stands for). The minimum aperture on this lens is not a problem since you're only making it smaller. i.e., f/22.
Try zooming back and turning the Aperture adjustment dial. You should be able to get f/4.
If you need bigger aperture to get a nice bokeh or to take portraits where the background is blurred while the subject in focus (aka shallow Depth of Field), try lens that are f/3.5 or f/2.8 max. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is quite affordable (around US$100-120).
In that case the linkage between the movable parts of the lens group and the focussing ring has failed.
What follows applies to most lenses; I have a Canon 50mm FD to hand but as it works perfectly I've not needed to dismantle it so far but have repaired many others.
When you turn the focus ring there are usually two pegs which engage into helical slots cut into the focussing ring, these are hidden within the lens and you won't see them unless the lens is dismantled. The pegs are usually rounded to make the passage along the helical slot even smoother and each one is fixed to the inner lens barrel by a screw. On older lenses, the grease inside can dry out a bit, especially if the lens remains unused, when this happens the pegs may either shear off or simply become unscrewed and drop off. The gummy grease may hold them so you won't always hear a rattling part inside.
To fix it, you carefully dismantle the lens to the minimum extent you can get away with. You'll need good light, patience and a set of good quality crosshead precision screwdrivers. Normally you start with the screws on the mounting flange and watch out for small springs and detent balls which tend to escape to freedom never to be seen again. Some of the screws are usually hidden beneath the rubber grip on the focussing ring, and you remove this to check by carefully lifting an edge and then rolling it back over itself. It may need re-gluing afterwards. Clean out dried grease as you go and apply a small amount of thick grease to replace it on reassembly: less is far better than too much! Some of the screws may need thread lock applied to them when they go back in, but you're better off leaving this as your first time lens repair usually has to come apart again due to an error in reassembly.
Be prepared to ruin this lens as it's your first lens repair. The good news is that auction websites have plenty of other cheaply and in full working order, just make sure to ask if the iris (aperture) works smoothly and snappily and that the lens does not have the dreaded lens fungus on the glass elements (a patchy white haze). You can also usually get these lenses for free on Yahoo FreeCycle and a camera body and other goodies normally come as part of the offer. FreeCycle is how I've collected various Nikons, Canons and Pentax SLRs and lenses over the last year to add to my existing Olympus gear.
I hope that I've helped you, if so please return the favour by rating my answer.
You have a case of AE(auto exposure) Unit faulty or getting bad. It suppose to register as it move within the AE unit according to the exposure calculation but somehow it is broken. Technician usualy replace the AE unit and takes care of the problem. It can also be rebuilt if new parts are not available. This requires complete disassembly and mirror box removal. The average cost of repair probably runs around $100. Yes, "A" mode is correct for most of the shots and it was a state of art electronic system and more computerized than you think. It has 3 IC chips in there for precessing and 1 chip for the exposure. All works together for good. -James