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iullian Nov 24, 2010 3:54 AM

Sharpest aperture for FZ38 ?
My friends explained to me that every camera has an aperture where the image is the sharpest the camera can produce. Is this true? If yes, from your knowledge, what aperture is the sharpest for FZ38?

MartinSykes Nov 24, 2010 8:42 AM

As I understand it, at low f-numbers it gets soft across the whole image because the DoF is shallow. At higher numbers the DoF is large so the overall sharpness is good but imperfections in the lenses start to show up in the final image so you can get areas of softness. So basically, if you want the sharpest image then you want to go as high as possible without the imperfections starting to show up which is dependant on the quality of the glass.

I believe the sweet spot for most cameras is generally at f8 which is the limit on the FZ38 anyway.

Tullio Nov 25, 2010 12:44 PM

P&S apertures do not correspond to DSLRs. An aperture of f8 on a DLSR roughly corresponds to f4-f5.6 on a P&S. This is the "sweet" spot of most P&S lenses whilst on DSLRs it's f8-f11.

BackyardPermaculture Nov 25, 2010 3:44 PM

Thanks iullian for asking this - I've been meaning to ask it too.

Tullio, thanks for the answer :)

iullian Nov 26, 2010 1:28 AM

Thankyou for your answers

I joined a photo club and we are going out for taking photos every week-end. We even had a night photo session. Very very nice hobby. I would really recommend finding a group of such kind and go out for... just taking photographs.
P.S. They all are making fun of me because I'm the only one with a compact/bridge camera - they all have DSLR's... But I'm assuring you - in outdoor light the FZ38 can really compete the DSLR (well, not beating, just getting close to them). In the night, on a tripod, I was able to take some really nice photos and, believe or not, I'm not complaining about the noise (ok, I shoot only at ISO 80).

eysha Nov 26, 2010 7:17 AM

I tried to ask this same question but didn't get a reply. The sweet spot depends on the focal length of the camera eg 100mm = 1/100 sec. Read this online so don't shoot me.
What is the focal length of the FZ38?

chillgreg Nov 26, 2010 4:39 PM

See the Camera Labs review where this is discussed in detail with sample images. Using Av mode on your camera, it is also a simple test in your own garden, Try 2 apertures at a variety of focal lengths.

You will find that in almost all cases on any small-sensor camera, that the wide-open aperture retains the most detail and sharpness. Tulio is correct, any rules of thumb pertaining to traditional SLR photography don't necessarily apply to modern digital cameras with small sensors.


PS. I did my own tests, and could see quite a visible difference.

eysha Nov 26, 2010 5:51 PM

where do i find the camea labs?

chillgreg Nov 26, 2010 5:57 PM

chillgreg Nov 26, 2010 6:00 PM

The examples I mentioned are the 3 photos second from the bottom, under the heading

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38 / FZ35 diffraction at different apertures

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