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Old Oct 24, 2003, 10:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alexo
Originally Posted by myfatbratcat
FZ10 is designed with the largest F/stop in mind and when the lens is zoomed in to wide angle the diameter of the aperture is actually closed down to maintain the same max F/stop.
And the question I had in mind was, why not keep it open in wide angle to get an even lower F/stop number?

Yet another of life's little mysteries...
The primary reason is optical quality. Optical design is a highly complex science, especially when it comes to zoom lens. There is a point, especially with zooms, where you have to measure the tradeoffs. While I am not quite sure how to explain the science, essentially there are practical limits in how much any one lens can do. That is why in the world of interchangable lens cameras, single focal length lenses, still play significant roles.

FYI: The correct term for a lens that alters its F stop as you change focal lengths is a varifocal or variable focal length lens. A true zoom maintains its aperture as a constant throughout the change. However, the term zoom has come to be generically applied to both in common usage. A varifocal lens is mechanically much simpler and cheaper to design, and that is the primary reason for its popularity. The zoom lens on the FZ-10 (and FZ-1) is nothing short of a masterpiece of mechanical and optical design.
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Old Oct 26, 2003, 7:31 AM   #12
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Thanks for the explanation, brdavid.
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