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Old Jan 14, 2012, 2:17 PM   #1
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Default f stops on Lumix FZ45

As a first time poster I would lkle some info on my xmas/birthday present of a FZ45. Being new to Digital Photography I have been looking at various sites & tutorials on You Tube to gain some insite. Could I ask why the FZ45 only has a maximum of f stops upto f8? Can this be extended by some means?

Any feed back would be welcome to an expat in Spain.

Thanks

George
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 3:19 PM   #2
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Not sure on the exact maths but because the FZ45 has a smaller sensor than a DSLR, the depth of field you get at f8 on your FZ45 is similar to the depth of field you'd get at say f32 on an SLR (or something like that). It's why it's harder to get the blurred background on a small sensor camera - its f2.8 will be equivalent to something like f8 on an SLR.

There's really no circumstances in which more than f8 on your FZ45 would be of any practical use - at f8 your pictures will already be sharp from front to back.
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 4:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Martin I will experiment & see how my photos turn out.
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Old Jan 16, 2012, 2:16 PM   #4
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G'day George

While Martin has answered some things, may I add my 2-bob's worth too

The lens aperture mechanism is a mechanical device which opens & closes 'to your command' ~ however, it is also quite small in physical size
You know that the f-number selected is a fraction of the focal length ... ie- f8 is 1/8 of the millimetres of the lens > thus we can swap [SLR] lenses and f8 = f8 = f8 regardless of whatever lens we are using

The actual 18x-zoom lens on the FZ goes from 5mm to 90mm, so while we [ie- mr panasonic] can arrange the lens aperture mechanism for f8 at 90mm, it is damn-near impossible to organise the aperture of f8 at 5mm of lens ... the mechanism simply cannot be made that small [what's 1/8th of 5mm?? .... =25/1000inch for those who work with inches]

Some superzoom-camera makers are achieving an exposure of f11-f16-f22 via a graduated ND filter over the top of the regular f4-f5,6-f8 aperture mechanism

Hope this helps
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Old Jan 17, 2012, 8:00 AM   #5
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Thanks Phil.

Will just have to see how I progress with the trial method & wait to see what I can achieve.

George
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Old Jan 20, 2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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G'day George

While there are times when I want f16, f22 for more DoF with flowers etc, on my SLR camera lenses where I can get these f-stops I find myself backing-off from f22 back to f8, f11 as there is too much sharpness coming into the background and taking my visual attention away from the main subject

ie- sometimes you can just have too much of a good thing !!
I would suggest using f8 whenever you want DoF with your closeups and any other aperture for your day-to-day images

Regards, Phil
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Old Jan 21, 2012, 3:30 AM   #7
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The important point is that the FZ45 isn't an SLR - it's got a smaller sensor and so its f8 is actually as sharp front-to-back as f22 is on an SLR. Here's a quick comparison at f4 on a Panasonic FZ38 (small sensor) and a Sony a580 (APS-C sensor).

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Old Jan 21, 2012, 1:18 PM   #8
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Hey Martin

That's a great comparison - Thanks for showing us
the Q then becomes "what f-stop on the SLR comes close to the FZ's DoF at f4??"

Regards, Phil
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