Available Apertures vs FL


Widest Available Apertures on the FZ35/38 compared with other FZ models

I determined the widest available apertures over the entire zoom range of the FZ35/38 by taking shots in A mode.  By setting the aperture to the widest (lowest) f number (f/2.8) at full WA (27mm) and increasing the zoom setting, the f number increased in steps as the FL increased.  I determined the actual FLs (as 35mm equivalents) from the EXIF data.  The results are shown below:

FL range (mm)Widest Aperture










Figures for other FZ models have kindly been provided by various members of the DPR Panasonic Forum:




CameraLabs has also reported some figures.

I used the data to prepare a chart which displays the widest available apertures at differerent FLs for various FZ models.  I think this enables easier comparisons between the models regarding this aspect.

(Click on the chart to see a larger view.)

Widest Available Aperture vs Focal Length

From the chart it seems that the FZ30 and FZ50 (same lens) have the widest available apertures over their FL range of all the FZs examined, except for the upper end of the range above about 360mm, where the FZ18 is slightly wider.

At the WA end up to an FL of about 160mm, and at around 460mm FL, the FZ40/45 and FZ100 (same lens) have about the same widest available apertures as the FZ 28 and FZ35/38 (same lens).  However, the FZ40/45 and FZ100 have significantly narrower available apertures in the mid and upper FL range compared with the other FZs.  For example, at 400mm FL, the FZ40/45-FZ100 can only open to f/4.2 while the FZ35/38 and FZ50 can open to f/3.7, and the FZ18 can open to f/3.6.

In contrast with the other FZs, the FZ40/45 and FZ100 have steps of only 0.1 f stops in the widest available apertures over the entire FL range.  This provides an advantage for the video mode by avoiding sudden large changes in auto exposure settings as the lighting changes.

It should be pointed out that there are other factors to consider apart from widest available aperture when comparing the FZs for exposure.  With improvements in technology, the newer models have possibly better image processing and pixel quality which may allow them to provide better IQ at higher ISO settings, thus negating to an extent a wider aperture, although this may be offset by higher pixel densities.

The following section deals with the effect on aperture of adding a front-mounted teleconverter.

Continue to Effect of Teleconverters on Aperture

Return to FZ35/38 with Teleconverters

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