AF100 Iris Noise

I’ve been testing two interesting cameras over the last couple of weeks to use for the second season of Offspring.

The first season of Offspring was shot with RED and was probably the first free-to-air TV drama series to do so in Australia. We did use Canon 5Dmk2’s a fair bit for insert work, mainly for all our car travelling shots. They also proved handy when we were in very tight spaces and we sometimes used them for really intimate scenes where we wanted to reduce the crew down as much as possible.

There are lots of issues that arise when shooting with the 5D’s so I was looking for an alternative for the second season which starts shooting from the 31st of January.

The first camera I’d had my eye on was the Panasonic GH2. Like a 5D, this is a DSLR, designed to shoot both stills and video. It’s actually a bit smaller than the 5D and I really really liked it until I discovered that Panasonic stupidly decided to de-feature it by removing the important 25P frame rate.

The original GH1 which I tested in the first season of Offspring had 25P but they’ve now removed it and instead added 24P.

Some are OK with speeding up the 24P but that would mean I couldn’t shoot RED cameras at the same time because they shoot at 25P.

So my next alternative is the big brother of the GH2, the Panasonic AF100 (or AF102 as it’s known here in Australia)

I like this camera a lot, because it’s been designed with shooting video as it’s priority. It is a little larger than I’d like to be, considering that I am hoping to mainly use this for car travelling inserts, but I think I’m going to get away with it. On the plus side, I can now jam sync timecode which make the guys at Blue Post happy, get much better looking video and it’s much nicer to operate as a camera than the dSLR style of shooting.

I also discovered that both the top handle and the side handle can be removed to reduce it’s size even further.

I was rather disappointed to discover though that there is a very annoying noise present when shooting with regular 4/3 mount lenses. I have a lot of 4/3 lenses and I was hoping to use them on the AF100 because it’s a m4/3 mount camera.

When you change the iris in shot though, you’ll hear a rather annoying click as the aperture steps to the next stop. The definite *stops* also mean you can see very clearly the stepping between each stop as well. Would be nice if this was smoother.

The really irksome thing is that the GH2 didn’t see to do this at all !

Hopefully we can shame Panasonic into doing a fix for this. I’m assuming they just need to look at how the map the way the iris motors step between the 1/3 stop increments.

C’mon Panasonic ! Give us seamless iris changes without the noise ! This should be easily fixable…especially when the GH2 didn’t seem to be doing it.  (though I was testing a sample version)

This clip was shot with the Olympus 7-14 and the panasonic m4/3 adaptor. Listen to the noise ! Watch the clunky aperture change… !


I tested the following lenses and the all had the same issues…

7-14 F4
14-35 F2
35-100 F2
150 F2

25 F1.4
14-35 F2.8-3.5

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Equipment, Production and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to AF100 Iris Noise

  1. Archer says:

    Not surprised. Those lenses are are all still lenses that were never intended for videography.

  2. What did you record the sound with??

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