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    Critique my AF package please!
    #1
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    Hey Everyone... Long time creeper of DVXuser and I'm about to make a big purchase. I would love someone to review a list I've been working on to stop me from making any kind of purchase I might regret. I do a lot of doc work, commercial, narrative short films, and there is always that friend who needs you to film their wedding for $12 and a free lunch. This might also be good for the marketplace forum, but I'll start here. I am more than open to used equipment if you feel you have an alternative piece of equipment that could meet my needs. I can't say I have a definitive budget. I am a recent art school graduate, so I have to keep my head out of the clouds, but I want to ensure I make an investment that will get me by for a couple years.

    AF-100 $2,959 http://overstockdigital.com/ovcat/product_info.php?products_id=322931
    Manfrotto 504HD/535K $979 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/683561-REG/Manfrotto_504HD_535K_504HD_Head_w_535_3_Stage.html
    Kata Bag $330 http://www.kata-bags.us/pro-v-410-pl-hdv-backpack
    Slider $169 http://www.indisystem.com/products/indiSLIDERmini-Deluxe.html
    Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 $699 http://www.amazon.com/Tokina-11-16mm-AT-X116-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0014Z3XMC/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345706063&sr =1-1&keywords=tokina+11-16
    Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 $499 http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-28-75mm-Aspherical-Canon-Digital/dp/B0000A1G05/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345706477&sr =1-1&keywords=tamron+28-75
    Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 $769 http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-70-200mm-Macro-Digital-Cameras/dp/B0012GLHL2/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1345706399&sr =1-2&keywords=Tamron+70-200
    Softie $39 http://www.amazon.com/Rode-Deadcat-Wind-Muff-Microphone/dp/B000BH437S/ref=pd_sim_MI_2
    (2) XLR 1' $4 http://www.amazon.com/Premier-Series-Female-16AWG-Cable/dp/B001KZWTHG/ref=sr_1_14?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1345695116&sr=1-14&keywords=1'+xlr+cable
    Mic Mount $50 http://www.amazon.com/Rode-SM3-Shock-Mount-Shotguns/dp/B000NM5M8K/ref=pd_sim_MI_3
    Rode NTG2 Mic $269 http://www.amazon.com/Rode-NTG2-Condenser-Shotgun-Microphone/dp/B00093ESSI/ref=pd_sim_MI_6
    Sennheiser Lav $630 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/618743-REG/Sennheiser_EW_122P_G3_A_EW122_p_G3_Camera_Mount.ht ml
    (3) 32GB SD Cards $66 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P3MCXW/ref=pd_cp_MI_2

    Lastly, if any of you have a recommendation for a 4/3 adapter for the lenses I have listed I would appreciate it. I've been told to just go cheap and get an adapter for each lens, but I've also been told it's not worth the risk to go cheap. That piece of plastic/metal is holding several hundred dollars on the camera. So any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've also read some questionable reviews on overstockdigital.com (where I found a decent price on the AF100 body). Anyone else have a bad experience there?

    Let me know if I can provide any additional information. I always get nervous before a big investment like this!


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    #2
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    get Nikon rather than Canon mounts for those lenses unless you want to spend extra on a Canon to m43 electronic adaptor
    would recommend Novoflex nikon to m43 adaptor
    maybe get tamron 17-50mm 2.8 non vc instead of 28-75mm which is intended for full frame so will be larger, covers slightly longer focal lengths - if you plan on full frame later ignore
    if you can, would spend just a bit more on tripod, not keen on manfrottos - Vinten Vision Blue or Libec rs series


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    #3
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    Ditto on the Manfrotto 504... not really impressed with that head.

    Also ditto on going for the Nikon vs. Canon mount - and you'll need to figure in a good aperture-controlling Nikon adapter.

    I'm shocked by how infrequently I use lenses in the 70-200 category... but that may be personal style.

    The Tokina 11-16 is a good lens with hard stops on the focus ring, but if you don't rely upon a follow focus the Lumix 12-35 is more than twice the lens for twice the price.

    You'll likely want a few faster primes... Samyang 24/1.4 and 35/1.4, Lumix 20/1.7, Leica 25/1.4, and any legacy fast 50 are good choices.

    The bag I went with is a Kata OMB-74... it's a shoulder bag, but it's tall enough to contain my AF fully rigged (mics, lens, monitor, rods) and is available at a steep discount:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&Q=&A=details


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    #4
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    I find an external monitor to be a big help with the AF100 ( SmallHD or similar ). If there
    was one additional item I'd put on your list .. that would be it.


    The Rode NTG-2 is a long shotgun mic .. and I believe it's going to be unwieldy on the AF100.
    It's really designed to be a boom mic ... If you want a quite good sounding mini-shotgun designed
    to sit on a camera, try this Azden out.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Shotgun.html

    You can take the XLR and the mount of the list if you go this route.

    If you go with a boom mic, see if you can take a step up to the NTG3 ... it's a lot more durable and can take humidity.

    For our Nikon lenses, we have a couple of adapters but like the Novaflex the best. For our EOS lenses, we're using the
    Redrock .. and like it a lot too.

    I question the 2' slider ... we just picked up a Dana dolly and with the right rail combinations, you can get it up
    to 10' ... 2' just doesn't have a lot of utility (IMHO).

    For supports, the Libecs have gotten quite good: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Aluminum.html

    But .. supports are things you can watch for on Craigslist / Ebay and usually score some pretty good deals...

    Weddings require a lot of mobility ... and the AF100 isn't a good ENG/Shoulder body camera without some retrofitting
    ( there are many options here ... Zacuto, etc. .. search this forum as there are lots of discussions).

    Best wishes with your AF100.

    jeff


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    #5
    Senior Member Bern Caughey's Avatar
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    SmallHD is having a 10% sale right now, but I believe it's ending today.

    Also I imagine the 70-200 needs lens support, so add that, rails, & baseplate.


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    #6
    Senior Member Erik Naso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bern Caughey View Post
    SmallHD is having a 10% sale right now, but I believe it's ending today.

    Also I imagine the 70-200 needs lens support, so add that, rails, & baseplate.
    Ends Midnight Tonight EDT, everything in stock at the SmallHD store will be 10% off when using the coupon code “SUMMER2012”


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    #7
    Senior Member Erik Naso's Avatar
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    You might want to get six 16gig cards instead of three to spread the chance of a failure out a bit.


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    #8
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    Somebody mentioned the NTG2 mic being a bit on the long side... as an alternative, the Audio Technica AT897 is a good mic, compact, and less expensive.


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    #9
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    Such awesome feedback already! Thanks!

    I'm shocked by how infrequently I use lenses in the 70-200 category... but that may be personal style.
    The Tokina 11-16 is a good lens with hard stops on the focus ring, but if you don't rely upon a follow focus the Lumix 12-35 is more than twice the lens for twice the price.
    Can someone provide additional feedback on the Lumix? I know spending money on good glass is always ideal, but if I jump up to the Lumix ($1299) I may need to drop to compensate elsewhere. With the Lumix, it doesn't seem to need an adapter is that correct?

    maybe get tamron 17-50mm 2.8 non vc instead of 28-75mm which is intended for full frame so will be larger
    I am liking the idea of using Nikon mounts. I couldn't find this lense with the Nikon mount though. Am I missing something or are they only Canon?

    The Rode NTG-2 is a long shotgun mic .. and I believe it's going to be unwieldy on the AF100.
    It's really designed to be a boom mic ... If you want a quite good sounding mini-shotgun designed
    to sit on a camera, try this Azden out.
    Great suggestion. I am very used to the NTG-2 so I fell back on it kind of as a crutch. I might give the Azden a shot though.

    I question the 2' slider ... we just picked up a Dana dolly and with the right rail combinations, you can get it up
    to 10' ... 2' just doesn't have a lot of utility (IMHO).
    Also I imagine the 70-200 needs lens support, so add that, rails, & baseplate.
    Probably going to stick with the slider. I use the crap out of my buddy's. Incredibly useful for all the boring stagnant b-roll for commercial use. Can someone else confirm that I may need rails regardless if I go with a larger telephoto lens?


    Again... thanks for all the awesome advice. I am still open to all recommendations. I'm having trouble deciding on what I absolutely need regarding focal range of lenses. If I step up to more expensive glass, I may need some alternative solutions.


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    #10
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    I didn't see a boom pole or any longer XLR cables so maybe you intend to camera mount your shotgun, but that is the worst place to have your mic, so do some audio research. If you are going to cam mount a shotgun, look at the AT-875 which is REALLY tiny and punches above its price at $175. Think about adding a boom pole or maybe a XLR lavaliere to your kit for starters. Overall, you should be thinking that over time, your audio kit will equal the value of your cam = truth.

    Didn't see any lights or grip....?


    I have heartburn with buying from Amazon resellers. If you buy directly from Amazon, that works ok. But much of the gear you see on Amazon is actually sold by other stores and not by Amazon directly. What I found out the hard way is that if you have a problem, you don't deal with Amazon, but directly with the Crooklyn bandits. One item I purchased recently was shipped incorrectly and it took SEVEN FREEKING WEEKS and lots of time to get a return authorization and refund. Amazon was ZERO help on this and I do mean ZERO. You might save a few bucks bottom feeding for cheap vendors, just know that if a problem arises, you might regret that option. Check out some reseller ratings before using the lowball guys.

    Is Overstock Digital even a Panny dealer? If not, make sure they are selling you a new A-stock USA zone cam otherwise you might get a warranty which is only good in Hong Kong for example..

    BH, DVe store, Texas Media, Specialized Communications, Trew Audio, to name a few are very reputable dealers and some may deal you a package price.

    Grant


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