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Help me build a solid AF100 base kit

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    Help me build a solid AF100 base kit

    Planning to sell my HVX200 and associated batteries/P2 cards. I'm honestly not sure what the value is but will ask a fair price, so any feedback there is appreciated (HVX200 great shape 626hours, 16gb P2 & 64gb P2 A-Series cards, 5x Batteries, all accessories).

    What I sell that for will help determine the budget; I'm thinking around 5-6K cash assuming I can sell the HVX for enough.

    $4500 AF100
    + Batteries (4-5)
    + Memory cards (I have a 32gb SDHC that I use in my GoPro - will this work?), plus I probably want to add another "main" memory card (64gb) - recommendations?

    Where I really need help is with the lenses and the rail support/accessories. I am a one man show, and will use the camera primarily for putting together promotional pieces, creative pieces, music videos, documentary type work, action sports, weddings, and live events (I know; I've heard there's better ENG style cameras but the type of live events I do are more like a high school grad night, where I have time to setup my shots a little bit, or a rock climbing gym event where it's not like if I need to take a second to grab focus I'm screwed). That said, some appropriate lens for action sports (basketball, lots of people in a room) where I don't always need to worry about being out of focus would also be nice.

    Also, just a thought/question: currently if I shoot something like indoor basketball on the HVX, the lowlight is crap. Meaning I have to open F-stop all the way and autofocus is slow. I haven't used the AF100, but I can't help but wonder if it would still look better on an AF100 moving the F-stop up to get a deeper focus and I'd still net better lowlight than the HVX?

    I will need some sort of shoulder support system as I tend to shoot handheld most of the time.

    Advice and thoughts on gear, lenses etc?

    What would be a good starter "all around" lens as well as a couple "must have" lenses? What mounts should I get? I have some friends with Canon 7D/5D Mark IIs so I'd like to be able to use their lenses, so probably a mount for that, but then for my own personal lenses I'm cool with whatever works best so I could get a different mount for my own stuff if need be (is swapping mounts if I am on a shoot with both my lenses + canon 7D/5D lenses a pain?)

    Also, excuse the lack of knowledge with the lenses/mounts. In the process of doing some research. I haven't owned or betting shooting on DSLR, I'm coming straight from the HVX200 and the DVX100 before that!

    Last edited by filmguy123; 12-10-2011, 12:35 AM.

    That's a BIG question! Everyone's going to pitch in here I should think, but here's my two pennies worth!

    - 2 IDX batteries should do for a full day's filming, plus the one that comes with the AF100.
    - Your 32gb SDHC card should work fine as long as it's Class 10 - I use 2 for a day's shoot, plus 2 spare in case. Think about an off board recorder only if you're doing broadcast work.
    - Follow focus / rails / matte box - personally I'd avoid getting these until you've worked with the camera for a bit. I prefer to keep handheld work as light as possible, though a follow focus and matte box (especially) can really help you out sometimes. I get mine from
    - EVF. Depending on your preference, either the Zacuto EVF or Small HD DP4. Alternatively a decent monitor with focus assist.
    - Lenses - this is the biggest question out there. I'd say start with:
    Lumix 14-140 (it's a dog but good for eng work, not good for low light though)
    Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95 (one of the best lenses in the world today I think)
    Lumix 7-14mm (another slow lens but amazing wides)
    Something long - the Lumix 100-300 is actually pretty decent imo
    That gets all your bases covered without having to use adaptors. If you've got money to burn, then look at Zeiss CP2 primes or more affordable Zeiss ZF2s, though the Nokton will cover most of your shallow DOF work. I have two ZF2s (50 and 85mm) and hardly use them now I have the Nokton.
    Once you've got your basic lens rig, it won't take you long to work out what extra lenses you need, Nikons with an adaptor are often a good bet, Canon lenses are fraught with difficulty at the moment due to lack of aperture control. Get ready for a world of lens fetishism!
    Oh, and definitely get Barry's book - it's a lifesaver!
    Last edited by TomLenham; 12-06-2011, 02:00 PM.


      A quick thought: although I love my AF100, it's not the camera I would take to shoot a basketball game... unless you're shooting an artistic take on basketball. I consider sports the world of the servo zoom, and I have another camera for that kind of work.

      Jeff DePonte


        Yeah I generally shoot everything with the artistic take. When I shoot bball I got on the sidelines and even with my HVX, I never use the servo, always manual snap zooms. I don't just prefer the look film, I actually sort of hate the look of video and standard overheard/back of room tripod shots, servo zooms, and deep focus.

        I do realize that ideally I'd have an HPX250 and an AF100 and a Canon 5D Mark II but for what I want to do (and correct me if I'm totally off here) I feel like the AF100 is going to be the best middle ground in my budget. It'll be great for what I want to prioritize (stylized promos, music videos, short films, weddings, documentary stuff, etc.) and still do the job for action sports and live event coverage (giving it a filmic look that may in some cases be more challenging, but that actually many clients prefer because they associate the Shallow DoF and artistic film look with hip, stylized, modern, etc.)

        Long story short: I feel like 90% of people who want work want it to look like a DSLR/filmic


          Most definatly. The more you get used to this camera you will not want to shoot with anything else.
          Its hard to make up a kit for people. I change my mind all the time and adapt to what I shoot. I rent lenses for certain shoots and then sometimes I can work all day with 50mm and a 85mm.
          Speaking of. Nikon mount Zeiss ZF are very nice. A tad pricey but really shines. I like my 85 a bunch. If I could find a good deal on a CP.2 85mm I would buy it to replace my Nikon mount version.
          I own a few Lumix lenses and they are nice. The 7-14 is my favorite. Its a fun lens and its sharp. Not fast but I don't care. Its light and native. Pancakes are nice as well.

          Shoulder rigs are pain to configure and expensive to buy prebuilt. Olof has a design that is worth looking at and waiting for. Search the forum a page back on should rigs and see. Its probably the most balance approach so far.
          Gota go. Late to a shoot!!
          TWITTER: eriknaso


            What do you think of this Olympus lens?


              In my signature I have listed the key parts of my setup and I think it is probably the cheapest "cinemacam-style" setup for the AF101.

              I got the majority of the lenses 2nd hand and the support gear is all from ProAim.

              In total it has cost me around 6000 (in the UK).
              Panasonic AF101, Shoulder Support, Grips, Matte Box & Follow Focus. Manfrotto HDV501 Tripod
              GoPro Hero2
              Lumix 14mm F2.5, Nikon 28mm F2.0, Nikon 35mm F2, Nikon 50mm F1.8, Nikon 85mm F2, Nikon 18-70mm Zoom F3.5-5.6, Lumix 14-42 Zoom F3.5-5.6
              Rode NTG-1 Mic, K&M 23770 Carbon Fibre Boom Pole, Sennheiser EW133 Radio Mic


                Originally posted by filmguy123 View Post
                What do you think of this Olympus lens?
                For half the cost and no adaptor needed, check out this Lumix 14-45:

                Works for me plus it has OIS.
                formerly SNP


                  Spring for the Voigtlander 25mm .95, you will not regret it. Especially if you're filming lots of indoor low-light stuff. It's truly amazing.


                    Regarding sports, one user shot big-time (Nebraska) college football on the sidelines with an AF100 and got great stuff.

                    There was an overhead camera also, but for a more artsy take on hoops, the AF might shine.
                    Plus, there's only a few touchdowns to get or miss vs many baskets, so, why not?

                    And yes, you could stop down for more DOF, and I imagine overcranked footage would look pretty sweet!


                      Shooting ...sports, dance, theatre performance, porn, narrative, TVC, corporate,, weddings, events...whatever... all depends on who your audience is.

                      That determines ones approach and ones kit requirement.

                      Example ..a sports documentary would have an entirely different approach and camera kit requirement to a sports "game" coverage.

                      My kit is entirely based around what I do (mostly).

                      If I had to do something different... I would buy or rent in different kit items to suport what I have got and to fit my business model (ie.resources are task related and ownership or rental must fit within a profitable intention - this aint a hobby despite my addiction to "toys").

                      Panasonic AF102


                      RR baseplate , F/F, Shoot35 Cinebox, Panasonic 1700HD Monitors. Adaptimax adapters. Ikan VX7e. Samurai

                      Prime Lenses: Nikkors . 20/f2.8, 24/f2.8, 28/f2.8, 35/f2.8, 50/f1.4, 50/f2, Micro 55/f3.5, Micro 60/f2.8, 85/f1.8, 105/f2.5, 135/f2.8, Contax -Zeiss 28/f2.8, 35/f2.8, 50/f1.7, 85/f2.8

                      VariPrimes: Nikkor 17-35/f2.8, Nikkor 28-70/f2.8,

                      GH2. Olympus 14-54 MkII

                      Cartoni , Weaver Heads , Miller legs. Zhuter Slider