Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Today shoot was over in Kilsyth just outside Glasgow, this time I was filming for the NHS. This is a series of films to help people with learning disabilities helping them to understand various NHS procedures, todays being Bowel Screening, hence the letter through the door to the left of me.

Shot one : The letter arrives…this was a generic letter so the address details were wrong and it was preferable that the address was not shown, fine, time for the Nokton 25mm f0.95 lens.

These type of shots are what the AF101 was made for, an extreme shallow depth of field so I could pick out the NHS logo but not see the address on the letter window, fantastic, better still it’s such a powerful opening shot coming through the door and your eye is drawn to the NHS Scotland logo, this could never have been done with my Sony 2/3″ PMW-350.

Here is another fine example of a powerful SDoF shot, our actor/patient is going to post his results off to the NHS so using the Nokton’s fantastic SDoF I focus on the vase of flowers and let the actor pass through shot.

I knew after using the AF101 for the first time last week that this camera was going to open new opportunities for my style of filming but the camera has also taken me back to basics and I am now thinking about my shots and framing more than I would with a 18x ENG style lens. I am taking a lot more care to film various angles because I don’t have the luxury of being able to change shots half way through as you do with a zoom lens. A zoom can make you sloppy “getting 2-3 different framed shots in the one take” when sometimes it would have been better to leave well alone.

I am not producing “24-25P films” instead I am producing my usual 720 50P video footage with the added bonus of the odd SDoF shot thrown in, I actually like the fact that I have to think “Lens” all the time and angles of view, it keeps you on your toes and should inevitably lead to a better end product for the client.

One other thing I must mention is the Bebob “FOXI”, this is the first Panasonic camera that I have actually used a “FOXI” with and it’s a dream. A “FOXI” allows you to pull focus as you have not only control over the focus but the iris as well. It makes using my 14-140mm lens a dream. NOTE : The “FOXI” is only works with electronic lenses like the Lumix and has no effect on manual lenses like the Nokton.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

6 thoughts on “Another days filming with the AF101

  1. Hi may I ask what your clients reaction was when using the 101 compared to the PMW-350.

  2. Philip, been shooting with my lovely little af101 too – while feeling pretty comfortable with primes, am finding the Lumix 14 to 140mm kinda tricky as it’s not keen on holding either focus or a manual aperture constant through the zoom range. Your’s any better? Updating all the firmware tonight – but I cant really see that helping..

  3. Holding focus is down to switching it off the AUTO on the camera and switch the DTL switch on…this greatly helps focusing with the LCD. The 14-140mm lens is a f4.5 on the wide and is f5.8 on the tight so thats why you can’t hold the aperture there is just over 1 stop light loss from wide to tight, in other words the lens gets darker when you zoom from W to T.

  4. That’s just how i was doing it:))
    But in manual, zoom in, focus then back off to the chosen frame – occasionally the sharp seemed to have drifted. Sometimes the aperture too even when fully manual and a stop is chosen deliberately clear of the ‘shifting zone’. I’m since told that this aperture movement is due to the internal requirements of the lens as it changes frame size. Little 0.2 stop adjustments up and down, compensating for mechanical changes as one adjusts zoom. Discomforting when shooting an interview and changing frame size!! G.

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