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AG-AF100 lens iris noise…


John Brawley tested the Panasonic GH2 and the AG-AF100 cameras. He complains one particular issue the AG-AF100 has:
Listen to the noise picked up by the camera mike as I change the iris on the camera. It actually sounded worse to me than what was recorded in this clip This is a test clip shot on an AF 102 (AF100). that was done using the Olympus 7-14 and a Panasonic m4/3 adaptor. I tested it with a great many 4/3 lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus. They all make the same noise. The interesting thing is that the same lenses and adaptors on the GH2 didn’t seem to make the same noise.”

More at

AG-AF100 preorder links at Adorama or BHphoto.

  • This guy really needs to do his basic research before moaning.

    The lenses he’s using are not optimised for video.

    Only the 14-140mm and some of the new Lumix lenses have silent operation, change of iris.

    Changing iris whilst recording is an awful effect anyway and not required. Not only is the sound noticeable, the picture would step up and down in brightness and the depth of field would change. Get a clue John!

    • admin

      Hi Andrew! Interesting that John said the iris noise is on the AF100 and not on the GH2…

      • Thanks for your kind words again Andrew.

        I know I’m shooting with lenses designed for stills.

        The 14-140 isn’t the only lens that is silent. I can’t hear a peep out of the 14mm F2.5 or the 17mm 1.7.

        I change aperture all the time when I’m shooting mate. Anyone who says that this isn’t something that is sometimes required doesn’t have a clue. Lighting conditions change all the time.

        Shooting today on a car interior I was constantly changing the iris mid take to correct for the changing lighting conditions.

        Another shot on a RED today took a character from an interior sunlit corridor into a dark room. Aperture went from 5.6 to 2.8 as she crossed the threshold of the room.

        I’ve done 5 stop Iris pulls in-shot to take a character form interior to exterior in one shot.

        Anytime I’m shooting outside with clouds I sometimes find a change stop mid take.

        I did a steadicam shot using a 7D and used auto-ISO to do the exposure change on an interior to exterior move.

        Mate I do what I have to do to get the shot without having to go again.

        Please don’t make pronouncements about what is and isn’t an awful affect because I do it all the time and I suspect I’m not the only one. Just because it’s not what you would do doesn’t make you the iris changing police.

        And you’re attacking me and the way that I choose to use a camera, but you’re addressing a different issue to the one I brought up…namely why Panasonic can give me near silent aperture changes on a GH2 but not so silent ones on an AF100.

        • misu

          I agree.
          I also find his comments to be rude.

          • Lightmanfilms

            Dear Mr John

            Sorry to raise a dead post but for the readers sake and the panasonic users and people who might want to buy this camera… I decided to explain to all of the readers and to some people who are beginners into cinematography and what’s happening is pretty simple here. I know the film world can be big and quite scary sometimes. Not everybody knows everything. We are learing from each other and if we don’t have the ability to learn from each other it means we don’t respect the world of cinematography and what we do. Problem solving, or work arounds can be frustrating because most of camera operators are operators and not engineers. Spending budget for the wrong camera it can be very frustrating sometimes. But this isn’t the case here and there is nothing wrong with the video camera. Basically what you have used that created the clicking noise is a still photo lens. The still photo lenses click on each f/stop. That happens actually to almost all the photo lenses. Cine-lenses or primes that we use in Cinematography don’t click between f/stops. They have a smooth silent aperture because the video cameras record sound so we don’t want clicks in it. Photo cameras have clicks in each f/stop and it’s to make obvious for a photographer that he changed aperture or to avoid changing it accidentally by rubbing his camera on his clothes or somewhere by accident and cause the aperture to change. And for a still photo there is no time to spare. Though i have never been into actual photography besides Cinematography, i would recomend for some people who wish to step up to cinematography to learn few things that can help them. Being a photographer doesn’t mean you know all about cinematography and filming and being a cinematographer doesn’t mean you know also everything about photography. The DP’s do… (Joke about the directors of photography.) But being a good cinematographer means that you have to be also a good photographer and vice versa. So the transition between two fields must be smooth and someone being a “professional” should study the craft he loves in depth. That’s what makes us better as people and as professionals. Thanks for your time

            Thomas Alexander | Cinematographer | Lightmanfilms.LLC | Cyprus

  • Mark Sasahara

    Your headline is wrong. The lens is making the noise, not the camera. The AF100/101 does not have an iris.

    Well, that’s what you get using a stills lens to shoot video. It’s not optimized for motion, or sound.

    • admin


    • ****Correction

      The 14-140 isn’t the only lens that is silent. I can’t hear a peep out of the 14mm F2.5 or the 17mm 1.7.

      Should be 20mm 1.7.

  • jeff

    correct me if im wrong but in videography you are shooting in a shot by shot basis so you are not going to change your fstop anyway….

    why does this matter?

    • Jonathan

      you’re mostly right, though when shooting documentary footage sometime the aperture has to be changed to cope with changing light situation. A dedicated video/ cine lens with continuously variable would be more suitable in such scenarios.

  • Apparently there are ‘declicking services’ available for still lenses if people want the click removed. Not sure where in Australia though.

  • misu

    the auto iris is useless even on the “optimized” 14-140 because the change in image is not smooth. the iris also “hunts” the exposure, going back and forth.
    “moaning” about some basic stuff you would expect from a video camera is only natural.

    • Hi Chris.

      This is a totally different issue. De-Cicking only applies to manual aperture stills lenses. I’m taking about lenses with electronically activated apertures.



    What they didn’t understand is your question exactly to how you wrote it on your post and i also realized what exactly you meant by it so i repost. The reason why the same lens makes more noise on the AG-AF100/101 and is silent on that GH2 is that the AG-AF100 probably sends more stronger electric signal to the lens than the GH2. That might also damage your still lens and it is clearly incompatible lens with the AG-AF100. The reason why it does that is because AG-AF100 it is made for prime lenses with wider lens diameter. Prime lenses are not cylinder shaped like still photo lenses but sort of like a cone shape as you know so they have bigger diameter. Being coned shaped it gives them optical excellence better contrast and better light falloff around the diameter which means no vignetting and bla bla bla. But because of this the iris blades have more distance to travel from the edges of the lens towards the center so the AG-AF100 it is utilized for primes and not for still photo lenses. I mentioned in my previous post that the transition between two fields must be smooth and someone being a “professional” should study the craft he loves in depth. That’s what makes us better as people and as professionals but not better than others. Life is a continuous learning procedure.

    Thomas Alexander | Cinematographer | Lightmanfilms.LLC | Cyprus

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