This footage is using my Vanilla patch which is a steady 44Mbit for high reliability on the hacked Panasonic GH2.
The title of the video is from a disturbing Cultural Revolution era poster showing a Red Guard crushing a Buddha and book with a hammer. “Destroy The Old World, Forge The New World” is the heading.
I chose a Radiohead track after trying some piano lead pieces and I always seem to enjoy coming back to a contemporary sound track instead of a classical one especially when it is as haunting as this track, Nude, from In Rainbows. I enjoyed that album, definitely one of their best and a lot stronger than their new offering King of Limbs in my view.
Lenses used were the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95, Olympus 12mm F2.0 and an old Olympus 38mm F1.8 for PEN-F, this is a half-film format from 30 years ago and very small but sharp with characterful bokeh. I have just got the modern version which is the Olympus 45mm F1.8 for Micro Four Thirds and will be reviewing this soon. It is a very small and light lens, similar to the 12mm F2 but with a mostly plastic body. Primarily I got it to use with the Iscorama 36 because the focussing is internal. That means the front filter thread doesn’t move so is better for clamping an anamorphic to the front of without upsetting a mechanical focussing barrel.
Shooting video in sensitive locations is far more comfortable with the GH2 because you blend in like a tourist.
Some have remarked that motion on the GH2 is more like 60p even though the camera is recording in 24p mode but I think this is a myth. If you keep shutter speed to an optimal 1/50 and use an i-frame patch like my Intra-esting one here, motion looks better than with the standard long-GOP AVCHD codec and a high shutter speed. Find a decent vari-ND – although the video above was shot without one (there wasn’t enough movement in the daylight temple scenes to justify the hassle!) but they do come in handy for keeping the shutter optimal.
I found myself shooting 80% of the video with the Voigltander Nokton 25mm F0.95. It really is my favourite lens on the GH2. Stopped down to F2 and you get fantastic sharpness and contrast. At F0.95 it has a dreamy yet still sharp look and the shallower depth of field gets the image closer to the 5D Mark II in terms of feel. That 25mm focal length is very flexible on the GH2 and there aren’t many lenses with the same field of view. Although much cheaper I feel that the Panasonic Lumix 20mm F1.7 is a bit too wide to be a standard portrait prime and it doesn’t have the cinematic character or bokeh of the Nokton.
The night scenes at the temple didn’t really demand I push past ISO 1600 with the aperture at F0.95. I find ISO 12,800 with the hack is great if you use the smooth or dynamic B/W film mode because the lack of colour makes red & blue chroma noise less distracting and the crushing of the blacks hides a lot of the fixed pattern noise in low contrast areas. Over well exposed surfaces you get a lot of detail, no smudging and a nice fine noise grain which looks great. Quite amazing at ISO 12,800. For a reminder of how that looks, check out this video: