Author: David W. Jones, Little Rock, AR
Taking delivery of the IndiFOCUSpro Geared Ultimate was not as easy as I expected, as it took two emails, a phone call, and what I would consider a longer than normal wait for the product to arrive. When it did finally arrive most of the parts were loose in the packing peanuts, and many of the screws for the lens focus gears had backed out and were loose in the bottom of the box.
The Geared Ultimate package ships with both Indi’s proprietary pitched drive gears, as well as Cinepitch 0.8 drive gears, which will work with standard cine focus gears. I was not able to test all of the gears in the Geared Ultimate package, as a couple of them were missing from my order. A response from the company revealed they were on their workbench and would be sent out right away. After contacting the company multiple times and waiting for over a month they are still not here. The gears I did test worked fine.
The supplied lens focus gears ship with only one size mounting screw, which means if your lens is not the proper diameter you will need to either purchase new screws or possibly cut the screws to the proper size. Fitting the lens gears requires measuring the inner screw area of each screw during the tightening process to make sure the lens is centered within the gear.
The lighted handle has a much larger diameter than any of the other follow focus units I have used over the years, making for an unnatural feel while trying to focus. Because of it’s larger than normal diameter, there is insufficient area for marking focus pulls on the ring, as well as insufficient area for mounting the supplied hard stops. The light itself is rather dim and does a poor job of illuminating the focus ring.
Access to the battery is via two cover plate mounting screws, which have heads that extend past the outer diameter of the handle. Feeling them during a focus pull can get annoying. The battery itself is not held in place with a mount, meaning it rides loose and makes noise during a focus pull. So much for all quiet on the set.
The Hard Stops are made of lightweight aluminum and appear to be designed for the regular non-lighted handle, as they tend to fall off in use since there is insufficient mounting area due to the oversized lighted handle.
The Whip has a great handle, but that is where it ends. The whip is shrink wrap coated, which does nothing to enhance it’s good looks. The large diameter of the whip makes it clumsy to focus with, as it does not flex properly, wanting to hold the bend during focus. The Speed Crank works just fine, but looks like it would be more at home in a mechanics tool chest rather than on a film set.
Overall I was a little disappointed by the workmanship of the product. For example, glue used to adhere some of the pieces was not cleaned off before it had dried, rough filing marks remained on the hard stops, a stamped code number was visible on the focus handle, and the use of socket wrench parts does nothing to enhance the look of the unit.
In practice the IndiFOCUS Pro is what it is: an inexpensive way to pull focus.
Discuss at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=110518