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Old June 8th, 2009, 12:40 PM   #1
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Cheap follow focus for 5D mk2 under 150 $ wow

i'm gonna order one in this week .
IndiSYSTEM - Studio 4 Productions - Products
this seem like the cheapest one on the market .
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Old June 8th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Minh Khang View Post
i'm gonna order one in this week .
IndiSYSTEM - Studio 4 Productions - Products
this seem like the cheapest one on the market .
Not quite. D | FOCUS
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Old June 8th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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but the Dfocus look more like home made
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #4
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They both look about the same quality to me. It would be very nice to see a side by side review of these two units plus the $300 Indian one for sale on eBay. The Follow Focus from Zacuto, Red Rock etc seem very expensive in comparison.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #5
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I almost certain the amount of play in those gear boxes are going to be much much more than the Redrock Micro FF, Cinevate, Chroziel, etc...

Freshdv does video reviews of quite a few follow focus units that you should watch before making your decision. I personally use the redrock micro follow focus... in my opinion, it's the best in it's class. The amount of play is very minimal, works with standard rods, the lens gears are super easy to fit on your lenses, and it's very robust. The new v2 follow focus from redrock is even better than the first one.

I have used chroziel and Arri units and the redrock unit is built and handles very well in comparison.

If you aren't trying to hit any marks on your follow focus, I'm sure those cheaper units would be fine.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Minh Khang View Post
i'm gonna order one in this week .
IndiSYSTEM - Studio 4 Productions - Products
this seem like the cheapest one on the market .
Can't wait to see what you have to say about this product after you purchase it. I am extremely skeptical about these cheaper FFs. Trying to see if I can hold out till I can convince the wife to let me purchase the Cinevate without her having a heart attack. My timing will have to be perfect.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #7
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Okay so the gearing on these FF units will allow focus range to travel from min to infinity in much less of a turn than if you used the lens' focus ring?
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Old June 9th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #8
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I almost certain the amount of play in those gear boxes are going to be much much more than the Redrock Micro FF, Cinevate, Chroziel, etc...
Maybe but they are still really expensive implementations of at most 19th century technology. Leonardo Da Vinci could probably have made a shoulder rig & follow focus from contemporary materials. Clock-makers have been making precision gears without play for over 500 years. With computer controlled lathes & the general fine tolerances of modern machines I still find it astonishing that such a simple piece of machinery can be priced at hundreds of dollars. Once the Chinese factories start mass-producing Red Rock clones the price will plummet.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; June 9th, 2009 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Expansion of historical analogy for clearer explanation
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Old June 9th, 2009, 01:05 AM   #9
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In another time and place I learned quite a bit about worm drives and backlash, as it is called, that inability to produce repeatable results due to a small play in the meshing between the worm gear and the driven gear.

What I bring to this discussion is that so long as you run the gear in ONE direction to take up and slack in the meshing (lash) you can pretty much make anything work. You will need to run it back and forward to in effect take the total play (backlash) into account, bu tonce you do, the repeatability should be within tolerance.

Short answer.. backlash can be compensated in most cases.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 03:13 AM   #10
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I have the Indian one and have to say that once you set it up nicely with just the right amount of pressure onto the focus wheel, it seems fine. Much nicer to use than holding the lens. Which way to turn takes a bit of getting used to though.

There's a tiny tiny bit of play, perhaps half a mm but I can live with that.

And yes, for such simple technology, they do seem overpriced.

Avey
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Old June 9th, 2009, 06:57 AM   #11
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I don't think IndiSYSTEM is going to put out anything not worth putting out. They are sort of the budget company for filmmakers. May not be the best, but you have to consider the price bracket. I have always loved their products, and the customer service is TOP notch!

Minh, please do let us know when it arrives!

JS
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cody Dulock View Post
Freshdv does video reviews of quite a few follow focus units that you should watch before making your decision.
You should note that the indifocus review on freshdv is for an older generation. Units being shipped now have addressed the problems freshdv brought up. It is a bit unprofessional for freshdv to not note this on their website.

(Not connected to indifocus).
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Old June 10th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #13
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You should note that the indifocus review on freshdv is for an older generation. Units being shipped now have addressed the problems freshdv brought up. It is a bit unprofessional for freshdv to not note this on their website.

(Not connected to indifocus).
They reviewed the IndiFocus, not the IndiFocus Pro. Just out of curiosity, how is that unprofessional? It's the companies responsibility to address the problems. If I were to review the Panasonic HVX-200, but they came out with the HVX-200A a week later, I guess that would be my fault for not posting later on how my review was incorrect for that specific model? If I was IndiFocus, I would be sending FreshDv a new Follow Focus right away for a new review. Now if I was buying an older model IndiFocus on ebay or something, I would really love to know how it performed, thus the review.

This thread is not for flaming, it's for finding a solution for focusing on the cheap.



Minh Khang,
you need to rule out what features will be important to you in choosing a follow focus such as:

Backlash/play in gearing
---Will you be shooting movies that require a lot of following of focus and marks to hit?

Material/Construction
---How do you plan on storing and transporting the unit and what conditions will you be shooting in?
---Metal or plastic?
---Do you want any flexing in the unit?

Lens gearing
---Ease of use, gearing that doesn't slip on your lens barrel, and gear width is very important.

Functionality
---Will you want to flip the follow focus around to the other side of the camera if you are in a tight spot quickly?
---Will you be using whips or cranks that use a standard size port?
---Is the follow focus gear on the unit itself pretty wide?
---Do you need an LED light to see the marking disc?
---Do you need hard stops built into the unit?
---Are you using Nikon lenses and want the focus pull to be the same direction as other lenses?
---Are you going to be using 19mm or 15mm rods or something different?

These are most of the factors you need to take into consideration when scouting out the right follow focus for yourself.

Last edited by Cody Dulock; June 10th, 2009 at 11:02 AM. Reason: changes
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Old June 10th, 2009, 11:07 AM   #14
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They reviewed the IndiFocus, not the IndiFocus Pro.
IndiFocus sell both. The IndiFocus starts at $149 whereas the IndiFocus Pro starts at $299.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #15
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I have made my own follow focus before-- the friction type, using a common right angle drill attachment I got from Harbor freight for $20. That required some engineering with aluminum and such. And I could not make it fit with the 5D.

So I went to the DFocus product available for $ 100, or for $ 145 with 4 various gears sizes. The lens gears attach in a moments time, so there is no problem moving to a new lens. You select the right size, pinch it down and it self clamps on the lens. My hardest focus in lens is an older Nikon F 1.4, and it works fine on it.

D | FOCUS - Finally an Affordable Follow Focus Solution for Independent / Amateur / Hobbyist Film Makers!

This is basic rudimentary design of a fairly basic produce. Dave is producing these very cheaply. For my hardest focusing lens, I have had to torque down the set screws, and I hope that isn't an issue in the future. I think, from his Twitter notes, he is modifying gearing a bit. He also just added a marking disk. I am ordering one of those too. Also nice is the fact that he sells extra rod attachments that I will be able to add a shoulder brace to. Those are in shipment to me

I used a Studio4Productions rod support system for the setup shown in attached pics. The 2 items ran me about $ 300.00. I will keep all posted on how well things hold up.
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