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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #1
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Lanparte New Follow Focus Review

I was looking for some specific production items at the NAB 2013, from a heavy lifting multirotor to a follow focus and a skater dolly. Time permitting I'll do a review on the really nice Konova radial skater dolly and show the one minor blip problem with it.

I have been researching follow focus kits for a bit for acquisition, so I was able to look at all the major players at NAB 2013, from Arri, Mathews, Chrosziel, and some of the newer ones such as Zacutto, etc. I avoided even looking into the garbage manufacturers such as Pro-Aim / Cine City etc.

Interestingly enough, the Arri had the most amount of backlash, although nothing to get too worked up over. The focus roller rotation had a really nice smoothness to it. I think it was in the $2000 range though. Next! lol.The Mathews was about the same as the Arri although not cosmetically ultra- impeccable as the Arri.

The Chrosziel was very nice, with a tiny bit of backlash still but less than the Arri. The rest I looked at were all workable, but expensive. I know there are some REALLY cheapo follow focus rigs out there, but I was interested in a quality one at a good pricepoint.

The Movcam was a respectable unit too in the $1000 price range.

So I went and looked at the Lanparte follow focus. It has a switchable gear position, front or back, and they have an add-on accessory available that changes the gear position for the odd diameter lens. The unit I looked at had two movable hard stops, an the stop itself folds back and out of the way rapidly in the event you want to pull focus past your stops without removing your stop setting.

They must have thought I was strange at the Lanparte booth as I repeatedly kept rotating the side knurled knob back and forth with my other hand applying a slightly preload to the drive gear, then pressing the gear to the lens gearing. I just couldn't detect any backlash, not for a lack of trying! The rotating knob itself was really smooth and had this fluid head tripod type of feel too it. Ever so slightly firmer than the Arri. Others I tried, one could spin the wheel and it would make several revolutions which I did not like at all. I wonder if the free spinning ones used semi-sealed bearing cartridges with metal shields rather than neoprene contact seals, the latter remarkably superior at keeping out dust contamination.

The Lanparte full featured follow focus version is about $500. I was expecting it to be twice that, so I saved quite a bit of money, enough to get the radial skater dolly which I will review with photos shortly.

I will be picking up their matte box add-on rail swing away kit too, as they make a whole array of matte boxes, camera rig kits and accessories.

I would embed a photo of my own Lanparte follow focus, but for some reason my account appears to be such that I can't even embed photos.....very odd, so here is a link to images:

Lanparte hard stop function AB stop follow focus dslr FF focus controller
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Old April 17th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Lanparte New Follow Focus Review

Thanks for this report, Dave -- much appreciated!

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Old April 17th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Lanparte New Follow Focus Review

Dave, I'll second what you said. I spent a bunch of time in their booth and was impressed by the quality of most of their stuff.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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Re: Lanparte New Follow Focus Review

As an update, below is the correct website address to the United States division of Lanparte, where you will get superior English speaking customer service.

It also is the website to the Lanparte people I met with at the NAB show.


Maybe my original post can be admin edited to reflect this website and then this post deleted.

What does it take to embed photos when doing a review?
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