Follow Focus? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U

JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
All about the original single-CCD HDV camcorders from JVC.


 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 10th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 390
Follow Focus?

Has anyone tried an aftermarket Follow Focus setup on the HD10? I was looking at the CineTech package this morning and it seems nice, but $5000 is a little steep for a mod to a $3000 camera, IMO.

I've got a documentary that I have to start shooting in March and I'm really leaning towards using an HD10 now that it's clear JVC isn't going to be upgrading it in time. I'm going to have to buy everything this month and I'm kind of wondering how people have been working successfully with it. A matte box and follow focus seem to be necessary additions.
Robert Jackson is offline  
Old January 11th, 2004, 01:37 AM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Agoura Hills, CA
Posts: 19
Contact Robert at Hollywood Studio Rentals in Burbank...they've got a follow focus setup that I'm sure is less bucks than that.
__________________

Geoff Pepos

Rhythm Films
Geoff Pepos is offline  
Old January 11th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 242
Robert,

Keep in mind two things:

One, a mattebox is nothing more than a lens hood. A mattebox is designed to shield the lens from stray light and eliminate flares. Most matteboxes offer a way to incorporate filter systems. Some do not. If you require the use of a filter system that uses a particular mattebox, then a mattebox would be worhtwhile. If you do not require the use of such filters, or if those filters can be screwed onto the 52mm filter threads of the camera itself, then a mattebox is completely unnescesary.

Two, a follow focus attachment is designed to assist a camera assistant to follow a set focus pattern. In other words, a particular movement pattern is blocked out, the AC measures the distance from the multiple points, then marks the follow focus attachment at the appropriate measurements on the lens. There are three problems with applying that method to working on your project. 1, most dockumentaries won't involve preset blocked out movements for actors. 2, the HD10 does not have distance markings for the lens. 3, even if a follow focus attachment were used, the marked distance on the attachment would never precisely hit the same focal distance every time. This is because the HD10 employs a servo assisted focus system. A servo assisted focus system responds to how fast the manual ring is turned to determine how quickly the servo responds to moving the lens to the desired focus point. Since there is no mechanical link between the manual focus ring and no set amount of 'turn to response' ratio, using a follow focus attachment on a servo lens is almost pointless.

That's not to say that it would be impossible to hit the correct focus using such an attachment. Just that it would be difficult at best. And more importantly, completely opposite of the point of using a follow focus attachment in the first place...

I can tell you from experience that these type of follow focus attachments on servo assisted lenses are difficult or pointless to use. I've worked with one on two different projects and both were less than perfect. One project was with the PD150. Without being able to measure, mark and repeat focus mvoes, the AC had to rely on the image of the LCD. The PD150 has a great LCD with plenty of pixels. But trying to judge focus without a measured system on a 2.5" LCD is near impossible. The other project fared much better. The other project was with the DVX100. The DVX100 also has a servo assisted focus system. So the same problems applied. The only saving graces were that the DVX100 has a metered readout on the LCD, and the LCD is larger than the PD150's. Even though the metered readout on the DVX100 isn't focal distances, the numbered system does allow for precisely hitting the exact focus mark every time. The AC had to adapt to, not marking the lens, but to remembering the numbered readout.

My opinion of the HD10's LCD is that the LCD is one of the worst currently available on a prosumer camera. The pixel count is low and the image is muddy at best. The viewfinder is even worst.

I would caution sinking too much money into the purchase of an HD10 with a ton of adapted accesories. Especially considering how quickly technology moves and the usual inability to adapt those add on accessories to other prosumer cameras. Not to mention that $5,000 rents alot of gear for a good amount of time. And higher quality gear with superior functionality at that.
Jon Fordham is offline  
Old January 11th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 390
<<<-- Originally posted by Jon Fordham : Robert,

Keep in mind two things:

One, a mattebox is nothing more than a lens hood. -->>>

This camera is likely going to require constant manipulation with ND filters and I'd rather buy standard square filters to fit a matte box than invest in something specific to the thread size of the lens and deal with possible vignetting, not to mention owning a bunch of filters for a camera I probably won't own a year from now.

<<<-- Originally posted by Jon Fordham :This is because the HD10 employs a servo assisted focus system. A servo assisted focus system responds to how fast the manual ring is turned to determine how quickly the servo responds to moving the lens to the desired focus point. Since there is no mechanical link between the manual focus ring and no set amount of 'turn to response' ratio, using a follow focus attachment on a servo lens is almost pointless. -->>>

Holy hell. I had no idea that was the case. I was interested in a dual follow focus/zoom setup with microforce geared knobs. The ability to do a slow controlled zoom being more important in documentary work than the ability to use the follow focus. Is the zoom not connected to the lens, either?

In any case, thank you for your insight. I assume some kind of monitor is essential in using this camera on location if the display is so bad. Any advice on a small CRT?
Robert Jackson is offline  
Old January 11th, 2004, 01:45 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 242
Robert,

I agree that a square filter system may be the best way to go if you don't want to deal with screw on filters. I would recommend one of two options. Either A, buy a set of glass ND's in a 4x4 size. They should run about $100 a piece. A set of .3, .6, and .9 should do the job for you. Then purchase the Chrosziel 4x4 DV sunshade with 52mm clamp adapter for around $700. This mattebox and set of ND's will be a nice investment that will be usable on a decent range of cameras for a long time. Or B, buy a set of resin ND's for about $15 each and a Cokin filter system with modular lens hood and 52mm adapter fpr about $25. The resin filters and Cokin system won't be something that will last for years to come without very special care and attention, but it should get you through your shoot.

So a nice set for $1,000 or a functional set for $70. That one's up to you...

As far as the zoom goes, yeah that's a servo zoom as well. Not mechanical. The zoom works in exactly the same way as the focus. I am not familiar with what microforce has to offer in this range. And I don't recall if the HD10 has a LANC control jack. If the HD10 has a LANC control jack and Microforce offers a controller that can interface with the HD10's LANC controller, then you be able to work around the servo setup. If not, you may be out of luck.

The only prosumer camera in this range that offers a mechanical zoom is the DVX100 or the XL1 with a mechanical lens. The DVX100 has a mechanical zoom that can also be controlled by a servo system when desired. And if you want to spend an extra $1,000 on a mechanical lens for the XL1, you could get a mechanical zoom on that as well. Otherwise, it's all servo assisted control.

I would strongly advise a CRT monitor for viewing the image while shooting. I would highly recommend a professional 8" 16/9 switchable monitor. That way it's portable and you can view the image in its correct aspect ratio. Sony makes some excellent monitors in the 8" size that are 16/9 switchable. They vary from around $700 to $1200 depending on what kind of inputs and power options you want.

That being said, keep in mind that you can't view the live HD image that the camera is recording while shooting. So what you will be seeing is not the full resolution HD recording. Only a downconverted Standard Definition image. This is arguably not a problem since statistics suggest that many viewers will never even have the opportunity to view your piece in anything but Standard Definition video.
Jon Fordham is offline  
 

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:13 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network