iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

I do a lot of live event work including weddings and I needed a follow focus for my GH2. I only have native Micro Four Third lenses (14-140mm and 20mm Panasonic, 12mm and 45mm Olympus) as I shoot a lot of stills too and need the fast AF and AE.

This presents a problem as the small size of these lenses can make them incompatible with a lot of Follow Focus systems. Most geared follow focus systems are impossible to use with electronic focus controlled lenses since the focus ring spins freely and the gears have a joint.

Another consideration when doing weddings is the need for fast lens swaps so a follow focus with rails, matte box and gears will not work well. Live event shooting does not require focus marking as is needed for narrative based focus pulls.

So with all these considerations my search lead me to the iDC System ZERO friction based follow focus for the GH2 (http://www.idcphotovideo.com/store/s...-panasonic-gh2). The only issue is that my prime lenses where to close to the body to work. Enter some silicone wristbands.

Wrapping them around the focus ring allows the IDC follow focus to work properly. The 12mm and 45mm will work with just one band while the 20mm takes three bands to reach (you need to trim the inner most band some). Best of all if I use three bands on the 12mm and 45mm and with System Zero set all the way back I can use it on all my lenses without adjusting the System Zeros under-plate. And access to the battery! This allow for 10 second lens swaps.

Anyway I hope this helps others looking for a follow focus to work with the short native Micro Four Thirds prime lenses.

I am working on a short example video that I will post soon.

Also I have asked the silicone band supplier about selling packs of bands for this purpose on his web site.

Thanks,
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iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod-idc-system-zero-gh2-mod.jpg  
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Old October 18th, 2012, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

http://www.idcphotovideo.com/store/s...-panasonic-gh2

Somehow your link got mangled. The actual link has the ...'s in it, too.

D
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Old October 19th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Thanks,

Here is the fixed link:

SYSTEM ZERO Follow Focus Standard Panasonic GH2 | iDC Photo Video Store

Also here is a link to the place I got the bands:

Diabetic Allergy Custom Medical Alert ID Silicone Rubber Bracelets and Wristbands. Design Detailed Info for Your Diabetes, Allergies, and Rare Medical Conditions for Your Silicone Rubber Bracelet, Wristband or GI Dog Tag. Team Sports and Event Wristb

He is going to sell a set for $12.50 shipped. I should have my sample video ready this weekend.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 09:16 AM   #4
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

And finally here is a short video on this mod:

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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Very nice on two counts. First, it's a great solution, second, you've created a resource for us in the production business as well as for a vendor. Maybe you should run for president ;)
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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #6
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Perry View Post
Very nice on two counts. First, it's a great solution, second, you've created a resource for us in the production business as well as for a vendor. Maybe you should run for president ;)
Thanks! I talked to the vendor (in Iowa) and he already has orders from Italy and Israel. I thought that was pretty awesome.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Thanks John and the bands look pretty good on there too.
Would you happen to know if I can still mount a Beachtek unit underneath at the same time ?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

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Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
Thanks John and the bands look pretty good on there too.
Would you happen to know if I can still mount a Beachtek unit underneath at the same time ?
Well the iDC System Zero want to mount right to the GH2 but you could mount the Beach to the iDC via one of the mount points. I stuck a quick plate release on there easy enough.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Griswell View Post
And finally here is a short video on this mod:

GH2 Follow Focus for Small Primes on Vimeo
John,

Excellent find. Maybe it's my monitor but I had a hard time seeing the black GH2 with the black Panny lens against your black t-shirt. (At least they looked black to me!)

The overhead shots were fine and good enough to get the idea.

D
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Old November 4th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #10
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

John or anyone - do you kn ow if this will fit the 100-300 Lumix as well. I can't find any info that says it does.
Thanks
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Old November 5th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #11
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

I don't have the 100-300mm but it does fit the 14-140 with plenty of room. I think the 100-300 is not that much bigger.

If you look here under the specification tab you can see the limit on supported lens length for the System Zero:

SYSTEM ZERO Follow Focus Standard Panasonic GH2 | iDC Photo Video Store
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Old November 5th, 2012, 04:42 PM   #12
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

John,
Yes Ive looked there. but no luck. I did measure the furthest distance which is just 3.75" from the very start of the mount and 3.5" from the edge of the camera where the mount fits in, so I THINK it's OK.
Basically save me $100 if I go the Standard rather than XL.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #13
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

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Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
John,
Yes Ive looked there. but no luck. I did measure the furthest distance which is just 3.75" from the very start of the mount and 3.5" from the edge of the camera where the mount fits in, so I THINK it's OK.
Basically save me $100 if I go the Standard rather than XL.
Since I could, here is a picture confirming the 3.75'' number (from the mount ring) as the max distance on the System Zero.
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Old November 5th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

Thanks for posting John, thats perfect. It looks like it will be fine. Just mounted the lens and 3.75" ends up in the middle of the focus ring - so all good
Cheers mate
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Old November 18th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #15
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Re: iDC System ZERO Follow Focus and Native Micro Four Thirds Lens Mod

IDC arrived and all lenses work great - in fact the 100-300 Lumix works better with bands on than off as it's a better grip.
One small problem - if you use a Beachtek attachment for audio, or any audio attachment probably, then the audio jack is right against the focus wheel. This means you need to let the focus wheel out and add a few more silicon bands so you can get the jack in - after that it's all good.
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