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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #1
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Naive question on follow focus gear / whips

Not having any hands-on experience with this, and looking at the Redrock Micro follow focus, gears and whips - I've been thinking: how do you use the whip when operating the camera alone? Do you just hold it in your left hand all the time (which you may also need for operating aperture, ND and other things)?

Or do you attach it to the tripod pan handle, or what?

Also, has any manufacturer come up with a motorized solution? I mean, ideally I'd do with two tripod handles, the zoom controller on the right one and a button (or preferrable a rocker) for follow focus on the left...

Am I dreaming?
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; May 10th, 2008 at 11:36 AM.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #2
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Folow focus is really for an AC to assist you in keeping focus. RedrockMicro has a remote/motorized solution in the works but that's intended more for steadycam work and does not mount on a panhandle. There may be another solution out there though...

I you need a 1 operator "hands off the lens" setup you're left with autofocus...

George/

P.S. For the EX3 I'm sure there will be full lens controls; the EX1 is just limited to zoom.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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The whip is really for the assistant if you are having one. If you are on your own just use the wheel, works perfectly; better than doing it from the lens barrel.
Sure, there are motorized ones from many manufacturers, also wireless versions. Now that you have a rail system itīs very easy to attach external servos. Itīs just how much you want to spend.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #4
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Thanks guys - indeed, I am and gonna be a one-man business. Motorizing the follow focus would be nice; any links, please?
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mika Tertsunen View Post
If you are on your own just use the wheel, works perfectly;
Well - not when I have the Letus with some long (or zoom) lens on; its focus ring or the follow focus wheel would just be too far away to reach comfortably!

Might work great on the camera alone, but I'm really thinking on a solution for my LEX setup.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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The controls Iīve used have been either Preston www.prestoncinema.com or Arri.
Doesnīt Redrock make one? Pricing might be a bit more...friendly I would guess.
Of course you can use the longer whip and make a poor manīs quick version by attaching it close to the handle with a loose cable tie or something...
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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with the 35mm depth of field comes the need to pull focus, which is actually my primary source of employment (I'm a member of ICG local 600 as an AC). When you are dealing with a system like the LEX, you will need to add geared rings for each lens, a motor that attaches to the rod bracket, and a system to drive it. Since you don't really need wireless you may be able to adapt a canon studio focus servo used on pedestal cameras which is essentially what you're describing, but that would require some engineering to make it happen and I can't imagine those are any less expensive than a bartech (http://www.bartechengineering.com) which would be about $4000 for a focus only system with a motor. I'll be using one this summer on the same rig you have described for a feature film I'm shooting where we have a lot of steadicam work.

As far as a setup without the LEX, I hear varizoom will have a remote shortly that will control zoom and focus of the EX1 stock lens.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #8
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Mika, the Preston is of course my favorite as well especially the mk. 3 hand unit. The Bartech is surprisingly good considering it is almost a tenth of the cost of a preston kit and you could always work out a handgrip bracket, or better yet, pass it off to someone else. :)
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