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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 11th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #1
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Follow Focus for the EX1?

I'm in the market for a follow focus system. Just bought an EX1.

I am totally new to a follow focus system. I need the rods as well. Am looking at RedRock Micro FF kit (US$ 895,-) and the Zacuto FF (US$1100 without rods. Is this an unpractical website or is it just me...)

There are others of course like Chrosziel, Century Precision.

I'm on a budget and therefore very interested in the RedRock but curious as to your experiences.

Jeroen
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Old December 11th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #2
 
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yeah, it's really difficult to navigate around on the zacuto website. B&H carries zacuto hardware and is much easier to figure out. ;o)
I have the Redrock FF and it's OK. The zacuto design looks a little more stout. The Redrock design support bracket is a bit flexible when the focus ring is sticky.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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Hi Jeroen!

I went for the Petroff mini FF economy, I reccommend it 100%!

<http://www.petroff.ws/Picture%20Archive/Follow%20focus/MFF-02.JPG>

Magnus
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Old December 11th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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Package.

Are you going for rails and a matte box too or do you have those? What's the total budget?

Jus.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #5
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Indifocus I've heard makes the cheapest stuff that's still decent. IndiSYSTEM - Studio 4 Productions

Cinevate just release their new follow focus a couple of days ago: http://www.cinevate.com

Personally, I'd go with the Zacuto, but it ain't cheap: http://www.zacuto.com/

(is it okay to post links on this site? I can't remember)
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:58 AM   #6
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Arri have a complete package for the EX1/3.
AbelCineTech have the Arri MMB-1 kit for $3,500. That's mattebox, FF gear, rods and camera plate.

I know that's not exactly cheap.... until you compare it to anything else Arri make.
The mattebox does look very well engineered to deal with the difficulties posed by the EX cameras as the filters are inserted through the side of the mattebox.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #7
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I personally think that $3500 is an insane amount of money for a follow focus/matte box system even for an F350, never mind the EX1, unless perhaps you were a rental house. I'd rather spend that kind of money on a Rolex or on the new Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR (20 mega pix + it also shoots HD video) and still have enough left over for a good lens.

It seems to me these companies are capitalizing on the whole cinematography mystique. In the end, follow focus systems are just simple mechanical devices.

While searching ebay, I found some interesting alternatives notably from India and the Czech Republic for a fraction of the price.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalunga Lima View Post

While searching ebay, I found some interesting alternatives notably from India and the Czech Republic for a fraction of the price.
Hi there,

Is there any chances sharing the details, especially if it was available from the Czech Republic? Thanks,
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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #9
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I found the Czech source while searching for "follow focus systems" on Ebay, where they are listed as a power seller "jbkfilm". You can also look them up at jbkcinequipt dot com

I haven't ordered anything from them yet (will shortly), so I can't vouch for their products and in no manner am I endorsing them.

best of luck
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Old December 14th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #10
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Why not Redrock micro? For much less money, a rail/mattebox/follow focus can be bought from them, and the build quality - functionality is superb indeed!
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #11
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Figures like 3500 are way out of my league... I want a FF mainly to be able to focus better/smoother. Focus was wildly off on a few shots during my first shoot (didn't get a chance to practice...) but it's getting much better on my second day of working with the EX1. I come from a Z1 and this is different stuff. Obviously much more critical.
I like the Zacuto rails because you can hang everything off them and they even work like a type of shouldersupport. It's Meccano time all over again!
Maybe get the rails from Zacuto and the FF from Redrock. Or just forego the FF altogether and learn to focus properly with the EX1 (lol).
I've been looking at the Cine India ebay seller as well. Seems like proper stuff... Anyone use their FF?
@ Justin: I like the look of the Mattebox but don't see myself using it much. (what's with the big insect entering the room...? Better to keep a somewhat low profile...) Besides, budget is between 800-1200.

Jeroen
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Old December 14th, 2008, 12:00 PM   #12
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i would suggest the Cinevate rails and their new follow focus. I use their proteus rails and like them a lot, Visit Philip Bloom's website for more information. Cinevate just released a new follow focus and it looks very good. Total cost for these two items would be around $1300. I use the RR matt box which is just wonderful, but I think Cinevate have a better rail and follow focus system
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Old December 14th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen Wolf View Post
Figures like 3500 are way out of my league... I want a FF mainly to be able to focus better/smoother. Focus was wildly off on a few shots during my first shoot (didn't get a chance to practice...) but it's getting much better on my second day of working with the EX1. I come from a Z1 and this is different stuff. Obviously much more critical.
I like the Zacuto rails because you can hang everything off them and they even work like a type of shouldersupport. It's Meccano time all over again!
Maybe get the rails from Zacuto and the FF from Redrock. Or just forego the FF altogether and learn to focus properly with the EX1 (lol).
I've been looking at the Cine India ebay seller as well. Seems like proper stuff... Anyone use their FF?
@ Justin: I like the look of the Mattebox but don't see myself using it much. (what's with the big insect entering the room...? Better to keep a somewhat low profile...) Besides, budget is between 800-1200.

Jeroen
We've got a lot of the Zacuto kit, enough to truly say we have a big boys Meccano set. If $3,500 is out of your league be warned, we've spent around that on Zacuto hardware for our EX cameras and that's without a matte box and FF gear.

FF gear is unlikely to solve your focussing problems unless you can mark out the distance to what you want to focus on. FF gear is designed to be used by a focus puller, not the camera operator.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 02:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
We've got a lot of the Zacuto kit, enough to truly say we have a big boys Meccano set. If $3,500 is out of your league be warned, we've spent around that on Zacuto hardware for our EX cameras and that's without a matte box and FF gear.

FF gear is unlikely to solve your focussing problems unless you can mark out the distance to what you want to focus on. FF gear is designed to be used by a focus puller, not the camera operator.
An experienced cameraman told me it really helps his focusing. Nonetheless, the more I research this thing, the less I am convinced it's worth the money for what I want to use it for... I've actually become more interested in the rails because it will allow me to easily attach stuff like wireless receivers and lights...
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