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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 20th, 2010, 12:51 AM   #31
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From Canada hey? Then you can relate to my Sunday afternoon standing on a frozen lake freezing my butt off while cars with spiked tires race around me. I got some good footage but just missed the rollover that happened about 50m from where I was standing. My son got a bit of it in the background with his 5DMRKll but it's really small in the corner of the frame.

After using the focus assist for both the ice racing and the green screen tests, then on Monday putting it in the hands of a couple of cinematographers I find that I want to rework the focus clips before I send it out. It's been full time, 10 hours a day working on it and now more changes.

I have a few questions about the focus range of a typical focus pull.

1. Would anyone ever need to set stops at full focus range for any project? In other words would you ever set your close focus clip right up to 2.7 feet and the other one at 30 feet or more or would you be typically using only a portion of the focus range in any given shot?

2. Would you find it valuable to have calabrated notches set at regular intervals through the range of focus for reference visible from either the side or the rear of the camera? If so would you prefer it in feet or meters?

3. Would you find it valuable to have a whip attachment in the two and a half foot range?

I'm working as fast as I can and hope to have the focus assist ready to send out soon. I also have some other items coming soon that I think you may be interested in. Thanks again for you patience everyone.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 01:32 AM   #32
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Hi Larry,

Sounds like you had a fun weekend. As for your questions these are just my thoughts and what I think would work for my situation:

1. No need for full focus stops. I would probably be looking at about 1/4 to 1/2 the focus range difference in focal lengths.

2. Visible calibrated markings would be very helpful as I usually measure my focus distance and rely on that but, how hard would it be to first set the correct focal length when placing the device on the camera? Also, would it require constant recalibrating. If it would, I probably would not rely on it to a great extent.

3. I would find a whip attachment very valuable but would rather it be in the 1 1/2 foot range.

Those are just my two cents.

-Garrett

Last edited by Garrett Low; January 20th, 2010 at 08:21 AM.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #33
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Definitely another interested customer. My request is KIS(S)
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Old January 20th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #34
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I am interested and keeping an eye on developments.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 05:30 AM   #35
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I would echo Garrett's comments.

Geoff
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Old January 20th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #36
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Thanks for the feedback.

As long as the spacing between the graduated focus points is the same on all cameras it should remain calibrated indefinately.
I timed how long it took to install the unit at about 1 minute. That includes setting the start point and calibrating it.
I don't find that I ever have to remove it from the camera, it just stays on it 24/7 and goes into my bag with ease.
I can make the whip just about any length up to about 3 feet so I may offer that to be custom ordered.
I am off to the shop to redesign the focus clips and with luck get something cut either today or tomorrow.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #37
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Thanks Larry,

Looking forward to seeing the product. I keep my camera in a Pelican 1620 hard case and if it fits I would probably never take the focus puller off as long as it doesn't hinder hand held usage. But if it only takes 1 minute to set up I don't think having to remove it would be an issue.

-Garrett
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Old January 21st, 2010, 05:25 PM   #38
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There seems to be plenty of interest...
is there a roll-out date yet?
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Old January 21st, 2010, 05:39 PM   #39
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I am working like a dog on it but it is still a week or so away. After the shooting I did on the weekend and the feedback I got from a couple of pro's I've decided to redesign the focus clips. My machinist has to clear his plate today and tomorrow so that he can get the clips built on Saturday. If that ends up to be the final version, I will be sending out some units to a couple of shooters next week. If all feedback is good, I will waste no time in getting the first batch built and out the door.

I have a second product that I am working on while I am waiting for the clips which I hope will be ready at the same time as the focus assist. More on that soon.

Larry
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Old January 21st, 2010, 08:15 PM   #40
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YES to Q #1,
No to Q #2,
Maybe to Q #3
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 09:30 AM   #41
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I'm to the shop to have the focus clips redrawn and machined today. With luck they will work and I will have a couple of units to send out for testing early next week.

Larry
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Old February 9th, 2010, 12:33 AM   #42
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The Focus assist is back on track! Thanks again for your patience everyone. First my machinist had a minnie rush for his services at his shop leaving me waiting, then when I got the next version complete I came up with a totally new direction for the focus clips. This new idea required every component to be redesigned. I am now very happy with the action of the device and it's precision. Taking advantage of the time I spent waiting also allowed me to develop the button kit for the EX1 & EX3. I will also be sending out some sample vials of a product that will almost eliminate bad electrical connections, and improve sound quality of your audio tracks by increasing the signal to noise ratio.

I have a working version of the focus unit and a button kit on my camera and will take some video in the next day or two. When it's done I will put it up on Vimeo. I will be juggling a number of projects this week so I will start with just a basic demo then when time permits I will send out 3 test units, hopefully by the end of the week.

Larry
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Old February 9th, 2010, 12:46 AM   #43
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Hey Larry,

Great to hear you're back on it. I know how developing a new product can go.

Looking forward to seeing the test shots.

Garrett
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Old February 20th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kelly View Post
The Focus assist is back on track! Thanks again for your patience everyone. First my machinist had a minnie rush for his services at his shop leaving me waiting, then when I got the next version complete I came up with a totally new direction for the focus clips. This new idea required every component to be redesigned. I am now very happy with the action of the device and it's precision. Taking advantage of the time I spent waiting also allowed me to develop the button kit for the EX1 & EX3. I will also be sending out some sample vials of a product that will almost eliminate bad electrical connections, and improve sound quality of your audio tracks by increasing the signal to noise ratio.

I have a working version of the focus unit and a button kit on my camera and will take some video in the next day or two. When it's done I will put it up on Vimeo. I will be juggling a number of projects this week so I will start with just a basic demo then when time permits I will send out 3 test units, hopefully by the end of the week.

Larry
Larry - Haven't heard a word since your last post Feb 9 - are you at the Olympics?
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Old February 20th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #45
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I wish! it's been a really frustrating at times trying to get machine work done while not wanting to be too annoying towards my friend the machinist. That and I just got my sample kits from the manufacturer of the electrical contact enhancer on Friday. I have my website address and am setting up the site as we speak. Our film group has a meeting tomorrow night and I hope to set up to shoot some demo footage of the focus assist and button kit. When it's up I will let everyone know. We try to shoot something every meeting. Last meeting we shot screen tests for my film "Instant Karma" which will be shot entirely in front of green screen. If the shop is not too busy next week I will have the first small batch cut and ready to send out by next weekend.
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