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Old February 5th, 2019, 03:50 PM   #1
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Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

I was thinking of getting a gimbal, and I would need a follow focus with it. I also could use a follow focus for when the camera is on a tripod, so I don't have to turn the ring on the lens all the time.

However, in order to save money, I thought it's probably best to get a follow focus system that attach to the camera, while on the gimbal, as well as attach to the camera for tripod shots as well.

But is there any follow focus system that can attach to both, in order to just buy one, and save money?
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Old February 6th, 2019, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

You should be able to easily find one to do that such as this one - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801
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Old February 13th, 2019, 02:41 PM   #3
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Okay thanks, but that one is quite pricey, compared to some that are under $400. Are there any around $400 or under that would be good for me in that case?
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Old February 13th, 2019, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

As always I would just Google search for reviews on cheap follow focuses. The expensive ones are expensive for a reason. I have a Jag35 one I bought off someone for pretty cheap...I've messed with it a few times but it doesn't seem super well-made...there's a little "play" (lack of response) as you change the direction you turn the wheel, and perhaps it's my lens mount, but the gears would tend to pull on the lens everytime I turned the wheel, making the whole image shake just from turning.

Those kind of things are what you run into when you buy cheap. There are just not good cheap versions of some thing...follow focuses may be one of them.
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Old February 19th, 2019, 03:16 PM   #5
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Okay thanks, I googled some but it seems there may be some hidden catches to some here or there, and wasn't sure which ones are good and what not. I can keep looking...
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Old February 20th, 2019, 04:17 AM   #6
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

The one I linked to is what I would consider the low end of what you are looking for. A decent servo itself is going to cost more than you think.

One alternative is to rent a setup on the days you really need it.

The downside of renting some good gear is it will highlight how spectacularly BAD low end follow focus systems are.
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Old February 20th, 2019, 10:36 AM   #7
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Okay thanks. What's so bad about the low end ones? Is it because they don't reach the focus ring well?
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Old February 20th, 2019, 07:17 PM   #8
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

They are bad in a many ways. One was mentioned above. The gears tend to not mesh so well with the lens and they are not that mechanically rigid. This leads to all kinds of problems with the gears pushing against the lens and causing things to move around in ways that are visible in the camera image.

Then there is the lack of repeatability. Taking time to set up your focus marks to find out that the system never pulls the same focus points the same way twice.

Then there is the lag and lack of motor torque and noise.
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Old February 20th, 2019, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Oh okay, I think we are talking about a different type of follow focus here though. I thought we were talking about one without a motor, or at least it was all electronically wireless, but no actual motor, unless I am wrong? Do I have to get a follow focus with a motor, if I want it use it with a tripod, or a gimbal?

Also why doesn't it pull the focus marks the same way twice? I used one before that I think was one of the cheaper ones before, and I just turn the dial and hit the mark I made, unless we are talking about a different kind here?
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Old February 21st, 2019, 03:45 AM   #10
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

If you want to use it on a gimal you can't use a whip and a mechanical follow focus. You'll need a motorized one.

For a tripod setup you can use one that is mechanical.
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Old February 21st, 2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Oh okay, thanks, but shouldn't I just get a modular one that I can use for both the gimbal and the tripod, to save money, cause then I am just getting one?
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Old February 21st, 2019, 03:18 PM   #12
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Yea, a wireless one will be motorized. If you buy a good one it will be useful for most any application. Even some you may not have thought about yet.
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Old February 21st, 2019, 04:23 PM   #13
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Okay thanks. I've read some reviews on the Tilta Nucleus-Nano and they came out good, but is it able to hit the marks repeatedly, as well as not make motor noise for recording dialogue, as far as cheaper ones go?
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Old February 22nd, 2019, 04:25 AM   #14
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

I can't comment on that gear specifically since I've not used it. The local rental house has a BarTech that I use when needed.

I have use a few setups on indie sets that were total junk. Jag35 is one of the names that come to mind. I can't remember them all because they aren't worth remembering to be honest.

The low end stuff is going to use existing consumer/RC servos which are not well suited for this job. That is something to look out for. If the servo makes a lot of noise when its running, send it back. Its junk.

That is about all I have to offer. Let us know what you choose and how it worked for you.
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Old February 22nd, 2019, 10:10 AM   #15
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Re: Which follow focus system should would be best for me in this case?

Okay thanks. Is a Bartech not a servo then, and some other type?
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