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Old July 8th, 2014, 10:10 PM   #1
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Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

When you guys film the bridal entry to a Church, especially a really long aisle do you have any special hints or tips or fancy gear to help you do a follow focus?

I use something really silly and crude but believe it or not it works really well!! It's a hand held magnifying glass! Yep the ones that you buy at any stationery shop for a few dollars. I found one that was about the same diameter as my favourite lens focus ring and then popped out the glass so I ended up with just a plastic handle and the ring that used to hold the glass in place.

I clamp that onto the lens focus ring so at one extreme it sits about 20 degrees up from horizontal and I can then do a smooth follow focus by just gently pressing down the handle so the focus ring turns...it's smoother by far than twisting the ring and requires less force to so you ate less inclined to upset your framing.

What do you use ???

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Nice, Chris. Was it luck to find one the correct diameter, or did you look at severeal different places until you found one?
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Old July 9th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Hi Byron

My Tamron 17-50 that I use for the B-Cam at weddings is close to a 3" diameter and the magnifier was also 3" ... it also had a little screw clamp underneath so there was a little adjustment too.

I have seen some quite clever ones online .. a simple hose clamp around the focus ring but first you drill a hole in the solid bit and bolt on a 2" x 1/4" machine screw and that works as the handle ..that's fully adjustable too for other lenses.

There are some very neat silicone jar openers over on your side of the pond that work just as they are. Pull the adjustable tube up the handle, slip it over the focus ring and push the adjustable tube down again to tighten it and voila you have an FF unit. If you Google DIY follow focus there are a bunch out there that would all work.. the lever advantage makes focus finger soft and the up/down action is easier to use than physically turning the ring. It would also depend on your ring direction..My Tamrons go counterclockwise from infinity to closeup so I have the lever almost horizontal and focused on the Church door and as the girls walk down the aisle it's simply a matter of pressing down gently on the lever as they get closer...then back up to the top for the next bridesmaid.

What do you use to follow focus? Just the lens ring??

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Ha, cheers, Chris, you stole my jar opener trick...

Before we had the 70D to do our follow focusing for us, I would do a trial run, usually using the wife, and set my follow focus (jar opener) to noon for the far side of the aisle, then note where it would end up at my closest spot.

Its the Trudeau silicone jar opener ($5) Amazon.com: Trudeau Silicone Twist Jar Opener (Random Colors): Kitchen & Dining
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Old July 9th, 2014, 01:25 PM   #5
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

I have done the aisle shot a few different ways. I have sat in the 4th or 5th row on the aisle with a XA20 on a monopod. I have placed my little sony RX100 in the front pointing down the aisle. I have knelt in the front as close to the front pew as possible shooting with a 6D with a 70-200mm on a fully lowered tripod. When using the 70-200 I do use just the focus ring to follow focus. That is how I have always done shots with DSLRs.

Does the handle make that big a difference? I can imagine without the tripod I would be quite shaky using the focus ring.
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Old July 9th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Robert, I checked your link on Amazon... The section that says "Customers Who Bought This Also Bought" and it is all video gear. Not one kitchen item! Looks like you are not the only one. :)
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Old July 9th, 2014, 08:20 PM   #7
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Hi Robert

I found that idea on-line but those jar openers are tough to find. Nope, cannot find them here either ..only the traditional ones that you squeeze together with various lid sizes and way to big to use on a lens.

Basically all it is is a clamp around the lens ring and a little handle of sorts..anything really would work that can be fixed around the focus ring. It's really nothing special as it only makes turning the focus ring easier.

I think I need to do a little walk-around the hardware warehouse and see what else is available...if you have an idea it's amazing how you can suddenly see something totally unrelated and realise "This will do the job perfectly"

Chris
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Old July 9th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Chris, you have the right idea. The light weight metal clamps they use for your clothes dryer exhaust might be perfect. Its a thin strip of metal with holes in it.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 02:18 AM   #9
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

I'm surprised you guys don't seem to have discovered the Sunwayfoto focusing handles:

Sunwayphoto-a superior photography accessories manufacturer in Shenzhen China - Home

You can get them on Ebay e.g.

SUNWAYFOTO 72mm Lens Focusing Focus / Zoom / Filter Handle / Lever DRH-70 Sunway | eBay

I have the DRH-70 which fits the Canon 24-105 and suchlike, and the DRH-77 which fits the 70-200 f2.8L IS.

OK they are not cheap but they are much more usable than the silicon jar lid removers - of which I have three :- )

But my favourite piece of kit for the scenario Chris described is a camcorder on autofocus :- )

Pete
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Old July 10th, 2014, 06:39 AM   #10
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Thanks Pete

You do look very neat and professional and I like the clever way the handle is on a thread to clamp onto the focus ring ... I have read a bit further on the silicon jar openers and some say they do slip.

This is a slightly fancier one that someone is trying to fund with a little white board that you can mark with a felt tip pen so you can do exact focus shifts easily.

Lens/Focus Shifter for any DSLR camera lens

The handle looks quite practical too!!! I have also seen DIY versions of this with the little white board.

Chris
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Old July 10th, 2014, 07:27 AM   #11
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

You can put white tape on the outer surface of the ones I linked to and then use a suitable pen to mark positions. I marked some of my actual lenses ages ago but in practice I don't use it because I'm not a fan of dSLRs for weddings.

Pete
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Old July 10th, 2014, 09:48 AM   #12
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

This may not be the answer you want, but since I got the C100 with the Dual Pixel AF, every bridal entry I've done has gone like a dream. Because of the AF, I've been able to use 70-200 2.8 at a wide aperture every time, even handheld!

Here's my first wedding with the DPAF. Bridal party entrance was on a tripod, and the Bride's entrance was handheld, with me taking a knee (entrance starts at about 04:37): Mandi & Parker: Full Wedding on Vimeo

And he's another one. Entrance was all on a tripod. Same lens. perhaps not as wide open (near the end of this short clip): Amanda + John - Coming Soon on Vimeo
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Old July 15th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #13
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post

But my favourite piece of kit for the scenario Chris described is a camcorder on autofocus :- )

Pete
At almost all weddings now I stand at the end of a pew on the bride's side and use my CX730 in autofocus mode with face detect on. It almost always locates the bride's or father's face nicely, and I pan along with them as they pass (Stabilisation is great on this camera) and then slowly zoom over the bride's right shoulder and if the groom turns around the focus locks onto his face - works a treat.

Pete
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Old July 18th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #14
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Just for interest I found these on eBay. Not too bad a price at $20 for a pair but I wonder if the rubber will eventually perish and become useless.

Any idea how good these will work??

Chris
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Old July 21st, 2014, 02:59 PM   #15
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Re: Follow Focus Aids for Bridal Entry

Bob Drummond,
thanks for posting the full wedding edit. It's not often we get to see more than a trailer. I'm jealous, you have 3 cameras in the ceremony, at least 2 have camera operators!
I think I learn much more from seeing a 35 min to 2 hour edit than from a 3 minute trailer.
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