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Old October 19th, 2020, 04:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Central Coast Australia
Posts: 1,046
Off lens Zoom ring.

Hi All,
I do a lot of event capture and use the manual zoom on my PXW X160 all night for subtle zooming to frame the group tightly at all times.
After a couple of hours/days in a row the shoulder and neck is complaining, (may be to do with getting older as well :)
Ive tried the LANC zoom rockers that attach to tripod handle but it just doesn't have the same feel (and resulting look) as the manual zoom.
Is there a LANC zoom thats a dial or knob? I can't seem to find one.
So, I'm trying to find a way to rig a zoom ring/dial low on the tripod and control the zoom ring with a follow focus type set up.
Does anyone have any experience doing similar, or can suggest a set up that might achieve a similar result?
Thanks for any input.
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Old October 25th, 2020, 09:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,535
Re: Off lens Zoom ring.


The ones I use are no longer made. They are the Zoe DV Lanc controller from Bebob Engineering. I have four of these. Three of them with the switchable Sony/Canon Lanc protocol and mini Lanc plug plus one with the dedicated 8 pin connector for the EX series cameras.

They have a dedicated zoom speed control wheel on their right side. The earliest versions didn't have internal end stops on the speed control wheel and subsequently quite a few got over driven and the internal contacts were damaged. Later versions had a limiter pin built into the control wheel which solved that problem, unless you were totally ham-fisted. Ham-fisted people were even able to shear the internal center pin on the wheel where it pluged in to the internal potentiometer that controlled the speed. The later ones depending on camera will give you a zoom speed variation of between about 2 to 30 seconds depending on the pressure applied to the control rocker. This is camera dependent. Dependent on the actual capability of the zoom servo on the camera.

With the EX series and earlier HVR-Z1 cameras and the Sony FS7 I find they work very well. With the laterSony Z90 which now has a Lanc port I find you need to have it connected BEFORE you power up the camera. Because if you don't you can get some funky behaviour, like slow creeping zooms without you even touching the controller. Download the manual here:

As luck would have it when I looked on our local eBay there is a new one listed.They were around AU$300 when new. This one is listed for AU$200.

No guaranties that it will work 100% with all it's functions on the X160 but the zoom side should be okay. For example the auto focus functions won't work with the Z90.

If you want to understand the ins and outs of these Bebob controllers and how to fix issues with them such as the slow creeping zoom adjustments check out the discussion below. I guess it's okay to post help links?

Chris Young
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Old November 2nd, 2020, 11:37 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Central Coast Australia
Posts: 1,046
Re: Off lens Zoom ring.

Hi Chris,
Sorry for delay in getting back. I just found this.
Thanks for the recommendation but even though it seems to be better than the average toggle, it's still just a toggle.
I'm really trying to find a way to emulate the finger tip control of the zoom ring in a lower, more comfortable position.
The more I look though it seems that I'm the only guy in the world who likes to do manual zooms, and doesn't like toggles.
The Hunt continues....
Gerald Webb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2020, 01:01 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Aberdeen Scotland
Posts: 815
Re: Off lens Zoom ring.

Might be a problem setting up. But have you thought about wireless focus puller on the zoo ring.
A little knowledge goes a long way but not long enough.
Donald McPherson is offline   Reply

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