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Follow Focus Options


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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:15 PM

So I went to the first intro meeting/production meeting with a new director in town. We talked about his new project, which is actually really interesting. Sort of like a modern western/musical. Very interesting concept, very well produced so far.

My question revolves around several shots he has planned involving a steady cam. Obviously I need some kind of follow focus to make it work, and it can't interfere with the steady cam operation, but budget is limited. A standard follow focus might be in the cards, but I doubt a wireless one will work. My question is what are my options. When I think about the cameras we'd be using (ZU1, DVX-100 or similar prosumer cameras) it seems as if I don't need to physically turn the barrel, since they are servo anyway. Is there any solution out there to connect to an electronic port and control electronically? It seems like that would be cheap, and since the wire can be strung un-obstructed with no physical force, it won't interfere with the steadycam operation. Does any solution like that exist, and if so for what cameras?

If that doesn't work, whats my cheapest option for a follow focus rig that will work? Some of the shots obviously go from 1ft up to 10 ft, so at any stop I'd be beyond the DOF, even with 1/3" cameras. How can I get this to work cheaply?
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#2 chuck colburn

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:09 PM

So I went to the first intro meeting/production meeting with a new director in town. We talked about his new project, which is actually really interesting. Sort of like a modern western/musical. Very interesting concept, very well produced so far.

My question revolves around several shots he has planned involving a steady cam. Obviously I need some kind of follow focus to make it work, and it can't interfere with the steady cam operation, but budget is limited. A standard follow focus might be in the cards, but I doubt a wireless one will work. My question is what are my options. When I think about the cameras we'd be using (ZU1, DVX-100 or similar prosumer cameras) it seems as if I don't need to physically turn the barrel, since they are servo anyway. Is there any solution out there to connect to an electronic port and control electronically? It seems like that would be cheap, and since the wire can be strung un-obstructed with no physical force, it won't interfere with the steadycam operation. Does any solution like that exist, and if so for what cameras?

If that doesn't work, whats my cheapest option for a follow focus rig that will work? Some of the shots obviously go from 1ft up to 10 ft, so at any stop I'd be beyond the DOF, even with 1/3" cameras. How can I get this to work cheaply?


Go to ebay and type in follow focus. There are some lower priced FF and base plate units for home camcorders listed there.
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:48 PM

If you can't afford a wireless system then your next step down would be to go tethered with something like a Varizoom controller.
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rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

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Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks