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How much play in a mini Arri FF is normal?


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#1 Michael Althaus

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 12:19 AM

Hey,
I bought an Arri mini Follow Focus (same model as you can see here --> http://www.duallcame.....ow focus.jpg). I was wondering how much play in the gears this type of follow focus usually has. If I block the focus ring of my lens, I can move the focus nob about 2-3mm (measured on the marking disk). Is this normal? If not, is there a quick fix or do I have to get the gears replaced?
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:35 AM

Hey,
I bought an Arri mini Follow Focus (same model as you can see here --> http://www.duallcame.....ow focus.jpg). I was wondering how much play in the gears this type of follow focus usually has. If I block the focus ring of my lens, I can move the focus nob about 2-3mm (measured on the marking disk). Is this normal? If not, is there a quick fix or do I have to get the gears replaced?

I don't see a pic of the follow focus, but only the welcome page of Duall's site. But a minimal amount of play like you're talking about is normal even for a very expensive FF like the (Arri FF4) in well-maintained condition, at least in my experience. I've yet to come across a model that has zero play in it. Wireless FF is another story - I've only used Preston units and have been very impressed with their accuracy and repeatability.
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#3 Michael Althaus

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:59 AM

Let my try it again with the image: Posted Image
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:06 AM

Posted Image

:lol: I once got one of those from the rental house that had almost 30 degrees of play in it! Must've been made on a Monday... Count yourself lucky, I think you got a good one.
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:50 AM

Let my try it again with the image: Posted Image


I have yet to run across one of those that didn't feel "sloppy as hell". Not sure why that is, everything else I have used from ARRI is tight and precise.

Best,
-Tim
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#6 Logan Schneider

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:14 AM

That is a rather old follow focus. The new lightweight follow focus was design by the guy who built the Willytech follow focus. As a result, it has a tightening mechanism that eliminates ALL play. However, the FF-1 does have a major problem....it's $6000!
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#7 Michael Althaus

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:38 AM

thanx for all your replays...
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#8 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:57 PM

The school I work at has a bunch of those...I looked at the exploded drawing to see if I was missing something obvious and couldn't really come to any conclusions as to why they're so jumpy. Although it does seem like the size of the gear could be a factor. I found that it helps to have a wider focus ring on the lens barrel itself. that way it sticks out enough to allow the gear to grab.

Who knows- now you have me curious and I want to look at one at work tomorrow!
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#9 chuck colburn

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:24 AM

The school I work at has a bunch of those...I looked at the exploded drawing to see if I was missing something obvious and couldn't really come to any conclusions as to why they're so jumpy. Although it does seem like the size of the gear could be a factor. I found that it helps to have a wider focus ring on the lens barrel itself. that way it sticks out enough to allow the gear to grab.

Who knows- now you have me curious and I want to look at one at work tomorrow!


Hi Annie,

If possible, could you post an image of that exploded view?

thanks,

Chuck
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#10 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:31 PM

I don't know if I'm allowed to give away Arri secrets... it would basically be a low-rez JPEG scan of a copy... but I'll see if I can find it again! As far as exploded drawings go, it's not very, well, explosive...there aren't many parts to it and it's really pretty simple. I do want to see if a standard FF-4 fixed focal length gear would fit on it and grab the lens better. When I am done reassembling the 10 SR2 mags sitting on my desk, completing an Excel spreadsheet for a 416 camera package, and placing 3 different parts orders to 3 different people, I'd be glad to look into this some more! (No, seriously- I'm just busy right now!)
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#11 Nigel Smith

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:56 AM

Hey,
I bought an Arri mini Follow Focus (same model as you can see here --> http://www.duallcame.....ow focus.jpg). I was wondering how much play in the gears this type of follow focus usually has. If I block the focus ring of my lens, I can move the focus nob about 2-3mm (measured on the marking disk). Is this normal? If not, is there a quick fix or do I have to get the gears replaced?

I've got one of those in our film school kit and there is barely 1mm play.
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#12 David Rakoczy

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 06:33 PM

Often times the play is actually between the FF Gear and the Lens Gear.. not in the unit itself.
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#13 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 08:49 AM

All of the Arri FF's seem to have at least a little play. That's why most 1st's don't make their marks on the follow focus, they make them on the lens with a grease pencil. That way you don't have to interpret the amount of play when trying to hit a mark.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:24 AM

I don't know if I'm allowed to give away Arri secrets... it would basically be a low-rez JPEG scan of a copy... but I'll see if I can find it again! As far as exploded drawings go, it's not very, well, explosive...there aren't many parts to it and it's really pretty simple. I do want to see if a standard FF-4 fixed focal length gear would fit on it and grab the lens better. When I am done reassembling the 10 SR2 mags sitting on my desk, completing an Excel spreadsheet for a 416 camera package, and placing 3 different parts orders to 3 different people, I'd be glad to look into this some more! (No, seriously- I'm just busy right now!)


Being busy is NOT a bad thing in this line of work!
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#15 Mike Simpson

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 12:42 PM

If you can even get one of the cheap wireless units it will change your life. I always push for at least a bartech. its really irritating trying to make tiny adjustments (say on a closeup when an actor is just leaning forward and back) on a loose ff.
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#16 Keneu Luca

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 07:19 PM

Hi Annie,

If possible, could you post an image of that exploded view?

thanks,

Chuck


I know this is an old thread.

But did anyone ever get a hold of that exploded view?

I recently just picked up one of those ARRI mini FFs. And let me say, very VERY little play. Im happy with it.:)
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#17 Keneu Luca

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:11 PM

I know this is an old thread.

But did anyone ever get a hold of that exploded view?

I recently just picked up one of those ARRI mini FFs. And let me say, very VERY little play. Im happy with it.:)


There is a tiny bit of stiffness in my ff. Im thinking of swabing each groove of the gears. Should I use any specific lubricant or alcohol?

Or should I not even use any kind of liquid or solvent?
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#18 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:25 AM

All Arri follow focus models have gears on eccentrics so that the meshing can be adjusted. It's always about finding the sweet spot between too much play and having a tight spot. The more gears, the more eventual play. If the gears are not damaged you should be able to reduce the play to less than 1mm at the wheel mark. Don't grease the external gears, you'll just attract dust.
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