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Scorpio Remote Focus System


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#1 Allan Legarth Nielsen

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 03:30 PM

Since I'm starting to get more and more jobs, I will need to buy my own remote focus system at some point. I have worked with Bartech (which is crap) and ARRI.

But I have been told that the undisputed champion is Scorpio. Can anyone confirm this? And wehre can you buy, and what would the price be? Can only find it for rental.

Thanks
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#2 Robert Tagliaferri

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:15 PM

I've never heard the 'Scorpio' mentioned before. I've used the Bartech and the Preston quite a bit. I would agree that the Bartech is very unreliable and cumbersome to work with. The Preston, however, is fantastic. It's always worked flawlessly for me and it self-calibrates for each lens.

There's a slight price difference though: the Bartechs go for around $5000 and the Prestons are $20,000+. For the price, the Bartechs are decent enough, but they are a pretty big compromise.

Question: Do alot of you guys own your own wireless follow focus devices? In my experience, every steadicam guy (even the guys just starting out) always have their own WFF. I suppose renting them to productions is a good way to earn a little extra cash too though.
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#3 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:37 PM

scorpio is a top tool
it's made by the great spanish company : service vision in barcelona
http://www.servicevisionusa.com/
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#4 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:32 PM

scorpio is a top tool
it's made by the great spanish company : service vision in barcelona
http://www.servicevisionusa.com/


Scorpio is running around $35k last time I checked.
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#5 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

I have used them all and by far the best is the Preston. I owned 2 Bartechs and used them on several feature films over the years but I agree that they are limited. I bought the Preston 3 when I did "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" and have been very happy with it. It offers much more with the 3 channel handset, the single channel handset and the wireless zoom. You can buy each component individually or the complete system which will run you just under $40K.

Greg
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#6 Peter Milanov

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 05:06 PM

First of all, Bartech is not crap. It´s a very reliable remotefocus and for the price a very nice system and their support is top notch. But yes, being a one chanel system with no menus, it has its limits. I have a preston HU3 now and I am very pleased with it, great to have the lensmapping system and very easy to calibrate. The Bartech actually need you to think a little, maybe that´s the problem you had with it... :rolleyes: just kidding.

Anyway, C-motion got a good system as well and the Scorpio got that auto focus thing when you are on a dolly for packshots, good thing to have, something for Preston to look into.
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:04 PM

I was impressed with C-Motion's system for the price. It's nice that it's modular, too.
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#8 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

I must agree with Peter. The Bartechs are a wonderful, less expensive option for remote focus. Their beauty is in their simplicity. They are light weight, compact and with less cables to manage allows for quick and easy use. I never had one problem with mine. Like I indicated in my earlier post, I used my two Bartechs on eight years worth of feature filmmaking. I absolutely loved them. In my case, I simply needed a more sophisticated system to achieve my current demands. That's why I switched to the Preston FIZ.

Best,
Greg
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#9 Allan Legarth Nielsen

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:11 AM

:rolleyes: I didn't mind the thinking part of the Bartech, I like that it is simple, but the ones I have used was squekee and the motor made a lot of noise, maybe I just had an old one, who knows? Saying they're crap is maybe a little over the top, they do the job, but I was looking for something more. Thanks for the replies!
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:25 AM

I'll chime in and say that the Bartech is definitely not crap. I owned two of them for years and loved them. The service is indeed top notch, and Jim Bartell is a great guy to do business with. About a year and a half ago I switched to a Preston HU3 and I love it just as much as my Bartechs. When you compare price/performance, they're actually about equal I think. My 2 channel Bartech system cost me about $9000.00. My 2 channel Preston system cost me a little over $19,000.00. For the price, they both perform fantastically, but the Preston does more, which is what the real difference is. Of course, Preston is the industry standard, with Bartech coming in second I believe.
I only know of two people who own/have owned Scorpio's. I think they're both happy with them, but when you need it serviced it's a long trip. Preston is right in Santa Monica and you can drop in any time and they're very helpful. And Bartech is in Long Beach, but Jim has been known to drive up to LA to help an owner when they are in need.
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#11 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 12:51 PM

:rolleyes: the ones (Bartech) I have used was squekee and the motor made a lot of noise,



This sounds like a motor issue as opposed to an overall Bartech issue. There are various motors available for the Bartech. I liked the Heden M28VP motors because they were quiet, powerful and versatile. I'm going to guess that you may have had a squeaky M1 motor. Out of curiosity, do you remember which motor it was?

Best,
Greg
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