So recently I had an issue on set with the Preston F/I unit, the Red camera, and a set of Zeiss Standard Speeds T2.1 which had their near-focus stop pins pulled to enable macro focusing. The issue was that the lenses were able to rotate beyond 360 degrees (more like beyond 720 degrees), and the auto calibration was not be able to find the end stops or map the full focus range. After calibration when the lens finally hit the near stop, I would be stuck with like a 1" to 2' focus range. Pushing the calibrate button again during the procedure just caused the process to reset and start over with the same result.
I wasn't sure if there was a way to manually set end stops like with the Bartech, but I didn't have time to figure it out. So what we ended up doing was tricking the Preston by calibrating with a non-macro lens (50mm T2.1), then slipping that lens out and inserting our other macro lenses as called for (16, 24, 32mm). To complicate things even further, the lenses were the DP's personal set, and the 24mm lens was so stiff and gritty that it would cause the motor to stop working. Recalibrating or resetting changed nothing. It took us awhile to identify and sort out all the separate issues and just stop using the 24mm.
Anyway, I have to assume I'm not the first AC to encounter this macro lens issue, so how do you guys deal with this? Am I missing something really obvious? Right now, I'm thinking "just rent a Bartech!"
A separate issue I had was with getting power out of the Red camera. The rental house provided us with (2) D-tap to 2-pin lemo power cables and (1) 4-pin XLR to 2-pin lemo cable. There also should have been a Red auxiliary to 2-pin lemo, but it wasn't included (no camera prep day, duh!).
The two D-tap cables both stopped working several hours into the first day, and the Steadicam op was forced to wear a battery belt for the rest of the job (he's a friend, luckily). We were running the D-tap into an ET battery plate which had a Camwave transmitter attached to it, but no battery (we ran the camera off a second camera battery on the back of the sled).
When we switched to handheld mode, the battery went back on the Camwave, but the power issue persisted so we just switched to the regular follow focus for that.
*The only thing I can think of is that maybe the D-tap was not providing enough power with the wireless transmitter on it and without a battery, but it still occurred when we put a battery on. Maybe the Camwave was drawing too much power? Should have tested that...
The rental house said we must have fried the D-tap cables by plugging in the D-tap in reverse, but I tested afterward to see if that was even possible and it was not. After the job, the rental house tested the cables and said they were fine, but they were not able to recreate the problem. So now, everyone is stumped. Does anyone have any ideas?
Edited by Satsuki Murashige, 16 March 2010 - 12:25 AM.