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    Remote follow focus for 150/$300
    #1
    Senior Member hoarp001's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I was frustrated with the remote follow focus systems available for us indie film makers, so I built myself a pretty run and gun, but none the less effective remote follow focus. Having used this system on a film I was steadicamming on, the focus puller, DOP, camera ops etc etc all thought my system was pretty good, and infact easier to use than the physical follow focus. My system has absolutely NO play what so ever.

    I intend to sell these to the indie filmmaker and I would like to keep the cost to 150/$300, which includes the motor. The motor uses an RC servo, like the foveas system. This is actually a very smooth and reliable way of pulling focus, my system is reliable enough to repeat marks accurately. The servo i am using has been specially selected and modified by me to be as quiet as possible, it does however still whine a little bit when its going full pelt.

    This system is fairly no frills. It dosnt have the programable positions like the foveas, but it is well built and it will last, reliable, and for 150 quid, I cant really build in the programable side of things.

    The unit is in a rugged aluminum case, anodized black. It takes four AA batteries, which are housed in two tube style battery holders on the bottom. There is an on/off switch at the top and an indicator light. There will also be an illuminator for the marking ring.

    Heres the downside. This is the reason why this system is 150 and not thousands.

    Get ready:

    THIS IS NOT A WIRELESS FOLLOW FOCUS SYSTEM

    Yes, its a shame, and I wish I could make a wireless sytem, but for 150, its the only way to make it properly with proper materials and make it last. As a steadicam operator having used the prototype model, the fact that it is wired is not much of a problem, as the focus puller can follow along with me, judge distances and see my monitor. The wire also dosn't affect the steadicam much either.

    I have tried to make the wired system as universal and painless as possible, and the controller and motor connect using a standard stereo jack cable, like the sort of thing you would connect the sound card to the speaker system on computers. These cables can be bought cheaply, so you can afford to have lots of differnt lengths, and they are easy to make your own. you can join them up with standard audio connectors.

    So, in summary:

    I am offering a reliable, repeatable remote follow focus in a durable aluminium case with motor including a 0.8mod gear for 35mm lenses and SLR lenses in a flightcase for 150.

    Here is a photo of the prototype unit. Please note that the marking disk in this photo is actually a piece of paper, I am waiting for the CNC shop to cut the disk out of white acrylic. This photo also shows the follow focus without the cap on the top of the knob. It will have a matt finish domed knob over the top to hide the locking nut.


    If you are interested and would like to reserve one or something then let me know. I have three reserved so far.
    Last edited by hoarp001; 03-27-2008 at 02:46 PM. Reason: adjust wording


     

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    #2
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    I'll take a reservation.
    "Local studio seeking young female actresses for short film in which they definitely will NOT be killed. Lack of identifying scars, dental records, or concerned family a plus. Payment to be discussed after shooting...uh...filming."

    www.hiddendreamsmedia.com


     

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    #3
    King of Australia tmnt's Avatar
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    Very interested! Could you please post a video and a few pics?


     

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    #4
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    I saw your thread in the diy section...i'm in.


     

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    #5
    Senior Member hoarp001's Avatar
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    Yeah, bear in mind the one in the DIY section is very rudimentary. It will have a nice slick aluminum case, knobs and lights, proper plugs and the motor is quieter with a better drive gear and a proper mount.


     

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    #6
    King of Australia tmnt's Avatar
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    I'm a one man band, can you set this to hard stops?


     

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    #7
    Senior Member hoarp001's Avatar
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    Well its a possibility. There will be no electronic gizmos built in to do this, as I mentioned.

    I am still debating over two knob systems, the first which is cheaper, easier to build and more robust is to have the marking disk static and the knob with a point moulded in. You then make your marks on the mark ring, then pull the knob to those marks, but the ring is always static. using this technique its quite possible to use a hard stop that the point on the knob stops up against.

    The other system is to have the marking disk attached to the knob and have a reference point on the case. This is more true to the traditional follow focus, but since these knobs are not available off the shelf, making them would be costly, and would be no where near as durable as the alternate system mentioned above.

    I will devote some time and thought and think out a viable way to do the hard stops for you, I think it is important.


     

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    #8
    King of Australia tmnt's Avatar
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    You pretty much will have my money, just want to know a bit more about it and see it in action. Really good work. What ff rings do you suggest to go with the motor (I'm using zooms so might need largish ones)?


     

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    #9
    Senior Member hoarp001's Avatar
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    Any FF ring you have, its 0.8mod / 32pitch which is standard across all 35mm adapter rings for SLR lenses and also the gears built into PL mount lenses. The ones I use are the SGpro rings, but any of the others will work fine.

    Im just doing some R&D and prototyping, I hope to have the unit looking finished within the next two days or so, its then just a case of sorting out the electronics and the motor drive.


     

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    #10
    Senior Member benniles's Avatar
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    Put me down for one.
    Thanks!


     

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