Budget DSLR Follow Focus – More

Remember this Budget DSLR Follow Focus creating a bit of hype? http://cheesycam.com/budget-dslr-follow-focus/. The seller moved quite a bit of these things, raised the prices twice (or more) already, and now lists that any new orders would ship at a later date.

Well turns out this follow focus is being made somewhere else, and a few new retailers have them available, not to mention cheaper too. If you poke through some of the listings you'll find some low priced auctions or BuyItNow + Free shipping. So instead of holding out for one retailer, you might get it faster from someone else.

Screen shot 2011-06-05 at 9.08.17 PMScreen shot 2011-06-05 at 9.08.26 PM
find-price-buttonNew DSLR Follow Focus

Remember that you'll still require a set of 15mm rods to mount, so take advantage of those Gini auctions.

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find-price-button Gini DSLR Rig Stabilizer Kits

45 thoughts on “Budget DSLR Follow Focus – More

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Pedro - It's pretty handy to have the quick release function on the FF, especially if you have other things mounted like a matte box or a second FF (for the zoom ring).

  2. Pedro

    @Emm - i was talking about the QR of the fotga ff. there are 2 fotga dp500 versions one without a qr for 155$ and another one with qr for 200$ and i was asking you if the one with the qr

  3. Pedro

    sorry again I have another question! do you think that that the quick realse justifies the 45$ more?

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Pedro - This just means the whole FF would have to either move forward a bit or closer on the rail and sometimes the direction of rotation of the gear. Majority of the time, you'll end up having it on one side because that's the hand you might be used to pulling focus with.

  5. Pedro

    And the fotga one is better then the rj? With the fotga I can't change the side of the gear is this a big deal? sorry about my questions but i never used a ff

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Pedro - If you don't have an FF now, the Fotga should be a fine introduction. It has a riser mount so you'll be able to connect to a variety of lens sizes and camera heights. You of course do need a set of rails to mount. If you don't have it yet, check out Fotga's latest offering here: httpss://cheesycam.com/fotga-standard-rail-system-qr/

  7. Pedro

    I wanna buy a Follow Focus and I realy don't want to spend a lot of money so I need to choose between de RJ FF and Fotga DP500. can you help me in my decision? what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
    Help me please!! thanks

  8. @steven - I was wondering the same thing. The dfocus costs about the same now (when bought with one gear), so I'm wondering which system is better. @Emm - have you compared the two? Thanks!

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Kyler - i found out more news about those FF's, and that looks like a total scam! There's no way that person could have any available.

  10. @Daan

    You can build friction (Ikan style) FF's for about 50 bucks with a right angle gear box and monsterbot wheels. It looks EXACTLY like Ikans friction FF. I have yet to use a friction FF, I wonder if the pressure on the lens mount can lead to early problems with your camera? I also have questions as to whether or not the friction can be good enough on quick rack focus moves and shooting out in inclement weather? Too many questions, I opted for the geared FF.

  11. David

    Just got mine in today, came with an extra gear for free and is very similar to https://www.amazon.com/Redrock-Micro-microFollowFocus-Release-Lightweight/dp/accessories/B002MSG2M8 in terms of quality and build. After using both this cheap one and the expensive redrock one I prefer the cheaper one because of price and ease of use. I used it with Jag35 dslr plate and standard 15mm rails. The FF had a little play when my camera was on the quick release plate because of the extra height but when I just attached the camera to the plate directly the FF worked perfect with no play. I will try to post a video later. I used a t2i for the test.

  12. markus

    FYI, here's what R.J. wrote me concercing those other identical devices:

    "and too sad to see the link you refered... we have some majar parts out-sourced in another factory... and they began to copy our design and make the same version of this FF :-)"

  13. Amy Barrett

    I was going to order. I have read a bunch of comments. But has anyone actually tried one yet? They've sold hundreds. But I haven't found one youtube or blog review anywhere?

  14. jt

    is anyone using the hummer base plate by gini? I havent dipped into the follow focus or mattebox mounting yet, im afraid I am going to need to raise my camera up a little bit. Another thing is the knobs on my hummer baseplate get in the way with the knobs on my fancier tripod when I try to mount it using the fancier quick release plate at the bottom of my hummer base plate.

  15. Amy Barrett

    Just from my research the lens gears are just 32 pitch Rubber Open Timing Belts. I haven't found a source for the right ones yet. And you'd still need something to clamp the ends.

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Amy Barrett - I believe it was specifically made for FF's. They have a certain industry standard gear pitch so that other FF's or other gear could match up too.

  17. Amy Barrett

    So, has anyone looked into where to buy a roll of that flex gear stuff? I bet you can get a pretty big roll for $20-$50. What is it called? Obviously it wasn't specially manufactured for FF?

  18. @Olphus Yeah I got confirmation sent to me. But it shows the package is still in China. This has hapened before where I check the shipping, ebay for USPS says its still in China but then it shows up the next day at my place? So we'll see what happens. But yes it does say its shipped. Not sure if we bought from the same seller, but did you notice his price went up already?

  19. Daan

    I realy like follow focuses, but even the cheap ones are overpriced. I still think that these things can be made for 50 dollars, and that is a price I'd pay for a follow focus. I hope that one day (as soon as possible) they drop the prices on follow focuses.

  20. Pingback:

    D|Zoom Lever Style Follow Focus » CheesyCam

  21. Matthew Carr

    The step into the follow focus world seems costly. This one isn't much cheaper than the DFocus and that has the DMount option. I haven't seen any cheap options for rails. The IDC system zero looks nice, but the price is high. So much gear and so little money.

  22. It looks like you you don't necessarily need the glass with the FD to m4/3 adapter. I'm looking into the FD to EOS/EF adapters next, and apparently now they make them with AF confirmation. Apparently there is a chip called "dandelion" made by a Russian guy, Victor....something (those Russians are everywhere when it comes to camera related things) that people are fitting into the adapters and it fools the camera into thinking that it's a EF lens so you get AF confirmation. The "chipped" adapters are obviously more expensive than the ones without chip. There are a couple of sellers from Lithuania and Belarus that sell adapters with the original chip, made by the Victor guy, which run in the $55-80 range, and of course Chinese-made ones with a knockoff of that chip that are somewhat cheaper (or "chipper"...)

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - Actually I think you're right for the MFT - Micro Four Thirds adapters. They don't need the glass. The Canon cameras for sure, if adapted to use FD need the glass. Thats the benefit to the MFT cameras, they can adapt almost any lens type and still be able to focus to infinity.

  24. Darius

    For smaller lenses the zip tie gears from either wide open or jag35 and the universal gears from hangrip.com work well. Just recently had to find a way to use my d-focus on a 49mm diameter m42 mount lens.

  25. So, I'm taking some test stills with my GH1, after your tip of how to engage the aperture ring, with this adapter I bought from Poland and an FD 80-200 F4 in mint condition that I got off of Craigslist for $60. Going from the 5dmkII and the 60D to manual lenses takes some getting used to, but given the price I paid for my new stills/videocamera, I'm not complaining one bit. However, I seem to have no trouble focusing to infinity. Is it possible that the glass is not always necessary? The maker of this adapter, one guy in Poland who makes adapters for all sorts of lenses actually says "infinity focus is guaranteed"


  26. Emm

    Post author

    @Johnny - Not a good lens to use this follow focus on. There are some friction based FF's like the iKan F3 that might work.

  27. Johnny

    Hi Emm, quick question:

    How easy is it to attach the 15mm strips to a Canon 50mm 1.8F lens? The focus ring is quite small, and I've never seen a follow focus system in person (quite new to this) so I'd like to make sure the strip will hold on well to the lens before buying it!

    Thanks so much,

  28. I bought one, it does take some time for it to ship. I bought it 6/9 and they still haven't shipped it. I can't wait to try it.

  29. Yup, that was it. You can actually fit the lens without engaging that pin, so then the ring does not work. But if you start the rotation from a certain position, it engages the pin. Thank you much.

  30. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - Yes you need the glass. If the ring is not working, it is not on correctly. There is a little pin sticking out of the back of the fd lens. That has to shift for the av ring to work.

  31. Hey Emm, non-related question, but I don't know if you have an email. I got a GH1, got an adapter for FD lenses (no glass) and I have a couple of questions.

    a) Do the FD to m 4/3 need glass to focus to infinity
    b) I bought a few FD lenses and most of them seem to fit this adapter (from Poland). I picked the "shoot without lens ON" from the menu, shooting in Manual, but I can't change the aperture. The lenses all have aperture rings, which move fine, but aperture does not change. Is there a setting in the camera I should change?

  32. Mickey Jones

    Gini rigs are really nice. I'm very impressed with the one I picked up. Very solid build quality. Their site, however, is horrible.

    I hope whoever is making this follow focus adds a height adjustment and a whip/crank to the next run. Otherwise it looks fairly solid. Really like the reversible gear.

    Looking forward to some reviews.

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