Budget DSLR Follow Focus

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Thanks to a tip from Jarrod, here's a look at a very inexpensive DSLR Follow focus with universal lens gear. The R.J. Follow Focus states that it's made mostly out of Aluminum with a reversible gear to be used both left and right handed. There's a large marking disc area and standard knob to accept an external 'whip' if you decide to get one in the future. The gear sits low, so if you're using a small lens and a battery grip, you may have some trouble getting the FF to mate to the lens gear. The last question would be how much 'play' the follow focus has in the gear box, but at this price it can't be all bad.

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find-price-button DSLR Follow Focus with Lens Gear

Like most follow focus systems, this one will require a set of 15mm rods to mount. If you don't have a set you're best bet is to take advantage of those Gini auctions. What you're looking for is a rig that has at least the DSLR base mount and two rails.

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find-price-button Gini DSLR Rig Stabilizer Kits

50 thoughts on “Budget DSLR Follow Focus

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Luke - They started about $125. For Gini, if you compared the setup to any other rig manufacturer, it's a steal. The quality of build and parts are up to par with any other, or even better.

  2. Luke

    These are now $130-$150, how much were they before they went up in price?

    What is a good price for a gini extreme 17? I see a lot of. Auctions that are completed with no bidders at the starting price.

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  5. production cost increased? Seriously, who buys that kind of nonsense? This thing does not cost more than $50 USD to make in China.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Josh - That sucks that it's going up, but at least there were several dozens of people that jumped on it.

  7. Josh

    I love how as soon as Emm points people to a product, the price starts to creep up. Its been raised twice now and I see the seller has put a message saying the "production cost has gone up, so now its $143" right...

    I am sure the price would drop with more orders? This is a shame, as I can see it going slowly up even more 🙁

    We shall see.

  8. The seller is amazingly fast in replying messages, almost anytime the day.

    The answer is No, you can't swap.

  9. The seller is amazingly fast in replying messages, almost anytime the day. He said he cannot swap the new shoulder pad SP-1 if you purchased a rig (I asked about extreme 17 plus).

  10. For those who think the shoulder pad is not comfortable, I talked to the seller, and he just listed another shoulder pad SP-1. However it is a separate listing for $99. $175 for buy it now. I sent him another message asking if he would swap the one in the rigs. Awaiting for reply right now.

  11. Just got a gini extreme. I was the only bidder so it was a great price. Shipping was $19. I got it in 2 days! I put it together today. Super nice and solid. I am happy with it. Now I'm eyeing this FF. Those of you who ordered one please post your feedback. It would be much appreciated.

  12. These orders shot through the roof after this post. I ordered mine and then right after 20+ more did. The sales we at 8 when i saw it first now they are at 62! R.J. told me they are week behind in shipping and mine probably wont ship until next wednesday. Ill review it as soon as it arrives. That is if it worth reviewing.

  13. Darius

    So I just wanted to update to my earlier post that the gini rig I ordered (from the mentioned seller) arrived today and is amazing. Furthermore the auction ended early sunday morning, and by Wednesday the rig had arrived to my front door in TN. The build quality is literally incredible!

    My only gripe on the rig is that the height adjustment runs into the twist nob that locks the camera into place, therefore I can't get the unit as low as it should be capable of going, and therefore my JuicedLink preamp-under-the-camera dreams are gone. But I'll just mount it elsewhere as I wouldn't trade this rig for anything.

    Em, if you're still reading this do you have any suggestions for a follow focus gear small enough to fit onto a vintage m42 lens? This is my new dilemma.

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @John Johansson - I've heard that there's 'play' in the indiFOCUS gearbox.

  15. John Johansson

    What about the indiFOCUSmini? Is it an affordable and good FF system? It's just a couple of more bucks and already has whip and crank as an accessory for $50.

  16. The seller did contact me (after reading this thread I guess) and reconfirmed that the gears

    ------> ARE 8 MOD

    RJ was very nice and seemed genuinely interested in making his product a good one.

    He also emailed and told me he was working on a compatible whip and speed crank that would be available very soon.

    He also hinted at more affordable DSLR products in the works....so keep a look out.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Darius - I can attest that Gini's stuff is some of the best i've seen as far as DSLR rigs go. This seller gini778 that you suggested looks pretty good for finding small Gini parts.

  18. Darius

    For anyone looking for a solid deal on a gini made base plate with rods should check out this seller, gini778. He's been putting up one per day with no reserve or starting price. I got mine pretty cheap, and looking at his reviews some folks got the rig for under forty bucks, well under the starting bid for the baseplates in several auctions here: https://shop.ebay.com/gini778/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686&clk_rvr_id=238282006846

    I hope the quality on these is pretty solid as I haven't seen one in person yet, but the reviews have been really positive and hopefully with the adjustable height I can keep my juicedlink preamp under my camera and still use my follow focus.

  19. Mickey Jones

    Hope the gear pitch thing gets resolved. Looks like the overhang on that strap gear would get in the way on smaller lenses. Guess you have have to buy a few and shorten them.

    Seems the crank/whip insert is larger than industry too. Too bad, seems like a nice design overall. Hopefully there is a 2.0 version.

    BTW, just bought one of those Gini rigs mentions in the post. Thanks

  20. He just emailed me back and said that he is going to try it out on a camera with a battery grip and see if it is tall enough to work. who knows. I'd still probably DIY it if needed. (gotta buy a grip first though)

  21. Emm

    Post author

    @PClement - From the images, it looks like the standard gear. Hopefully we will get confirmation soon.

  22. EDIT: So I guess they are saying that the gears are .08 mod gears and not 1Mod gears.

    Even though I had asked them just like two days ago what the pitch was and they emailed me:

    "and for the gear... the MOD = 1.0, slightly larger than the .08 one, but it's compatible with our gearbelt though.. and we do include 1 with this listing... and if you need extra ones, they're available for $15 ea.. (and if you buy more than 5 pcs... we can offer it for just $12 each...)"

    Also I asked if it would take a standard whip and they said: "btw, can you enlighten us how the whip is more useful than the crank ?"

    I think they are still learning about what a follow foucs actually IS. I'm going to wait for a v2.0.

  23. This does look great for the price because if you needed it soon the DFocus is out of stock and has been for a while now. My biggest problem is the distance from rails to lens. I like to use a grip to help avoid overheating so i need to be able to raise this up. Does anybody know if the DFocus can be used nicely with a grip?

  24. Looks like a great price, but I'm too gun shy to buy when the DFocus is not too much more and is returnable.

    This place doesnt take returns, only exchanges. On what looks to be a really inexpensive build quality, thats too risky.

    I'll just save more nickels and dimes until I can get a Dfocus

  25. Co-sign on Gini's Ebay. Always cheaper. Just keep checking - sometimes the prices drop real low, you can find real bargains. And these last few months shipping has had a fixed rate at 27USD on all auctions, international express shipping(2-3 business days).

    Anywho, too bad there isn't more information or a review on this FF unit. Looks nice.

  26. Mickey Jones

    The reversible gear is nice.

    How do you know it uses industry standard gears? It would be nice if you could use any of the lens gears available now from various dealers.

  27. Emm

    Post author

    @David Brown - I'm not a fan of his store, and i've actually bought several items cheaper than the site. I hear there could also be discrepancies on shipping rates through the gini site. eBay is the only thing I ever suggest because you have two extra layers of payment protection. I suggest everyone stick with eBay.

  28. Doom

    hmmmmmmm reeeally interested in it, but like you said, the question is the amount of play and what else the seller hides from us 😀

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @Olphus - Actually this one is a bit cheaper than D-Focus, and looks like it has a better gearbox. From what I can tell this one looks like a better design.

  30. Emm

    Post author

    @Peter Shapiro - Yes, several people have used two FF's one for zoom and one for focus.

  31. Olphus

    It costs the same as the DFocus one. There's no information if it has standard pith gears or proprietary. No crank either?

  32. I'm checking out this inexpensive follow focus device, and I'm wondering if I can modify this to attach to my rails, to control my zooming.

    Has anyone ever made a dual follow focus and adjustable zoom control?
    I find my zooms to be pretty clunky, when I'm doing the run and gun...and then there's an extra step for the focus. Just from moving from using my right hand to my left hand, from the zoom, to the focus...
    I'm wondering if there was a 2 controller type thing out there.

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