Above is a Gini iFocus Follow Focus I use, and have a video review about it (here). One of the shortcomings of this design is that the gear is not reversible, so it could be tricky trying to align it with short lenses, or sometimes you can't get it far enough on short 15mm rods. The marking indicator is also at a fixed position so you have to be able to see this in use. Outside of those small issues, the iFollow Focus is one heavy well crafted solid unit, with almost no backlash.
Recently some images for Gini Rigs on auction show a slightly modified Follow Focus with a shaft (above). This clearly shows that the gear can now be removed from one side and installed on the opposite, making it a reversible Follow Focus. One thing I can't seem to locate though is if there is a change with the marking indicator. Aside from the new shaft poking out the opposite side, it looks almost exactly like my iFocus. So the question is does the shaft design have more / less backlash or maybe it's the same? There doesn't seem to be an official name for this new FF, and he still has the original iFocus available on many bundles. If you're shopping, look carefully when choosing a rig that comes with an FF. If you guys happen to get one of the new ones, would love to see more about the differences.
Thanks to your post Em I was able to pick up one of the new Gini rigs for Dirt Cheap! It was the New Extreme 17 Follow Focus + Weight! and with my unit came the New iFocus which is one remarkable unit i must add. It has absolutely nooo back lash at all "I am extremely happy with that" One thing I noticed, Although the gear is reversible it is nearly impossible to remove it, after I loosened and removed all of the screws it wouldnt come off to switch the gear to the other side and i was so scared to force it and break something, so I just left it alone!!!
Did anyone else experienced this problem?
My iFocus has that extra shaft also, but I wouldn't attempt to reverse it. There are 2 allen screws holding the gears in place that are both very small, so repeatedly unscrewing them may lead to them stripping. I'm still reversing them the old Gini way.
Just got the new ifocus. Overall, its great, especially for the money but not perfect. Really smooth, very little backlash, great dampening, amazing build. Im coming from a dfocus so this is a huge improvement. There are some things I think could be a little better although considering the price I think asking for more would be unfair. Its really big and seems to get in the way of lens hoods on wide angle lenses. Ive had to significantly increase the rod size to make sure the ff has room to operate and with a variety of lens sizes, it seems someone cumbersome to change lenses. the reversible is nice although it takes some time to do.
Theres a hex screw on the outside of the gear ring that needs to be undone and then a smaller hex on the inside at a 90 degree angle. I think I'm going to take the outside screw off as the inside one seems to lock it in place without wiggle and that may speed things up a bit.
What lens gears seem to work the best with the Gini FF?
I just received gini reversable follow focus. Zero backslash, couldn't be happier.
The mount holes on the rig shoulder pad's part are not 1/4 standard ones, but somekind of smaller ones.
I've also been considering a whip, but I'm wondering if the logistics in my head would fit the reality of the situation. I was hoping to pick up a cheap whip online that I could run from the follow focus to my hand on my gini handle, allowing me to keep my palm, and possibly even my pinkie and ring finger, on the handle for stability while using my other fingers to rotate the whip and keep focus.
Am I crazy? Is a whip even flexible enough to make this a reality? Am I going to have to spend 25-30 bucks to realize that this is stupid?
I currently have a small $15 handle mounted from my rails jutting out just below my follow follow focus that I use to stabilize with my palm while my fingers swing the speed crank, (that only sounds dirty), but I'd love to be able to keep both hands at equal length on the lower two handles while controlling the focus.
Emm - Going back to your concern about the newer model of the iFocus - it is solid and flawless in it's backlash - absolutely tack control with this newer set up - unbelievably smooth - the gear is easy to move from one side to the other - I bought the crank arm you listed here too ($18) - tight fit - snug as you like.
The follow focus is a beautiful piece of kit.
Looking to get a whip next -
I received the the new iFocus as part of a Gini rig about a month ago. Great price and quality! It is reversible but it is a pain in the a$$ to do so IMO. I can't use my battery grip with my T2i or the lens is too tall for the FF. With that said, I;m still very satisfied as it works great otherwise.
Note: The Gini FF works well with my T2i and my 50/1.4, Sigma 30/1.5 and the Canon 17-55/2.8 but my Tokina 11-16 has the focus ring too far forward so I would have to reverse the FF gear to use it with that lens.
* Apostolos * Could you give a link to the Flycam Nano @140 shipped? Thanks.
Ahhh, Gini. Awesome products, bad customer service.
I bought my gini rig from him a few months ago. 5 days in a row, I kept losing the auctions because he would cancel them in the last 24 hours if no other bidders were bidding against me. He would claim that "The item has been sold outside of ebay". This pissed me off because it is against the ebay terms of service. Finally I signed up for an auction sniping website so that it bid on my behalf just before the auction ended so he wouldn't have time to cancel it.
THroughout the whole exchange I was always pleasant and easy to work with. At the end, I gave him neutral feedback letting people know that "Seller breaks ebay terms by ending auctions early".
The other day, I went to bid on another one of his rigs, only to find out that he banned me from doing so. Apparently, if you don't give him good feedback, he bans you. Talk about having some messed up tactics as a seller. I love his products, but why do they have to be sold by someone who does not value his customers?
Got it, thanks.
I have one of the newer FF setups with the reversible knob, however when I went to reverse the gear about a week or so ago I wasn't able to figure out how to do it without using excessive force. There is a small hex screw with a tiny washer that holds the gear on, but after removing that it still wouldn't come off with a moderate amount of pulling and twisting, so I decided against forcing it until an official method was listed. It appears there may be a small locking pin, but again I only put a moderate amount of effort into releasing it, if thats even what it is, before moving on.
Other than that the follow focus is excellent, it had a little bit of a friction spot when I first started using it, but after a while it seems to have been worked out and is now butter smooth with virtually no backlash whatsoever.
My only gripe with these FF units is that with any of my shorter m42 lenses with low profile gears, the follow focus is so large that it gets too close to the lens and I cannot use a hood without it hitting, and I can barely fit my 58mm Vari ND filter. Same thing with my stubby Canon EF 50 1.4. I'm usually a pro flare guy, but I like having the option of a hood or mattebox. Regardless, it's too smooth to turn away from, even considering this dilemma.
@Apostolos - The Flycam Nano DSLR you shared is a larger version than the plain 'Nano'. If your camera doesn't meet the minimum required weight, you won't be able to get good balance. I find that using the smallest possible stabilizer with the most amount of weight is better, rather than using the largest stabilizer with the least amount of weight (if that makes sense). The Flycam Nano DSLR is designed to support heavier setups over the Nano. If you're running with a small camera, go with the lightest possible.
Note: A stock GH2 camera will not balance correctly on the Nano, unless you add some additional weight to the top.
Oh and the arm brace is helpful when shooting more than a few minutes at a time, but takes a bit of work getting it on and off.
The Nano it is then.
A couple of more questions on the same subject. They have a newer version out, in which the weights seem somewhat different. I don't know if it's a plastic enclosure over the weights that's mainly aeshetic or it has any different functionality.
Do you know this model at all? And do you have an opinion on the arm brace?
@Apostolos - Without the fine tuning knobs, it would be the same process to balance as a Nano. When I say build quality, I mean that the Glidecam has a more polished look, better machined parts, coating, etc. I still use my Nano quite often and very pleased with it and still works fine for me.
Most people get frustrated early, and I can tell you it takes several months of just practice to get real comfortable flying these things. It's more operator skill than equipment. Even a very old and used Flycam Nano holds value, so my advice is to start with something cheaper until you get enough practice. You can always sell off the old Nano and upgrade to a more expensive unit if you feel you've outgrown the old one.
Thanks for the quick reply. I saw that line and I was wondering what the difference was between those and the old Glidecam line. Well, at $270 it's almost twice the price of the Nano. When you say "build" are you saying they will just withstand more abuse in the field, or do they have some advantage over the Nano, in the "flying", ease of balancing?
@Apostolos - Glidecam recently started a new line with their stabilizers. It seems like the HD version but without the Fine Tuning knobs. Basically the same features of a Flycam Nano (no fine tuning knobs), but the build of a Glidecam HD. They are calling them "XR-". The XR1000 would be the step up from a Flycam and selling for $249, but it should be able to carry more than a Nano. Check them out here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=glidecam+XR&N=0&InitialSearch=yes
Yeah, I have one with the reversible gear too and got mine 5-6 weeks ago. Mine has pretty much zero backlash also. Definitely a nice piece of equipment. I think the marking indicator can be moded to make it viewable from behind camera, just haven't got around to doing it on mine.
I'm posting this here, because I don't know if you read the old posts. I'm looking to pull the trigger on a cam stabilizer. The Flycam Nano is $140 shipped at the moment, and money is tight (mainly because of all the stuff you make us spend money on... 🙂 ). Is there anything better at this price? For the foreseeable future, I'll be putting a GH1/GH2 on it with a pancake 14mm, or a NEX-5n with a kit lens.
I have the iFocus without the new mod, but when using short Nikon AIS Prime lenses (20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 50mm )with the Canon 5D MKII, I turn the Gini iFocus around so that the gear is closer to the camera...so the curved metal part of the iFocus is curving toward the lens rather than curving outward... Make sense? I do need to use the Red Rock Micro style gears for the Nikon AIS primes rather than the low profile "Wide Open Camera/Half Inch Rails" gears that I use for my Canon Zooms though (24-70 and 70-200)...Oh and the added benefit is that this makes the turning direction of the iFocus the same on the Nikon Lens as the Canon Lens for less confusion.
If you lived in 1960 and you worked for the CIA you would have probably been the one to spot the Soviet missile installations on Cuba from the U2 pictures.
I have the iFocus without the new mod, but when using short Nikon AIS Prime lenses (20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 50mm )with the Canon 5D MKII, I turn the Gini iFocus around so that the gear is closer to the camera...so the curved metal part of the iFocus is curving toward the lens rather than curving outward... Make sense? I do need to use the Red Rock Micro style gears for the Nikon AIS primes rather than the low profile "Wide Open Camera/Half Inch Rails" gears that I use for my Canon Zooms though (24-70 and 70-200)...
@Herb - I don't have the Lanparte FF, and they run close to $400 dollars. I was able to get a whole rig + FF for just under $300. If I run into one i'll definitely weigh out the differences.
For the RJ, I think you can upgrade it to a quick release clamp like this https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=fotga+quick+follow+slide&_sacat=625&_odkw=fotga+quick+follow
Here it is!!!!
Can you compare the Gini to the Lanparte? What's the weight difference? I'm guessing the Gini weighs more.
I like the Lanparte because of the quick release. That's what bugs me about my RJ, having to slide it on and off.
Can you compare the Gini to the Lanparte FF? I want to upgrade from my RJ.
I like the quick release of the Lanparte design. Sliding the RJ on and off gets annoying. Curious about the weight difference between the two as well.
I've already had that new follow focus for abut 6 weeks now, and I am absolutely happy with it so far! It has got absolutely no backlash at all!
I received the newer ifocus with the shaft poking out about a wek ago.
The marking indicator is unchanged and it has zero backlash.
Maybe I'm lucky with the backlash or the poking shaft improves the unit.
I love this unit build quality and it's clearly better than my RJ unit.
I never even noticed that change until reading your post. I actually ordered a rig like 8 days ago and in the picture it has the updated follow focus. It still hasn't been marked as shipped yet though so still waiting for it. Every other time ive bought something from Gini i've gotten it really fast, not sure what the hold up is this time.