Focusing on the Follow Focus
Let’s focus on the follow focus! A follow focus is a device used for controlling focus when shooting film or video. It is an important tool in any filmmaker’s kit. It allows for precision and stability whether working alone or with an assistant and enables you to be more efficient with your focusing. Let’s learn about Zacuto’s follow focus.
The Zacuto Z-Drive is a unique, universal direct drive follow focus, designed with single operator shoulder mounted rigs in mind. Because it has a universal joint and no internal gears it can’t develop play. It attaches to a single 15mm diameter rod and curves away from the operator at a 60 degree angle creating space and distance from the lens. This is the perfect follow focus for a Next Generation Recoil rig set up where the camera is directly over your shoulder. It can operate on the camera assistant or operators side of the rig positioned forward toward the lens or backward towards the tripod/dolly etc.. It comes with a fixed 1 ¾” diameter .8 pitch gear to connect to your lens.
In order to accurately and smoothly use a follow focus your lenses must be geared. If your lenses are not geared (like most DSLR and basic video camera lenses) you can add our ZipGear Universal to your lens and use the .8 gear that comes standard with the follow focus. The ZipGears are a .8 pitch 13.5” strap. Cut them to fit the circumference of your lens and tighten with a connector and Allen key. We offer a single ZipGear Universal and a pack of four called a Prime Lens Kit. You also have the option of purchasing them with or without stops. Find all these accessories and more here.
The Z-Drive have standard whip ports for whips and other accessories. Let’s look at those accessories now!
The Tornado is a special accessory for the Z-Drive. It attaches via the whip port. The curve in the Z-Drive brings focusing forward so you can reach it easily and the comfortable horn shape of the Tornado grip completes the setup. These products combine to create a unique mechanical follow focus handgrip perfect for single operator shoulder mounted work.
Z-Drive on the left and Tornado on the right
Zacuto offers both 12” and 6” whips which can be used with any follow focus. A whip can be used to pull focus if you need to focus the camera without physically touching follow focus. This tool can also prevent any vibrations or camera operator body shaking from transferring to the camera.
If you have any questions about any of these accessories or would like assistance deciding which follow focus is right for you, please call, email or live chat with our friendly customer service team. We’d love to hear from you!