Posted on Apr 04, 2012

I have always wanted to up my production value on my video shoots by getting a follow focus but haven’t been able to afford one.  By researching multiple sites (www.cheesycam.com) on these follow focus units I have found that Gini on ebay makes a very reasonably priced one.  It’s a single rod design and now has a reversible gear.  In order for a follow focus to work you need 15mm rods but to get those under your dslr camera you need some sort of base unit with rod support.  I chose Cinevate’s Simplis unit with rod support.  They make the best quality products for filmmakers which will definitely last longer than other brands.  Plus I personally like the look of all black accessories instead of splashes of color which could draw more attention to yourself when shooting at an event.  I made a top handle based off of Caleb Pike’s video and design with a quick release plate, cinevate handle, and a friction arm I bought a long time ago.

And once I had my cinevate mattebox delivered I actually decided I needed my follow focus to work so I took the 15mm rods off the cinevate mattebox and used them with my Medusa base plate with rod support.  This allowed me to use the lens gears I had purchased from Cinevate and my new follow focus while I waited for my shipment of the Cinevate Simplis unit.  Here are some more pics of my temporary setup with my Zoom H1 audio recorder attached.

Update: With the friction arm you can’t have a battery grip and a Cinevate grip. I’m not sure about other grips/handles but the 11″ friction arm that I have won’t stretch over the camera with a battery grip.  Just a small side note.