2 years ago I bought my first follow focus, the Redrock V1. I thought it was very good, smooth. My first real experience with one. I bought it for my M2 rig and my HVX200. I used it for a couple of months, then gradually stopped as I bought more lenses and never got round to buying more gears…also the work I was doing with the M2 I could easily pull manual focus on. So it has pretty much sat on my shelf ever since.
Whilst at NAB this year I met up with Brian Valente of RR and picked up the V2 version of the FF with some more gears. The past week I have been playing with it and I have to say I find it a huge improvement over version 1. It’s so solid, it feels like a truly professional piece of gear. It’s got a lovely big wheel on it like an Arri. The action of it really is super smooth and of course it’s compatible with all the cranks, whips out there for other systems, although their own brand ones are great and again, very affordable.
Minor quibbles, I still find the gear system means my lenses take up a lot of space in my lens bag and don’t fit in their pouches anymore, but they are rigid as hell and VERY well secured. There has to be some trade off. Unless I am mistaken I couldn’t find any adjustment for any play in it. Not that I had any, just in case I did. Please correct me if I am wrong. It’s also slightly awkward to take on and off due it’s bulk, but hey it’s a lot easier than the Arri one! One more thing, the marker pin is a bit crappy. But these are minor faults.
I use Nikon lenses for my Letus work, yes nothing wrong with using RR gear with other adaptors!! They focus anti clockwise, whereas normal lenses and Canon still lenses focus clock wise. This is very confusing if you switch lenses, which i do with my Canon 5dmk2 now the new firmware is out and I have invested in Canon glass. The RR has and add on to buy that lets you reverse the direction of the gear, but this can create a little bit more play. But a great option.
You can get an optional pitch to use this straight on a Fujinon video lens, again nice touch. The quick release is nice, but not that easy to take on and off with a lens on…it’s really designed for when the lens is off, but you can still slide it off if you want to take it off with the lens on.
So best thing about this? Well it’s Redrock so it has to be the price, you can get the follow focus, 3 gears (although I recommend buying a separate gear for each lens), a crank and THREE whips for a stupidly cheap price of $825). I honestly don’t know how they do it for this price.
There is also an adaptor to make it work on 19mm rods, like the ones for the RED One.
Well done Redrock, a superb quality follow focus at a really affordable price. Along with their awesome Mattebox they are making some superb cinema accessories for indie prices. Long may it go on. I am hoping to try out some more of their gear soon, especially the Encore. After all adaptors are far from dead as I have said before!! Also I hear it works great on the EX cameras. This I must try out as so fat only one manufacturer has done that!