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Thread: IT WORRRKS...!!!! The DFocus Follow Focus on an HVX

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    Default IT WORRRKS...!!!! The DFocus Follow Focus on an HVX

    Okay, everybody. I've been searching and searching. I couldn't find an answer, so I bit the bullet myself.

    Question: Will the Dfocus follow focus work on a Canon HVX?
    Answer: ABSOLUTELY, when used with the Irv Focus Wheel, version 1.0.

    Here are some pics of my HV40:
    http://acentertainment2011.wordpress.com/diy-rigs/

  2. #2
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    I'm actually not surprised. I'd say the Irv was a great product and I think it's better than the HVFF.

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    That's an awesome looking setup, Sabot! I've been using a halo rig with my HV40, but maybe I should look into making my own shoulder rig. What do you think?

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    Hey, dudes. Sorry I took so long. I am NOT getting the updates.

    I have been lurking on here so long...

    @BarteS I built me that HVFF. It didn't work for me. It least the Irv wheel maintained contact with the HV's focus wheel. Bottom line, the HVFF isn't a true follow focus by definition. It just changed the angle of how an operator applies focus. With the Dfocus, I can actually have a focus puller/ 1st AC at the controls while the operator maintains composition.

    So many DIY rigs make it impossible to shoot professionally. Even as pictured, one could say it's not ready for prime time either. I'll have a build video out in a couple weeks once I get some production footage in the can. I have a shoot this weekend for my web series on the TSF Channel.

    The problem with most designs is the wide arm stance which most incorporate. Heaven help a solo shooter if he has to adjust focus, a serious issue with HVX cameras. The whole rig will tip over if he releases the left grip. What my design does is put a grip directly beneath the camera via a removable hand grip. That way the weight is always over the right arm. Also, my design keeps the operator's elbows in at his sides for stability and reduced fatigue.

    But there's still a couple problems, one being critical focus. I need to rig an LCD viewfinder like a Z-finder to the 2.7" LCD screen. With the camera so close to the body, the screen is difficult to maintain eye focus on. With a viewfinder like they use on DSLRs, not only will I be able to see the screen, I'll be able to evaluate critical focus and adjust. Of course, they don't make viewfinders for swing away LCD screens.

    The second problem is that the Dfocus is almost on the same plane as the Fig Rig frame. I think the solution is to mount it on the right side and incorporate a long whip. I'm shooting solo right now, so I'll update as changes occur.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarteS View Post
    I'd say the Irv was a great product and I think it's better than the HVFF.
    Both products are great, but I personally don't see the interest of adding a follow focus on a camcorder that doesn't provides much DOF. There's some, but never enough to justify a FF.
    I think in that case the HVFF is way enough.

    But it's nice to see that someone "merged" both product together. Best of both.
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    @ mark84j. What does yours look like? Not that looks matter over functionality. I just saw some bad ass rigs for HV20s while I tried to look up "halo rig." Hadn't heard of it before. Guess there's never too much research.

    My read is that DOF adapters have pretty much gone away with the DSLR revolution, too. I'm shooting with a cheap wide angle adapter and the Canon Telephoto Adapter. Both fixed focus, so I have to treat them as primes despite my ability to zoom through them.

    If you guys have any alternatives to hooking up a monocular eyepiece to these rigs, PLEASE... Let me know. External monitors are good, but I'd rather not rely on them for critical focus in the field.

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    @ drapeama It depends on how you shoot. If that's the look your going for, you make it happen. Zoom in and back up. We'll see after the shoot this weekend. My DP isn't that skilled, so we'll see how it turns out.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabot Fighter View Post
    @ drapeama It depends on how you shoot. If that's the look your going for, you make it happen. Zoom in and back up. We'll see after the shoot this weekend. My DP isn't that skilled, so we'll see how it turns out.
    1) I know how to get some out of the HV, I've done it in a music video for the contest, with the Raynox wideangle on. But what I'm saying is that is doesn't justify a follow-focus so the DOF isn't "big enough". Here's what I've been able to do with the HV40 and a Raynox HD-6600 lens, in low-light:

    2) It doesn't requires a lot of skills to be able to get some DOf out of the HV, once you got how it works, everyone can do it. It'll probably be a good shoot!
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    I'd argue that a follow focus is necessary to allow a 1st AC to focus while the operator maintains composition. I'd also argue that a follow focus is more ergonomic than trying to finger that roller on the side of the HVX. My experience with the HVFF wasn't a good one. I couldn't guarantee the roller wheel would maintain consistent contact and pressure with the HV40's focus knob.

    I shoot backpacking videos. Shooting studio style in the field is a pain, but it's the look I'm trying to squeeze out of this little camera. I'm sure you know, as well as I, an operator doesn't have time or the view to watch talent hit their marks or keep an eye on the lens barrel, which these cams don't even have. You need someone on the side working the disk, maintaining the critical focus established during rehearsal.

    Critical focus is the Achilles heel of these cameras. I'm trying to win that battle as inexpensively as possible. Fingers crossed, mate!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by drapeama View Post
    Both products are great, but I personally don't see the interest of adding a follow focus on a camcorder that doesn't provides much DOF. There's some, but never enough to justify a FF.
    I think in that case the HVFF is way enough.

    But it's nice to see that someone "merged" both product together. Best of both.
    Regarding the deep DOF, you're right. You'll have to add an ND filter and you still end up with quite a deep DOF.
    But, I was actually thinking of something else. The HVFF is a complete package. (I still have some issues with the reliability, but that's a different thing.) The Irv allows you to use some follow focus, one which you can use one other cameras too. If I knew I would replace the HV20 (got a great deal) some months after I got the HVFF, I would have waited for a second hand Irv. Right now I have two follow focuses, could be nice, but being a single person I tend to use one camera at the same time. And if the camera is on a tripod, I could even live with the tiny focus wheel. (The HV20 is now by B-roll cam, if not C.)

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    What I found, using the Irv wheel alone, is that you don't have much room to work the focus. The lens shade is right there with any wide angle or telephoto adapter, and forget it if you have rods and a matte box. Plus, you have to focus like a still photographer. The ergonomics bothered me.

    Lots of shooters don't mind it at all, and love getting their hands directly on the lens barrel of their DSLR.

    Not me. If I can keep both elbows tucked into my sides, I'm happy. Maybe I just have short arms!

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    Lol... @ mark84j. I didn't realize I subscribed to your YT channel.

    Small world...

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    Junior Member Sabot Fighter's Avatar
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    UPDATE!!!

    http://wp.me/p1F3tR-e7

    Hey I appreciate everyone's attention, here. I've been lurking for a couple years. Always good info and support!

    Cheers!

  14. #14
    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    Displeased HVFF user? 1 in 130+ users -- not bad. You must be using it wrong. Even the 1.0 version never ever failed me, wheels align perfectly. I don't know about the latest version except that it kicks butt and blows the old versions 'out of focus'.

    Glad you tried it though. Gotta admit, it's innovative and dirt cheap compared to other units.
    Vice President, Team HVFF - http://hvfffollowfocus.webs.com/ HV Follow Focus
    Proud owner CamDolly - Modular Camera Dolly and Slider System

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