Did you know, the new GH3 battery grip relocates the tripod mount to the right side? We're not talking millimeters here, it's way off to the right. This new position can be highly problematic as it will throw off the optical center of your lens when you want to mount your camera to rigs, and use matte boxes, or even follow focus systems. So one solution is to just not use a battery grip, the other is to use an adjustable 15mm baseplate like Stewart Eastep has shared. [Thanks Stewart].
If you need to get proper alignment back on a set of 15mm rails, check out a few of the adjustable baseplates on the market. Here Stewart is using one of the CAVision adjustable baseplates which offer up/down as well as left/right adjustments found via B&H (click here).
The motors spin the focus/zoom rings through a belt system - no lens gears required. My guess is you should be using a lens that has a smooth and easy to rotate focus or zoom ring. The rear holds a master controller that can be used to operate the motors when the shoulder rig is tripod mounted. The motors are powered by an LP-E6 battery (generic LP-E6 battery + charger included), and can be found via eBay (click here).
Opteka FFR-900 DSLR Remote Motorized Follow Focus Zoom Control System
Years ago Intuit released a belt driven remote follow focus system (seen in video above). The product looked like an excellent idea, but the retail price listed for $3,999 US (seen here). Needless to say it didn't exactly fly off the shelves.
Opteka has revised this basic idea and now offers an FFR-900 Motorized Belt Driven Follow Focus System. The FFR-900 doesn't just offer one, but two motors that clamp to 15mm rails to control both focus and zoom on your DSLR lens. Rocker switches to control the motors are mounted to 15mm hand grips, and sensitivity (i'm guessing speed) of the system can be adjusted in a rear controller. The motorized FF is powered through standard Canon LP-E6 batteries (batteries and charger included).
Opteka FFR-900 Rocker Switch Handles & Main Controller
From what I can tell, the motors can be controlled by the main controller, and the rocker switched handles don't need to be plugged in. This could be a handy solution for Steadicam work, but keep in mind that it's basic forward and reverse DC motors. This will work if you're moving around and your focus points continuously change, but unlike a real motorized follow focus system, you can't program multiple focus points in and jump back and forth which is ideal for stationary tripod shots.
Here's a clever way to take advantage of the GB-R 15mm Rail kit that is typically used for the P&C GearBox. Carl Pendle modified this by adding a small quick release adapter to mount to his camera directly. It's an inexpensive way to add rails for supporting 15mm accessories with a minimal footprint. [Thanks Carl]
Alex writes in and shares his thoughts on the Tilta Lens Support for 15mm Rails. These are designed to provide support for longer lenses, especially if you plan on using a Follow Focus system that could easily shift the lens around. Later Alex moves on to the Tilta Video Follow Focus System and other rig accessories. If you're not familiar with Tilta, this company possibly makes the highest quality Video Rigs coming out of China. Very good stuff, and you can find some of the other rigs they offer via eBay (Click Here).
Here's a genius little way to add hard stops to a follow focus. While working on his AMC Contest Video (seen here), Chris Weiss decided to remove the white marking disc from a Gini Follow Focus (as seen here) and added a couple of cheap binder clips. As you can see, it's fully adjustable hard stops so you don't over/under pull. Great tip. [Thanks Chris]
Reader Zygimantis writes in and shares a link to the Fotga DP500II Follow Focus which is an updated version of the DP500. Like the DP500 it sports the marking disc, two adjustable hard stops, and reversible gear. The new DP500II (version 2) sports an improved gearbox with which they say has very minimal baclash, and an adjustment button for different levels of tension. [Thanks Zygimantis]
We had a brief look at the Focus One Pro at NAB 2012, but there were some slight changes since then. For those who have been following the product, here's an inside look from YouTube member lkwan78 as he shares his thoughts on the latest Follow Focus from Edelkrone [Thanks Luke]. For reference, the other Follow Focus systems mentioned in this video are from a company called TrusMT (seen here) and the new Gini iFocus (seen here).
Tommy Williamson had problems getting his D|Gear Universal Lens Gear to stay on the Canon 50mm F/1.8 lens. Who wouldn't? That focus ring is pretty slim. His solution was to dip the tips of the spokes in Plasti-Dip (normally used to coat the handles of tools). The Plasti-Dip is some very durable stuff, and comes in a variety of colors. [Thanks Tommy] The Black on Black looks invisible and keeps the unit looking the same. If you ask me, this should be something offered coming right from the factory. Pretty simple idea, but seems to make a world of difference to prevent the spokes from slipping out.