Here's a simple DIY way to add an HDMI Cable Pinch to one of those Gini Panasonic GH2 Video Cages [Thanks Asa]. You could use this same technique on any of the other cages offered by Gini, and I just noticed that Gini is also offering a specific cage for the Canon 5D Mark III if you need all of those mounting points. Check out the Gini gear on eBay (Click Here).
Above is a Gini iFocus Follow Focus I use, and have a video review about it (here). One of the shortcomings of this design is that the gear is not reversible, so it could be tricky trying to align it with short lenses, or sometimes you can't get it far enough on short 15mm rods. The marking indicator is also at a fixed position so you have to be able to see this in use. Outside of those small issues, the iFollow Focus is one heavy well crafted solid unit, with almost no backlash.
Recently some images for Gini Rigs on auction show a slightly modified Follow Focus with a shaft (above). This clearly shows that the gear can now be removed from one side and installed on the opposite, making it a reversible Follow Focus. One thing I can't seem to locate though is if there is a change with the marking indicator. Aside from the new shaft poking out the opposite side, it looks almost exactly like my iFocus. So the question is does the shaft design have more / less backlash or maybe it's the same? There doesn't seem to be an official name for this new FF, and he still has the original iFocus available on many bundles. If you're shopping, look carefully when choosing a rig that comes with an FF. If you guys happen to get one of the new ones, would love to see more about the differences.
The great thing about building your own rig is being able to design it specifically for your own needs. Of course most of how we assemble things together are based on what products are available to us. When we're introduced to new products, it opens up so much more possibilities. Industry standard 15mm rails are great for building form and support for your cameras, but here's a new concept that also add more function.
The P&C Swiss Rod has a few inches of 15mm rod on each end, and in the middle are alternating threaded and non-threaded holes. The pass through is designed so that items like a hot shoe can be positioned correctly before tightening. The male/female ends of the Swiss Rod are industry standard and can be used to extend (attach) to other manufacturer rods like Gini, Letus, and I believe even Zacuto, and more. The wide squarish design of the rod also helps nano clamps from slipping.
Even if you're not trying to replace rails on your build, by just adding a single P&C Swiss Rod, you open up totally new mounting options. The 1/4" studs can always be stepped up to 3/8" if needed. Taking advantage of the basic threaded ports, we've also found creative ways to mount the Swiss Rods on light stands or on the hot shoe of the camera to hold many accessories. With several items attached to one rod, the entire rod becomes a quick release system mounted to a simple 15mm clamp. The rods will be available from PhotographyandCinema.com
I grabbed one of these little starter rigs to use for a prototype product i'm working on that will be an addition to existing rigs on the market (it will make more sense later). I decided to share the unboxing and assembling images for the 'Thanks SJ' Gini rig. If you're curious what 'Thanks SJ' means, this odd little title for a rig came about after the death of Steve Jobs.
This is one of the cheapest Gini configurations he makes available that has a shoulder pad, handles, camera mount, and tripod mount. That's pretty much the bones most people are looking for in a basic shoulder rig. There are two foam pads depending on if you want firm or soft cushion. The firm pad is is very very firm, and I can only imagine it to be uncomfortable.
The provided Camera Mount / Tripod Mount is actually a quick release design.The large knob on the side tightens up the top stage so you can dismount your camera very quickly and easily. If you are planning to add something else on the top stage (another quick release adapter), the knob provides plenty of clearance and sits low enough to be out of the way of any obstruction. Anything you place on the top camera mount will have a wide level surface.
Here's a closer look at Gini's latest Follow Focus a.k.a. 'iFocus'. Having been a huge fan of the Cinevate Durus design and quality, it was very obvious where Gini was getting inspiration from. I took the chance of ordering this latest FF knowing that it would be good. Especially since it's a custom designed gearbox and not the ol' Huco plastic Box. The craftmanship on this entire FF is like any other Gini part. Flawless machining, quality anodizing, and smooth finish. Absolutely no plastic on this follow focus system (except for marking ring).
The marking disc holds strong with 4 powerful magnets. The hand knob (obviously influenced) is large and comfortable with a standard mount in the center for a whip or crank. The Gini FF gear is 'reversible' and can be used on both left and right side of your rig by removing the rod clamp and swapping the position. The design is tall enough to hit lens gears on a variety of different sized lenses - No riser required (a problem some FFs have because they aren't designed tall enough). To put weight in to perspective, the Durus is 19.4 ounces and the Gini iFocus is 19 ounces, both very solid units.
The one thing that Gini falls short on is the marking disc pointer. It can only be used at the top position and makes it hard for you to see if you're standing from behind the camera. It would be nice to see that changed in future versions, and a couple of hard stops would make this one hell of an FF. Of course, I jumped on the deal early, but who knows where prices will be as this FF becomes more popular. You can find the Gini Rig parts following the link (click here).
Yeah that's a Gini Follow Focus and of course without the finished anodizing, it looks like a prototype. See something different? Yeah no Huco gearbox. Is Gini making his own metal gears? [Thanks Kenrik]
Also what looks to be in the works is some new metal lens gears. I don't know about the rest of you, but it would be great to have an option of these new metal lens gears in that sexy Gini red. You can see more images and details following the link (click here).
Not a cheap solution since i'm using a rail set and clamps, but something like this can be done using other techniques. It doesn't take many of these large washers to add up to about 8lbs. and the further you can position the weight, the less you'll need to counter the weight in the front. Much easier than carrying around workout weights, making this portable Jib truly portable. I guess something like this can be used in the rear of your Shoulder rig too, if you can live with the aesthetics.
A video review from Vimeo member Kenrik March about Gini's latest Follow Focus system. Gini no doubt makes some incredible equipment, but in this FF he's relying on what looks like the Huco gearbox (used in many other FF systems). These aren't the highest end gearboxes, so below is an updated video on approximately how much lash (play) there is in the gearbox.
The best deals on Gini rigs are through the auction bundles, so check back often and see what's on the menu. Something new is the same basic setup for the follow focus, but this time he's dropped the marking disc and pointer, and offers this as a way to control the zoom ring. Some rigs that use Telephoto lenses have one FF for the focus ring, and one to zoom in and out smoothly. You can find Gini Auctions on eBay (click here).
Remember this Budget DSLR Follow Focus creating a bit of hype? http://cheesycam.com/budget-dslr-follow-focus/. The seller moved quite a bit of these things, raised the prices twice (or more) already, and now lists that any new orders would ship at a later date.
Well turns out this follow focus is being made somewhere else, and a few new retailers have them available, not to mention cheaper too. If you poke through some of the listings you'll find some low priced auctions or BuyItNow + Free shipping. So instead of holding out for one retailer, you might get it faster from someone else.