Interesting to see a low cost follow focus design that is also open source. Presenting this in case you're interested.
Motion Dogs Press Release
Motion Dogs, a division of feature and documentary production company, Aspect Studios, today announced their KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN to fund the final prototype stages and production of their first product, the Lenzhound Wireless Lens Motor System. The Lenzhound, a super-affordable wireless follow focus system designed for independent filmmakers, consists of the handheld remote transmitter unit (RTX-1) and the motor/receiver unit (DB-1) which attaches to the user's DSLR, video or digital cinema camera. The DB-1 lens motor is targeted towards DSLR and video cameras employing lenses with manual operation rings, but is applicable for certain, lighter cinema-style lenses as well. The system features open source, Arduino compatible firmware which enables a powerful array of user generated, optional settings for time-lapse and other camera-movement situations. The Lenzhound System offers a flexible, wireless and user-friendly method of extending lens control to an assistant camera operator or “focus puller” enabling professional, cinematic filmmaking.
The campaign is now live at kck.st/1fmWNnN and the company is asking supporters to pledge at any level to help fund the project. An “Earliest Bird” promotional pledge of $250 or more will earn 25 backers the complete Lenzhound System, including remote control, receiver unit with motor, 12v battery pack, USB cable and lens belt. The project funding goal is $46,500.00 with a series of stretch-goal upgrades and options if higher funding is realized. Upon funding, the first units are expected to reach early bird supporters in March, 2014.
Motion Dogs Press continued
Lenzhound Wireless Lens Motor Control System
The Lenzhound RTX-1 remote is compact, about the size of a smart phone, making it a comfortable fit in your hands for those production days that never seem to end. The remote itself uses a familiar industry follow focus knob design and lens-marking disc; essential features for the assistant camera operator (AC) to reliably hit their marks on set. To utilize the DB-1 Motor Unit, simply slide it onto your own 15mm rod support system, slip on the lens belt, adjust the tension and lock into place with the clamp handle. A 19mm rod version is a stretch-goal that will make the DB-1 motor useable with these larger diameter rod systems.
View Lenzhound Wireless Lens Motor System Kickstarter campaign
RTX-1 Remote features:
Large, industry-style, primary focus knob
4 preset buttons to set and recall positions from memory
Tough composite and anodized aluminum case to withstand years of abuse
Compact design measuring roughly 3 X 6 inches
White distance marking disc for dry erase or grease pencil
Uses 4 AAA batteries, providing up to 80 hours of battery life
Mini-USB port for firmware upgrades and custom “Z-mode” programing beyond basic follow focus operation
DB-1 Motor/Receiver features:
Anodized aluminum dogbone arm
Works with industry standard 15mm iris rod systems
Lightweight; just over 8 ounces (230 grams)
Can drive any stepper motor up to 1.5A / phase (see Stretch Goal
#4 and FAQ for more on additional motors)
Flexible power requirements allowing it to work with battery
systems beyond the included 12v battery pack
Mini-USB port for firmware updates
ABOUT MOTION DOGS
Motion Dogs is a new division of Aspect Studios, based in beautiful San Luis Obispo, CA. Aspect has been producing television and motion picture projects since 2001 including the feature length documentary “BOTSO” currently screening at film festivals domestically and internationally – www.Botsomovie.com. The addition of Motion Dogs is a concerted effort to make professional film production tools, such as the wireless lens control system, available and affordable for independent filmmakers.
(cover photo credit: snap from the Press)