SmallRig F60 Modular Follow Focus and why Manual Focus is your friend

Sooner or later, every filmmaker begins to understand the magic of manual focus. SmallRig F60 Modular Follow Focus is a tool to help you keep things sharp.

While every review of a new camera will take some time to gauge its power when it comes to autofocus, professional film production remains largely the realm of manual focus. Why so? Well, simple, cinematic storytelling isn’t a matter of including “cinematic” LUTs in your footage. Cinematic storytelling is storytelling. It is about taking the viewer through a story and purposefully directing their attention to the points of the story that they need to know in order to achieve the desired emotional outcome.

Autofocus has come a long way. And it is great in some cases. Most modern autofocus systems can keep faces in focus for miles (well, not literally miles away), can track the fastest and rarest moving subjects when misdirected. But autofocus is, by definition, automatic. It can keep things focused. But it can’t decide what to focus on. That’s why manual focus is so important. Sometimes, you want that actress sharp in the frame. Sometimes it’s more important that the audience is looking at something in the background. Typically, you want the focus to move between subjects in the same frame. Sometimes, you want that price fast. Sometimes, you want that price slow. But you always want to be in control.

That’s when the next focus comes in. The focus is followed by a device that connects to the barrel of your lens and rotates the focus ring through a series of gears. Using this, as opposed to just keeping one hand on the barrel, has several advantages. First, it allows better access to First AC to focus on you. On set, it is likely that the first AC will be responsible for attracting attention rather than the operator. And having a secondary access point to the focus ring is simply a necessity.

Second, if you’re focusing on your own, being able to simply rotate a knob parallel to the camera lens instead of having to reach for the lens body can lead to a more comfortable and stable grip. , especially if your system is shoulder-mounted. Attachment.

There are also wireless versions of the tracking system, allowing First AC to focus remotely. Sometimes, they don’t even need to be in the same room. So, if you’re doing a particularly complicated camera move where it’s impractical to have an Air Conditioner nearby, you can still maneuver freely knowing that everything will be fine. high solution.

Following focus systems, like cameras, come in all shapes and sizes. But SmallRig has released a new system, the system F60 Focus Moduledesigned for mirrorless/DSLR users to work best with smaller systems.

The F60 comes in a neat little bag set that slips easily into a small bag. Inside the bag you’ll get the F60 Modular Follow Focus, a 15mm bar along with a bar clip and NATO rails. You get all the tools you need to mount the system in a mirrorless camera cage and adapt it for both cinema and photo lenses.

One of the less convenient parts about using follow focus with a small mirrorless camera is that most cinema lenses are built to accept focus gears. Meanwhile, most photo lenses are made small and don’t include the same teeth on the barrel. These teeth on camcorders are what lock onto the follower system gears and allow you to rotate the barrel. You can work around this by wrapping a necklace around your photo lens to create teeth for the lens to lock on to follow.

SmallRig already includes a collar in the kit. However, it also offers another cool little tool, a silicon gear ring that can go through the teeth of the following focus. This nifty little tool essentially turns your tracking focus ring into a traction finger that can be pressed into the barrel of a photo lens to adjust focus. Lots of fun little stuff in a small and affordable package.

The F60 retails for $159 and can be obtained here. Let me know if you have one and your experiences with the system in the comments.


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