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focus ring for BFD

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#1 Markus Rave

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 09:57 AM

I was shooting a feature last year using a BFD with a Heden motor on Zeiss new Compact Primes. The assistant disliked the small plastic bands and first cut his own out of some fibreglass compound to make sure they were stiffer and did not slide at all. But even then he was complaining so I gave this issue more thought.

I had a Genio FF before the BFD and this device uses hard plastic rings as known from ARRI, Chrosziel and others that can be changed faster than the strips coming with the BFD. I have followed a thread here supplying rings that are cut and so in my eyes will slide and need fastening by the screw in the BFD. So no match here.

Today I was checking in at Camtec and after heavy brainwork of the two of us Markus Bernhard made me a couple of rings that 100% match what I have been looking for to make my AC happy. The rings are a bit wider than the stripes and I initially thought they might make the pulling uneasier but that was not the case. They fit on the BFD wihout any modification of the device. You simply use the same screw to secure the ring. This can be seen very nicely on the picture I enclose. One other good thing too, is that regular 19mm tape fits perfectly on the rings.

If any of you guys have ideas of mods I would like to know.

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#2 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 02:19 PM

Any plans on selling these rings? I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in buying these. As a camera assistant I love the snap on rings for the Preston HU3, but I always use strips of tape with the Bartech remote. Hard rings would be wonderful.
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#3 JobScholtze


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Posted 19 March 2010 - 03:52 PM

I am in for a couple, if the price is reasonable
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#4 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:32 AM

What material are these being made from?

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#5 Markus Rave

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:22 AM

If you want to know about material you need to ask Markus Bernhard. I can only say they feel like the ones from ARRI and Chrosziel. I shot a commercial yesterday and made my assistant happy with those rings.
Let me make something clear. I´m just a happy customer and not in the business to make or sell those rings. I took many hints out of this forum and sometimes can give some payback. I have no idea what price Markus sells the rings for. I had a couple of things made at his shop and the rings were just one of them.

Another hint. I heard rumour that Jim Bartell used different sizes on the handweel. Make sure you have the one I had or specify the correct diameter. Mine is approx. 74,5mm in diameter.

If you want to know more ask Markus Bernhard: baer-bel@gmx.net
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 10:40 AM

"I heard rumour that Jim Bartell used different sizes on the handweel"

This is true and the reason that Jim never made hard rings of his own. Well, actually, he did make hard rings of his own that have a cut in them (hard to explain). Does he sells these still or is he only using the strips?

Later hand units have a slightly larger focus knob because... well, they just do. I believe it was an accident and by the time anyone ever noticed, it was too late (we are talking a very small difference). Jim should tell the story.

That all said, it seems to me that these larger knobs came out a number of years ago so they should become the standard and rings should be made for that here on out.
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#7 JimBartell


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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:11 PM

Well, since you asked.....

Units made before May 2002 (serial number 292 and down) have the smaller knobs, which have a diameter of 2.917 inches. Units made after May 2002 (serial number 293 and up) have a larger knob diameter of 2.940 inches.

The confusion came when we switched machine shops and found out the original knobs had been made undersized. We already had several hundred new knobs machined and anodized before we discovered the mistake and it would have been too expensive to scrap all the new knobs. When we made rings we had them made with a slot to accommodate both knobs. We are no longer selling rings as the volume was too low and the costs too high. Louis Puli in Australia is now making and selling them with my complete support.

That's the whole story. Carry on.

Jim Bartell
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