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Wireless follow with DSLR

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#1 Jameson Johnson

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:54 PM

Hi all -

Looking for a few opinions here. I'm looking into purchasing a wireless system, and I've been considering either the Analog BFD or the Digital BDR version. I've used both and I really like the BDR for it's size, weight, and compatibility with digital motors, but for DSLR work I'm not sure how well it would work for me.

If I use PL lenses I'm sure I wouldn't have a problem. But with continuous focus rings, like the Canon EF lenses and a gear strap, I don't see how a self-calibrating digital motor would work well. There aren't stop points on the lens, and the motors seem to fly right past any little resistance that there may be. I've manually stopped the spin to create a "stop point," but this is inconsistent at best.

The other factor is that for work with ENG tv lenses I would like to have a focus control on my handle. I've looked at the preston controllers, but with them no longer being made (yes, I know still supported) and with the stiff cables, I've been considering a G-Zoom BFD version. This seems to only work with the analog BFD system as the BDR does not have a wired input.

My general conclusion is that I should have at least one analog system and a BDR system for backup or iris. By the way, does anyone know if the iris slider add-on works with both systems - analog focus and digital iris?

I'm very curious what others' experiences have been using these types of lenses.

Thanks for the input in advance.

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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 01:56 AM

Regarding the EF lenses: simple solution is to use lenses with hard stops, like the Zeiss ZE/CP2's (primes) and the Zeiss LWZ's or older Tokinas. All have coverage for full frame.

A digital system that does lens mapping such as the Preston HU3 will actually make the hard stop lenses very functional; you tape out as many reference marks are required (focus visually against a tape measure) and the software interpolates the rest. This way you can effectively turn ZE's into CP2's for a fraction of the price--only difference then being the manual continuous iris.
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#3 JimBartell


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Posted 26 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

By the way, does anyone know if the iris slider add-on works with both systems - analog focus and digital iris

When you use the iris slider upgrade you can use either an analog or digital receiver for focus but you must use a digital receiver for iris.

Jim Bartell
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#4 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

The G-Zoom Bartech edition does indeed only work with the analog receiver and motor, but it works splendidly.
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#5 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:05 AM

For the TV broadcast lenses ( Fuji/Canon) you can get a Bartech analog receiver and purchase a stanton Focus motor with canon and Fuji gear ring and the bracket to attach the motor to the lenses, then the Bartech small box focus controller and velcro that to the gimbal handle.

The Bartech wired focus box is like 100 bucks.
The Stanton focus motor with canon gear is $295 new. Not sure what the seperate Fuji gear costs. But it can't be much.
The Stanton lens motor mounting bracket is $85. new
Then you send the BFD analog receiver to Jim. He'll add an internal Hi/Lo switch inside the receiver to drop the voltage going out the motor plug, and make you a BFD to stanton motor cable in the length of your choice. Call Jim for pricing...

When working a live show, you don't have to worry about heavy focus motors, or rods to mount them on. Just open the receiver, flip the switch, close it up and your ready to control that lightweight motor with your BFD, Either wireless or hardwired with the Bartech focus controller.
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