Jump to content



Photo

Red Rock wireless follow focus Review


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 David M. Aronson

David M. Aronson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 306 posts
  • Arlington, VA

Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:35 AM

Redrock's wireless follow focus has been out for a while now and a friend who just purchased one lent his to me so I could try it on a job. I'm going to try to be neutral about it, but the short answer is that I'm honestly surprised this system made it to market. A lot of this was told to me my my focus puller, but I did have some hands on experience with the unit.

 

This was a concert and I was using an LDK 8000 with a wireless back on it (this will be important later).

 

Setting up the unit physically was pretty simple. The motor is small and mounted securely. The receiver unit is also quite compact, a little smaller than a deck of playing cards and with a handy 1/4"-20 mounting hole on the back. The included cables felt durable and were a decently high gauge and I didn't have many problems mounting the unit on either an arm, or later the 15mm rods.

 

Calibrating the unit was pretty simple both manually and automatically and was reasonably repeatable. Marks didn't line up exactly, more than I can simple pass off to backlash, but not enough for it to cause an issue. the only annoyance I had with calibrating it was that every time the unit looses power, you have to recalibrate it. I ended up throwing a dionic 90 on the back of the camera and powering the FF off the D-Tap so that I could power down the camera when I wasn't using it.

 

Now to the important parts. While the system moved the lens when the handwheel was turned, it did so in huge steps, and very violently too. I could feel the stepping of the motor down into the first section of my arm. it wasn't noticeable on camera, but it was incredibly distracting. I've been told there's a way to change this in the settings, but after fiddling with the angry blinking lights of the unit and reading the manual, we couldn't fix this.

 

The unit feels nicely machined, but the transmitter is really bulky and uncomfortable. It seems little thought was put into ergonomics and a lot of though was put into it looking cool. The Lemo connector on the motor was also loose. This was the third time it had been used. I don't think the internals will hold up very well if this is any sign of the actually build quality.

 

Range. Oh boy. I'm going to try the unit again straight line of sight because there was a wireless nightmare at the venue. 30 channels of wireless mic, a wireless camera, a Bolt Pro, and about 7 channels of wireless intercom. My focus puller couldn't get more than about 10 feet from me otherwise the unit stopped responding entirely. When it did regain connection, it does a weird jerky dance, turning about 3 degrees. Enough to be felt in the rig and enough for it to be noticed by the director.

 

Edit: Bolt is on 5.8Ghz, not 2.4Ghz. My mistake.

 

I brought a Bartech the second day and it had 0 issues.

 

RedRock seems to be great at "80% of the performance for 50% of the cost" but considering it costs as much as a used Bartech M-One set up, it really shouldn't exist.


Edited by David M. Aronson, 13 August 2014 - 01:05 AM.

  • 0

#2 Walter F. Rodriguez

Walter F. Rodriguez

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 176 posts

Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:38 PM

Thank you for the review. FYI, all Teradek Bolt operate on 5.8 ghz not 2.4
  • 0

#3 David M. Aronson

David M. Aronson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 306 posts
  • Arlington, VA

Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:04 AM

I didn't realize that about the Bolt. Thanks!


  • 0

#4 Frederic Sturm

Frederic Sturm

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 105 posts

Posted 13 August 2014 - 11:37 AM

The tiny size and light weight of the Redrocks receiver is tempting for certain applications - but this certainly doesn't sound
like it's any good - for now.

Thanks David, your review and the fact that it doesn't seem to be very tolerant on power input just kept me from

pulling the trigger on one for my new Ronin gimbal I'm testing out on with my Steadicam arm and sled.


  • 0

#5 David M. Aronson

David M. Aronson

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 306 posts
  • Arlington, VA

Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

It seemed happy on a Dionic 90, but it was the only thing being powered from it.

I'd be interested to try it next to the similarly priced Ikan WFF. With all this cheap gear flooding the market, it sucks to see a race to the bottom.


  • 0

#6 Daniel Stilling DFF

Daniel Stilling DFF

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • Florida

Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:49 PM

Sizewise you can't really go wrong with a digital bartech and a heden 21 motor. Tried and true.


  • 1

#7 Victor Lazaro

Victor Lazaro

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1230 posts
  • Sunnyside Queens, NY

Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:32 PM

Can't do much smaller than the RTmotion
  • 1

#8 Robert Starling SOC

Robert Starling SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1134 posts
  • Las Vegas, NV

Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:04 AM

The best thing about the Red Rock FF system is that my Preston replaces it on just about every job that comes to Vegas using one and I get full rate rental on it.  I don't know what the specific issues have been with them but based on the emergency Preston replacement rentals I'd say there's obviously something wrong with it.

 

Robert


  • 1

#9 Victor Lazaro

Victor Lazaro

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1230 posts
  • Sunnyside Queens, NY

Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:54 AM

I remember using it when Abel Cine's Bartech went south. We were losing signal between the camrea and the HU only a few feet away with 3 bodies between the two. The AC gave up on using the monitor (which in the end was a good thing) and hat to shadow me constantly.


  • 0

#10 Alan Rencher

Alan Rencher

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1091 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 August 2014 - 11:28 AM

For starters, it only has a 30 mW output, as opposed to the 60 mW output on something like the Axis1.


  • 0

#11 Peter Hoare

Peter Hoare

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 360 posts
  • London

Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:29 AM

Actually, the Red Rock is 1mw output. At least, the one we took apart was. 

 

I would think with a higher power radio chip, it would burn those AAs out in a matter of hours.... 


  • 0

#12 Louis Puli SOC

Louis Puli SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Australia ,New Zealand

Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:43 AM

Victor there must be an issue with that rental unit as I have just come off a 9 week TV drama and my BFD Digital unit worked every time through wall,tents ,and long range as well .We were using my Preston as well and digital BFD and the assistants loved both systems.


  • 0

#13 Victor Lazaro

Victor Lazaro

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 1230 posts
  • Sunnyside Queens, NY

Posted 17 August 2014 - 01:30 PM

Louis, I was talking about the RedRock wireless, The Bartech, digital and analog are amazing


  • 0

#14 Louis Puli SOC

Louis Puli SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • Australia ,New Zealand

Posted 18 August 2014 - 02:42 AM

So true Victor 


  • 0




rebotnix Technologies

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

PLC Electronics Solutions

Teradek

Boland Communications

Wireless Video Systems

Ritter Battery

SkyDreams

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

BOXX

IDX

GPI Pro Systems

Paralinx LLC

PLC - Bartech

Varizoom Follow Focus

Omnishot Systems

Engineered Cinema Solutions