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looking to buy a follow focus system


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#1 Brandon Thompson

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 07:44 PM

Hi I am a newbie this is my first post. I have the steadicam flyer, and went to Peter's workshop this past Feb. I have worked on two indies both shot with the hvx200, one used the stock lens the other used the redrock m2. The later was renting a Bartech with a Heden motor. Can anybody give me advise on where to purchase these items? I found the Heden website and the model motor we used was the M28VPT, what is the difference between this motor and the others they have?
Thanks,
Brandon
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#2 MarkKaravite

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:50 PM

Dear Brandon,

BFD's can be purchased directly from Jim Bartell at:

Bartech Engineering
562-987-9159 office
815-364-5240 fax

The M1 motor is designed to work in harmony with the BFD. The M1 is made by:

Don Wetzel
Palomar Engineering
406-862-4800 office

You can buy both BFD and M1 from Bartech Engineering. Jim can package cables as well, or you can go to the best cable man in the business:

Fred Davis
Production Cable Service
626-794-1534

Although Heden motors have been around for years, I'd suggest the M1 in conjunction with the BFD for a great 1st unit. Palomar is soon to come out with the M.5 motor, a smaller version of the M1, and probably a bit cheaper. You may not need all the torque of the M1 for your sled.

Alot of guys swear by the Preston FIZ, but you'd better have north of $30K to drop on that system. I've done several feature films with 2 BFD's, and most AC's love them. Here's a basic starter package to think about (for a single unit):

1 BFD focus unit including:
- Transmitter
- Receiver with antenna
- Mounting bracket:
Tom Gleason of Cinewidgets makes a great dual BFD bracket
- plastic focus rings

M1 Motor:
- comes complete with rod adapters & every pitch gear out there

Cables:
2 - sled to BFD power cables
2 - BFD to BFD power cables (even if you only buy 1 unit, this and the Cinewidgets bracket, will set you up for dual unit operating if you need to rent a 2nd unit)
2 - M1 motor cables
2 - Camera start / stop cables for any camera you might run.

Don't short yourself on cables, buy 2 of everything. The worst feeling in the world would be to break a cable on set, and not be able to shoot because you didn't have a backup.

FYI, someon makes a focus ring for the HVX-200, where you can do repeatable focus pulls on those funky little lenses.

You can probably do a single system for around $4500, but don't quote me exactly. Call Jim Bartell, and I'm sure he can walk you through what you need. BFD gives great customer service.

Good luck,

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:07 AM

Preston... $30K?

Sorry Mark, but that is a miss conception.

You can get a Focus Iris unit as a single channel set up for under $10k and I bought a 2 channel MDR 2 unit for under $17k... just to put that old wife's tale to rest. If you buy every toy including the Micro Force and the wireless adaptor for it? Yes you end up with about a $30k unit. It's like comparing Apples and Oranges.

It is more expensive, but you also get way more for it.


Brandon, for your set up the BFD and M-1 are the way to go.
I owned several over the years and Jim Bartell's as well as Don Wetzel's customer service is a killer. Quick and on the money and very often small, even bigger repairs, can be done while you wait... if you want to drive down to Long Beach... (make sure to bring Beer!)


Fly safe,


Erwin
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#4 Brandon Thompson

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:49 PM

Thanks Mark and Erwin. I will definately look into getting both of those.

Thanks,
Brandon
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#5 Fred Davis

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:04 PM

Dear Brandon,

<snip>

You can buy both BFD and M1 from Bartech Engineering. Jim can package cables as well, or you can go to the best cable man in the business:

Fred Davis
Production Cable Service
626-794-1534

<snip>

Don't short yourself on cables, buy 2 of everything. The worst feeling in the world would be to break a cable on set, and not be able to shoot because you didn't have a backup.
<snip>
Good luck,

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net


Oh, hell, Mark U make me blush 8-)

Thanx 4 the positive words; I owe U a capuccino 8-)
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#6 MarkKaravite

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 08:19 PM

Brandon,

I agree that, for buying new, the BFD/M1 combo is a good choice for you. Also, I just saw a FIZ for sale on this forum's Classified For Sale for $3500. It's probably a MDR-1, but that unit was the standard for many years. That's the cheapest I've ever seen a FIZ (although it's not a complete system). You'd be happy with either choice.

Erwin,

My bad, I didn't meat to misquote the Preston price book. I haven't been in the market for a focus unit for a while, but a pal with a crane just spent around $32K on his FIZ. As you suggested, he has everything! I'd rather see a newbie have a reliable single unit for around $4000, if that was all he could afford for now.

BTW, thanks for the info on the Backstage Klassen mount & battery shelf. Sig is setting me up with that stuff next week. It's a very nice addition to the cart.

Fred,

Who loves you man? BTW, I don't drink coffee, but I do drink alcohol!

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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#7 Diego Galvez

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 04:15 AM

I have worked on two indies both shot with the hvx200, one used the stock lens the other used the redrock m2. The later was renting a Bartech with a Heden motor. Can anybody give me advise on where to purchase these items? I found the Heden website and the model motor we used was the M28VPT, what is the difference between this motor and the others they have?


Hi Brandon,

everywhere i read, the Bartech seems to be the best option, but maybe you are in a budget like us. It was impossible for us to spend around $4000 in a Bartech unit + motor, so we had to explore another option and we are developing a budget wireless focus control based on a digital servo to use mainly with 35mm adapters and 32pitch gears, which are the ones used by RedRock to control the SLR lenses. We will have a prototype shortly. Maybe this is of your interest.

You can read more on this thread:
http://www.steadicam...?showtopic=3746

And this is the project site:
http://remotefollowf...ooglepages.com/

Diego Gálvez
remotefollowfocus [at] gmail [dot] com
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#8 Fabrice Maurel

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 01:00 PM

FYI, someon makes a focus ring for the HVX-200, where you can do repeatable focus pulls on those funky little lenses.


Zacuto makes a great focus ring for the hvx with repeatable focus. Their base plate is very good as well.
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