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Canon 7D Loaded With $6 DIY Follow Focus

Illustration for article titled Canon 7D Loaded With $6 DIY Follow Focus

In film and video, if you want to rack focus, a "follow focus" makes the job a lot easier. Attaching to the focus ring, a follow focus can be as simple as a stick or as complicated as a gearbox.


Ultimately, the purpose is always the same: Make it as quick and simple as possible to rotate that focus ring from one spot to another. And make the job one-handed.

But while follow focus is basically a standard in motion film and video cameras, it's nonexistent in the modern day, video-wielding dSLR world. So one flickr member made his own follow focus with a $6 steel hose clamp from Home Depot. Padded with a rubber band, it clamps right around the focus ring. And hey, it works great!


Look for the official, $200 versions from Nikon and Canon some time in the future, I'm sure. Unlike the Home Depot version, they will be powder coated black. [flickr]

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I took a photo class in J-School, once, where we had to practice following subjects in motion. Baseball is good, soccer is good, figure skating is good. I shot pictures for maybe ten hours, went through about a dozen rolls of film, most of one of those fat boxes of ilford paper and about a hundred hours in the darkroom and lab to get that practice. It was very costly, and not an experience I care to repeat, but I can get set up, do a few quick pans to restore my rhythm and it all comes back to me. It's sooooo much easier and less costly to do this digitally, now. I don't see why anyone can't get the hang of it after a day, in times such as ours.