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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Robbie Carman: So we're here with DP Kevin Bradley, and Kevin we have a piece of gear on this camera that I think a lot of people have seen and it certainly makes the camera look cool. Kevin: Yeah. Robbie Carman: But it's actually functional, and that's called a follow focus. This guy right here. Kevin: Yup. Robbie Carman: Now, the thing is, a follow focus is not an essential piece of gear, but my personal feeling is if you have to get critical, critical. You know, tack sharp focus. It's definitely a tool that you might want to think about investing in. And the reason to have a follow focus is a couple things. First, on most camera lenses, especially photo style lenses.
The actual travel distance, if you were to put your hand on the lens itself, is very, very limited. You're only going to make very minute turns. And Kevin, that's not a good thing, right? Kevin: No, and in, in, still photography, these lenses are fantastic. They focus sharp, and they focus very fast. And the way that they focus very fast is that the barrel rotation is very, very short. So one focus pull might be from here, to here. And that's wonderful for still photography because, you know, with still photography, you're really just trying to snap into focus, with auto-focus.
Robbie Carman: Right, so zip, zip, zip, zip. Right, exactly. Kevin: In video, there really is no such thing as auto focus. Robbie Carman: Right and so when your hand's right on the lens itself without the follow focus unit, you'll find it very hard. You're trying to make these little tiny tweaks and you can't quite get it. So what happens in a follow focus is that we have a number of parts. We have a gear that actually goes on the lens. And most of the time these gears on the lenses are sort of like, you know? Zip tie kind of things, but you can also get them press fit. Then over here on the follow focus itself there's a gear that interacts with the gear on the lens, and then finally, the follow focus knob itself. And because we're removed from the lens, right, Keven, because we have some more distance, we actually have a little more leverage in that turning radius is actually going to be much, much larger.
And the Follow Focus knob itself has a couple of distinguishing features. There's this bit right here, which is sort like a little bit of a drier raised part. And we'll talk about that in just a moment. And then here at the end of the Follow Focus knob, I have a little port. What's this little port all about? Kevin: Well, this is an industry standard port. So basically, if you have a whip or a crank, or a a larger, some, there's a larger knob by Zakuto, I believe that they make. Robbie Carman: Yep. Kevin: And there's also a crank that will go like this. So if you want to pull focus like that. But the purpose of all these things it to make it easier for the camera assistant to get further away from body.
Robbie Carman: Right. Kevin: So that the DP and the camera system aren't all crowded together. And it makes it easier for him to pull focus from a distance. Robbie Carman: And it's really nice that these are industry standard size. Kevin: Yep. Robbie Carman: So it doesn't matter if you have a, you know Zakuto one or an RE one or whatever. That whip or that crank is going to fit in there. So the last little piece of follow focus is this ring. And when we come back in just a second, we'll actually set some marks up on this ring so we can achieve critical focus.
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