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Development Update - AFX Focus Module For PBC


BTM_Pix

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AFX is the long overdue focus control expansion option for our PBC system for BM Pocket4K/6K cameras. With AFX and its included handheld remote you can control manual focus of MFT/EF lenses

Three days to go. The RAW shooting Sigma fp with the Baveyes 645 medium format speed booster is a little powerhouse. Particularly when you can now add ToF autofocus to that manual Mamiya 35m

An example of continuous AF on a handheld Pocket4K with Panasonic/Leica 12-60mm.  

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Man, I am proud of you, great demo (without mention the empty bottles in pandemic days... LOL : ) the customary suspects aka major manufacturers will be envious about you, count on it!

Jokes aside then...

(1) can we set the smoothness of the focus speed BTW?

(2) Will we have that usual small green AF square/rectangle to set the subject or zone to focus as we wish or random focus is everything we can expect for?

(I guess not or those buttons won't be there but I can't wait to test how handy this system can become P4K/PK6 even more attractive than they already are... & with a simple gimbal, overheatingproof! : D)

(3) Can we alternate with the native touch to focus and vice versa?

E :- )

 

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9 hours ago, Emanuel said:

Man, I am proud of you, great demo (without mention the empty bottles in pandemic days... LOL : ) the customary suspects aka major manufacturers will be envious about you, count on it!

Thanks.

Who wouldn't be driven to drink trying to make this work?

On a serious note, the idea of using the bottles (and the shiny marble kitchen surface) in those clips is that the reflections and angles present a greater challenge so is an illustration of how it can work when presented with that challenge.

9 hours ago, Emanuel said:

(1) can we set the smoothness of the focus speed BTW?

(2) Will we have that usual small green AF square/rectangle to set the subject or zone to focus as we wish or random focus is everything we can expect for?

(I guess not or those buttons won't be there but I can't wait to test how handy this system can become P4K/PK6 even more attractive than they already are... & with a simple gimbal, overheatingproof! : D)

(3) Can we alternate with the native touch to focus and vice versa?

E :- )

 

1) Yes. There is an adjustable hold and transition time for the AF-C mode.  The purpose of these clips was to illustrate speed and accuracy of target acquisition in both modes. As you can see from the SpiderCal focus chart clip, continuous tracking of moving objects is reasonably smooth.

2) No, there is no interaction with the screen. Target acquisition is always closest object in a central zone. 

3) Yes.

The concept of the AFX is really about expanding the overall focus options that you have rather than being a 100% "always on" continuous autofocus system.

In this sense, the idea is that it can also be used in addition to and in tandem with with your existing options so its probably worth going through the logic of how that works.

 With AFX set to AF-S mode :

  • Pressing the upper trigger on the hand controller acquires focus.
  • Using the joystick up/down on the hand controller controls focus manually.
  • Pressing the screen on the camera activates the camera's internal one shot AF function.
  • Pressing the joystick right activates the camera's internal one shot AF (this is an example as the stick can be assigned to another function such as AutoWB etc)
  • If you have a Tilta Nucleus Nano wheel attached you can use that to control focus manually.
  • Pressing the joystick left switches to AF-C mode

With AFX set to AF-C mode:

  • Focus is continually adjusted by the AFX
  • Other focus functions can still be used but will be overridden when the AFX detects a change of distance of its acquired object.
  • Pressing the upper trigger on the hand controller toggles between engaging and disengaging AF-C.
  • Pressing the joystick left switches to AF-S mode

With these options, you are free to use the AFX as much or as little as you require depending on the scenarios you are facing.

So you might just use it in AF-S mode to acquire instant focus of the target and then it will leave it locked on that allowing you to then tweak it or move it completely using the joystick on the hand controller or Nano wheel and then use the trigger to acquire the next target as and when you want to.

In another scenario, like covering an event, you can just put it in AF-C mode and turn it into an autofocus camcorder but, again, with the ability through the controller to instantly regain control of focus without touching the camera.

Its the dynamic ability to switch these things in and out and use them in combination, or not at all, that, in my opinion, makes it a useful and versatile addition to the arsenal rather than a single magic bullet solution.

You'll have to wait until October to get a glimpse of that one 😉 

9 hours ago, Emanuel said:

What an achievement dudes, this guy is one of us!

I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.

9 hours ago, ntblowz said:

Really well done!

 

Will it work able to on other non BM cameras in the future..?

Thanks.

Oh yes....

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13 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

 

Thanks.

Oh yes....

 

Nice

 

I think this can also be used by focus puller..., instead of wheel they use joystick and button, and the ability to press record/stop and able to change to AF if they are lazy or having trouble focusing.  Just wondering what's the lag between those wireless connection?

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2 minutes ago, ntblowz said:

 

Nice

 

I think this can also be used by focus puller..., instead of wheel they use joystick and button, and the ability to press record/stop and able to change to AF if they are lazy or having trouble focusing.  Just wondering what's the lag between those wireless connection?

You can also use a Tilta Nano wheel wirelessly with it simultaneously too so there are no shortage of options!

The whole trip from the AFX sensor to the camera via the PBC is around 40-50ms.

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4 hours ago, shooter said:

Does it properly only work with Tilta Nucleus Nano and not with another one from a different manufacturer?

It doesn't need the Nucleus Nano to work, it operates the camera focus system directly.

It gives you the option to also be able to use the Nucleus Nano wheel to control focus manually for those who prefer to have that type of tactile control.

 

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3 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Panasonic support in the pipeline?

Yes but its a fairly long pipe at the moment.

The next most likely version of this particular one is a motor based universal version.

Although the original GX85 hack came from me building a controller for it so you never know I might go back to my roots!

 

 

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4 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Yes but its a fairly long pipe at the moment.

The next most likely version of this particular one is a motor based universal version.

Although the original GX85 hack came from me building a controller for it so you never know I might go back to my roots!

 

 

Do it before Panasonic, otherwise they will throw out an entire team. It will be like the Superman Scene from the Christopher Reeves superman film, where the artist destroys the Leaning Tower of Pisa after it is straightened and turned to tilt  back again. 

 

Btw, congrats on this. I saw the video. Looks quite promising. Also the price and size seem great. 

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

The next most likely version of this particular one is a motor based universal version.

As a bmpcc4k user using adapted glass. Is it best to wait for this? In my experience, adapted glass and AF don't play that nicely...

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1 minute ago, Anaconda_ said:

As a bmpcc4k user using adapted glass. Is it best to wait for this? In my experience, adapted glass and AF don't play that nicely...

Its a slightly different situation with this as its calibrated to distance and is sent to a specific point without passing go and collecting £200 so the clunking and grinding that you'd get with a contrast based AF system as it is hunting isn't in play.

The first three clips in the video are actually on an adapted Sigma 18-35mm on a Metabones Smart adapter so its certainly not lacking in speed or precision.

Having said that, there are quite broad variances in EF lenses in terms of precision so with some of them you might get a smoother gradation with a motor and lens gear but then you're adding the bulk/powering of the motor and getting gear rings on some EF-S lenses particularly or even a nifty fifty is a bit of an additional chore.

The simple solution is to buy both types of course 😉 

 

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1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

The first three clips in the video are actually on an adapted Sigma 18-35mm on a Metabones Smart adapter so its certainly not lacking in speed or precision.

Having said that, there are quite broad variances in EF lenses in terms of precision

Ah good to know! My most used lenses are the Sigma and Canon 24-105 L which is pretty snappy in my experience. 

Looking forward to placing my order asap.

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7 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

It doesn't need the Nucleus Nano to work, it operates the camera focus system directly.

It gives you the option to also be able to use the Nucleus Nano wheel to control focus manually for those who prefer to have that type of tactile control.

 

I understood it. I only asked if there is any preferential type of connection with such option... Or if any other alternative to Tilta Nucleus Nano will work in the same way? By the way, what alternatives we have to Nucleus Nano?

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8 minutes ago, shooter said:

I understood it. I only asked if there is any preferential type of connection with such option... Or if any other alternative to Tilta Nucleus Nano will work in the same way? By the way, what alternatives we have to Nucleus Nano?

Sorry, I'm not following what you are asking then.

Can you explain what you mean ?

Are you asking about Tilta's focus motors or about their focus wheel controller ?

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2 hours ago, shooter said:

I understood it. I only asked if there is any preferential type of connection with such option... Or if any other alternative to Tilta Nucleus Nano will work in the same way? By the way, what alternatives we have to Nucleus Nano?

 

1 hour ago, Anaconda_ said:

I think it's - if we have a device similar to Tilta Nucleus Nano, but from a different manufacturer, will it still work?

Eg the focus wheel on a gimal.

Ah, OK.

If that is the question then, aside from the thumbstick on the handheld controller, the answer is currently no.

However, the Moza iFocus hand wheel is a slightly cheaper option than the Tilta so if we get hold of one then we'd likely look at incorporating it.

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