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Development Update - AFX Focus Module For PBC


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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

It's out there! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/afx-autofocus-adapter#/ https://www.eoshd.com/news/exclusive-cda-tek-announces-afx-module-for-lidar-autofocus-featuring-tilta-nucleus-motor

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Exciting tool for this unique purchase, I don't even remember to ever be so excited with something more lately... 9 hours left. Fellows based in Europe, tomorrow morning this offer is over, this is really a last call for such discounted price:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/afx-autofocus-adapter/x/4309913#/

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I received a New Campaign Update from Indiegogo regarding the The AFX - Autofocus Adapter:

"Holiday Greetings

We would like to send our warmest regards to all of our backers for this holiday season and thank you for your support of the AFX.

In terms of the project itself, we are pleased to report that we are starting to receive the scheduled production samples of the main AFX and MMX boards and accessories.  It goes without saying that 2020 has been a challenging year and we wish you all a safer and more prosperous 2021."

@BTM_Pix Happy Holidays!

Great news that things are moving a long.  I can't wait to receive my AFX and MMX early next year!

Happy New Year!

Mark

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18 hours ago, Henchman said:

Have you thought of creating a repository for lens profiles?

We did consider it but decided against it.

The calibration file is unique to the combination of camera, copy of the lens (plus any adapter such as speedbooster etc) and position of the sensor at the time you did the calibration.

With all of those variables in play, it is far from guaranteed that you'd find a calibration file that someone else had made that would work 100% with someone else's setup so it would cause more issues than it solved.

So for that reason, its not something that we will looking to incorporate.

Plus, the calibration process only takes a few minutes anyway and is a one off per lens as its stored in the AFX's internal database so, as well as being more accurate, its actually far quicker to it than it would be going to a website, finding a suitable calibration file and flashing it onto the AFX.

Having said that, there is possibly some benefit for owners of multiple AFXs that they use with the same models of cameras and lenses to be able to transfer calibration files between them so that could be something that could potentially be incorporated in a future firmware update. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

From update #5 received today, new enhancements include:

Increased capacity for the calibration database for the AFX to now allow up to 128 lens/camera setups to be stored.

Zoom lens files now have five “tracks” of calibration to compensate for focus differences in non-parfocal lenses at different focal lengths.

Calibration procedure is now semi-automated.

Multi Client/Server mode over Bluetooth LE to enable AFX to drive MMX units, pass range data to a PBC to act as an outboard distance indicator unit or even source range data from another AFX.

New option for AFX to drive MMX over a wired connection through Port 3 of the MMX instead of over Bluetooth LE.

Switchable user preference for metric or imperial display of distance.

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@BTM_Pix Thanks for making your system incredible flexible!

This is fantastic news for people who own or plan to own more than one AFX and MMX.  It reminds me of what Steve Jobs said when he first introduced the iphone...

 

It's an auto focus distance sensor, it's lens motor driver, it's relational database, it's a Bluetooth Low Energy Multi Client/Server...

It's all of these, but together it is a revolutionary autofocus tool kit where networked autofocus sensors can distribute autofocus distance information allowing you to co-locate two cameras, one as your autofocus subject tracking camera, one as your subject/scene framing camera.  Whatever is in the center of your screen on this first camera can determine what is in focus on your second camera, that can have a completely different framing.

Add a gimbal with subject tracking and you can have AI track your subject around the scene, then distribute the autofocus distance to the second camera, which can frame your subject/scene however you like, while your subject stays perfectly in focus.

Perfect Framing with Perfect Autofocus = Revolution.

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20 hours ago, majoraxis said:

“Add a gimbal with subject tracking and you can have AI track your subject around the scene, then distribute the autofocus distance to the second camera, which can frame your subject/scene however you like, while your subject stays perfectly in focus.”

Ok yeah, I’d take a V2 where the sensor is built into a little DJI Osmo kind of micro-gimbal camera that has object tracking to keep the sensor pointed at the subject... that would be straight up insane.

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@Caleb Genheimer Great idea!

I am going to try a Crane 3 Pro gimbal for tracking, but I still need to check the tracking accuracy and speed with a heavy lens to see if it can keep up with the subject.

The other nice thing about using a gimbal is being able to do the tracking control by moving the phone to manually to move the gimbal and track the subject by hands and eyes.  So instead of focus pulling, it is focus pointing.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried the Crane 3 S Pro to see if I could get it to work the same as the DJI Ronan RS 2 Pro Combo but handle more weight for my manual focus vintage lenses.  Unfortunately, the Crane 3 S Pro was not as easy to set up a the RS 2 Pro Combo. One of the function that I assume would just work was using it as a monitor and a controller at the same time. We the RS 2 it was all in one app - video monitor and gimbal controller. With the Crane 3 S Pro it was 2 apps, one for control and one for monitoring, so  I could not figure out how to monitor the video through my iPhone while using the iPhone to move the gimbal remotely at the same time.

I was also not able to figure out how to get the Crane 3 S Pro track subject from the video monitoring application. I have read that it can do subject tracking so it must be user error, the wrong firmware or I need the additional video receiver and remote control option. In either case, the RS 2 worked as expected and the Crane 3 S Pro did not so I am returning it.

What was nice about the Crane 3 S Pro is that it has supper strong motors an extension arm to expanded it accommodate really large/heavy camera rigs. If I was doing all of my gimbal control from the gimbal then it would have been a different story as you can operation/move the gimbal from the joystick on the gimbal while monitoring video wirelessly and there are also the focus and zoom motors that are included with the Pro packag..  So for a single operator with a heavy camera rig that does all of the control from the gimbal, it could be an excellent tool. I also liked the built-in/ integrated rails to hold the focus and zoom motors. Botton line it was not for me, but it may be preferred to the RS 2 Pro Combo by others who need maximum weight handling.

My minimum requirement for a gimbal to support creating a remote AI based auto focus system (to support the AFX sensor tracking a moving subject) is the gimbal's ability to send real-time video to a smart phone to allow the smart phone to process the video and send back gimbal control information to track the subject selected on the smart phone, and have the weight and size handling capacity to handle an appropriate camera, lens and focus motorThe DJI Ronan RS 2 Pro Combo does this as it can handle up to 10 LBS so running a Pocket 4k with an Panasonic autofocus lens with the AFX on the camera shoe should be within the weight handling capacity. The RS2 Pro combination may also handle manual lenses that are not too heavy, large or long with the Tilta focus motor attached..  The less expensive Ronan RSC 2 Pro Combo may also do similar tracking as it also transmits video, but with with 6.6. weigh limit and the smaller gimbal frame size, IMHO it is not worth the price difference to lose the weight and size handling.

There are probably other options out. if you can think of any, please let me know.

Thanks!

Mark

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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54 minutes ago, Lowell said:

Can we assume the AFX Focus Module will be fully compatible with the new BMPCC 6K PRO via bluetooth?

Unless they have changed something in the protocol versus the P6K then, yes, it will be.

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  • 3 weeks later...

When connected with one Nucleus Nano motor how does the power supply work? Can I plug the AFX into the pocket USB-C out and then the cable from the AFX will provide power to the motor as well or do they each need separate power supplies? Sorry, couldn't find that specific answer on the Indiegogo page.

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Indiegogo AFX campaign update #6 (things that caught my eye in bold.) Here’s the link if you what to see the official update with pictures and correct formatting: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/afx-autofocus-adapter#/updates/all

“Shipping Update 27/02/21

Unfortunately, we have to inform you of another short delay to our anticipated commencement of despatch date of 28th February.

As per our last update, the potential challenge to that date being met was the main AFX boards not being completed in time for the commencement of Chinese New Year break and this ultimately was the case.

We had built in some allowance for this happening but there has still been insufficient time since the resumption of work after the holiday for them to be completed.

The fabrication plant has indicated that we should now expect completion on the 5th/6th of March.

As the full production run of the housings for the units have now been received, we have been able to mitigate this extra delay slightly by completing the sub-assemblies of all AFX units and this will cut the final assembly time after the arrival of the processor boards from four days to two days before despatch begins.

This also means that the full production run of the reduced size MMX is now complete and ready to despatch with the AFX.

We have also added the following enhancements to the firmware of the AFX :

Support for Tilta focus wheel to manually adjust focus alongside the AF capabilities of the AFX (for both electronic and motor controlled lenses)

User preference option to use the REC button on the Tilta wheel to engage/disengage the AF of the AFX.

Switchable option for focus motor direction in both calibration and lens loading functions.

Adjustable calibration positive/negative offset setting when loading lens to enable re-location of the AFX without re-calibration.

To enable more flexible mounting and directional change of the unit, and as a small token of our gratitude for your patience, we have now included a ball head mounting adapter with your AFX when it is despatched and we have also created a focus chart for you to download and print out to aid the calibration process.

In what we anticipate to be the short run up to despatch, we will issue an individual update as the key points have been met.

Despatch from the fabrication plant.

Customs clearance.

Receipt by ourselves for final assembly.

Commencement of despatch to backers.

Once again, we apologise for the delay and again thank you in advance for your patience whilst we complete this process.”

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From Indiegogo: Production Update #7 March 10th, 2021

“We are pleased to inform you that despite the fabrication plant missing yet another deadline, we have now finally received despatch confirmation from them for the main AFX boards.

As per our 27/02/21 message, we will now issue a new update when they have been processed through customs.

Thanks once again for your patience.”

Great news!

 

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Sorry mate @BTM_Pix but discretion is beyond our enthusiasm for your stuff... ; ) @majoraxis has just beaten me for a couple of hours this time... : D No possible help for anyone to calm down those high expectations on this product of the year! : ) Long life to and love for Irish goodies :- )

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