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Focus pulling options for handheld steadicam?


Inazuma
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Does anyone have any (cheap) suggestions for achieving focus adjustments whilst using a handheld steadicam? I was thinking about putting the camera on rails, attaching a follow focus and using a whip. To me this sounds like a reasonable idea because when you turn the whip, there shouldn't be any change in pressure that would unbalance the steadicam. But maybe I'm just dumb.

 

  Thoughts?

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Any Inertia of an external connection will be a factor in disturbing the balance/ trim of any stedicam or stabilizer, without the cost of a wireless follow focus it may be best to fix your focus/ stop lens down for each setup or simply use a wider lens that will help with DOF issues.

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"Not good"?  Barlow, you don't know what you're talking about.  That's exactly how focus pulling works.  That's what separates good 1st ACs from great 1st ACs.  They're constantly judging distance on the move with steadicam operation. 

 

If someone doesn't have the budget for the remote system and a great 1st AC, then the op deals with a fixed focus.  Otherwise the focus puller is always working.  Always.

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@Cunning-Studio-Bigot-Ham

 

I have to laugh haha, all I see is self idolized bigotry. Hunting people down in this forum and PV to hurl shite.

 

Pimp your 'bro, how low can you go?

 

Allez les fantômes bleus!!!

 

Do us all a favour, get off your chariot, go find a tall bridge and do a Tony Scott. 

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A) you're not that important, I went to an interesting topic.  I have you on ignore but I was curious what kind of ignorant shit you might be saying based on the ignorant shit you had to say about focus pulling on Argo, so I took a peek.

 

B) you can't actually refute what I said, so your go-to is this.  Bravo.  

 

C) "bigot"?  You're an idiot.  You use words like they have no meaning.

 

...I said nothing of myself here.  I pointed out what you're saying is wrong and you have no defense other than ad hominem and getting personal.  

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Autofocus can work in some situations: http://philipbloom.net/2014/03/28/c100autofocus/

Looks like it's getting better. The GH4 looks to have an even better autofocus system.

A future system (already done?) could allow a focus puller to use a remote touch screen (e.g iPad via WiFi).

 

There was a similar thread over on PV about auto-focus on steadi.  In that case it sounded fairly viable since it was going to be used in a wedding video (I think that's right), traveling up and down the aisle so there wouldn't be a lot of cross movement in frame or competition for what should be in focus.  The content being shot will likely play as big a part as AF sophistication in terms of results.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if that iPad/iPhone interface for focus isn't out there in some capacity already.  I'm sure the fellow who was pulling focus on The Shining would have relished such a magical device.

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@Cunning-Studio-Bigot-Ham
 
Bigotry ==: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
 
Check your posts they are bigotry defined
 
So you're gonna ignore me are you? Ooooo, please do!
 
But lets get one in afore ya go shall we?
 
With your vast knowledge of the motion picture industry, your assholiness, having been through film school and studied with the best of them and shared the odd smoked salmon sandwich or so with the elite, Goat Boy, what on earth is this? WTF?
 
htotp://vimeo.com/90143707
 
I have dropped the embedded to save people the trash that awaits their gaze.
 
Lets face it Bigotham, you can't shoot. Hell if someone told you you could shoot, they must have been drunk or it was April Fools. (what a coincidence!) 
 
So lay off the shooting and stick with the GFX, You ain't gonna make it
 
Oh wait!, if the opening sequence is anything to go by, then you had better lay off that as well, it's shit.
 
So what else, How about screenplay? You have an almighty mouth on ya, so maybe that's your destiny. Personally I wouldn't trust you with a pencil, you'd probably chew the end off.
 
All in all, I think there's nothing down for ya. 
Better do a Tony Scott fella. 
Quick. 
Its pain-less and it brings on many changes HAHA
 
PS. I've forgotten more than you know. Bigotham
 
C'Ya wouldn't wanna be ya
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Sean- yeah, with advanced CPU/GPUs running on embedded devices, improved face/feature tracking will help focus even more. Infrared 3D cameras as with XBox connect could also be very useful for focus (a visible light stereo camera system with real-time image correlation (building a 3D depthmap measuring distance from sensor to Z-planes) could also be extremely useful for focus). Adding a giant distance display (that updates quickly) to ML would help with 5D3 focusing (with practice and knowing distance to target will be more accurate than peaking, etc., especially for wider shots).

 

Hey John- I'm practicing to become a better filmmaker- your thoughts on my 5min short (in signature below)? (to keep marginally on topic ;), all shots focused looking at the 5D3 display (no loupe or external monitor)).

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Barlow, you mad bro?  

 

I'm still waiting for you to try to back up your statements about focus pulling or more specifically focus pulling on steadicam and how you think it's done.  

 

I'd like to see anything you've actually done that doesn't involve sitting at a bench in a shed. 

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It is possible at a pinch for a Steadicam operator to use a wired follow focus with a very lightweight wire running to the camera. However  I have only heard of this being used with a proper setup with a vest & arm and the OP specifically mentioned a handheld stabiliser where one hand will always be supporting the stabiliser so this wheeze would be less convenient.

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It is possible at a pinch for a Steadicam operator to use a wired follow focus with a very lightweight wire running to the camera. However I have only heard of this being used with a proper setup with a vest & arm and the OP specifically mentioned a handheld stabiliser where one hand will always be supporting the stabiliser so this wheeze would be less convenient.

Yes, this is doable at a pinch...like you say with bigger rigs.

I used to own a Stedicam 'SK2' and you could just about get away with it on that, as the weight of the the sled + ENG camera + ISO arm would be great enough to carry some slight external attachment. I only did it twice with a BNC cable coming from the back of the camera, being 'cable bashed' by an assistant whilst I was operating. Even that was a real hassle, as the gimbal is so precisely balanced, any slight tug from the weight of the cable would effect the pitch of the steadicam.

A handheld stabiliser would be even worse, as the only isolation of of movement is within the gimbal, anything to offset its balance - no matter how slight will cause problems. By attaching any external tether/ focus whip to a steadicam (or similar), you are effectively making the isolated stabilisation null and void.

The good news is that many applications of fixed focus steadicam can be done with success, With a wider lens it will help smooth out any visible bumps, as well as keep everything at a sensible depth of focus. Anything other than wide angle on a handheld stabiliser is going to start to reveal the limitations of the single gimbal design IMO.
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