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A follow focus gives you more precise focus control and easy repeatability when using a DSLR to shoot video. iDC Photo Video makes follow focuses for various DSLRs including the Canon 60D, Canon 7D, Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D7000, along with viewfinders, accessory brackets, other various accessories and complete follow-focus kits for select cameras.
Here we focus on the iDC Photo Video’s SYSTEM ZERO Standard Follow-Focus with Viewfinder for the Canon 60D. The kit comes with everything you need to shoot cinema-like, high-definition video with your Canon 60D camera, including a dedicated 60D base plate, a sliding four-slot focusing plate and a HoodLoupe 3.0 viewfinder. Everything is made from aircraft-grade aluminum with pleasing, soft finished edges. If you want to use the follow focus with cameras other than the 60D, all you need is the camera-specific base plate.
This standard version follow-focus kit is designed to handle lenses ranging from wide angle to short telephoto, with the four slots on the focusing plate providing the necessary travel. The focusing plate has a sliding design that allows for small adjustments to be made to accommodate lenses that fall in between the four provided slots. You’ll need the XL1 kit, with its longer focusing plate, if you want to use larger, mid-range telephoto lenses.
The SYSTEM ZERO Follow-Focus kit for the Canon 60D features an adjustable focus wheel that attaches to slots on a sliding focusing plate. The focusing plate mounts to a dedicated base plate for the Canon 60D, and any standard quick release can be used to mount the assembly on a rig or tripod. The follow-focus mechanism is gearless, allowing for smooth, precise focusing and fast lens changes, plus you don’t have to buy dedicated gears for each lens that you use. The focusing wheel port accepts industry standard Arri-style follow-focus whips and cranks, as well as white graphic tape for making pre-focus marks.
The included Hoodman HoodLoupe viewfinder, which is modified for quick-release functionality, also mounts on the base plate. The viewfinder provides a larger image to work with for more precise focusing. The base plate will also accept other direct-to-LCD style viewfinders such as the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro and LCDVF.
When you don’t want to use the follow focus, say for shooting stills, it’s easy enough to slide the focusing wheel away from the lens and lock it into a parked position. It’s also simple enough to remove the entire base plate/focusing plate/focus wheel assembly in one piece using just an Allen wrench.