Bartech Remote Focus Device: Still the Best Bet

Cameras / Chris Collins / Quick Takes

By: Chris Collins

We’ve all been waiting since NAB 2010 for Red Rock Micro to come out with their iphone wireless follow focus system. While I still can’t wait to buy one, I had to go another route when I landed a job with Sesame Street which required remote focus pulling. I haven’t had enough time to play with the Jag 35 wireless system and a Preston was out of our budget, so the Bartech single channel RFD was the obvious choice.

I went in to Birns and Sawyer a few days in advance to put together a camera package, and I did some tests. Unfortunately, the M-One motor is extremely strong. I was using an analog unit, so there was no way to adjust torque. While everything ran smoothly on wide lenses, I noticed unacceptable image shift when using a Zeiss ZE 85mm. It turns out that the Canon EF mount simply isn’t strong enough to handle the motor’s torque. Therefore, I decided to step it up to the Zeiss CP.2 lenses which all have a 1/4-20 thread for lens support. Better support=no image shift and a happy production.

Chris Collins
Chris Collins is a cinematographer living in Los Angeles who focuses mainly on documentaries and commercials.
  • Harry Rabin

    Aloha from Kauai Chris! If you use the VIEWFACTOR CAGE you won’t have the torque issue on even CANON L Glass. Ran into the same problem until I mounted the 5D Mark II in their powered cage.
    Best Harry

  • Simon Matthews

    Don’t get a jag follow focus god it’s very poor quality #1 First my clamp fell apart on location  #2 The wireless would not stay connected  #3 The motor would stutter and is not strong enough :(

    I will never buy cheap crap again for such a important job, It was a total embarrassment.