On this video Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter takes a look at an inexpensive to follow focus which only requires a single rod and is easy to handle.
Follow focus units range in price and complexity. You can get high-end ones for several thousand dollars (not to mention wireless follow focus units which can be even more expensive) or very inexpensive units in the low hundreds of dollars.
Then you also have the very basic ones like the no-name unit which Pike shows in this video (which can be purchased on e-bay) for only $33. although this isn’t a real review or comparison – according to Pike this is a unit which you can start with, it is relatively well built (mostly metal) and maybe the nicest thing is that you can adapt it to work even without a dual rod setup (which we personally hate as we use small RC2 quick release plates and this requires us to mount another part beneath our camera cage and just make the whole setup much bulkier).
So is there a reason to spend significantly more on a follow focus unit – the answer depends on what are your needs – for a lot of professional work such a simple low-end unit will probably not perform well enough – it will typically not be as precise and lacks some key features (it doesn’t seem to have hard stops for example and Pike doesn’t mention if it has slack or not), however, if you are just starting and you want to play a little bit with a follow focus to learn how to use it and see if it is something that can help you with your shoots without spending too much money or making your setup to cumbersome – this can actually be an option.
Since the e-bay version of this follows focus just ran out of stock you can buy a similar unit (branded as Newer) on Amazon for just under $40.
You can find many more previews and reviews on our Photography review section here on LensVid.