DSLR RIG REVIEW
We had several lens gears here and they differ a lot, in design and price. We wanted to take the chance and tell you about our experience.
We’ve seen three different lens gear designs here:
The flex gear by Chrosziel and Vocas is tightened around the lens with a screwdriver or thumbscrew. After that you cut off the excess plastic, otherwise it will most likely get in the way. This makes sense when you want to mount that gear onto the lens for good. That’s also why we prefer the screwdriver style, over the Chrosziel thumbscrew. We won’t need that thumbscrew anyway. Unfortunately, the Vocas flex gear teeth are very thin. This can be a problem when your focus ring moves during follow focus.
The big advantage of this method is that you save space and handling the lenses will be easier. When you’re working, speed and good handling is always preferred.
A disadvantage could be when you work with lenses that have a varying diameter, you will need a follow focus that is very flexible. The Arri can handle different diameters without a problem but the Vocas follow focus is a bit more sensitive there.
The Cinevate Follow Focus gear ring is the only one that can be used to twist a lens’ focus further than 340Â°. I don’t know of a still lens with a focus range that far, (usually they’re much less) but if you have one, you will need this.
This one needs a setup time of about 2 to 3 minutes. Unfortunately, the gear is displaced so you will have to decide weather you want to use it inbound or outbound. To swap it you will need another 2 minutes of setup time.
This one isn’t a quick solution. It’s affordable and looks pretty, but it’s also bulky. Cinevate might come out with a smaller version soon.
Be careful not to “bite” your lens with the tiny nylon screw-heads.
The quickest solution is offered by Redrock and D | Focus. They have lens gears with different sizes and you can always put it on and take it off again in a matter of seconds. The Redrock version sits secure and tight. We like this one but we don’t like the high price. If you buy six of those you get a follow focus for free from dvtec (we haven’t tested the dvtec follow focus or lens gears). The D | Focus lens gear is cheaper, but also sits less tight. You can safely pick up your lens with a Redrock lens gear, but we wouldn’t recommend performing that trick with the D|Focus lens gears.