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$99 RJ Follow focus unit - Low Play and dampened

View it on Amazon 

It's gone down in price! It was around 150 when i originally got it, and it's slowly gone down over time and is now under 100 bucks. 

Overall, this unit is a big win, of course you shouldn’t compare it to $1000+ pro units, but it feels like a lot more than the price tag suggests and i feel that many people in the indie budget range will have a hard time justifying paying 2,3,5,8x the price for higher end units.

The Gearbox

Is very good. it has some dampening, which for most of you out there with other budget units will appreciate that it does not freely spin if you give it a whirl. this helps make sloppy lenses feel a bit better. Another user opened his up and found a nice thick grease in the gearbox which seems to be what gives it the dampening. If you try higher end units, yes they do feel better/silkier, again, this isn't a high end model.

The gears are pretty nice too, since buying this, they've come out with better versions of them. You should also look into the zip tie lensgears, i think those are great despite the higher price.

The Features

The unit is not height adjustable, which in many cases works out just fine. There is one screw to lock/loosen both the in/out slide as well as the 15mm clamp. It's a bit stiff, but adding a very small amount of oil or Vaseline smooths it up very nicely. 

Probably its most 'advanced' features is the reversible gear: you can pop it onto the other side. This is very handle if you have something that gets in the way with the usual position. I found that the clip that holds it in place is the source of some play/backlash, and it seems more prominent on one side, but it's not a concerning amount.

The rest is pretty standard: accessory port for whips and cranks, a dry erase marking disk... That's it really. 

So, If you have a basic need for a follow focus that won't break the bank, this one is worth a solid look.

Added on 2011-10-16 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus LLC

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor, Actor
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