Thread: The remote follow focus problem

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  1. #1 The remote follow focus problem 
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    All Komodo owners with V-Lock plates can easily continue with remote follow focus workflows just as with DSMC2s, but what about us who went all-in on the Canon battery route? How do we power regular and common remote FFs like the ARRI WCU-4?

    Some have mentioned that it's possible to get power out of the EXT port, but maybe not enough to drive the motor. So what are the options here?
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  2. #2  
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    At the current moment, for any build where you'd be using a WCU-4, I'd have to think sticking a v-mount somewhere in your rig would make your life easier. (You'll probably have at least a monitor or Teradek on that build, too.) Even if you're running the camera off Canon batteries for the hot swap capabilities, maybe you have a mini v-mount on rails or affixed to the side of a cage. I'd love to be wrong, but my thoughts come from the power challenges I've faced building up FS7/C100-type cameras in the past.

    For some lower power draw items, you can use a USB power bank-- I have one that works with a Tilta Nucleus Nano focus motor, and a smallrig cradle that allows me to attach it to a cage, etc. I expect we'll see more of this kind of thing in the future-- but then, if you're going to rig a USB power bank, you might as well rig a v-mount battery. (Not to make this a Tilta commercial, but they now make a side handle that has a power output for a follow focus motor. Not sure what the output is and if it works with motors from other brands.)
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Jacek Zakowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    All Komodo owners with V-Lock plates can easily continue with remote follow focus workflows just as with DSMC2s, but what about us who went all-in on the Canon battery route? How do we power regular and common remote FFs like the ARRI WCU-4?

    Some have mentioned that it's possible to get power out of the EXT port, but maybe not enough to drive the motor. So what are the options here?
    Seems like a perfect opportunity for electronic ff that uses af lens motors :-)
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacek Zakowicz View Post
    Seems like a perfect opportunity for electronic ff that uses af lens motors :-)
    Rather work with proper cine glass and smooth focus pulls than breathing still lenses with jumpy focus pulls. Also won’t help my CN-Es.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    At the current moment, for any build where you'd be using a WCU-4, I'd have to think sticking a v-mount somewhere in your rig would make your life easier. (You'll probably have at least a monitor or Teradek on that build, too.) Even if you're running the camera off Canon batteries for the hot swap capabilities, maybe you have a mini v-mount on rails or affixed to the side of a cage. I'd love to be wrong, but my thoughts come from the power challenges I've faced building up FS7/C100-type cameras in the past.

    For some lower power draw items, you can use a USB power bank-- I have one that works with a Tilta Nucleus Nano focus motor, and a smallrig cradle that allows me to attach it to a cage, etc. I expect we'll see more of this kind of thing in the future-- but then, if you're going to rig a USB power bank, you might as well rig a v-mount battery. (Not to make this a Tilta commercial, but they now make a side handle that has a power output for a follow focus motor. Not sure what the output is and if it works with motors from other brands.)
    What a shame. Built up a battery army of canon batteries. Having a separate V-lock attached at the same time is just not a good idea and erases the point of having the setup low key.

    So there simply isn’t any other way to drive a focus motor? What about the EXT port? Does it provide power out and is there any FF system capable of using that?
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  6. #6  
    Despite the P-Tap problem: Any chance anyone knows if there is a way to use a WCU-4 (either with c-force mini RF motor or an AMC-1 module) so that you can use the start/stop function? I think there's a new protocol and I just can't figure out how to get this to work.
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    Since you already have the batteries and chargers I would get two Canon battery plates and a long d-tap cable and wire a power supply with a long(ish) cable and female d-tap to clip on a belt.
    Not a great option for gimbal use with the extra cable but otherwise it will keep the size of the kit down.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    So there simply isn’t any other way to drive a focus motor? What about the EXT port? Does it provide power out and is there any FF system capable of using that?
    I don't have a definitive answer. However, per the diagram Jarred posted, the EXT port offers a 5v power out. The cforce mini (and plus) take minimum 12v.

    The Tilta Nucleus Nano can operate on 5v and should be fine with Canon CN-E-- but someone else will have to let us know if there exists a cable that will allow it to interface with the EXT port. Otherwise, the only option I know is the Tilta side handle that offers a power out to Tilta motors.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    I don't have a definitive answer. However, per the diagram Jarred posted, the EXT port offers a 5v power out. The cforce mini (and plus) take minimum 12v.

    The Tilta Nucleus Nano can operate on 5v and should be fine with Canon CN-E-- but someone else will have to let us know if there exists a cable that will allow it to interface with the EXT port. Otherwise, the only option I know is the Tilta side handle that offers a power out to Tilta motors.
    Yeah for small builds I’m using the battery in the handle to power the small nucleus FF.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Konrad View Post
    Since you already have the batteries and chargers I would get two Canon battery plates and a long d-tap cable and wire a power supply with a long(ish) cable and female d-tap to clip on a belt.
    Not a great option for gimbal use with the extra cable but otherwise it will keep the size of the kit down.
    This would just incite the question of why I just don't go with a V-Lock battery belt clip to drive the entire setup. Why split up batteries like that?


    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    I don't have a definitive answer. However, per the diagram Jarred posted, the EXT port offers a 5v power out. The cforce mini (and plus) take minimum 12v.

    The Tilta Nucleus Nano can operate on 5v and should be fine with Canon CN-E-- but someone else will have to let us know if there exists a cable that will allow it to interface with the EXT port. Otherwise, the only option I know is the Tilta side handle that offers a power out to Tilta motors.
    Yeah, I feel like Red is extremely quiet nowadays on this forum, almost all new information gets communicated through Jarred on Insta, which is fine, but there's no discussion or feedback on questions in here. So we get a 5v out on the EXT port, but we don't know if it works for real or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gundu View Post
    Yeah for small builds I’m using the battery in the handle to power the small nucleus FF.
    What batteries are used for this? And this would not work on the RS2. But RS2 already has a focus motor, would be nice if it would be used on the same protocol as the Nucleus, switching between them.

    I would just like to have a system that can be self-contained. A setup that can be put on a tripod, handheld and gimbal without dismantling everything. Having a rod setup for a focus motor with power that is always attached regardless of where the camera is. Seems like a futile attempt to build a small setup.
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