May 9, 2012

The Redrock microRemote is a Professional Wireless Follow Focus for Under $2500

We've already shown off one of the cheaper wireless follow focus systems from JAG35. Now Redrock Micro has partially redesigned their microRemote Wireless Follow Focus system by developing their own motor and creating a new controller (in addition to the iPhone controller). They've also got a rig system called the ultraCage that is designed to be form-fitting to cameras like the Canon C300 or the Canon 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III. I had a chance to talk with Brian Valente and Loren Simons at the Redrock NAB booth, and you can see that video embedded below.

Brian Valente and Loren Simons from Redrock Micro:

The microRemote is finally being released after a long, long wait (introduced in 2010, and shown again in 2011). Apple certification was one reason for the delay, and the other was the design of their own motors. Standing right next to the motor, I have to say it's very quiet, much quieter than the motor from JAG35 - but that comes with a cost. The Redrock microRemote is $1000 more money at $2400 for a complete one motor kit, but if you consider that this is a professional solution, it's extremely affordable. If you need a wireless follow focus but don't plan on renting it out, this may be the one to get.

The most interesting part of the ultraCage is the Powerpack, which is small, but allows your devices to all be powered off of the same battery. This is an essential tool when you're shooting with a camera like the C300 and you've got lots of devices hanging off that need power - like their microRemote for example. It's good to see that the cost of the wireless follow focus has been brought down, and at this price, there really aren't many other options out there. If they don't experience any other delays, you should be able to get one sometime in the next couple months.

Link: Redrock Micro

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18 Comments

What is the point of a post like this? I ask honestly. I can take all the posts about the RED's and Canon C300's because they are equipment we one day might have the luck to use, but this? I bet this is more expensive by itself than the majority of each reader's gear.

May 9, 2012

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Noel

It's not just about the follow focus, if you watch the video, but you're absolutely wrong about this being more expensive than the majority of each reader's gear (many people own 5D Mark IIs and are buying 5D Mark IIIs, with the Mark III costing $1000 more than this follow focus). If you're getting paid for the work you're doing, the follow focus is absolutely something you might be using, and should compare favorably to similar wireless follow focuses that cost $5000 and up.

May 9, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Keep it coming Joe. I work with commercial budgets ranging from 40k to astronomical (Lincoln, Jaguar, Dos Equis, Comedy Central, Reebok to name drop a little), and I rely on sites like yours to keep me informed (especially this year since I couldn't make it to NAB). And when I'm not making commercials for clients, I'm planning and shooting my own projects. If it wasn't for NoFilmSchool.com and sites like this, countless hours would be spent by me doing the research that you save me from. Your readership is more expansive than most of your readers realize.

May 10, 2012

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j. matthew

That's good to hear. One of the reasons this site has kept its articles varied is because of people like you, since we know that we have readers across the entire spectrum of knowledge and budget ranges.

May 10, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I have around $20K in my camera kit alone, not to mention thousands more invested in lighting and grip. I've said before in other posts, I'm kinda addicted to NFS and I'm open to whatever Koo & Co. wants to tell us about. The more we know, the better. You can choose to read it or not.

May 10, 2012

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dixter

???

I've got single EOS lenses that cost that. My Kessler jib cost that.

That's like saying "don't write about a quality fluid head, cuz I can't afford anything but a Manfrotto 501HD."

NOT why we're all here...

May 14, 2012

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Zan Shin

I'll second Joe's comments about readership, at least anecdotally and from my own perspective. If you're getting paid to do this stuff, which is really the only sustainable model anyways due to the high cost of entry, a $2400 follow focus system that opens the possibilities of the types of shots you can pull off, is tremendous. At a reasonable rate (not a Craigslist rate) you can pay for this thing after a few solid days of filming. All that said, don't forget that for remote work where your AC can't see the camera easily you're still going to need a way to get video from the camera to a monitor, so you might be looking at another couple grand for something with low enough latency to wireless connect to a monitor. But seriously, this is stuff that just several years ago (like, I can imagine some people are still amortizing the expenses) used to cost almost an order of magnitude more.

Also, did I hear him right when the Red Rock guy said $1400 for the thumbwheel, controller, and motor? That's bananas. Like literally as cheap as bananas! I would buy into it on that fact alone for when I'm doing camera op stuff. Compared to the Jag system this thing is night and day looking. I'm pretty stoked.

Buuuuuut I need more glass. Always more glass. And a Kessler ShuttlePod Mini. And some lights.... no, screw the lights, I'll just keep renting. If you think this stuff is expensive look at some HMI fresnels, even the chinese crap! Hell look at a decent tungsten kit with some decent wattage from Arri (so you don't look like some scrub on a set) and you're already in it for way more than this FF. But I digress (and you get the point).

May 9, 2012

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Adding my voice to this chorus- totally respect those making great art and commerce with cheap kit, but this is exactly the kind of product we'll buy for the studio. Great for our steadicam or crane, or whatever usage.

May 11, 2012

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Just to chime in on follow focus's, I never understood the wireless follow focus. You can get a wired follow focus for considerably cheaper, with hundreds of feet of cable. I've used them on cranes and steadicams. It's one skinny wire, and tends to be much more reliable. I understand some AC's will actually pull from a different room, on a larger monitor, but even in those cases, a cable wrangler, and some routing will cost less than a wireless one. Anyone care to chime in?

May 11, 2012

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Chris

I'm cool with a wired. You have recommendations?

May 11, 2012

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dixter

Steadicams and wires do not mix very well. I'm not sure what Steadicam you were using it on, but a simple wire coming off the camera can completely throw off the balance, and ruin a shot. Most operators prefer everything be wireless, because it maximizes mobility and prevents them from getting tangled and ruining a shot. This system is capable of being tethered, but you still need the motor and everything else to make it work - as you do with any system using manual lenses, so I'm not sure how much cheaper a tethered option really is at the professional level. There are enough situations where wrangling is just impossible or impractical enough to warrant wireless focus - but if it fits in your budget, why not?

May 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Route the cable down the body, arm and over the shoulder of the operator. Loop through the vest if you're so inclined. Balance for the wire. And of course most operators want as little to entangle in as possible, but wired versions cost sometimes half as much as their wireless counterparts, and you don't have a snotnosed AC wining about accuracy.

May 13, 2012

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Chris

Yes I know it can be done, but it's limiting - and certainly less desirable if you're the operator. If you can afford a real Steadicam operator, you can afford the wireless follow focus. If you're on a budget, well, then of course you're going to do the cheapest thing possible. Forwards and backwards is easy to wrangle, it's when you're moving laterally or turning when it gets tricky. Personally I've operated Steadicam with a wire hanging off and didn't like it - so part of it could also be personal preference.

May 13, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Using a wired remote for steadicam is ludicous. It's a horrible practice, and a horrible waste of time (setting up and removing) and gets in the way for more complicated moves. Yes, using a cable down the vest can work when you absolutely "have" to be tethered (like for a live TV feed) but any steadicam operator is expected to own their own wireless follow focus. I have a Bartech (aka, Bartech Focus Device, or BFD) and an M-One motor...and I paid about $5,500...used. It's obligatory to have something (wireless), though, and it's way cheaper than a Preston, Arri, or Chrosziel. (in the ballpark of $12k-$20k)

Yeah, with professional follow focus (motorized systems), you aren't saving a huge amount by getting a wired system (the motors and powering are the same)...it's just a transmitter and receiver that's different.

As far as the redrock micro...I take this announcement with a huge grain of salt. I waited months and months for this. I figured it would be a cheaper first wireless follow focus... Well, over a year and a half after I first started seriously looking, the redrock micro wireless FF still isn't here. I've seen forums talking about this since March '08, (and probably even earlier, but I just ran across it). I still don't see it on their site yet, and until it is listed as "now shipping", it's still just vaporware.

If it actually comes out, and if the motor is actually torque-y enough to pull lenses (in the cold here in Seattle), I may one to do aperture pulls or have as a backup.

May 16, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I have a set of Nikkor AI lenses and all of them have varying degrees of resistance to turning the focus rings.
I'm wondering how powerful the motor is on this thing (or any of the motorized FF's out there) and how 'loose' focus rings need to be for it to work. Anybody know?

May 11, 2012

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dixter

The motor will work with basically any lens, except the stiffest lenses. It should work with all of your Nikon lenses. I know, for example, that Preston has multiple motors depending on how stiff the lenses are. Your mileage might vary with some of the lower cost options, but as far as the microRemote is concerned, all manual still lenses should work.

May 11, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Hi All,

I'm very interested in this WFF, but I have looked further and found there to be other options in this general price range. One of them is the Hocus Focus, but the one I'm most interested in is the RTmotion mk3 WFF system. It sells from their website rtmotion.com currently for £2050.00, which is around $3,200. Considering the RedRock is $2,600, only 600 more and you have what seems like a much more professional, upgradable system that can support three motors and 3D filming, so it seems a bit more "future-proof."

On reduser.net I've read a few threads about this WFF and the reviews are pretty great, some saying it is comparable to units 3-4x as expensive.

Anyone know more about how the RTmotion mk3 compares to the Redrock Micro?

Thanks!

May 7, 2013

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Kyler

Hi All,

There is Yoyo from E-buddy store on aliexpress, we can supply cheap wireless follow focus cable cameras, like lemo to lemo/lemo to USB/lemo to D-tap with free shipping.

Any demands, please visit our store http://www.aliexpress.com/store/1196777, also can contact me on my skype: yoyochen0423.

Thanks!

Yoyo

August 20, 2014

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