January 10, 2015

Lenzhound, the Budget Open Source Wireless Follow Focus, is Available for Pre-Order

So you need a wireless follow focus, but you don't want to spend a fortune.

You can spend thousands upon thousands on high-end wireless follow focus systems from companies like Bartech and Preston, and while those systems are worth it when a lot of money is already being spent, when the production is small and you don't have a lot of money, you need something a little more affordable.

Enter Lenzhound. The affordable open source wireless follow focus made by Motion Dogs was Kickstarted a little over a year ago. Now they've announced that they are taking pre-orders for the final retail version (which required FCC certification), with the very first units shipping January 16th, and the rest shipping in the next month or so. Here's more on the Lenzhound:

The Lenzhound is a flexible, wireless and user-friendly method of extending lens control to an assistant camera operator or "focus puller" enabling professional, cinematic filmmaking. The Lenzhound system is clean, simple and inexpensive, consisting of the handheld remote transmitter unit (RTX-1) and the motor/receiver unit (DB-1) which attaches to the user's camera rig. The DB-1 lens motor is targeted towards DSLR and video cameras employing lenses with manual operation rings, but is applicable for cinema-style lenses with the optional Cine-Standard gear attachment. The system features open source, Arduino compatible firmware which enables the user to program a powerful array of custom settings for other, improvised camera-movement set-ups.

They've posted a number of videos going over the Lenzhound:

The follow focus is available in a number of packages, the first starting at $395, which includes:

  • RTX-1 Single Axis Controller Unit
  • DB-1 Receiver Motor Unit
  • Pulley & Drive Belt (specify size)
  • Latex Lens Band
  • MiniUSB Cable
  • Grease Pencil

The most deluxe package goes up to $755 (with a few in-between the basic and deluxe), and includes:

  • RTX-1 Single Channel Controller Unit
  • DB-1 Receiver Motor Unit
  • Pulley & Full Belt Kit
  • 32 pitch gear system
  • Latex Lens Band
  • MiniUSB Cable
  • Grease Pencil
  • 12v 3800mA Re-chargeable Lithium Battery with cable/charger 
  • Carry Case
  • Allan Wrench and Screw Driver
  • Second 12v Re-chargeable Lithium Battery with cable/charger

For more on the Lenzhound, and to order your own, head on over to the Motion Dogs website    

Your Comment

13 Comments

Looking forward to getting my unit so I can put it up against the PD movie remote air.

January 10, 2015 at 10:11PM

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Lee MJ Daley
Animator / 3D & Motion designer / Lighting cameraman
116

Let me know your conclusions :-)

January 12, 2015 at 8:04AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9219

Looks great actually.

January 11, 2015 at 3:19AM

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
director, producer, dp

Great idea, but for a little more than their deluxe package, you can buy the wondlan follow focus with monitor and live HDMI streaming. They also have a cheaper follow focus with exactly the same characteristics.
What I do not understand is why most motorized follow focus are limited to four positions and never allow for the possibility to program path.

January 11, 2015 at 6:11AM

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Valentin
111

Both the wondlan units are cool for the price. We tried the version with the monitor but the motor was so noisy we couldn't use it for any audio critical shots so I am guessing its the same for the cheaper unit. I think the lenzhound is attractive for due to it's compact size ideal for gimbals. No idea on the 4 button thing but I've never needed more

January 11, 2015 at 11:00AM

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Lee MJ Daley
Animator / 3D & Motion designer / Lighting cameraman
116

Not really, the wondlan ff+monitor is >$2k and this thing should really hope to be better than the wondlan follow focus or else it is nearly useless. The wondlan FF requires a separate receiver box to be mounted on your rig, and from what I understand it is way louder than any normal professional wireless follow focus. In the tests I saw it made a pretty loud high pitch whine. Then again neither of these look like they could stand much abuse and I wouldn't be surprised if the lenzhound was pretty loud as I haven't seen any videos in which you can see it operational and get a sense of the noise it makes...

January 11, 2015 at 3:59PM

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Noah Yuan-Vogel
Cinematographer
106

The Wondlan is a bit noisy, you can really hear the gears move. I wonder how this follow focus will compare.

January 11, 2015 at 8:44PM

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David Barrington
Videographer
229

I'm very curious about how well it fits in a gimbal.
Still looking for a remote follow focus for the MoVI M5, so weight is important.
It seems pretty light, but could be too much weight on 1 side, unless I can mount it under the lense, using 1 rod only.

January 12, 2015 at 8:08AM, Edited January 12, 8:08AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9219

It will all come down to the noise in the motor. If it's reasonable I will definitely pull the trigger on this. It would be nice to see a single operator controller option like on the Redrock Micro-remote in the future, but at this price I am NOT complaining at all.

January 12, 2015 at 1:25PM

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Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator
293

They have a thumbwheel additional accessory for $90 dollars similar to Redrock Micro. If im not mistaken, it will plug into the wireless controller unit, not the motor, so in theory i think the thumbwheel should know what the calibration of the lens is.

January 13, 2015 at 3:59PM

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Jason L. Wang
Director/Cinematographer/Editor
98

Looks interesting. Sounds a little noisy. I'm curious how loud it will be on set.

January 12, 2015 at 4:14PM

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Steven Carmona
Dir/DP
166

Looks great, yet I don't understand why they're using only one of the rods instead of both of them? I can already see the thing moving towards the lens, with the string losing grip. Still looking forward to it for that price!

January 13, 2015 at 2:02PM

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Very nice. I've been waiting to see how this will turn out. I agree noise could be an issue - anxious to hear what peoples' experiences are!

January 14, 2015 at 12:57PM

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Hey guys, this is really nice, though quite expensive.
I've developed an open source wireless record-able follow focus and the code and schematics are absolutely FREE. Seriously. It means that you build it all yourself, but it works. No meaning to take anything from these talented guys and their work, if you want to really DIY, you're more than welcome to my blog to see for yourself.
http://adisoffer.tumblr.com/
And you can see the FF unit in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXpLIT_GN6Q&list=UU7dAiT2E8yUWS2fIzELVX1Q

January 15, 2015 at 12:35PM

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