This Talented DP Shows You How to Pull Focus at 1500fps...by Hand
This has to be one of the most impressive focus pulls of all time.
Accurately pulling focus is hard enough at 24fps—imagine having to do it for a high-speed video shoot without the aid of expensive gear. Well, cinematographer Matthew Rosen did it for a detergent commercial shot with the Phantom Miro. In this video, he shows you how he pulled it off using nothing more than a length of tape, precise timing, and his cat-like reflexes.
This particular shot was particularly challenging because the ad's director wanted a very shallow depth of field, meaning the margin of error was virtually non-existent. So, Rosen had to carefully find his plane of focus by using a paintbrush as a stand-in for the grains of detergent, then using a piece of masking tape to mark the closest and furthest focus points.
After that, it was a matter of timing his focus pull with the cascading detergent—a shot that only lasted half a second, mandating a focus pull of a quarter of a second.
With some practice and a little luck, this no-budget, high-speed focus pulling technique could really help you capture some amazing, super slow motion shots.