October 16, 2014 at 4:33PM

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How to focus?

How am I supposed to focus my subject[s] while using a GLIDECAM when I only have two hands? I know I can only have one focal length other wise I'll have to re-balance? o.o

8 Comments

Most people shoot stedicam shots with a wide lens and will stop this lens down a few stops to achieve "deep" focus. Otherwise, you will need a second person to operate a wireless remote-focus system, that are priced about $2,500 and up.

This is one area where the smaller sensor of a Micro 4/3 camera like the Panasonic GH4 or even a GoPro 4 camera can be helpful at achieving "deep" focus without having to stop your lens down too much. ( you will definitely want to use ND filters when shooting in daylight to maintain a sharp image, stopping down too much will limit sharpness )

October 16, 2014 at 9:13PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32877

Would a 20-200mm telephoto lens work for my t3i rebel?

Ghaz Zafar

October 16, 2014 at 9:35PM

Yes, a 20-200mm zoom would work at the wide-angle 20mm setting as long as you can balance your stedicam with that lens attached to your camera. Otherwise you might want to use the Canon 18-55mm "kit" lens which is smaller and lighter.

October 16, 2014 at 11:35PM, Edited October 16, 11:35PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32877

I'm using a glidecam or are they the same thing? o.O

Ghaz Zafar

October 17, 2014 at 10:43AM

You can put the F 11 or more and all will be in focus. Other thing is mark the place.

October 17, 2014 at 5:59AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7739

This would be fine with a m4/3 or larger sensor camera, but f/11 would be a problem for a GoPro style camera. The smallest aperture you can use with a GoPro and not lose lens sharpness is f/4.0.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

Guy McLoughlin

October 17, 2014 at 9:39AM, Edited October 17, 9:39AM

The brand doesn't matter as they all do the same type of job.

October 17, 2014 at 12:32PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32877

Welcome to the reality of large-format sensors :-) Guy McLoughlin basically said it all, although I can't agree with "most people"...
The answer is, you use a wireless remote follow focus system. Of course you don't have to buy them, you rent them from your favorite local rental house. A basic but professional system like Bartec or Redrock MicroRemote can be had for $100-$125/day.
If you are investing in your own Steadicam rig then yes, you will have to think about buying one of those systems eventually.

Other than that, Google some Depth of Field calculators - once you enter your camera, sensor and lens characteristics, you'll be able to figure out exactly what you can get away with without touching the lens, and what will require pulling.

October 19, 2014 at 5:04AM

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Drew Lahat
DP, Editor, Colorist
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