May 13, 2019

The Tiny Tilta Nucleus Nano Is Now Shipping for $229

Tilta makes a wide variety of camera accessories and is aggressively moving on the affordable market with the new Nucleus Nano that should be within almost all filmmakers' reach.

Tilta has begun shipping its new $229 follow focus system, Nucleus Nano. The Nano fills one of the major needs in the market, which is focusing on adding follow focus ability to the small gimbal arena. Many users get excited to get their hands on a gimbal while forgetting that gimbal work requires some method of keeping the performers in focus. Of course, Tilta makes its own gimbal, the Gravity G2X, which is very compatible with the Nano, but the Nano can also be adapted to work with a variety of other workflows.

Of course, there are other "tiny" follow focus units out there in the world. The reason the Nano is news is that Tilta already has some success in the follow focus space with another unit that is almost as approachable in price, the M.

Its Nucleus-M follow focus units are very impressive for their "already very affordable" price point. While the M is very clearly setup with a focus on being used for a single operator handheld situation or as gimbal mounts with heavier two-handed gimbals, they are also showing up as the follow focus system traditional studios build.

Adding to that offering, which starts for not much more than $1000, with another follow focus unit that starts under $300 is a major move. The fact that it is not only affordable but it includes features like auto-calibration, is particularly cool.

One area to remember when buying a smaller follow focus is that it will have less power available for pushing around a difficult lens. While the press images do show the Nano built up to pull focus on an Anamorphic prime lens, which has some weight and will have some drag, that Anamorphic is an Atlas, which means it is at most 2 years old. Working with older, heavier, less maintained lenses, or working in various weather situations where the lens' focus ring might have more drag, won't necessarily go as well.

The Nano system also isn't expandable and can only do a single axis; if you think you are going to want to get iris and zoom control added to your system later, the Nano isn't the move.

Tech Specs

  • Wireless Lens Focus Control Motor
  • Wireless Hand Wheel Focus Controller
  • Up to 300' Range
  • 5 to 18V, 0.65 to 1Nm Torque Motor
  • 0.8 MOD Standard Cine Gear, Gear Rings
  • Control Run/Stop, A-B Limits
  • Rosewood-Lined Hand Wheel
  • Multiple Mounting Options Included
  • Includes Hardware, Batteries, USB Cable
  • Price: $229

For the amazing price point, the Nano is well worth a look. It's available now    

Your Comment

6 Comments

It's actually been out for a little while (I got mine late Dec or early Jan) so it's not exactly new. But they most certainly had trouble fulfilling orders.

May 13, 2019 at 2:56PM

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Tilta is doing amazing things, but I implore them to write a full manual for the Nano. It has a LOT of problems and frustrations and has wasted days of my time - due to undocumented issues they know about but take a long while to tell you via support.

Not least of which? You have to keep the handwheel at least four inches away from the motor: so rod mounting the whole thing is really frustrating.

May 14, 2019 at 12:06PM, Edited May 14, 12:07PM

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As primarily a doc shooter, and have only done motorized focus pulling on narrative filming, how does something like this play with the organic nature of doc filmmaking? I'm usually a one-man band and focus is rapidly changing and unpredictable and also has to feel organic. Would this be a good asset for me or give my footage a more mechanical feel? Thanks for any thoughts or opinions on this!

May 14, 2019 at 1:31PM

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John Haas
Cinematographer
945

How do you deal with unpredictable, rapidly changing focus now?

This is only a tool. How organic a focus puller are you?

May 16, 2019 at 2:11PM

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Charlie K
1396

At the moment I move with the subject when I’m on a gimbal. It’s a dance to keep them in focus.

I pull the focus rapidly to whip from subject to subject as I’m reading the moment. Wondering how responsive this is.

For dramatized scenes and establishing shots I could see this as super useful though. You are right, it’s a tool.

May 18, 2019 at 2:55AM

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John Haas
Cinematographer
945

I just got one - have not used it 'in the field' yet but, I think I love it. And it's not on my gimbal. The motor is mounted on a 15mm tube and turning old Nikkors on an EVA1. I attached the knob to an Odyssey 7 so, somebody else can pull focus with their own monitor. My 85MM is kinda stiff but, that little motor seems to turn it, no prob. If it doesn't burn out prematurely, it's a helluva deal.

May 16, 2019 at 1:01PM, Edited May 16, 1:05PM

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Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1611