DIY DSLR Follow Focus - Rack Focus

chris martin photography - follow focus

I am always at a complete loss when shooting DSLR video and needing to easily find the focus, or zoom ring.  I grab the wrong one or miss it completely and end up with noise and movement in the final shot.  What I needed was a follow focus ring that attaches to the lens.  These things make it as quick and simple as possible to rotate that focus ring while shooting.

A little internet research will provide a plethora of DIY solutions.  The one I liked the best was an idea presented by knoptop here.  It uses silicon jar openers.  The only problem was that the recommended vendor no longer carried these things.  I am not a patient person so upon learning that I couldn’t run out a grab a few, I went to work thinking of what I could use that was laying around here.

Enter the filter wrench (Adorama: small - big, B&H: small - big).  I have a bunch of these in different sizes.  So I tried a few.  They work great!  If you have followed at least my recent posts you will know that two criteria must be met for new gear and accessories and using existing filter wrenches perfectly met all the criteria – no added bulk or weight and it didn’t cost me a thing.

I eventually found the jar openers at Target and bought all they had left.  In practice I use a variety of combinations of both the jar opener and the filter wrench.  Sometimes I need a rubber band around the top of the filter wrench, but that doesn’t affect its function at all.