Cheapest follow focus ever for canon 7d / 5d mark II

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Ever since I have fallen in love with the Canon 7d dslr, I have been fantasizing about making a legit follow focus for a dslr. It allows you to have more control over the focusing, and a smoother camera because your rotation is in a different axis as the lens. (You may hear more of my traditional FF plans in a few) In the meantime I saw a vimeo clip that had this little gem of an idea in it. For quick focus pulls a lever like this can’t be beat, and it’s dirt cheap as well!
rack focus for canon dslr

Here are all of the parts from the old home depot. Simple stuff. It totaled around $6, and it’s enough to make 2 and have parts left over.


worm screw

The first step is to cut out a few teeth in order to make room for the bolt.



rack focus arm attachment

Slide the bolt through and tighten the nut on.


almost finished follow focus arm.

A bit of electrical tape pushes the image away from HD and towards B&H. It also increases grip and decreases scratches.


here the follow focus is attached to a 105 3.5

Lastly, tape up the bolt and put on the end nut. Don’t tighten this more than you need to. It’ll hold on without a lot of elbow grease.

Admittedly, this isn’t as nice as a red rock micro FF, or anything made out of anodized aluminum. On the other hand it does fit the budget (it is less than 1/100th the price of the red rock!) , and it will help the backyard cinematographer get a new tool to play with.

5 Responses to Cheapest follow focus ever for canon 7d / 5d mark II

  1. Pingback: Canon 7d Follow Focus « Multimedia-Digest

  2. Wow, that’s a pretty clever solution to making a cheap follow focus. Thanks for posting, I might try this out over the weekend!

    -Danielle
    Writer, Enviroselects.com