SnapFocus: An Innovative Follow Focus With Bicycle Brake Levers

Filmmaker Brandon Davis Cole’s interesting take on the traditional follow focus does something that few, if any, products have ever thought to do — integrate bicycle technology into DSLR cinematography. Cole essentially reinvented the follow focus. By instituting a “brake lever” system, the SnapFocus allows cinematographers to keep their camera steady and pull focus quickly and easily to wherever it’s needed, all without ever moving your hands from the SnapFocus handles.

Check out the video to see how it works:

As you can see, this leads to dramatic shifts in focus and extremely impressive production value achieved without the help of a crew. Of course, this one man rig doesn’t come cheap, but then again there’s a lot of money to be saved (and made) when you can achieve this kind of production value all by yourself.

Getting the focus itself minus the “hitchhiker” shoulder mount will run you $399 while adding the shoulder support will cost you a total of $598 (early bird special) or a whopping $799 once that promotion ends. So if this is something you’re interested in, head over to their Kickstarter page and take advantage of some of the better deals while they last.

SnapFocus (via Fstoppers)

  • Jeremy

    Great product idea and excellent design. That said, one man’s (or a team’s) passion to create independent films resulted in an effort to reduce costs so people  can more readily produce films without the overhead of a large team.

    Sounds great, right? Well not having the team, means spending less money, which means lower cost of production, which means lower perceived value of product. Low costs of production also make things more readily accessible for amateurs to involve themselves in the art and production of filming. This further reduces the perceived value of the product that is produced because of the amount of films that have neat effects like the ones this unit produces.

    Saturation of product lowers the value of the overall industry. Proof:

    I am totally behind invention of devices that makes things possible for the small guy – I truly am. I am also a firm believer in business quality determining the value of a product (think Apple). I just don’t want to start (or continue) hearing people whine about the lowered value of their art, while applauding advances in technology such as this!

  • Dave

     True. This is exactly what has happened to professional still photography with the advent of sophisticated, cheap digital cameras.

  • jack

    Seemingly true,

    Except that perceived value does not equal a specific price (higher or lower) that people are willing to pay for service:

  • Jeremy Madore

    Indeed – which is where the business end comes into play. I’m merely pointing out that it is the advances of technology that are the herald of the rise in the amateur-turned-professional movement. It’s not a bad thing at all – it just unseats those who’ve become fixtures in an industry due to the arms of finance and technical aptitude.

  • Eziztm

     If a ‘barrier of entry’ of tools dictates how successful a photographer is, or as a matter of fact any professional, then they don’t deserve to be called professionals.

  • Dave

     Unless the customers are willing to settle for lower quality at a greatly reduced price, even free, which is exactly what is happening in the pro still photography world.

    Asked a GOOD seasoned wedding photographer, or browse one of the thousands of new wedding photo sites that are littered with crap, but low prices.

    Pro photojournalist are being replaced by free ‘citizen journalists’. The difference in content is huge, but how does a professional compete with free?

    This is true of stock photography as well. Microstock agencies will take nearly any image and the photographers get a very low return on their work, but at least they get to see their name in a magazine every now and then…..whoopee!

  • Eero Mäentie

    The focus style is a very old idea. Just a couple months ago I sold away my Novoflexar squeeze focus tele-lenses that were made in the sixties.