This is what was suppose to be a quick comparison video between my Gini and Trusmt cages. I must say since I bought my one, Gini have changed their cages a bit, so it's not the same any more.
More importantly, the prices have chanced since I bough my cages. The price of Gini went up and the price of Trusmt went down to the point where some cages Gini lists on eBay are more expensive than the Trusmt Ultimate (the one with HDMI clamp) which is $330/£204. You can snap it up even cheaper if you are willing to bid and wait to see if you win it.
Gini cages are now generally listed with higher "buy it now" price, altough the "best offer" option does provide some hope. Gini used to accept offers of 20-30% off the listed price. I don't know that is till the case.
Overall, with all the price changes I think Trusmt is definitely a winner in this comparison, unless you are using a DSLR that will not benefit from its great features.
This follow focus is quite unique thanks to its flexible L shaped bracket. The only similar follow focus that I know is the D-focus, which doesn’t really offer anything more than this RJ unit. I wanted to try it just to see how it would feel and I was impressed with the size and feel of the whole setup. To me the gearbox of my particular unit is a bit disappointing, but as I said in the video, the gearbox performance varies; so some of you might have better luck with it.
I bought mine a while ago and while I was looking up the ebay link for this write-up, I found out that this FF now comes with both L-shaped bracket and the standard 15mm rod fitting mount, which is absolutely amazing. No other FF offers you both mounting options, although the L-shaped adapter could be adapter to many other FFs. Someone should start selling them separately.
Anyway, if you’re about to buy your first follow focus and don’t yet have your 15mm rod setup, I think this FF could be the one to go for. When you decided to buy your 15mm rod system you’ll still be able to use this FFs with it, which is very cool.If this FF is not for you, check out the Follow Focus Buyers Guide for more options.
Click to view this item on eBay
The Filmcity X1
follow focus is currently one of the cheapest FFs you can get on eBay and just about anywhere really. I wanted to see what’s it feels like, so I bought one. I wasn’t expecting it to be the best follow focus in the world, although I always hope that the next follow focus I get will be the one.
Well, the X1 is a nice follow focus, one that you would expect to be over £200 just a few years ago. In fact it’s virtually the same as my Camtree
Follow Focus, which I bought for over £200 just about 2 years ago. It has the same marking disc, same 360 degree adjustable pointer, similar mounting system (probably both were made by the same manufacturer). While I still prefer my good old Camtree
, the X1 offers so much for such a low price. Although the gearbox has some play (similar amount to similarly priced, but simpler RJ
and probably less than Fotga DP500
, which another really cheap option).
The fact that you get the whip and the lens gear on top of all the cool features gives this follow focus the edge over the similarly priced units.
Although I decided not to keep mine (I don’t need more than one FF anyway), I do recommend it to people who on a really low budget or/and just buying their first follow focus.
If you think, this might not be the one for you, make sure to check out my Follow Focus Buyers Guide
for more great value for money options.
Click to view this item on eBay
I absolutely love the flowing, beautiful and engaging steadicam (stabilizer) shots often seen in films and music videos. When done properly they can add so much production value to any video production, be it a creative one or even a corporate video. One of the first things I bought then I first got into filmmaking was a Flycam 5000, which was a great start for me. Even though it’s very tired now, in my time using it, I produced a lot great shots with it, that really helped me bring the projects that I was working on to life.
Quite recently I decided it’s time to upgrade to something better and very conveniently for me a new version of Flycam just came out, which on paper offered much more for the price I originally paid for 5000. I didn’t want to spend much and at this price there wasn’t anything else that really stood out.
I week later I received my new Flycam C5
and made an unboxing video right away, which can be viewed below if you haven’t seen it yet.
I went through the features in the video, but the ones that stood out to me again while actually using this stabilizer were:
Top plate fine adjustment knobs: These things are so straightforward and so good for precise adjustment. Adjusting side to side and back to front balance is so easy. There are 2 side-to-side fine adjustment knobs on each side, so no matter what hand you are holding you stabilizer with, you can reach the knobs easily. On top of that, you don’t have to undo any safety knobs/screws to adjust the side-to-side balance, unlike all the other stabilizers I’ve used. You would usually have to undo 4 knobs on the bottom to adjust the side-to-side balance; with C5 you just rotate 1 knob and when you are happy, you just leave it as it is, it the plate doesn’t slide or rattle about.
Back to front adjustment is also much more straightforward that on any other stabilizers I’ve seen. You only have to undo one knob to loosen the top sliding plate and then rotate the fine adjustment knob to move the plate back and forth. The older/simpler models like Flycam 5000 & Nano and Glidecam Pro series, don’t even have any fine adjustment knobs, you have to adjust the balance by moving the plate with your hands, not great for fine balance adjustment and impossible to do while holding the stabilizer with your other hand to check the balance. The closest thing in terms of comfortable, precise adjustment with similar specs is the Glidecam HD4000, but even with that one you have to undo 8 knobs in total to adjust side to side and back to forth balance and on top of that it also costs almost 3 times more than the C5. Talking about more expensive stabilizers, I’m sure there are probably a lot of higher-end stabilizers that offer such straightforward balance adjustment methods, but they are way too expensive to fit into budget/indie filmmaking bracket that I’m talking about here. At this or similar price there is really nothing out there that offers the features mentioned above, unless I’m missing something.
Sliding Plate: This plate is like a tripod plate rather than one of them massive plates found on other stabilizers mentioned above. With these stabilizers people just end up buying extra quick release adapters to avoid unscrewing all 4 or in case of Glidecam HD series 8 side screws/knobs to get the top plate off just to put the camera on and do the same when the want to get it off. This is incredibly annoying and inconvenient. So one of the things that initially impressed on C5, was this cool, sliding, quick release plate; just one knob to undo and it slides out just like a tripod plate. There is a safety pin too, to make sure that it doesn’t fall out, protecting your camera from a potentially painful drop. This plate is a really cool idea, I think it probably was inspired by higher-end stabilizers, because I’ve only seen such plates on higher-end Glidecams and Stedicams which cost at least 10 times more than C5. It’s great that Flycam is catching up higher-end technology and offers such cool features at such a low price. It’s really not a computer science, but simple things that could improve any stabilizer. I don’t know why other companies don’t offer such features on their stabilizers. Maybe it’s a part of protecting their top of the line products, otherwise why would someone pay $$$$/££££ for the features that can be found on an entry-level model.
A few other things that stood out to me are:
The carbon fiber central post. I’m not sure how much lighter is it than the aluminum post, but it looks quite cool and adds to the overall positive feel.
The poll extension knob is also really nice, much more comfortable than one on my Flycam 5000. It’s ratchet too, very good for moving it out of the way once it’s tightened.
When assembled and fully extended, the C5 is quite a large stabilizer, capable of handling a camera up to 7.5lb/3.4kg, which means it could handle much larger cameras than just a DSLR, like my 5D, but when dissembled it very neatly fits into a very compact, padded bag that comes with it. This is a big bonus for me, because my stuff usually gets all scratched up in my big suitcase. The bag has a shoulder strap for transportation, but even if I just drop it into the suitcase with my tripods and stands, it’s protected and basically stabilizer will last longer. If I decide to sell it in future, it will hold value better, unlike my Flycam 5000, which is now so tired, I don’t even want to put it on eBay.
So is it a perfect stabilizer? Nothing is perfect and of course there are always things that can be improved. I find that the handle is a bit short for my hand and why no foam or rubber padding? It’s simply metal, which I guess was also inspired by handles on high-end stabilizers, which are usually used with swing-arms and vests; there is no need for padding on such stabilizer handles. To be honest, when I’m using the C5 with my arm brace
it doesn’t bother me either, but for people who would just hold the stabilizer with their wrist, some padding would be nice, which would also make the handle chunkier and bigger, which would help holding it for a longer period of time. Adding some padding is very simple, even I could do that, but it’s nice to have what you need when you buy something, not mod it afterwards.
The only other thing that is a bit annoying is that the holes on the quick release plate are of different sizes, 3 smaller and 2 larger. The larger ones are almost too large for the screws that come with the stabilizer, if you’re not careful when fitting the camera the crew could fall through. This could be very easily fixed if they would include slightly larger washers. For now, to I’ll just to get a larger washer or a screw with a larger head (the spare ones from my Giottos MH621 adapter should be just fine). I could just use one of smaller holes, but I find the second hole from the back is the best for a DSLR setup; it happens to be the larger one. For other cameras it might be different, quite possibly the middle one which is one of the smaller ones.
Below you can see some test footage that I shot with this stabilizer.
I think for a first time it performed really well, but I could achieve better results with some practice. To get the most out of any tool, be it a slider, tripod, dolly or stabilizer, you need to practice. I’ve heard someone say that a good steadicam operator could take a stick and make better shots than someone with a high-end stabilizer who doesn’t how to use it. I have to agree with that. I’m not really good at it myself, but I’m willing to learn, practice and get better. If you’ve never used a stabilizer yourself and about to get one, be it a C5 or any other one, don’t be disappointed if your first try is not great. Experiment with the balancing until you get it right. It initially took me about 15-20 minutes to get the balance I wanted, so don’t assume that you can stick the camera on a stabilizer and magic will happen, when you first get into to it, things might not go your way, but just work on it, get the balance as good as you can and most importantly, practice. Bellow you can see the video I’ve done on balancing a stabilizer and getting the best results out of it. Hope it will be helpful if you are only starting out or want get more out of your stabilizer.
Going back to the review. I’m really enjoying my Flycam C5
. It looks cool and it feels great too. At this price, I really don’t think there is anything better. Most of the stuff out there is a bit basic and dated. The C5 is probably one of the newest budget stabilizers available and as mentioned above, it seems to be inspired by the higher-end stuff, bringing some cool features to people on a tight budget like myself. Of course it’s not the best stabilizer in the world, but it offers an amazing value/features for money. I highly recommend the C5 to anyone looking to buy their first Stabilizer or upgrading from something like a Flycam 5000
. I also recommend buying an arm brace
. It doesn’t cost much and it helps so much with operation, especially for a longer period of time or with a heavier camera.
It ended up to be quite a lengthy review and I hope you stuck with me till the end. Feel free to ask any questions regarding this or any other stabilizer and I’ll do my best to get back to you soon.
Matte Boxes are very useful accessories for film-making. They can help minimize the any unwanted flares and most have filter holders for 4x4 filters, which are used to enhance the image in many different ways.
A few years back Matte Boxes used to cost a fortune, and there was a very little choice on the budget side. There ware just a few Indian ones, that would cost way too much due to the lack of competition from other brands. The things have changed. Nowadays there is so much to choose from with the prices starting under $20/£15.
I’ve decided it’s time to do a bit of a research and put together a Matte Box Buyer’s Guide with all the best deals on eBay. Below you will see all matte boxes I decided to include, starting from the cheapest ending with the most expensive, rounding up with my personal recommendations and conclusions. I haven’t included every single Matte Box on Ebay, but only the ones that I personally think deserve a place in this guide. Value for money varies, but even the most expensive ones are still great deals if you think about choice and prices even 2 years ago. I decide not to go above $500/£300 mark, because there is so much choice for less.
The cheapest matte box on eBay is sold by delight-digi
. You’ll see it all over ebay, but this is the absolute cheapest deal I found. The price is simply incredible, although the matte box is pretty cheap and very basic. It is made out of cheap plastic and doesn’t have any filter holders. The flags are a bit weird and basic too, but they work. I actually used this MB couple of times when shooting with someone else’s camera and I was actually able get rid of some nasty flares that were hitting the lens, so if you are only starting out and don’t have money for a better MB this is well worth the money, it’s just can’t get any cheaper than this.
The next cheapest MB I decided to include is sold by pell678
. This is a decent looking MB, with decent French flags. Unlike the one above which requires a set of 15mm rods, this MB is fitted directly to the camera lens. This can be a great feature for people who don’t have any rods or/and like to keep their setup minimal. The biggest feature of this matte box, is that is accepts a Cokin P type filters rather than 4x4. Cokin P are much cheaper than 4x4, so it is a very good option for someone on a tight budget.
Next MB worth mentioning is Filmcity M-2
. This is where we start to get into more traditional look and design. This MB looks like a perfect match for a DSLR. It’s lightweight and has one 4x4 filter holder, unfortunately not rotatable. I think it’s probably the best MB for under $150/£100 though.
Next up is Proaim V-11
. Now I’ve never been a fan of Proaim and personally don’t have anything from this brand, but this matte box seems to offer a decent amount of features for the money. It has 2 4x4 filter holders that can be rotated, by 180 degrees, but only together, still better than no rotation. On a downside, there is only a top flag.
Next is another Proaim MB, but this one is completely different to V-11. The Proaim MB-700
is a proper matte box, with proper French flags, interchangeable masks, 2 filter holders (1 is rotating) and plenty of doughnuts. One of the nice advantages of this MB over others is that it can be used both on 15mm rods and clipped on directly to the front of the lens.
Moving on to Chinese stuff now; for under $300/£200 you can now get a high-end style MB from Konovacamera
with all the features one might wish for. These include a swing-away arm (really good for a quick lens swap), 2x 360 degree rotating 4x4 and 4x5.65 filter holders (each filter rotates independently), 4 donuts, adjustable flags and a few other accessories. At this price, such package is rather impressive.
Stepping just over $300/£200 we are coming back to an Indian MB, probably made my Proaim, this one is called MB-900
. This one like the one above has a swing-away arm, flags, 9 donuts (that’s a lot) and 3 filter holders (2 fixed 4x5.65 & 1 rotating 4x4), flags. This is pretty much everything one could wish for. My only complaint is that one 1 filter holder is rotating, but for a lot of people that might not be a problem at all. This MB one of a few that can be used with bigger cine size lenses (lenses with front element up to 105mm)
Next up is a Trusmt D100MB2
. This is a matte box that I bought myself some time ago. This is a one very cool MB, especially the CF version with Carbon Fiber flags. There is also a cheaper AL version with standard aluminum flags. Like some other MBs above it has a swing away arm and 2x 360 degree independently rotating 4x4 filter holders and a set of 4 donuts. The built quality is really good and at the time when I bought it, it offered absolutely the best value for money. But very recent addition of MBs like the one from Konovacamera the Trusmt MB doesn’t seem to offer such a great value. If Konovacamera MB is as good quality as Trusmt, then there is really not much that can justify the price difference. However if you don’t want to risk and just get a quality MB for under $500/£300, then the D100BM2-CF could be a great choice for you.
For virtually the same price as Trusmt you could get the Cinematics MB
. This a very cool looking MB with most of the features found in Trusmt D100MB2, except the CF flags and only it only has 1 rotating filter holder (the other is fixed). But it has it’s own interesting features. The first interesting feature of this MB is that it has a mount for bottom flag (I think it even comes with an extra flag); don’t know if it is a useful feature, but an interesting one. Also, the swing-away arm design is quite unusual but actually is really cool and I’m not sure why it’s not found in other MBs. Basically with all standard swing-away arms the arm is fixed on one side only, so the other side (usually the left one) is not fixed to anything, which can result in some unwanted movement when camera is moved with a lot of force. With Cinematics MB, the swing-away arm is fixed on one side, but locked on the other side, so there is no chance of any movement when the MB is locked. Also unlike the standard swing-away arms which hold all the weight and pressure on one arm, this one is supported on both sides, so there is much less chance that such arm will break. I think it is a great feature and it certainly stands out.
It is really difficult to recommend just one matte box, because like with the other gear it is all about your budget. The ones that stand out to me include the cheapest one sold by delight-digi
, the price is just crazy and if you are just starting out and are on a very low budget you can still afford one of this and start to get familiar with the use of a matte box. If you have a bit more money, then the Filmcity M-2
is a great little MB. The other MB that really stands to me is the one by konovacamera
and identical ones
sold by other sellers. These MBs offer a very good value for money and have all the features one might wish for.
I hope this guide was useful to you and will help you save some money on your gear.
Above you can see some test footage which I shot with a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2
lens. In my opinion this vintage Russian lens is very special. It has a very nice look to it and when shooting into the sun it creates very interesting flares that add a lot of character to the footage. It’s not suitable for every scenario, but I think it definitely adds a very cool oldschool film look the footage shot with it. I personally really like the result I was able to achieve with this lens and it’s not just about the flares. The lens is really sharp and close focusing ability makes it a really good lens for close-ups (see 0:49 of the video). The colors are really good too and the maximum aperture of f/2 is great for low light shots. One of the nicest things about this lens though is the fluid aperture adjustment. This not something that is usually found in photo lenses. It lets you adjust the aperture in a smooth way, so you can easily fine-tune your aperture while recording without a sudden change of brightness. This feature was very handy when I was filming the BMX riders coming into the bright daylight and back under the roof where it was much darker. I was able to adjust the aperture very easily and smoothly without it being obvious in the shot. This a feature that is usually reserved to Cine lenses, so it is so nice to see it in this budget lens. The focus ring on my copy is really smooth and has long through, which meant I was able make really smooth, subtle focusing adjustments, which is what you would usually want from a lens used for video.
A lot of modern auto-focusing lenses have a very short through, which helps the autofocus motors achieve the focus quicker for photography needs, however for video this is actually a big downside, so good old manual lenses are so much better for manual focusing. They also have hard stops, which are important if you use a follow focus and focusing marks. Again, some modern lenses, Canon EF in particular don’t have any hard stops.
I keep telling people that the reason why modern lenses are so much more expensive that the old glass is not only because they have great optics, but also because they have great, fast auto focusing motors, which obviously makes a massive impact on the price. After all, these are photography lenses made for modern sophisticate cameras with fancy auto focusing systems. I said it before and I’ll say it again: if you are only doing video work with you DSLR then there is really no need to buy modern Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, etc glass. You can get so much more for your money if you invest into manual lenses and they don’t have to be as cheap as this Helios. Even very popular manual Nikon and Zeiss lenses will cost so much less that a modern equivalent which will not necessarily be better for video work.
If you are on a tight budget though, I highly recommend this Helios 44-2 58mm
lens. It is a great mid/close up lens and it is so cheap that anyone can afford it.
I have 2 of them and I will be giving away one shortly. Stay tune for more details.
Click to view this item on eBay
. Initially I got very excited about this one. It certainly looks nice a glossy; nice looking parts and loads of logos. Lens rings also look really nice. This unit features adjustable hard stops and quick release system. Like other VARAVON
gear it is expensive, but is it actually any good. After looking at it for bid I realized some parts look very familiar.
The focus knob and more importantly the gearbox are exactly the same as ones found in a very cheap RJ
follow focus. Now RJ
is not terrible FF, the one I’ve tried actually had very little play, but RJ
is a budget unit and priced accordingly. This makes me wonder it this VARAVON
FF is actually more or less an RJ
unit, but dressed up to look high-end. After all, the most important part of the FF is the gearbox, all glossy stickers and nice adjustment knobs are pointless if the gearbox is crap. The RJ
gearbox is not the worst, but would you pay 5 times more for glossy stickers and fancy knobs? I certainly wouldn’t. It is possible that the VARAVON
FF has a different gearbox, but I highly doubt it, it looks the same and the focus knob once again confirms that this FF is based on RJ
. Check out the images below to make our own mind up.
Today I found a new FF on eBay. It’s a new follow focus from
My conclusion is that VARAVON is a complete rip off.
I'm sure they will sell loads of these because they look good, but they are definitely not worth the money. You will be be better off with RJ
, or some other FF. Check out my Follow Focus Buyer's Guide
for some of the best deals on eBay (by the way all cheaper than VARAVON
I absolutely love DSLRs, their size and portability. In last few years we saw loads of products being specifically designed for them to enhance the wonderful video features they have. I invested in a lot of these accessories myself including some really cool dolly sliders. These are basically short (usually around 1m) metal rails, that allow one to recreate a sweeping action usually crated by dolly. I love these things and I used to have 2, but I always loved the proper long dolly motion that couldn’t be recreated by a slider, so about half a year ago, after a lot of research, I bought myself a Swift Dolly. Around 6 months later I finally got around to doing a review (above). The review is quite long and I’m not going to repeat everything in the video. I just want to go through a few points that stand out to me.
Weight & Portability: I used to associate dolly with something that is only used on bigger shoots with loads of people handling large, heavy equipment. One of the main reasons I went for this particular dolly, is it’s portability and very low weight. All the bags have handles so the can be carried around without much trouble. The Swift Dolly not that cheap, considering that there are plenty of DIY tutorials on Youtube that will help you build a dolly at a fraction of the price, but what I hate about DIY stuff is that it’s usually not portable at all. That is why I usually try to but as cheap as I could but a proper product that is well designed and can be taken anywhere, not only because of the portability, but also because it actually looks like a proper equipment unlike some DIY stuff. Of course if you don’t have any money at all and you shoot only personal projects than DIY is your only and probably a decent choice.
Value For Money: This is very much connected the stuff above. DIY will always be cheaper, but not necessarily better value for money in a long run. I’ve used my quite a few times now and thanks to its great packaging it’s still like new, so it holds its value really well. If I would have decided to sell it now, I’m sure I would get a lot of my money back, not that I want to just yet; this thing is essential for some of my shoots, like the low budget feature I’m currently working on (some footage is in the review). A Dolly adds a lot of production value to the shots so it is a great investment even for a DSLR user like myself. There aren’t many cheaper dolly options out there, especially with a track, so the Swift Dolly offers a great value for money.
Conclusion: If you can afford a dolly, this or any other decent one, go for it. Treat it as a long term investment, because unlike cameras that chance ever year, dollies stay pretty much the same and you will be able to use it for many years to come. Over the years it will definitely pay itself off by helping you produce great shots which will hopefully earn you some money along the way.
Click to view this item on Ebay
Today. I’ve noticed 2 new Follow Focuses on Ebay at ridiculously low price, about the same as the very popular Fotga and RJ units. The new ones I found come from India, rather than China, where I usually except to find the cheapest gear. Both are sold by the filmcity23 shop, which sells a lot of gear usually found in other India based Ebay shops, but also some exclusive stuff like these 2 follow focus units. So let me go through these units individually: 1: FF-110 – This one doesn’t carry the Filmcity name and looks quite generic, but there are some nice points & accessories that potentially makes this FF one a best deals on Ebay
. The FF-110 comes with loads of extras, including as speed crank, whip, set of 6 lens gears (my favorite) and even 1 flexible lens gear (very popular). You won’t get so many extras with one of cheap Chinese alternative, so this really improves the value for money you get with this unit. A set of 6 lens gears would set you back £50-£60 to buy separately. A whip & a speed crank would cost another £30-£40, so you could say, you get this FF for free. This follow focus has Huco gearbox. This one used to be quite a popular gearbox, and could be found in Redrock, Camtree and Gini FFs. A lot of people claim that this is not such a good gearbox, but I’m still using my Camtree FF to this day, because I find that its gearbox has the least play out of all budget FFs I’ve tried, so I don’t thing Huco gearbox is the worst choice to go for. One of the nice advantages of Huco over some fancier looking, integrated gearboxes is that it can be reversed to work properly with Canon and Nikon lenses (which focus into different direction). Overall I think it is probably quite a decent follow focus and for the price it is probably the best value for money FF currently available on eBay. It would make a perfect first FF even is not quite perfect, although I think it should be quite decent. Also, all the accessories that you get with it can be used with any FF, so if you decide to upgrade you won’t have to invest into a new set of accessories.
2: Filmcity X1 - this actually carries Filmcity name on the side and inside the focus knob; nice touch and this FF certainly looks more exciting than FF-110. The X1 has nice, bright red aluminum parts, including what looks like a 360 degree adjustable pointer (looks the same like my Camtree), knob at the bottom (again the same as Camtree) and the accessory port. Unlike camtree though, this FF has a different gearbox, one of them fancy integrated ones, that I’m not really familiar and I don’t actually think it can be reversed, which is a bit alarming (the reason I sold my Trusmt FF, which would focus properly with Canon lenses). However if this is anything like Chinese FFs it will work fine with Canon lenses. The nice touch of this gearbox is that it has 2 gears of different sizes on each side of the gearbox. This means you will not have any problems using this FF with smaller lenses like 50mm or most of the vintage manual photography lenses which are usually really small. Another nice touch is the removable magnetic marking disc. Although not something that I usually need, but can be a useful feature. This Follow Focus comes with a Whip and 1 Flexible Lens gear, which is not as great deal as the FF-110, but will be enough to get you started right away. A whip is worth around £20 if bought separately, so it is still a great deal if you need one as you won’t get one with cheap Chinese units. Again, I think this follow focus offer a great value for money, you certainly won’t find anything much cheaper, especially with a whip. I’m personally really interested in this FF. It has a lot of point I like in my Camtree FF and a gearbox, which might or might not be better than Huco. Very interesting, you might see me reviewing this one pretty soon, for this price I wouldn’t be risking much.
Click to find this item on Ebay
Click to find this item on Ebay
There are new FFs constantly appearing on the market. Different brands fight for business. It is certainly makes life difficult for brands, but us, customers certainly benefit from this competition. These are great times for people on the budget. I’ve been looking at what’s new on eBay and noticed a few new follow focuses with adjustable hard stops, just like the ones originally found in Trusmt units. Looks like Trusmt FFs have some competition. Then new ones I found are: 1: What looks like an RJ Follow Focus with adjustable stop, although in some other listings it is marked as Fotga, which usually is completely different design. The particular deal found is certainly makes it the cheapest “hard stop” follow focus out of the lot, but it also looks the most plasticky, so don’t expect an amazing build quality, however I used one without hard stops and it performed surprisingly well, very little play, like on most budget FFs most of which are more expensive. This FF comes with one lens ring, so I think it is a pretty cool deal if you are on the tightest budget.
Click to find this item on Ebay
2: Lanparte “hard stop” model. Looks very similar to Trusmt units, but certainly not a complete rip-off , but their own design. Looks like a very good quality unit, however it is the most expensive out of the lot, even more than Trusmt. I heard the Lanparte are great FFs, but the price is a bit too high comparing to what else is available in budget category.
Click to find this item on Ebay
3: COOLLCD Follow Focus, again with adjustable “hard stops”. Now this is something completely new to me. Looks very similar to the Lanparte FF, but again it is a bit different, although the gearbox looks very similar, don’t know if it is the same though. Comes with 2 lens rings. With shipping costs about the same as Trusmt NF2, so not an amazing bargain, but a decent price.
Click to find this item on Ebay
Conclusion: Any of these 3 FFs and the Trusmt one are great FFs that were not available a few years back. Anything of this quality would cost much more before the DSLR revolution gave the manufacturers a boots to start producing these affordable FFs that a lot of us now use. We take such units and prices for granted, but if you think about it, all of them are actually really good value deals, so I recommend all of them, although the Lanpatre is a more than twice the price of the RJ, so I think it is not as great value for money, but if you like this particular brand, then it might be the best choice for you. If you are on the tightest budget RJ is the one to go for. The CoolLcd and Trusmt sit somewhere in the middle. I used to have a Trusmt T2 (old gearbox) and it was a great unit, you can check out my review here. I think the CoolLcd is probably also a very nice unit worth looking at, but the choice is yours. If you don’t actually care about the “hard stops”, then there are plenty of other deals out there. There has never been a better time to buy a Follow Focus.