I wouldn’t call this post a Review, but rather I want to share my thoughts and reflect on my experience using this FF.
To start with, I want to make it clear that I’ve never used a wireless FF before, but I use a manual (without motor) Follow Focus almost on every shoot, so it didn’t feel to unusual. Actually it felt quite exciting and fun using the remote, which loosely resembles the controller for the high-powered remote controlled cars.
Coming back to remote; it also has a sliding adjustment knob on the side which would let you adjust the aperture if we had 2 motors, but we didn’t have 2 and since we were in controlled lighting environment, the aperture didn’t need constant adjustment.
The remote is powered by a Canon battery, same that is used in 5D/7D cameras, so it is a convenient choice for people using these DSLRs. Same battery goes on the actual motor. Unfortunately the motor bracket didn’t hold the battery that well, so it had to be secured by additional gaffer tape to make sure it doesn’t fall out. I’ve heard of this problem before, I think from another review, so this is something that JAG35 should definitely address.
One more thing I wanted to mention is that the JAG35 wireless FF can only be mounted only on 15mm rods. RED has 19mm rods,so there was no way to mount it directly on the rods. The FF had to be attached to a short 15mm rod (which might have been the part of the kit) which was then attached to a flexible arm and positioned upside down on the top of the rig. This meant that the motor was now spinning the opposite direction, making things a bit confusing for me. The ability to reverse the spinning direction would have been great in such situation, but there wasn’t one. Fortunately for people like myself, it looks like the upcoming V2 version of this follow focus will have reversible motor function on both focus wheel and aperture slider.
I actually can’t wait to see what other improvements the new version will have, as the first one was already pretty good for the price.
As mentioned above, in a few days time I’m working on a new music video, this time using a Preston wireless FF which I think costs many times more, so I will see if it is also many times better and really worth the extra money, not to say I could afford one. No matter how got it would be, as far as I can tell the JAG35 unit is the only one that fits into a “budget filmmaker” bracket, which is what this site is all about.
So my conclusion to this post is that if you want to buy your own wireless FF for what ever needs you have and you are on a tight budget, the JAG35 FF is certainly worth looking at and the upcoming improved V2 version will probably be even better value for money. If had I had more money and I was doing more focus pulling I would certainly buy one of these cool toys.