Thread: Whats your method of focusing while gun & run shooting?

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  1. #1 Whats your method of focusing while gun & run shooting? 
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    I find it extremely difficult to focus on my subject while at the same time hold all the weight of the camera in one hand, what is your method without using a person pulling focus or an external operator, just you and your cam moving and focusing..
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Robert Gustafsson's Avatar
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    It all depends of what kind of shots you’re doing. I use a Easyrig Vario 5. The Easyrig is not ideal for shots that requires lots of movement but great if you need more mobility than using a tripod and more of a handheld look. (Sure you can also you a Flowcine Serene to compensate up and down movement if you need to move and be stable but then you’ll probably be better off with a whole gimbal rig.)
    The Easyrig is great for smaller crews or when you don’t have a 1st AC and are pulling focus yourself. Most of the cameraweight is transferred to your hips and I can usually shoot a whole day without getting fatigue. It works in most scenarios but exclude car scenes or similar tight spaces...

    Sometimes I also use a monopod (check out the Tiffen Steadicam Air) A monopod is great when you need to be fast and mobile but beware of the sidemotion ”sway” that can easily occure and f**k up your horizon level. (especially when pulling focus )
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    Senior Member Patrick Tresch's Avatar
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    I've been shooting like this since the first DSMC1 Epic-M came out.

    But I've gone through a lot of different setup.


    From directly driving the focus on the barrel with a custom made focus screw.







    To using a mechanical followfocus



    Now I'm using a Recoil Zacuto to have the camera ballanced on the shoulder and small enought not to go further back than my shoulder.
    A RTmotion Sidekick and motors




    But the main piece to this kit is the viewfinder. I have now a gratical eye but I used to have the modded Blackmagic EVF wich IMHO is the best EVF for image size and peaking precision.


    My whole kit is about 9kg. So I don't need any Easy Rig wich I find not usuable for real handheld work. It's just good enough for heavy Alexa setups. I don't see why using it if your camera stays small and light.

    Now my setup is enhanced with the Revolva ND system




    Pat
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  4. #4  
    Patrick,

    My mind is now blown! I have never heard of the Revolva!

    With the BMC and Gratical are you getting the traditional peaking in the view finder?
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guillermo Roberto Alarcon View Post
    I find it extremely difficult to focus on my subject while at the same time hold all the weight of the camera in one hand, what is your method without using a person pulling focus or an external operator, just you and your cam moving and focusing..
    Don't shoot to fast, we do a lot of run and gun (news) with our UMP's and a Fujinon cabrio's 19..90 T2.9 set to T8 (and often even higher) and these lenses are made for run an gun.
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    Senior Member Patrick Tresch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misha Engel View Post
    Don't shoot to fast, we do a lot of run and gun (news) with our UMP's and a Fujinon cabrio's 19..90 T2.9 set to T8 (and often even higher) and these lenses are made for run an gun.
    If you do your focus with the peaking or by eye on the EVF I would say the contrary.
    Shoot as open as possible (T2-2.8) to see where the in focus area is and to be sure you have focus on the subject. It's basically the contrary approach than shooting with an AC who needs the most depth of field possible (closed down lens) to get some headroom for mistakes.

    Pat
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Tresch View Post
    If you do your focus with the peaking or by eye on the EVF I would say the contrary.
    Shoot as open as possible (T2-2.8) to see where the in focus area is and to be sure you have focus on the subject. It's basically the contrary approach than shooting with an AC who needs the most depth of field possible (closed down lens) to get some headroom for mistakes.

    Pat
    Try that when walking along with a moving polatician with 15 other camera teams around you in parlement.
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  8. #8  
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    For the kind of thing you are talking about, I'd recommend something I did back in the olden days of shooting 16mm docs. First of all the camera should be on your shoulder and you should have a manual follow focus. Also preferably an evf. Get to know your DOF at a stop you commonly shoot at, say a 4. Then mark your follow focus with little pieces of tape with a bead or a bb or something under it. Say one at 1 meter, 2 beads at 2 etc. With a little practice, you can get really close for run and gun using right eye left eye, figure the subject is about 2 meters away, spin to your braille 2 meter mark and you are pretty good. This works best at wider focal lengths where it's harder to judge focus. When you are in tight on someone it's pretty clear.

    It sounds more complicated than it is. I used to assist for a guy a looooong time ago that had a dentist's mirror mounted on the matte box so he could open his left eye and see where his focus was set on the lens barrel in the mirror. I could never wrap my brain around that one, but he got along well with it.

    Nick
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member jake southard's Avatar
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    easyrig, Viewfinder / Monitor hood, hand on the lens
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  10. #10  
    Practice.
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