For the past year I’ve been using seamless follow focus gears made by Sean at followfocusgears.com so I decided I would do a quick review. I hope it helps you if you are searching for a seamless gear solution.
Most of the cheaper follow focus gears out there have some sort of stop or joint where the two sides of the gear meet. However, this joint eventually ends up hitting the follow focus gear, and I find this annoying. (If you use Canon glass you know what I mean.) After switching to a seamless solution, I no longer have this issue. It’s one less thing I have to worry about when shooting, and this lets me focus on more important things like composition, light, etc.
For the past few years I’ve used Zacuto’s universal ZipGear. I use them for when I rent lenses so I can add a removable gear when needed, but the connector used to tie the gear ends together gets in the way on EOS glass. Zacuto’s Zip Gears run for $68 and followfocusgears cost $35 on average. There are still cheaper gears out there. Wide Open Camera makes a gear that uses zip ties to hold the gears in place which cost $21.
I also use Zeiss ZF primes when shooting narrative type stuff and interviews. Although the Zeiss glass has hard stops, I still prefer a seamless gear as opposed to jointed gear because of stability. Any gear that is tied around a lens will eventually loosen up and slip. I haven’t had this problem at all with followfocusgears.
I highly recommend trying out one of Sean’s lens gears. I gave one a try and then put them on all of my lenses. If you can’t find a gear for a lens you own on Sean’s site, just contact him and he can make a custom gear for you.
For all the tech specs you need check out his site: followfocusgears.com
Here’s a project I shot using followfocusgears. They came in handy when I was shooting handheld dolly type shots.