Follow Focus Gears

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.

Go Seamless
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.

  I use my Canon 24-70mm more than any other lens I own. A seamless gear is a must in my opinion.

I use my Canon 24-70mm more than any other lens I own. A seamless gear is a must in my opinion.

Cost
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.

  An example of how a follow focus with a connector can jam a follow focus gear.

An example of how a follow focus with a connector can jam a follow focus gear.

Lenses
I have a followfocusgears.com gear on every lens I own. I use my Canon 24-70mm f2.8 more than anything for run and gun shooting. I think a seamless gear is a necessity on this type of lens.

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.

  This is my Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF mounted with a followfocusgears.com gear. Note how low profile the gear is.

This is my Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZF mounted with a followfocusgears.com gear. Note how low profile the gear is.

Conclusion
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.