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The Best Follow Focuses for Fantastic Photography

a Filmcity follow focus for a camera

When it comes to achieving the most stable-looking shots without feeling bogged down by large sums of additional equipment, a dependable follow focus is where you will want to invest. Whether you’re mounting your camera or going handheld, a follow focus is a control mechanism that will allow you to achieve consistently precise shots by way of smoothly racking—pulling on the focus—to the desired object of your shots. A follow focus is a device that you can use to measure out your shots to a T without the hassle of bulkier equipment that isn’t nearly as portable. If you are on the search for your next follow focus, here are some we recommend.

What to Consider Before Buying a Follow Focus

Keep these factors in mind to find your ideal follow focus:

  • Gears: When picking out your next follow focus, make note of its gears. Better gear features like a white disc, which allows you to write and erase focus marks for preferred shots, will ensure an overall better focus.
  • Interchangeability: A worthwhile follow focus will also allow you some breathing room when it comes to setting up your shots. Find a follow focus that not only offers complete control over its gears, but also the ability to customize and opt-in to other camera rigs and mounts.
  • Compatibility: Your next follow focus should also be compatible with the camera you own. Most focus devices pair well with DSLR brands such as Sony, Nikon, and Canon, but the kind of lens you need to accommodate is not something you should leave out of consideration.

Best Overall: Tilta FF-T06 Mini Follow Focus Lens

The Tilta brand swiped two spots on this list due in large part to their overall craftsmanship and delivery of the smoothest focus available; earning our Best Overall Award is a testament to those factors. Compatible with almost every camera system, the FF-T06 Mini Follow Focus Lens is designed for and used by filmmakers with DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Users can easily control the focus on their DSLR or mirrorless lenses from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji via a standard 15-mm rod that is flexible enough to fit any photo and cine lens. This focus is conveniently portable, weighing around 7.7 ounces, so it should pair well with any lightweight camera rig you’re running on. Moreover, its focus wheel features a fluid dampening system of the knob, so those behind the helm can achieve their ideal precision focus from shot to shot.

Best Overall

Tilta FF-T06 Mini Follow Focus | Lightweight, Mechanical Lens Control for DSLRs, Sony A7 A9 for Nikon GH5 BMPCC 4K 6K Cage | FF-T06

This follow focus lens has a comfortably adjustable focus that allows for quick and simple use in each set up.

Best Budget: Neewer Follow Focus with Gear Ring Belt

Neweer proudly declares itself as the brand with “pro-quality” products sold at “amateur prices.” Its Follow Focus with Gear Ring Belt is a highlight among its arsenal, offering users a DSLR camera-compatible focus that is easy to mount, shoot and store. Its gear drive system features a non-slip design with a grooved knob, adjustable screws for camera movement, a gear ring belt suitable for lenses up to 100 mm in diameter or less, as well as the industry-standard 15-mm rod mount and 60-mm center-to-center distance. All of this amounts to an accurate and much smoother way to adjust your camera focus, at an affordable price, of course.

Best Premium: Tiltamax Nucleus-Nano: Wireless Lens Control System

Working with a state of the art wireless lens control system, the Tiltamax Nucleus-Nano is another premium option from the Tilta brand that can easily justify its upscaled price. Specifically designed for handheld gimbal systems, the Nucleus-Nano uses a brand new power-efficient miniature motor—powered via a 14500 rechargeable battery that yields 6 hours of operating time—to achieve the fastest focus pulls with remarkably silent precision. This follow focus utilizes the industry-standard built-in 15-mm rod adapter for complete compatibility between a variety of other camera rigs and mounts. This product also features a wheel controller with zero delay, making it a highly responsive, conveniently wireless, and above all else, accurate follow focus for your filmmaking needs.

Best Premium

Tiltamax Nucleus-Nano: Wireless Lens Control System — Wirelessly Control The Focus or Zoom of Most DSLR or Cine-Style Lenses | Compatible with Ronin S

Truly one of a kind, this follow focus utilizes a wireless control system and strong internal motor in pursuit of the best shots.

Also Consider: FILMCITY HS-2 Professional Hi-Grade Follow Focus with A/B Hard Stops

Rigidity is something you want out of the mountainside you’re going to shoot, not out of your follow focus. The Filmcity Hi-Grade Follow Focus is all about capturing a smooth and accurate shot. Constructed from top-tier aluminum, this is a slip-free device that delivers some of the most precise focus pulls you could want. Its integrated hard stop technology also prevents rigid camera work, gifting users a smooth focus each time you step behind your camera. This follow focus also features a speed crank for more of a hands-on approach, as well as an interchangeable drive gear so that users have complete control over the customization and final result of their shots.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »

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