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on January 5, 2013
I am a newbie filmmaker still learning the ropes. One thing that I learned quickly was that I needed to either be a millionaire to enjoy this hobby (possible profession?), or be content watching others do it on Vimeo! That's why I think HONDO GARAGE'S 50 DOLLAR FOLLOW FOCUS is so cool! The guys behind this thing pitched their idea on Kickstarter in order to raise the capital ($10,000) needed to build and sell this ingenious device. The response was so overwhelming, not only did they meet their target goal but more than doubled it!

The Hondo Garage follow focus is very well constructed and small, not at all cheaply made with a very pleasing aesthetic. The small size was important especially when using my dslr cage rig. With my matte box, cage, microphone, LCD monitor, etc.,etc., assembled, the follow focus attached quite easily. Unlike the traditional follow focus, the 50 Dollar follow focus is incredibly precise. Most traditional follow focus' have a gear enclosure, and with more gears there is more room for "play" while turning the focus knob. Not so with Hondo Garage's follow focus, as they describe it, "Inherent gear reduction means precise focus control, even on cheap photo lenses", and I find this to be true. The Hondo Garage follow focus also has a repositionable lever so you can set marks and use it even on long-throw lenses.

We all know that the camera we use when filming is important, however the glass (lenses) are more important than the camera body. And unfortunately to get a really good piece of cine-glass is going to cost a fortune, so why spend $2,3,4 or even $500+ on a follow focus kit, when In my opinion some pretty clever guys came up with an awesome solution! I'll take the hundreds of dollars I saved and spend it on quality glass! Regrettably I did not purchase it from Amazon - they only had the follow focus, not the entire kit. The kit includes adapters for various lens sizes and an adapter for utilizing a follow focus whip. Hopefully Amazon in the future will pick up more Hondo Garage gear! I recommend this to anyone looking for a truly inexpensive, quality built follow focus for their film/video needs!
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on June 10, 2013
I really wish it came with two lens belts. The only one that comes with it is too small for most of my lenses. To buy a bigger belt, you have to order directly from their website, where they charge WAY too much for shipping a single belt that could probably be easily shipped in a single letter sized stamped envelope.

Second, the belt doesn't always grip the focus well depending on the lens. If there is even a slight bit of resistance to your focus ring (most pro lenses have some resistance and there isn't compatible cleating on your ring, this belt will probably slip at the worst possible time. This is my biggest complaint. They do offer a different grip wheel for extra $$ (again offered on their external website with overpriced shipping), but i didn't want to spend any more money without the guarantee it would work.

I ended up inventing my own grip for my lens which involves putting a strip of gaff tape folded in loops around the outside of the lens, so that the sticky side comes in contact with the belt and gives it extra traction. However, this is more than I wanted to do when I purchased this. If you have small stock lenses with barely any resistance to them, this device will work. Otherwise, get the real deal.
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on January 10, 2013
We all know you could do a DIY follow focus for less than $50 dollars and honestly I cant afford those more expensive follow focuses out there. So I found this $50 follow focus(really $60) and I saw the video of how it was made,how it worked and red and black are my favorite colors so I decided to order it.. I got to say I was really happy with my purchase. It works great with all my lenses. It makes my setup look more professional thats one thing for sure. Some DIY follow focus dont make you look professional at all.. I would've giving it a 5star but there is only 2 things I disliked...1. The follow focus won't circle the focus ring all the way, you would have to adjust for certain focusing(which is rare)... and 2. It's not $50 dollars
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on November 29, 2012
The guys over at Hondo Garage not only make well designed and thought out products, they also have a sense of humor not found in most up tight industry based businesses of their ilk. The combination is a one-two punch for awesomeness of ginormous epic proportions. I purchased the $50 Follow Focus unit based on it's simplicity and beautiful design. I know most industry folks will balk at the thought of using a FF unit that only costs $50 on a film set/shoot location, but let them spend $800 on a RedrockMicro FF unit. I will use this elegant little contrabulation and spend my $750 on something useful, like investing in a film crew comprised entirely of Carnival Gypsies, or perhaps a DP that also happens to be a fire juggling Grizzly Bear. Who cares when you have this much badassery packed into such a small frame? I was also the fortunate recipient of some double top secret so-far-unreleased gear to field test, and let me tell you, these guys are on FIRE with their design concepts and product features. To top it all off, everything has wonderful fit and finish with anodized knobs and counter sunk screw holes. If you are STILL on the fence about whether you should purchase this FF unit, just go out and smash your face with a 2x4 covered in random pages torn from a Twilight book, because that's what being a total lametard feels like and being a total lametard is bad. Like, Kristen Stewart bad.
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on June 5, 2013
This little guy is amazing. It works perfectly and the company that makes them is really cool too. Bought this thinking it would be a good substitute until I could afford a gear based one. Now I think ill just stick with this. Its really actually quite a joy to use. Smooth and durable definitely recommend.
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on April 18, 2013
I tried this out on my Canon T2i and works like it's supposed too, I have to adjust it every now and then so it can work the way I want it too work. Other than having to adjust it constantly, it sure does come in handy when I'm working on something.
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on January 25, 2013
Dear friends. I had a trouble with the belt, because my camera has a 50 mm 1.8 II Canon lens, so the belt derails. I think it is a good idea to add a second less width belt. I took a similar 2 mm width belt from a printer and it was perfect.
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on November 10, 2013
Simple to use and extremely effective, especially for the low price. The action is very smooth and sturdy, it is easily disassembled and simply works great! Enough said.
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on April 26, 2013
I have a 'regular' follow-focus for my EF-S 18-135mm 3.5-5.6, but I thought this would be a great tool to control the zoom on the lens.

The quality of the mechanism is great, but the tightening knob is too small to get really good leverage and crank it down. Furthermore, there should be a separate screw knob pushes the mechanism frame away from the clamp and increase the belt tension, rather than pushing it tightly away from my lens while the other hand tries to screw the tiny knob.

Lastly, the belt and bushing/gear/thing should be the size of standard follow focus gears, like Half Inch Rails' Zip-Tie Lens gear. This would make the application to my heavier zoom ring a snap.

EDIT: I was informed by Hondo Garage that they have accessories available on their web site, including a larger star nut to tighten the clamp, as well as a Cine-pitch gear that is compatible with the Zip-Tie Lens gear I mentioned above.
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on April 11, 2013
This is very well built although I would strongly urge the Hondo Garage folks to offer this follow focus both here on Amazon and on their website in kits with the various accessory configuration they make. As is, the follow focus come with a small wheel and belt which I found unusable for my DSLR lenses. Even with the optional larger wheel and larger belt that can be order for an additional $25 from Hondo Garage, I found the belt drive arrangement to be finicky. I ordered the optional gear wheel and lens gear instead which makes this an excellent device for my camera setup. Lens gears are cheap so you can put them on all your lenses for not much money. The gear configuration for this $50 Follow Focus works great for me with no backlash often found on cheap follow focus rigs. I am using it to adjust the zoom on my Nikon 24-70
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