Thoughts on Shoot35 CINEfocus and DSLRmount

The shot above shows the Shoot35 equipment on the new Sachtler FSB8 fluid head and Sachtler Tripod – to be reviewed separately at a later date.

View looking from behind the Shoot35 CINEfocus and DSLRmount.

View looking from above/in front of the Shoot35 CINEfocus and DSLRmount.

Over the past several months, I have benefited from the experiences of the many posters on Cinema5D. As a result of the commentary there, I purchased the above items and wanted to give my first impressions regarding both the equipment and the shopping/shipping experience.

First for the very slight complaints. These observations should not be viewed as negative, but rather as constructive observations. I love the fact that I benefitted from the sale going on at Shoot35, but there were a number of errors on the refreshed site and I was never able to get all the info (from them – Wayne, I suppose) that I would have liked. I got all the info that I needed (to make the purchase) from the terrific folks posting their experiences on Cinema5D!! (Thank you!) Shipping was prompt. I ordered on a Monday and received the package on a Thursday. One must remember that by the time I ordered on Monday it was after business hours in Great Britain.

Now for the equipment observations.

Notice in the pics above that the rails have exposed threads. I want end caps to cover those and finish the otherwise flawless rendering of these clean, strong, no nonsense and superbly performing tools.

The manual is simple and informative. I read it and am glad that I did even though the gear is virtually self explanatory. The DSLRmount and rods are rigid and strong and provide a solid base for mounting the 7D to my Sachtler fluid head. The CINEfocus is both a work of art and a functional workhorse. I am not steady of hand and the CINEfocus helps me get shots I couldnt possibly get without it. And I havnt really learned how to fully take advantage of its capabilities. I need to practice and am looking forward to exploiting its full range of capabilities. I wasnt originally going to get the CINEcrank but because it is included in the sale package, I did – and I am grateful that I did. It is a profound benefit for someone like me who is just learning this gear and attempting to become proficient in the variety of techniques that produce the elegant shots that make a film special and an HDSLR like either the 5 or 7D such a powerful visual tool.

The CINEfocus is much bigger than I expected (but about the weight I expected – go figure) even with the commentary from the posters at Cinema5D. It is also more rugged than anticipated – it is a solid, well-machined, well-designed piece of gear. The red stop is quite beefy and more than a little helpful. So far I have found that removing the marking disk and using a small memo clip in conjunction with the stop (many thanks to Howard on Cinema5D) is a quick way to mark a firm termination point for your focus pull. Operation is smooth, though I did discover that it is imperative to line everything up properly and to keep just the correct amount of “looseness” between the lens gear and the drive gear on the FF – too tight renders a bit of “cogging” and too loose gets quite sloppy very quickly.

As for the Shoot35 lens gear, well, I am sorry that I didnt get a couple more. They dont fit several of my lenses (lens too big, gear too small) but on the ones that they do fit they are a solid, easy to set up gear. Had I fully understood the nature of these gears I would have purchased at least 2 more. As for my Canon 85 f1.2, well I havnt determined what gear is the best one to get at this point – Indisytems snap gears, Zacuto flexible gears or possibly the JAG35 universal gears. I am open to your thoughts, so please let me know.

To say that I am pleased with my purchase would be a bit of understatement. And that is primarily because of the great info available on Cinema5D. Thanks guys!!

All images ©2010 by Bill Deuster, all rights reserved.

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