Lens/Focus Shifter – A simple follow focus attachment for your DSLR’s at an affordable price of $45

Bhanu Pratap May 22, 2012 2
Lens/Focus Shifter – A simple follow focus attachment for your DSLR’s at an affordable price of $45

This forum of TechNutty.com is for tech crazy people. This post is for a similar breed of people but in a slightly different field. “Crazy about photography” is the kind of people who will go all out to buy their favorite DSLR and then spend most of their free time ‘shooting’ everybody and just about anything.

Today’s DLSRs are equipped to capture high-definition videos too, with sharp lenses that make your movies just as crisp as your high megapixel images. But yet a small problem is faced while shooting and capturing those favorite moments and that is, that those same lenses weren’t exactly made to track focus on your subject in live motion.

Most self proclaimed photographers, (even those who give wonderful still photography results), sometimes find it pretty much impossible to turn the focus ring on their lens without jostling the camera and ruining whatever steady footage they had. If you are one of those, who have ever experienced a similar problem, Daniel Bauen and Mark McJunkin have a simple solution for you, in the form of a Kickstarter Project called the “Lens or Focus shifter. Click here to learn more about the project on Kickstarter’s official website and to see a demo video. Now is it Lens shifter or Focus shifter depends on which of the two developers you talk to, so for the time being they have compromised on calling it the Lens or Focus shifter. Importantly, this simple solution, will actually help save your shaky or awkwardly shot movies and turn them into cinema quality films.


(Images containing all details are included in the post. Click on any thumbnail to view the full image)

More about the product

The Lens/Focus Shifter is a simple ‘follow focus’ lever that can be attached to any camera lens without any additional equipment. It uses a simple handle bar with a rubberized toothed belt that clamps down on your lens’s focus or zoom ring. This simple attachment actually allows you to smoothly and more precisely adjust your focal point and/or zoom level.

Another added feature of the product is that it comes with a Focus (dry-erase) marker board. This ‘focus marker’ board allows you to mark any particular focal lengths you want to switch between during the course of your shoot. For example, you could set two different focal points for your background and foreground and during your shoot, quickly change the focus from the foreground to the background without worrying about the fine adjustments. This ultimately gives you more space to focus on your shoot and the subject, rather than constantly worrying about your zoom levels. Interesting!

The Lens or Focus shifter works with any SLR / DSLR camera on most lens sizes, from the smallest lens size of 50 mm to telescopic lenses between 56 to 98 mm (2.20 to 3.86 in) diameter. Most lens sizes used by self proclaimed professional photographers are covered but for the truly professional ones, who use lens sizes smaller than 50 mm or bigger than 98 mm, there is a variation of the product called “custom shifter” which comes with a custom sized belt and is available at a slightly higher price of $ 55 as compared to the normal price of $ 45.


(Image courtesy: Kickstarter projects)

The developers of the product, Bauen and McJunkin have already developed the working 3D-printed prototypes, but they need contributions to start mass-producing their final plastic models. They also need help figuring out whether they should call it the Lens Shifter or a Focus Shifter. You can get your own Lens or Focus Shifter for $45 as well as get the right to vote for the name, or just be part of the name voting (and supporting) process for a dollar.

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