iDC Geared Direct Drive Follow Focus is here. Functional Design Rules!

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Copyright-2010- Dutra

With the utterance of his famous phrase, “Less is More”, Minimalist Design proponent Mies van der Rohe famously opined that the ruthless elimination of non-essential features and forms would result in a design with maximum effectiveness. German Industrial Designer Dieter Rams steps it up a notch with his stated design approach of "Less, but Better."

It was the combined philosophy of these two famous designers that inspired us to create a Follow Focus that would celebrate functionality by optimizing “what is needed”, while eliminating “what is not”. The result is a design that is innovative, useful, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, and minimalist.

Let’s examine the iDC Follow Focus as a Case Study in the evolution of Functional Design.

A Follow Focus has a simple and obvious purpose: to help you focus better. If, however, the Follow Focus itself is cumbersome, awkward, and difficult to set up, it becomes a hinderance rather than a help. Sadly, many widely accepted Follow Focus designs are based upon a “monkey-see, monkey do” tradition wherein an antiquated form is pitted against contemporary function.

When one starts with a clean sheet of paper, however, and chooses a "Less is More" design philosophy, the form is the function.

We have long felt that the best way to make the most minimal Follow Focus is to make it Gearless by design. The wheel you turn with your hand directly drives the focus ring on the lens through positive rubber-on-rubber traction. Simple and efficient. A useful tool that is ergonomically correct and quite unobtrusive in nature.

If the function of the tool is not served properly, then the design must evolve.

We recently found ourselves wanting to use lenses that have a differently designed focusing mechanism - specifically those “Manual Focus Only” lenses with stiff focusing helicoids and super tight tolerances that can be very difficult to rotate. Our simple and efficient Gearless Follow Focus Wheel's rubber-on-rubber operation was not performing perfectly with these useful lenses so a natural evolution of our Follow Focus was inspired. We returned to the drawing board with a clear challenge and an clear mind.

While our latest Follow Focus solution remains consistent with our design philosophy, it's also totally unique: It’s the only Direct Drive Geared Follow Focus on the market.

In form and function our new Geared Follow Focus is very similar to our Gearless Follow Focus. It’s just as ergonomic, just as efficient, just as compact, just as unobtrusive, and just as easy to set up. And it’s a breakthrough, patent-pending design that brings something to the table that you just won't find anywhere else: zero backlash. Now that we’ve eliminated the unnecessary gearbox and intermediary gears, you'll find that you don't need to "pre-load" the Follow Focus Wheel before you rack your focus.

Our award-winning Gearless Follow Focus remains valid, useful, and perfect for the plethora of amazingly useful “fly-by-wire” autofocus lenses found in every gadget bag. We simply see this geared evolution as an opportunity to add another useful tool to the toolbox. While most contemporary autofocus lenses are well served by our original Gearless Follow Focus, many cherished vintage lenses - and some brand new ones - simply demand extra rotational torque. With the introduction of our Geared Follow Focus we are pleased to provide another elegant iDC solution.

Our new Geared Follow Focus is available for all three of our Follow Focus product lines: SYSTEM ZERO, SYSTEM ONE, and SYSTEM ROD. Happy shooting.