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Review: Adorama Flashpoint DV DSLR Matte Box Pro Complete Bundle 3

In this review we're going to look at the Adorama Flashpoint line of Cinema DSLR Gear. We're going to start off with a broadly compatible and modular system including the Mattebox, the Shoulder Rig, and the Follow Focus, and finish off (in a separate review) with Adorama's 7-inch LCD monitor.

Follow Focus

Adorama has a stepped-gear Follow Focus system, which is really what most systems are built upon, and a stepped gear really means that a large turn on the outer ring equals a smaller turn on the inside, meaning you can have a lot more precise control over your focus (Figure 6, below).

Figure 6. Turning the Follow Focus ring. Click the image to see it at full size.

The lens that I’m using here is a Rokinon 24mm T1.5 Cine Lens on an E-mount, which is native with the FS700 Sony E-mount camera. Included in the Adorama Follow Focus kit is an add-on external gear system. This really is just to modify an existing SLR lens and add on gears on the outside. It’s ribbed on both sides, so the inside it grips onto the rubber part, the collar on your focus ring, and then the outside matches up with the gear system here. So you don’t need Cine Lenses to use a Follow Focus, and these make it very easy to convert your existing lens system to a gear system.

Having a stepped-gear system really adds precision in trying to hit a focus mark when you’re trying to repeat that or to do it on the fly, but it’s another thing to have marks already pre-rehearsed and locked in, and the Adorama Follow Focus System allows you to do that. You just unscrew the blue pins shown in Figure 6 and turn, and you can lock them down. So essentially what you’d do is you would find the starting point where you’re in focus on one object. You’d mark that, and then, to complete a rack focus, you’d find a second point--maybe a second object you want to focus on--and you’d mark that with a blue pin as well. And then all you do to achieve your rack focus while you’re live is to turn between these two blue marks, and you can nail your focus and your rack focus perfectly every time.

Shoulder Rig

One of the really nice things about the Adorama Flashpoint components is that you can combine them to make systems, and all the parts are designed really to be interchangeable. A good example of that is the Shoulder Rig. Simply take the backing mount, and mount it on the back of the rails, and then have the handles go on the front. I’d have a set of the handles, and I can take the camera off the sticks and go handheld. I can also have the rig attached at the same time the camera is on the tripod, but I know myself really well, and I don’t really go handheld, especially with a rig like this. It’s a little bit on the heavy side for me, but if you have a lighter DSLR or if you really want to push it and go for it you definitely can, because it’s a very modular system. I could put it on for later, but in general it’s really designed to be a compatible, interchangeable, and modular system.

In the next installment of this series on the Adorama Flashpoint line, we’ll have a look at the 7” LCD monitor.


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