Don’t touch! – Review

‘All Recall Focus Duo’ by Senna

You are planning a crane shot and want to shift the focus while the camera is 10 feet high in midair? Or are you planning a time-lapse recording with a motorized slider and want to change the focus or zoom in on a particular object?

Then the first move on the lens with your hand is the wrong one. Pulling Focus results in minimal friction between you and the camera - your camera is affected even by the slightest touch, no matter how careful you proceed. There are a lot of situations, where you do not want to touch the camera because this one touch ruins your whole shot.For exactly these situations comes the Senna “All Recall Focus Duo.” in handy.You are able to focus and zoom by remote control, wireless and without any boundaries.

For only up to 2000 euro you can get the “All- Recall Focus Duo” at HDvideoshop.com. Sounds a lot, but is a real bargain for such a system. First you have to ask yourself: Will it pay off, or is it just a “nice toy” for geeks? We tested the “All Recall Focus Duo” and here are our impressions.

 

Short Facts

What do you get for your money with the Senna “All Recall Focus Duo”? Within the box – a practical aluminum flight case – you will find:

  • 2 motors
  • Wireless Signal Transmitter – controller with built-in battery
  • Wireless Receiver
  • Remote release for the camera
  • Manfrotto Quick Release Plate
  • Spare rechargeable battery can be used for both receiver as well as for Remote -Control
  • Charging cable and AC adapter
  • Additional gears for focus / zoom / iris to vary the translation
  • Gear ring (adapter) for photo optics to 0.8 mm

 

To sum it up, everything you need to start right away is in there. You only have to assemble the system, made out of 14 different parts. When we opened the case the first time, we were a little confused. But to our surprise, the assembly of components found to be self-explanatory:

On Location

If you have everything assembled, then you must necessarily limit the rotation of the gears adapted to your lens. How to do this, is shown by a video of Senna. Please be aware of the damage that can be caused to your lenses if the setup-guide is not strictly followed. The servomotors have a lot of power!

And here is our first point of criticism. Who expected that the engines are extremely quiet while moving will be disappointed. Because you can hear them clearly, so clearly that on-camera sound recordings are unusable because of the motor-noise. For time-lapse recordings with a motorized slider or for crane shot that’s probably less of a problem. However, if you are working with a steady-cam system and are close to your actors which are speaking their dialogue, the moving-gear-noise will ruin the audio-recording completely. But in exchange the servo motors are extremely smooth, even with slow focus shifts it is very precise.

We really love this precision.We think that the wireless controller still needs some improvements. The focus wheel offers little to less resistance to operate it really confident. The feeling is really different from operating a follow focus directly on the lens. This gets mitigated by the fact that you can program four different focus points. Especially with motorized sliders this is a great feature. You can program and set different focus points absolutely accurate. In addition, it allows the “All Recall Focus Duo” to change the speed when switching between the programmed focus points manually. For our test images we have used the DitoGear modulo Slider and it worked like a charm.

 

 

In these test shots we present the previously mentioned positive characteristics of the system + the extremely high range of the wireless transmitter. More than 50 meters (according to Senna, even 300 meters are possible), the distance between the remote control and camera were no problem at all. This allows a further field of application for the “All -Recall Focus Duo”. So you can position your camera within dangerous areas, such as: near an explosion or a fire,while you are operating your camera from outside the danger zone – completely safe, knowing you will get your shot done how it is supposed to be. Okay we did not make any fire or explosion tests but we were still impressed by this feature.

 

 

Conclusion

The price is € 1,975.40 including VAT at HDvideoshop.com, which is clearly a bargain for this system. Who wants to achieve quiet and smooth camera movements with a Rack Focus on a Crane or Slider, is served well with the “All Recall Focus Duo.” Likewise, anyone who wants for some reason always use the basic functions of his lens (focus, zoom or aperture) from the distance, should also go with this system. We found it less suitable situations where audio recording is crucial and the camera is has to be near the audio-source. In fact, the servo motors are just too loud. Who uses a steady system without supportive vest and the use of the “All Recall Focus Duo” should also think twice, because the servo motors, the rod system and the receiver (including battery), are bringing an additional load of weight with it onto your arms.

Finally, we thank DitoGear for proving their DitoGear modulo motorized timelapse slider. A special thanks go to HDVideoshop.com for providing the ‘All Recall Focus Duo by Senna ‘. Without our support-partners we could not have done it – so thank you again: Dito Gear and HDVideoshop.

We would love to continue our partnerships for further cooperation’s in the future.

-CHAPTER2K-
Marek Voegele, Kevin Michael Kohl, Florian Klaes