Lenzhound is a Kickstarter for a low-cost, wireless, lens-focus control rig
posted Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 2:09 PM EST
For filmmakers, controlling lenses is a full-time job while shooting a scene — one frequently completely separate from handling the camera itself. Usually, that means you have either someone squeezing in next to the camera trying to pull focus on a lens, or else a bulky and expensive remote system that might not work if you're shooting using DSLRs or small cameras. But the Lenzhound Kickstarter project will combat all those problems by being small, affordable, and able to work with just about any lens under the sun.
The Lenzhound is a remote control system that ties to a stepper motor, which you link to your lens via a control belt. Because it's a direct mechanical link, it'll work for any rotation ring on just about any lens — focus, zoom, iris, or anything else. The control system itself has a big dial, as well as multiple programmed presets so that you can swiftly switch between pre-determined focal points. It also has a white ring around the knob, so you can mark down important distance marks, too.
The project also has a lot of potential for other uses, too. The creators delve into some of the features in the video below, but a big part of it is that the project is being done using open-source firmware, which can be controlled using the Arduino system. This could allow for film-makers with sufficient technical knowhow to hack the system into anything else their hearts desire.
The Kickstarter is almost complete for the Lenzhound, with just hours left on the clock. The project has more than doubled its original funding goal, but if you want to still grab one during the early days, a $357 pledge is enough to net you the entire system. Or else, you could just wait until after the dust has settled from the Kickstarting phase, and pick one up once some of the bugs have been ironed out.