FocusShifter - Lens Mounted Follow Focus for DSLR and Video Cameras

Introduction: FocusShifter - Lens Mounted Follow Focus for DSLR and Video Cameras

About: Daniel Bauen breathes new life into objects that have met their untimely demise in the junk pile.

The Lens/Focus Shifter is a stand-alone follow focus and focus marker board that can be used on any camera lens. No extra equipment is required. This started out as a DIY project, but I discovered that a lot of film makers didn't have the time or resource to make this themselves, so I have put a lot of effort into bringing an affordable follow focus solution to film makers everywhere.  Most follow focuses cost in the hundreds of dollars.  This one can be bought on Kickstarter for $45   I appreciate all the support! Let me know what you think about it.

It's perfect for filmmakers, photographers, and anyone wanting to step-up their production capabilities. It gives you professionalism without breaking your budget. 

The re-useable Focus Marker allows you to create marks for your focus points using a dry-erase marker. The arrow on the Shifter facilitates quick and easy transition between focus points.

The Shifter and Focus Marker attach quickly and easily to any lens from small 50 mm 1.8 lenses, to large zoom and wide angle lenses.  It will fit lens diameters from 56mm (2.20in) up to 98mm (3.86in). If you're measuring circumference, distance around the lens, it fits from 176mm (6.93in) to 308mm (12.12in).  In the rare case that you need something larger or smaller than that, pledge at the CUSTOM SHIFTER level and specify the diameter.

To attach the Shifter, simply slip it over the lens, onto the focus ring and tighten it down with the ball end. The Focus Marker attaches to the lens with an elastic band, and has over-molded rubber feet to hold it in place.

The Shifter operates on the full dynamic range of the lens. Its design allows you to smoothly pull focus without any jarring starts or stops. The ball design is easy to grasp so you can avoid twisting your hand into uncomfortable positions when pulling focus. For a lens with a narrow focus rings, you can prevent your fingers from falling into the frame, by keeping them at a safe distance.

Using the Shifter improves manual focus speed and accuracy when taking photographs. It's especially helpful with lenses that have a shallow depth of field, and need fine adjustments. Get another one to use for zoom.

Many Shifters and Focus Markers have already been made on our 3-D rapid prototype and precision CNC equipment, and tested by local film makers. We have a fully functioning manufacturing facility for small to medium scale production. Our products are all manufactured in the US in part of our grass-roots effort to bring the builders back, and avoid lost time and cost on long flights to another continent just to kick the vendors in gear. It's a lot more efficient to drive down the road, or fly a few states over to get what you need. The Shifters are made from strong plastic in order to keep them lightweight, so that they don't shift the focus when the camera moves around.  Kick-starting funds will go towards expensive injection molds, molding, CNC machining, and assembly line, for the Focus/Lens Shifters that will be delivered to you.

Thanks to all our supporters, friends and family for making this possible!
Daniel Bauen, (the Engineer), Jake Snowden (the Cinematographer), and Mark McJunkin (the Microfacturer)

Order one for only $45 and support this project on Kickstarter:

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Be the First to Share


    • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

      Finish It Already Speed Challenge
    • Arduino Contest 2020

      Arduino Contest 2020
    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest

    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    As a cinematographer of 40 years standing I'd like to point out one glaring problem with these 'follow focus' systems that all seem to rely on squeezing a part of the lens tightly enough to be able to use a lever back and forth to focus the lens.

    This process (on real movie sets) is usually carried out by a dedicated person called a 'focus puller'. The method is to focus on the first object and then after making a mark on a scale, focus on the second object and make a mark. Its practical to do this several times. "SHOOT" and the guy nominated as having enough memory to be the focus puller, moves the lens as directed during practice.

    The glaring flaw in non-movie lenses is the short movement from close to infinity. I've done a lot of work with full frame DSLRs trying to master their often seriously limiting functions. The single biggest one is the short throw of the focus ring. I'm currently using an Indian made affair that has a small diameter wheel pressing against the larger diameter lens. Not perfect but at least it allows you leeway when pulling focus. Solve the issue of short throw and you'll have a nice product. I get more accuracy just using my fingers to do the focusing with the camera on a tripod. Sorry but I can't find any way to upload a video to demonstrate this.

    Blue Hawaii
    Blue Hawaii

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great gadget, but I have to agree with lavothas in the fact that I fail to see this as an 'Instructable'.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It's a cool project, and I love Kickstarter.

    But I fail to see how this is in any way an instructable.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You're right. I make lots of other instructables though, so I wanted to share something that's gone from a DIY project into reality. I also thought it might appeal to the instructables community, since it's an inexpensive way to improve shooting video with a DSLR. Thanks.