Cinevate Durus Follow Focus Review
The Cinevate Durus Follow Focus is a great follow focus and gives you quite the bang for the buck. With its slick design, large wheel, and smooth mechanics, it’s no wonder Cinevate has grown exponentially in the past few years.
Other follow focuses in the same price range and build quality would be the Oconnor Ofocus, the Red Rock Micro Follow Focuz, and the zFocus. Coming in at $1,255, the Durus Follow Focus is fairly economic. One of the things that Cinevate markets about the Durus is that it is extremely durable and strong. The seemingly wonky rod mount seems like something that would lose considerable strength over time, but I have used it for over a year and it has never given out at all. It is a solid contact with the rod, and my only fear is that if I over tighten it, my carbon fiber rods would shatter! The focus wheel is large and makes it easy to hold on to if you are an owner operator. Also the throw is quite long, (because of the large wheel, and the focusing mechanic is extremely smooth and silky. With the considerable use I have put on it over the past year, the pull is still tight and does not wiggle at all. It works the same as it did the first day I purchased it. Overall, it’s an extremely solid follow focus.
On the other side of the coin, I have found some things that are lacking in the Durus, such as size and one-sided-ness. I know, I know, you’re thinking to yourself “But Tony, you just said that the size is great!” Well, the size is good for a variety of reasons, it is great to hold on to and for focus throw. Size is bad for trying to use with small lenses, or with a mattebox that hits into it. The problem with smaller lenses, such as super speeds or dslr glass, is that the focus knob will either hit into the body of the camera or the mattebox. For instance, when you have the sidehandle attached to the camera, a Canon 24-70mm, and mattebox, there is not enough room for the follow focus to go on the dummy side of the camera. The knob must go on the operator side. The knob is so large that the gear is a considerable distance away from the outermost portion of the knob, as well as there is only a gear on one side. And this brings me into my next point. The durus is single sided, meaning there is one wheel, which goes on one side of the camera. This would normally be okay for about 95% of the time, except for when you need to switch sides, you also need to flip the gear on the follow focus. To flip the gear, you need a special, long allen key which Cinevate gives you, and you need to unscrew 4 small screws in a somewhat hard to access area, take off the wheel, flip it, and screw it back on. It’s also important to note when you flip the follow focus, you also flip the direction of the pull. So if you are like me and used to cinema style clockwise pull = close focus, this puts your brain in quite the whirl.
I did not know about these issues before my purchase. I still think it is an amazing follow focus and a great deal for the money. None of the issues are a dealbreaker, and the unit can still function properly. I would definitely recommend it if you are on a short budget but want something sturdy that will last. I would not recommend it if you own a set of zeiss superspeeds or want a true to form cinema style follow focus. Cheers!