Saturday, March 9, 2013

Focus Chart System

I have been the Camera & Equipment Repair Technician for NYU's Film & TV program for almost 10 years and have finished a few custom projects.  I test a lot of cameras and have limited space to work with, so I designed and built this movable focus system.  It's all cobbled together from stuff I ordered from McMaster-Carr.

Movable focus chart system which I designed and built.  I used structural aluminum for the frame and sled and suspended industrial track from the ceiling.
Attached a Kino Flo for lighting and designed the chart frame so it can be raised and lowered as needed.
Had to curve the end of the track so the chart could be stored out of the way against the wall.
Had to fiddle with the balance a lot so the sled moves freely.  Note the counterbalance made of a ton of washers.
I found a RAM mount that fit the socket on the Kino Flo perfectly and allowed the light to be balanced.  One flaw of this design is with a single track the chart wants to sway slightly.  I didn't have enough room to install dual tracks and generally the slight movement isn't a problem.

Dirty job but worth it.