Hack Attack: how to make a cheap follow focus

About The Author

CNET Editor

Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Welcome to Hack Attack, where we take a light-hearted look at building your own photographic tools on the cheap.

Photography is an expensive hobby. With new toys being released all the time to make you lust after pricey photo gear, Hack Attack provides the wallet-friendly version of doing it yourself. Over the coming weeks, you'll be able to watch the projects grow in complexity, and possibly see some epic DIY fails along the way.

A follow focus is a tool used by film-makers to get that nice, smooth shift in focus. Professional rigs cost a lot of money, so here's how to get a similar effect on the cheap. You will need:

  • Plastic jar opener

  • Long bolt

  • Two 1/4-inch screws

  • Cable ties

  • Electrical tape

  • Pen.

You may have seen this follow focus trick done a few times online, but this variation uses a lever rather than just relying on the good old pull-and-push action of the jar opener itself.

See more how-to and DIY videos from Hack Attack here.

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KyleK posted a comment   

She is so sweet, cute and always full of energy. She got the skill, the knowledge and the personality, I love watching her on cnet.


ZoltanJ posted a comment   

Sorry for the rant. I know the video, and the concept is made in a spirit of silliness. Just frustrates me that people might actually take something like this seriously. Peace.... :-)


LTLsisaleo posted a comment   

I love watching this just for the comedy lol awesome work lexy


OrionG posted a comment   

1:00 *gasp* i saw the camera in the frame !!!!!!!!!!!!


ZoltanJ posted a comment   

Oh for Heaven's sake! Do yourself a favour, put yourself out of your own misery (which this dodge-job exacerbates), and buy a proper flaming FF. Yeash!


Lexy Savvides posted a reply   

Having a bad day?


StevieC posted a reply   

tehe. love it, and you Lexy! feel the (cheap) love zolto!

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