First difficulties when building a DSLR rig

After purchasing a set of rails , pull focus  and a matte box I decided to test them in the field. When I say a field I mean a park really but it was worth it.


railspull focus

Brilliant bit of kit with a good quality plate that is solid. I have to say I have seen and used some rigs with plates what were very wobbly. Rails have plastic screws on the ends, which adds a nice little touch to the whole construction but slows you down a little when you have to assemble it. I would prefer just solid seals but that is just my opinion. Even on artistic project I enjoy working fast: I must capture the light and the moment, not mess around with screws thinking which pocket did I put them in.

Overall: great set of rails that is relatively cheap.

Pull Focus

5 star bit of kit. Little studs should enable you to set the in and out focus point. White plastic on the side will enable you to write your own marks with a correct marker but so far I didn’t need it. Studs were precise enough. What I found was a good feature was that it could be pulled away very quickly so that you could do those whip focus pulls or turn it automatic. The grip is great too.

matte box

                                           Matte Box

Here is where the problem starts. Lovely kit it is, especially those barn doors! They can be whipped on or off at a drop of a hat. But the real problem is the universal donut. Matte box comes with 3 rings made of rubber which smell like you have a little tire factory in your lounge. Those are not very practical at all when combined with a follow focus. In fact those are a pain. I would recommend getting a real universal donut, which I have ordered to be custom-made for me.

Overall: these three elements are essential to have great footage on your DSLR.

Please let me know your opinion if you have used those or similar products

Mike Bogatyrev.


About zinasemenova

Russian filmmaker and blogger at

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