Kickstarter: LensShift offers follow-focus-like control on the cheap

A new Kickstarter project is aiming to become the follow-focus system that converts even still photographers over to the focusing accessory. LensShift is a lens focus and zoom tool that offers a more ergonomic grip and easier fine tuning, but without the expense or accessories of a follow-focus system.

Designed for both videography and photography, the simple style and lower price could bring still shooters over to the popular videography tools, designer Daniel Bauen, of Atlanta, Georgia, suggests. The LensShift turns the zoom and focus control rings into a lever system, which gives photographers more control over the adjustments.

The lens-attachable levers are also designed to be more ergonomic and to help new photographers avoid confusing the zoom and focus rings. The rings are color coded, and two are used on zoom lenses, though that means users have what looks like red and blue antennas sticking out from their lens. Single focus levers can also be used on prime lenses.

LensShift says that the lever design enhances the precision of focus and zoom adjustments by 3.5 times.

The levers install onto the lens with a belt and counterweight that the new company says makes them easy to swap out. The belt has teeth designed to fit inside the grooves of the lens rings. The same twist-to-tighten procedure that allows for easy installation also allows users to loosen the LensShifter and fold it against the lens so it doesn’t take up as much room inside the camera bag.

According to the Kickstarter campaign, the LensShifter is compatible with most DSLR and mirrorless lenses.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the LensShifter is that the follow-focus-like controls are expected to retail at only $25 for each lever. Early backers can pick up the lens levers for as little as $15, provided the project reaches full funding by Nov. 10.

Engineerable is running the crowdfunding campaign, and the firm has run four successful projects in the past. The Kickstarter has just under a month to go, but has already reached over half of its $10,000 goal.

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