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DJI 3D Focus — Bringing Autofocus to Vintage Lenses!

Photo Moment - January 20, 2021

Controlling a gimbal while manually focusing a lens is a job for the three handed man — which you're not! The new DJI 3D Focus system brings a LiDAR based focusing system to any manual lens. But how well does it work?

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Do you want to see more on this system? If you're shopping, here's the links (and you do need the RS 2 for this)
DJI 3D Focus and RS2 Pro Combo
Yes. Do make more, would be a great help while we all assess if we should give this a try. I was thinking that you could try offsetting the lidar to offset the center tracking point. Or maybe even have a slightest manual control over it to offset it while shooting. Food for thought.
@MotMovie interesting. I wonder if there's a way to "see" the LiDAR beam, to know where it's hitting?
Hello my friend, I like the test you make. I have a question I have a Red Epic X Dragon 6K and want to use autofocus system, do you think this system can work on my camera?
if the Red Epic X Dragon 6K can be balanced on the gimbal… yes. this system requires the RS2 to function. Although you could probably figure out a way to rig it without it
​@PhotoJoseph Thank you very much for your help, I need something like that because you know we are getting older and also my eyes, this the problem I have, and i do not want to stop filming, I have 26 years already in the film you, so please is you have a solution for me let me know.
Mate, I have no idea what you need help with… if you like you can book time with me one on one, just go to
Nice video - more of the more.

After the "Lets Go Play" bit I now have images of you looking at a puppy trying to figure out where you plug in the lead - but there only seems to be one port.

what do you expect - you have a camera accessory look at a wall of camera gear - it's like getting a kid to stop focusing on the sweets in the sweetshop. It was getting distracted by all the lenses it's going to get to play with.

It seems to work pretty well for the first line of an emerging technology. It would be nice to have as an add on for other systems (and possible shorter cables - looked like it was covered in burned spaghetti) Have you had time to play with the settings and fine tune the system?

Nice hat by the way.
Haha thanks for all that. I have used it more; it’s awesome when combining with the SIRUI anamorphic lenses! It’s really a great tool on the tool belt.
@PhotoJoseph So is it worth the cost of replacing your old gimbal? Have you used it with the vintage lenses like the Helios 44?
@Geek in the Garden yes!! I geared that lens so have used it. I find this gimbal far more capable and easier to set up than whatever the model I had before this is (RC maybe?), and am using this RS2 much more.
@PhotoJoseph And I've just emptied my penny jar to buy the new Gopro, accessories and a Weebill Lab gimbal. Guess I'll have to start filling it up again.
First time ever seeing your channel. Drooling over my keyboard at the selection of goodies on the shelves behind you.
Haha it’s my playground! Welcome to the channel, Ferg!
What a great video!! Definitely interested!
Thanks! I just used it on a project with anamorphic lenses. It's pretty awesome. No real demo of the 3D focus, but here's the new video on the new lenses…
I'll definitely want to see more about this system after you've gotten used to it.
so.. does anybody know, if the Panasonic 12-35 lens works with this? I really couldnt find ANY information whatsoever on this.
You can rotate the focus wheel over and over.. it has no fixed point and no exact distance indicators.. so im really worried.
i couldnt find that information anywhere, maybe someone here can help me?
I had a Nebula 4000 and then had nothing until a few weeks ago I got an RSC2 and I'm blown away by it. The integration wasnt something I knew before getting it. For me and what I do, its basically Hollywood on a stick.
Love this video.. I would definitely want to see more on this setup. I have the gimbal and planning to get the 3d autofocus system soon
It will make an appearance in my next round of videos!
Honestly, best thing they could do imo and the one that would seemingly be relatively easy-
make it so that you don't have to attach it to a gimbal, like let me use it anywhere in any kind of setup, that would be huge.
Yeah, well, it’s a $100 add-on to a $1,000 product. I think they want that initial sale 😬
Did you get a chance to test out the Mamiya lens and see if it can focus?
they really need the active track area to be the focus area otherwise its fairly useless. I guess next iteration will be active track with build in focus pulling. I hope
I hope so too. I wouldn't call this unless; I've used it in commercial work. Like every tool, it has its place. It's far from perfect but it's definitely awesome.
@PhotoJoseph well at least for me then.. I remember Redrock Micro making something similar with sonar sensor 10 year ago. It never became anything anybody used.
With no tracking gimbal attached focusing seems like a miss. So anything else than dead static objects which stay in the center of your frame will be a pain. If they at the very least gave you the option to tap the focus on and off at the handle it would be something, but they dont even give you that. All you have is a button on the top of the thing, which is not a practical location to tap your focus on and off while operating.

The main selling point for using a gimbal is that its an run and gun one man rig, Focusing is in my view the last hurdle that needs to be solved for it to be truly useful in any situation.
08:45 you went out of the optimal range of the lidar system. DJI recommends 1-4m and my experience showed, that more the 5m doesn't work.
I should probably read the instructions ;-) haha thanks!
I have an idea! Based on how the Lidar sensor works, how about if you put a lense that will increase the spread of the outgoing light, there by spreading the light even more and something like a zoom glass for it to go further never know it might work, after all those ideas are based on the law of refraction...(
Nice video, other reviews edited most the parts you showed us, that made me to see most of the cons, I never saw on other Videos. Thanks for your always unbiased review.
That’s why I subscribed and hit that notification to see “ALL YOUR” videos.
More on the RS2 please, Joseph. I'm pulling up my chair to your table. Serve it up, sir! Thanks for the efforts!
If you can stop by the live show tonight and ask about it, I'll bring it out. I just did a shoot with it using the S1H and this 3D Focus rig. Amazing!
The hat suits you very well!
Thanks for test! It's so usefull. Hello from Russia.
Nice video, can you pls tell whereyou got the focus rong for the takumar lens as i can't find where to get one for my smc takumar 35mm f2 lens
Yeah, I get all mine made by FollowFocusGears
Are you actually able to reset/change one of the 3 lens profile ? If yes, how please? :(
I honestly haven't needed to, but AFAIK you just delete one using the app and start over.
@PhotoJoseph i don't see any 3D focus menu on the app, but i found out how to change it...
You have to select the one you want to calibrate again, it will asks for an auto calibrate the motor focus, then you have to go to the general 3D focus, and do the motor focus calibrating again, and then it allows you to make the 3d focus calibrating on the previous selected template.
Yeah...not intuitive at all.
Thanks for the quick reply though :)
ah, good to know, thanks!
So DJI can bring something out that can auto focus pull but the more premium brands like Tilta ain't done nothing like this yet. I really expected something like this from companies that actually make product to help focus.
@PhotoJoseph I'm fully aware of the scale of DJI. Toyota are huge company, make great cars and innovative technology, but are not considered premium.
@Willvisions Media who makes better drones than DJI?
@PhotoJoseph I only agree with that. Drones.
@Willvisions Media and gimbals.
@PhotoJoseph na, lol. They're good but almost everybody consider them holly grail of gimbals. I've used a lot of gimbals and they malfunction like any other. They also copied a lot from zhiyun on their recent ones. Freefly Movi also premium gimbal and crane 3s is something else for the price.
What lens would you recommmand to use with Gh5 ? Cheers and nice vid !!
That’s like asking what I’d recommend you eat for dinner… that’s a question that requires a lot more info to even pretend to answer!
This tech is not ready for prime time. I don't have time to fight with my equipment this much. There are some good use cases for it (the mailboxes worked pretty well) and it will definitely get better with time, but this was very frustrating to watch. It seems that the in-camera solutions are much better for now. I mostly need autofocus for tracking people/faces, and most of the time I've got them off to one third left or right, so this is pretty much useless for that. I can't wait to see future generations!

Thanks so much for taking the plunge and walking us through this. It's still very cool and loads of potential.
All tech evolves with the benefit of funding from early adopters.
Maybe try squeeze a few more ads in next time
YouTube controls ad placement, Scott. I don’t explicitly put them in specific locations. I always recommend investing in YouTube premium to remove ads and help support your creators.
Great video! #PhotoJoseph What Focus Gear Ring did you use?? The original gets in the way and makes the sensor stupid :)
Great product and great review!! Subscribed!! I was thinking of selling my Canon 5D MIII but now I don't know 🤣 do you think this DJI 3d + the RS2 device can make my camera autofocus with my 24-70mm 2.8 ? I can't find that info, cheers!!
If it’s mechanical focus, then yes. This works on any lens. Even some drive-by-wire lenses will work.
@PhotoJoseph thank you so much!
Nice review! Researching camera gear and accessories. This is really helpful.
Hey. This is a lovely review. Would love to see this being used in a more "narrative style" of either being used for smaller, subtler movements (indoors, with a character moving from the door to the bed/sofa or something) while using something like an anamorphic lens.
Thanks! I plan to do something like that outdoors soon, although not with an anamorphic as I don’t have any small ones. But thanks for the suggestion!
Yes do morrrr....e...moree. More or more when you get hands on more similar gear like this. If you can, try to get information if its possible to adjust the 3D with a firmware upgrade or if it fixed as it is to the next new hardware "3D2". Very good and believable test.
Thanks, and I’ll keep on this with updates. It’s great gear!
Can't believe it doesn't work with RSC2 I just bought one because I read it did.
oh no! So, here's the thing… I think the only reason it is specced to the RS2 is because the RS2 has enough USB power ports to deliver power to this thing. However, I'd wager that you could rig any other USB power source to power the 3D Focus and it'd work fine. I could be wrong… but it's worth testing since you have one! And if you do get it to work — please let me know!
I'd be happy with that on an external power bank. I couldn't see it taking up too much power. I went back and read the post that said it would work and they have since been corrected or are just wrong.
Does it only connect to the RS2 for power then? Theres no signal sent through it?
Great review!!! I love the way you explain and test everything in depth.
Thank you! This one was fun to do.
I have a question if you zoom in into a person or a thing , will it also focus as you do it ? or you have to set up the distances you want to focus to ?
That's an interesting question. Most cheap zoom lenses are not parfocal — meaning, if you focus at one end (say 24mm) then zoom to the other end (say 70mm), then it will NOT still be in focus. So a lens like this would NOT work with the 3D Focus if you zoomed it. As long as you don't zoom it, you'd be fine though. A high end zoom lens, which stays in focus as you change focal length, would work fine though.
Nice review. Thank you!
Thank you!
Amazing Work 👍
Thank you so much 😀
Interesting to see how this motor perform on stiffed cinema geared lens , will it have the right speed and torque to rack a 300 degrees lens barrel?Im pretty sure they are working on Ronin 2 version too or a stand alone kit for the future
It’ll spin as long as the rotation needs. There only question is torque for the stiff lens.
Interesting, I wonder if you could use other larger LIDAR options? Anyone think of using Infra-red? which would be a lot easier to track people & LIDAR for objects.
Would infrared bounce? I’m sure there’s a reason it’s LIDAR!
@PhotoJoseph Maybe. I was just wondering if it could be used to differentiate between people vs objects, keeping anything warm-blooded in focus.
12:10 song ?? or link from where you get it
Finally a meaningful review of the 3d focus system. this was actually extremely helpful.
Thank you! I really appreciate that.
DJI released a firmware update today for RS2...hoping Active Track is improved as i'm having same exact issues. I think DJI will eventually nail Active Track though because my DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone is very good with Active Track....
Oh that’s good to know, thanks! I’ve heard from other viewers that ActiveTrack worked very well for them, so I think my experience was a bit unusual. But that’s great that there’s and update!
i wish it could work on RSC2 as i don't need the bigger and more expensive RS2
Exactly I would have bought the RC2 but I don't need bigger but I'm ready to buy this.
@Joel Abramson i made my decision and i got the rsc2, as it is my first gimbal and i could not be happier
So unbelievably cool for a $180 add on! I was expecting it to be more expensive, but how can I not try this if I already have the RS2? I shoot on the S5 as well so auto focus is not usbale. I decided to fully switch to manual cinema lenses so this is super exciting. You clearly have to learn the nuances of it, but come on!! Even if it's mostly center focused this can be such a game changer
Couldn’t agree more… it’s really exciting!!
That's just a pain to setup, useless and a waste of money
And you say that from experience? 🙄
@PhotoJoseph yes I do, I bought the whole package, to use with my BMPCC6K.
Don’t get me wrong I love your content, don’t meant to come across as having a go at you, my problem is surely with this little piece of accessory from DJI. I feel this isn’t ready for the market, more test should have been carried out first. Now am stuck with 3 profile after trying to test/setup the 3D focus and didn’t work. There is no way of resetting my RS2 to default/factory setup. Dji online/product support is not that fast to respond either. The gimble I must say is amazing. But that 3D focus, in my opinion isn’t ready for the market.
@KozKreole Mizik You can't delete the profiles, or overwrite them? I haven't tried yet as I haven't gotten that far.
i keep saying, adding body sensors on actors that can communicate with this will be the perfect solution
Yeah that’d be an interesting addition for sure
Josh Yeo tried infra red reflective sunscreen but it didn’t work
This is a great product as a start. Imagine if this can be combined with some ActiveTrack technology where a target subject pretty much stays in focus all the time regardless of where they are.
It can be and it does.
Amazing product! Does this have a counterpart for the RSC2?
No, unfortunately.
honestly, they need to do a firmware update on RSC2 so we can use the thing on RSC2.
@Amir Ba I agree! If the RSC2 had more support accessories it would be epic.
Great video, I'm hoping to see the system used on the 18-35 sigma. I have the Bmpcc 6K starter kit lol.
I don't have that lens, so someone else will have to do that one ;-)
Love to see more test footages, thanks
Thanks! I have many more lenses to try with it, so I'm sure I'll do another video.
Man, I'd love it if DJI made a similar 3D Focus accessory that didn't need to be connected to any gimbal at all! I'd use that thing with just regular, tripod-based filmmaking. Haha.
So, I don't know that that limitation is really there. As far as I can tell (untested), the connection to the gimbal itself is, I think, just for power. I need to test this theory.
It needs to gimbal to do the “thinking” so at this point it will only work with the rs2 gimbal.
But cda tek made one that works standalone. It is bigger. But it has more options. It even allows you to work with native mft lenses like the 12-35 and use the electronical focus of the lenses without motor.
LOL… I don't think you'll ever see a focus gear built into a camera. But this accessory works really well! Thanks for watching :-)
I would be possible to do. Cda tek made a similar box that you can combine with a bmpcc4k and works with native lenses with electronical control to set the focus without motor. The point is that i doubt camera manufacturer will skip it at this point as it can only focus straight forward from the camera. This would be very limiting for followfocus options. But in the future... why not if the technology goes further ;)
Hey, why is your video overexposed? It also says on the quality settings it's in HDR 4k. I've never seen this happen before...
aha — you must be in the fringe combo of OS and browser that isn't loading it properly Did you see the "video look like 💩?" tag at the very beginning? It's a link to a secret SDR version of the video. Here it is:
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