Teradek & SmallHD have been working together on a lot of neat stuff lately. First there was the 703 Bolt, a 7-inch monitor with side handles and a built-in Bolt receiver. Then came SmallHD’s FOCUS Bolt 5-inch & 7-inch monitors with the same setup. Now, Cine 7 is here with the same technological integration, but with built-in camera control for ARRI, RED, Sony, and other cinema cameras. Bolts and monitors get a lot of love, but that’s not all there is!
Teradek RT is bringing never-before-seen tools to the wireless lens control world that aims to revolutionize how filmmakers pull focus, and SmallHD monitors are playing a big role. The new controllers, CTRL.1 and CTRL.3 (coming soon), all feature lens mapping with pre-marked lens & iris rings. But the most unique feature is how they work with SmallHD monitors running OS3.
Looking for your next follow focus system? Own a SmallHD monitor already? Check out the latest feature in Teradek RT: lens data overlays.
First, What Are CTRL.1 & CTRL.3?
CTRL.1 & CTRL.3 are lens controllers that offer wireless control of 1 axis and 3 axes respectively. They feature large focus knobs, LCD displays with configuration buttons, and a Rosette mounting point. Aside from transmitting up to 5,000 ft. of instant, wireless FIZ controls, the controllers also offer lens mapping and a cutting-edge tool called lens data overlays on SmallHD monitors.
So What Are Lens Data Overlays Exactly?
When CTRL.1 or CTRL.3 are connected to a SmallHD monitor running OS3, they send your lens maps directly to the monitor. This includes lens focus distance information, iris, and zoom, which appear as subtle overlays directly on the image. As you adjust each axis with your controller, the lens information - focus distance, iris, zoom - is updated in real-time on your monitor.
What's Great About Overlays?
Focus pullers have a lot to look at - the monitor, controller, camera & lens, and the on-screen talent. You need to see the relationship between the actors and the camera to measure distances and ensure controllers are set to specific marks. Then you have to check if the image is in focus.
With so much to look at, it can sometimes be challenging to keep the image sharp. But by displaying the marks on the monitor, you can see where the lens is focused and see iris/zoom data without ever having to take your eyes off the image, meaning you can pull focus perfectly on each take.
How Do I Get the Overlays From My Controller to My Monitor?
Before you can send overlays to the monitor, you have to set up your lens maps. We created a very simple guide to doing this in the video below. Note: CTRL.3 controllers will be able to create & load lens maps with the Teradek RT App for iOS.
Then, use this specially-designed arm to mount a SmallHD monitor directly to the CTRL.1/CTRL.3’s Rosette mounting point. This creates a handheld monitoring and focus pulling station you can take anywhere on set.
Then - depending on your monitor - you’ll need either the 5-pin LEMO to Micro-USB (FOCUS Bolt & Cine 7 Bolt) or 5-pin USB (703 Bolt) cable. This sends the focus, iris and zoom maps directly to the monitor.
Once the units are connected, follow these steps to set up the overlays from the controller and monitor.
A Complete Ecosystem
If you use Teradek & SmallHD gear, chances are you’ll probably have a monitor with a built-in Bolt receiver. By adding Teradek RT into your workflow, you have an entire ecosystem of streamlined monitoring & lens control. The camera sends video directly to your handheld monitor, where you can wirelessly pull focus/iris/zoom and see critical lens info right on the display.