The Radial Stylus from Cinema Tool Box is a physical controller to wirelessly adjust focus on RED cameras via the third-party app foolcontrol.
The Cinema Tool Box Radial Stylus is a follow focus wheel made out of Bubinga wood that quickly attaches to all flavours of iPhones 6 and 7 via tailor-made 3D-printed mounts with the help of 8 magnets. The wheel features a stylus pen tip that glides on the iPhone screen to control the focus page of the foolcontrol iOS app, so you can have the wireless follow focus experience instead of sliding your finger on a touch screen.
The foolcontrol app itself was developed by Mikael Lubtchansky, and is designed to control various functions of the RED WEAPON, EPIC-W, SCARLET-W and RAVEN through their native WiFi connectivity, and the RED EPIC and SCARLET via additional wireless accessories.
The app features various pages for all the main camera controls, allows you to enter metadata and navigate through various looks and presets. It also features a couple of focus adjustment pages to control compatible optics, such as Canon EF mount lenses with electronic connections. The app offers a distance slider and a more traditional wheel, although the real estate of the iPhone’s touch interface could prove somewhat difficult for precise adjustment.
That’s where the Radial Stylus comes in, as its design features a bearing system that allows for fine and smooth adjustment on the focus wheel.
The Cinema Tool Box Radial Stylus will set you back $295, and that’s on top of the $170 for the foolcontrol app. Granted, that is not too expensive in the context of the RED camera ecosystem, but is certainly a very specific product, for a very specific app, for a few lenses on a very specific set of cameras. The kind of productions that can afford to shoot on a RED could almost certainly also afford more traditional follow focus systems, but on the other hand, the foolcontrol/Radial Stylus combo does allow you to move away from the need for extra batteries, cables, rods, motors and gears that those entail.
Have you tried the foolcontrol app? Is the focus control from an iPhone reliable enough to justify investing in the Radial Stylus? Let us know in the comments!