The TOF.1 Rangefinder is the latest addition to the Teradek RT Lens Control Ecosystem. This low-cost and lightweight infrared rangefinder assists focus pullers with real-time distance measurements and readouts on the Teradek RT hand units.
Rangefinders have been in use by professional focus pullers to make their life on set easier in certain situations. Solutions like the CineTape, ARRI UDM, cmotion cfinder and Preston Light Ranger have been around and have seen their fair share of use in high-end production environments.
Lately, more rangefinder solutions like the QINEMATIQ Smart Ranger 2 and the Focusbug Cine RT System have become available. This growing number of rangefinder products have helped decrease the price although these systems were still too expensive for many camera assistants.
Introducing the Teradek TOF.1
The TOF.1, with a price of $3,490, is a steal compared to other systems. It also offers distance readouts on Teradek CTRL.1 and CTRL.3 hand units and the MDR.X motor controller. According to Greg Smokler, VP of Product at Creative Solutions, the TOF.1 is “… smaller, lighter, and as accurate as other rangefinders, and it also offers incredibly useful autofocus capability.”
The TOF.1 features and IR sensor array with a 3 degree field of view for detecting objects within 80 feet (25.4 meters) line of sight. With the included detachable Laser Sight, focus pullers can align the IR sensor even more accurately. The IR sensor connects to the MDR.X motor controller via one cable which provides power and communication. The MDR.X then relays the distance readouts wirelessly to paired CTRL.1 and CTRL.3 hand units, as well as compatible SmallHD monitors.
The IR sensor measures 60 times per second to capture any change in position of the closest subject within the sensor’s field of view.
Another neat feature of some rangefinders (including the TOF.1) is added autofocus for non-autofocus lenses. After proper calibration with the MDR.X, focus pullers can activate autofocus using a simple on/off toggle. A specific focus tracking point can be selected and the focus motor will work to keep the tracking point in focus. A proprietary smoothing algorithm helps prevent jitter within the lens motor to keep the focus changes smooth.
Price & Availability
Teradek’s TOF.1 will be available from November 5th 2020 on and will cost $3,490.
What do you think about the latest addition of rangefinders? Is this one step closer to a very integrated focus puller’s dream setup? Have you used a rangefinder before and have experiences to share? Feel free to share your comments below!