Teradek, a member of the Vitec group, has unveiled the latest addition to its lineup of wireless tools for on-set duties: the Teradek RT line of products is here to control your lens wirelessly.
The Teradek RT line of lens control equipment pushes the door wide open for a new market. This time, it’s not about video but lens control, both wireless of course. At the heart of this new lineup of products lies another member of the Vitec group: RTMotion. These devices are now labelled Teradek RT, and integrate seamlessly into existing solutions by Teradek.
The Teradek RT System
The whole lineup consits of three major categories: Motor, receivers and controllers. Regarding the motor, you’re already set: there’s just one model, so no difficult choices to be made here.
.The MK3.1 motor features all the good stuff: fast, accurate, and quiet yet powerful and smooth operation. Since it’s a brushless vector design, Teradek claims a 4x service life compared to brushed motors. The motors can be used with either 15mm or 19mm rods (plus height adjustment), and the drive gear can be mounted on either side. They offer adjustable compensation for zero-backlash, and a max torque of 2.2Nm. The unit itself is only 115mm x 40mm x 26mm, at 212g. Add a trio of these motors to your rig and enjoy full outboard FIZ (focus, iris, zoom) control.
Teradek RT Receivers
The receivers get lens control commands over-the-air from the controller in the 1st AC’s hand. Depending on your camera and setup, there are four different models to choose from:
The Teradek RT MK3.1 receiver is the most universal one. It is not bound to a particular camera, so it can be used for any rig you have. Just attach it via standard 1/4-20 screws and connect it to up to three MK3.1 motors. It accepts power via 4-pin Hirose, while another 4-pin connector offers start/stop capabilities for all major camera brands such as ARRI, RED, Canon, Blackmagic, Sony or Phantom. The integrated FHSS 2.4GHz radio has a range of up to 1500m (line-of-sight outdoors) and 150m indoors.
The Latitude line of receivers, however, are a little different. They are purpose-built to integrate with RED DSMC(2) cameras. The smallest receiver, the Latitude M, appears to be the perfect companion for applications with limited space and weight, such as drone shots. It’s a 2-channel receiver which offers all the features of the MK3.1 unit (minus one motor) but with an extended feature set. It comes with built-in 2.4GHz WiFi for the FoolControl app and advanced RED camera integration, providing EF/AF lens control, shutter, ISO, and button features (2x magnification, edge, focus assist). The Latitude M can be used with other cameras as well, but you won’t get the extended features.
The Latitude MB is identical to the Latitude M, but offers a built-in LP-E6 battery plate for powering the unit directly. Again, this unit can be used with any camera, but only unleashes its full potential when used with a RED system.
The Teradek RT Latitude Sidekick is a 3-channel receiver with integrated RED camera control. The receiver attaches seamlessly to the side of any DSMC2 camera and is compatible with the RED Sidekick module. Again, this unit integrates deeply with the RED ecosystem and can be controlled with the FoolControl app.
Again, more choices! In term of controllers, there are three models to choose from: A 4-Axis MK3.1 hand unit, a 6-Axis version, and a so-called Smartknob for both wired and wireless operation.
The 4-axis controller takes care of up to four axes of lens control: knob, slider and wheel A & B. Furthermore, the unit sports an OLED screen for easy-to-read settings like lens calibration and start/stop marks.
As an upgrade, the 6-Axis version adds a Forcezoom thumbstick (red) which allows to pull off smooth zoom adjustments while shooting. Each 4-Axis unit can be upgraded to a 6-Axis version. The unit has to be sent in for that, though.
Last but not least, you can opt for the Smartknob. When used with RED DSMC(2) cameras, there’s no need for a receiver module. The Smartknob can control focus/iris on EF and Nikon lenses via their internal motors. Six mappable buttons can be used to control shutter, ISO or tools like 2x magnification (again, on RED cameras only). A MK3.1 motor can be controlled as well, but you’ll need a receiver module to plug it in.
The Smartknob can also be used as a wired unit for dedicated axis hand-off or as the wired primary controller. No RED camera is needed for this to work.
The Future of Teradek
This system might be the perfect companion for the SmallHD 703 Bolt monitor with integrated Teradek receiver. We’ll see how Teradek develops this new strategic route. The company seems to be sticking to its core competence of wireless transmission, but is clearly pushing for a higher goal: to offer a wireless solution for everything you need on set, all from one manufacturer. Sounds like a good plan to me!
What kind of a system do you use for your daily FIZ routine? Could the Teradek RT line be an alternative? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!