Axis One (Hocus Products)
By Chris Steel
on 3/18/20, 2:35 PM • 179 views
Answering questions before they're asked.
The Axis one is a small and powerful single channel focus system, similar to a digital bartech in many ways. The company that made it have stopped operation for the time being but will hopefully start up again someday, possibly under another companies umbrella. Peter Hoare (of Hocus Products) is a skilled engineer and is occasionally active in the Cinematography and Steadicam Forums.
The Axis one will use all the power available to it, be very careful if powering from LiPo batteries. Generally avoid powering directly from a gimbal or through the camera. If the battery plate has a non resettable fuse, plug directly into the battery or into a non fused socket. Usually only a problem when working with stiff lenses or in the cold.
Lens Change Protocol
Turn the Hand Unit OFF or set it down so it doesn’t move. Check backlash from gear teeth to lens isn’t too tight. Press calibrate on the MDR. The motor will make more noise than typical during calibration while it finds optimum torque. As long as it reaches both end stops there’s nothing to worry about. The motor will run much quieter during regular operation.
When working with old lenses or delicate lenses, be very careful not to operate the unit too quickly as this can damage some lenses. Before powering the HU on with a calibrated system, turn the ring to where the lens is as the lens will move very quickly to the position on the HU (often at full speed). Lenses with helical focus mechanisms or brass interiors, such as K35s and Arri Zeiss standard speeds, can suffer from such rough operation.
With stills lenses that have infinite rotation, I recommend treating every lens change like working with a new lens entirely. Marking up rings is too inaccurate across 2 calibrations, even with special care. The “inf rot” light must be on to calibrate stills lenses properly.
If the motor isn't responding: Hand unit off, check “inf rot” isn't on (red light), calibrate.
If display screen shows “23” the motor thinks the lens is jammed, turn off the hand unit and MDR, move the motor away from the lens, turn MDR back on, place motor back on lens, calibrate. The motor may spin fast for a second when the MDR is powered so keep fingers away.
Have any tips or questions about using the Axis one? I'd love to hear them