The Chrosziel Zoomer is a Universal Servo Drive that can be used on almost any lens by mounting it on a 15mm rod.
Even though it is called a universal servo drive it is essentially just a lens motor and controller that you could use to adjust focus, iris, or zoom.
- Universal Zoom Motor– The Zoomer is a compact and universal zoom motor that can be used on almost any lens by simply mounting it on a 15mm rod.
- Controlled via Sony and LANC handgrip– The Sony FX6 / FX9 / FS5 / FS7 handgrip zoom rocker directly controls the servo drive unit. Other zoom rockers with a LANC protocol are compatible too.
- Camera control signals forwarded– Control commands are immeadiately looped through to the camera (e.g. menu / user buttons / focus magnification / camera run & stop).
Sony FX Camera Support
The universal motor unit CDM-UNI-Z2 fits can be used with Sony cameras such as the FX9 / FX6 / FS7 / FS5 series. The servo drive is controlled via the zoom rocker on the handle. The motor control can be addressed via Sony’s camera-specific protocol and also works independently of the camera signals when a LANC zoom rocker is plugged directly into the servo.
The control unit that is integrated into the Zoom Servo Drive handles the well-known LANC protocol and the newer protocol of the Sony FX series. All cameras with LANC control option without multi-function handle can work with the Universal Zoom Servo Drive without any problems. This requires an additional third-party LANC handle. Other functions can then be controlled in addition to the zoom depends on the camera type. The LANC protocol only knows 8-speed levels each for zoom adjustments in telephoto or wide-angle direction. The Universal Zoom Servo Drive offers a much higher resolution and can drive the full spectrum of different speeds with the control protocol of the Sony FX series.
With the included Chrosziel Flexi toothed ring, the Zoomer can be used with almost any lens even if it doesn’t have its own gears.
The physical size of the Chrosziel Zoomer is quite large and this may make it tricky to mount to certain shorter lenses.
The control for the camera operator is very simple. As soon as the Universal Zoom Servo Drive is mounted on the lens it is supplied with power for the first time. It then calibrates itself automatically to the end stops of the lens zoom ring. For all zoom movements, the end stops of the focal length range are then reached with what Chrosziel claims is pinpoint accuracy.
Five Operating Modes
Five operating modes are available with the Universal Zoom Servo Drive and they can be selected in sequence by pressing the zoom rocker switch for 10 seconds in the TELE end positions.
Below are the five different modes:
- EB / Documentary mode– This allows slow zoom travel as well as fast focal length adjustment which makes it good for documentary work. Zoom movements are automatically slowed down at the end of the mechanically given zoom range.
- Silent mode– This spreads the response of the zoom rocker in the low range and allows continuous slow zoom movements. The maximum speed in this mode is reduced
- Live / handcut mode– This allows fast focal length adjustment.
- Direct / raw mode– This transfers the operation of the zoom rocker directly to the digital motor without program intervention.
- Photo mode– This supports the use of manual photo zooms by taking care of the uneven stiffness of the mechanical zoom ring and applies a higher minimum speed.
A green status LED on the back of the servo housing informs the user about the advancement from one mode to the next. After power-on, the servo is set in whatever the last selected mode was.
The Zoomer can be mounted to the lens on both sides and it can be rotated. This results in an opposite zoom movement compared to the zoom rocker operation. The turning direction can be switched vice versa by pressing the zoom rocker switch for 10 seconds in the Wide end positions.
For rear camera operation from a tripod, there are zoom rockers with LANC protocol that are attachable to the pan handle. The usual 2.5mm jack connector plugs directly into the bottom of the Universal Zoom Servo Drive.
How do you power it?
The Universal Zoom Servo Drive is powered by a 5pin Lemo-compatible connector with a voltage of 10-30V. It has a maximum power consumption of 350mAh at 12V. Power is supplied from the camera, from the camera’s battery adapter plate, or directly from a D-Tap connector on a battery. Power cables are available for all conceivable connectors, such as Hirose 4Pin, Fisher RS 3Pin, D-Tap, Lemo-compatible 7Pin/2Pin, and others.
For cameras with integrated start/stop function in the power connector, the Universal Zoom Servo Drive controls the recording function of the cameras such as the ARRI Amira, Alexa, Alexa Mini, and others.
The power supply of the Universal Zoom Servo Drive has a reverse polarity protection to prevent short circuits when the D-Tap cable is plugged in incorrectly. To protect the signal line from unwanted voltage transitions to the camera, the LANC socket on the servo has been optically decoupled.
Price & Availability
The Chrosziel Zoomer is available now through the Chrosziel dealer network. The suggested retail price is 1,750 Eoros/ $2.085 USD.
– Power supply 10-30V (Lemo-compatible 0B 5-pin)
– 2.5mm socket (control command In)
– 3.5mm socket (control command In&Out)
– USB Type min A-B (firmware updates)
– Torque 0.5Nm
– Power consumption max. ca. 350mAh @ 12V
– Part number CDM-UNI-Z2
– EAN number: 4250618845975
In the box:
– 1x CDM-UNI-Z2 Digital motor unit
– 1x LANC cable
– 1x LANC extension cable
– 1x MN-AB-A90 (power supply cable 12 Volt A/B D-Tap – angled 90° rotated 0B 5pin)
– 1x 206-30 Flexi Gear Ring (Ø 60-120mm)
– 1x Gear Drive, mod. 0.8 (Ø 40mm)
– 1x CAB-FX9 for Sony PXW-FX9 compatibility
– 1x CAB-FX6 for Sony PXW-FX6 compatibility
– USB Mini Adapter
This looks like a good option for cameras such as the FX6 and FX9, but if you are going to use it for anything other than servo zooming it may be awkward to use given the fact that you are going to primarily have to control it using a zoom rocker on the camera itself.
What do you think of this product? Are you a Sony FX6 or FX9 user/owner? Does this interest you? Let us know in the comments section.