Preston FI+Z Wireless Focus System

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The Preston FI+Z is a 3-channel lens and camera control system. This latest version of an industry classic brings together robust construction, high precision and intuitive operation. The system can control both lens functions (focus, iris, and zoom) as well as camera functions (speed, shutter angle, and VTR).

The DM1, DM2, and DM3 Digital Motors are optimized for different applications. The DM1  is a powerful all purpose lens motor; it's designed to turn even the stiffest lenses under all extremes of temperature, vibration and humidity. Its housing is fabricated from magnesium and coated with a layer of protective ceramic before painting. Its gears employ advanced coating technology to provide long life.

The DM2 is a smaller and lighter version of the DM1. It is intended to perform the Focus, Iris or Zoom functions on all but the stiffest cinema lenses. This motor is an excellent choice for Steadicam or HDTV applications. Both the DM1 and DM2 share the same rugged worm gearing and magnesium housing material.

The DM3 motor is specifically designed for Snorkel lens application. It combines very high torque and mechanical stiffness to smoothly drive the Pan axis of the T-Rex snorkel or both the Pan and Horizon axes of the Revolution snorkel.

The Microwave Link set brings the most robust and reliable communication technology to motion picture production. Spread Spectrum technology provides very high immunity to interference with low transmitted power. Maximum range is > 500m. The set consists of the Transmitter, Receiver/Voltage booster, Charger, NMH battery and a pair of antennas. Twenty-nine channels in the 2.4 GHz band are available by selection switches, so that multiple systems can operate on the set simultaneously.

The Transmitter module rests directly on top of the FI+Z Hand Unit. Its dockable NMH Battery Pack typically provides 7 hours of continuous operation. The Receiver/Voltage Booster module is form fitted to the MDR2 motor driver. The integral voltage converter enables operation over the input voltage range of 11 - 30 VDC. The Charger unit fully recharges the battery pack in 60 minutes. It automatically adjusts for mains voltages from 110 - 230 VAC.

A complete set of Motor Brackets is available for attaching the motor to matte box support rods. All brackets have a 19mm opening at one end and 15mm at the other. Step-down Bushings are available for 15mm and .625" support rods. To prevent the support rods from twisting, Arri and Panavision, Bridges securely clamp the rods as well as provide 19mm mounting points.

Motor Cables are available with both straight and right angle LEMO configurations. The right angle configuration is used when minimum cable outline is most important - for example in Steadicam applications.

Camera Cables allow the Motor Driver to control both the start/stop, speed, and shutter angle function.
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The FI+Z system controls the complete array of both lens and camera functions. The system is modular, giving the user a wide range of choices from a basic cable connected system to a full wireless microwave system. The System consists of the Hand Unit, Motor Driver, Digital Motors, optional Microwave Link, cables and motor mounting bracket.

The heart of the system is the Hand Unit. Its robust construction, ergonomic design and quick set-up have all contributed to its position as the "industry standard". It's carefully machined exterior matches the phenomenal precision offered by its advanced digital architecture. The unit provides 16 bits of position resolution - 1 part in 64,000 - for incredible smoothness. A bright bargraph display shows the position of the zoom lens. A "Snorkel Mode" enables electronic Pan and Horizon control of Snorkel lenses.

The zoom function is implemented by a Micro Force control. It can be directly connected to the Hand Unit using a bracket or operated remotely using a cable. The camera may be started either from the Micro Force or from the Hand Unit.

A unique scale adjustment system makes set-up extremely quick. Any portion of the lens focus, iris, or zoom range may be expanded to the full-scale range of the corresponding control knob with the touch of a switch. In the case of zoom, electronic limit stops can be set. An optional Remote Iris Box provides a separate control for the Iris function. It is automatically enabled when plugged into the Iris accessory connector on the Hand Unit.

The Hand Unit is shown here in its wireless configuration with the Microwave transmitter and the Digital Micro Force control. The Microwave Transmitter is part of the Microwave Link set, comprising the Transmitter, receiver/Voltage converter, Battery Charger, NMH battery and a pair of antennas.

The Motor Driver MDR2 interfaces the FIZ Hand Unit with the DM-1, DM-2, and DM-3 digital motors. It provides 3 channels of motor drive, the camera run function for film cameras and the VTR function for video cameras. In addition, it allows wireless control of both the camera frame rate and shutter angle when used in conjunction with the F/X box. 

The unit automatically calibrates the motors to the mechanical end limits of the lens. Each of the three channels has a separate three level torque limit selected by a switch.

The power requirements of the MDR2 are 24 - 30 VDC at .15A quiescent, 3A peak (all 3 motors stalled. When fitted with the Microwave transceiver, the operating voltage range is extended from 12 - 30 VDC input.


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Motor Status Display 
A. Activate the Motor Status Display by pressing any of the red buttons. 
B. Change the Torque and Direction setting of a motor by pressing the button adjacent to the 
corresponding connector. The bottom row of buttons control the torque and the upper row 
control the direction. 
1. At each press of the torque button, the LED color changes to indicate the maximum 
torque level: blue minimum, green mid-level, red – maximum. 
2. Pressing the direction button changes the motor direction to correspond with the 
Hand unit. The white LED indicates the status. 
C. After approximately 4s from the last button press, the display will turn off.

Wireless Channels 
A. Dual displays. The channels can be viewed from either the top or side of the MDR3. 
B. Activate the Channel Display by pressing either the UP or DOWN button for 2s. While the 
display blinks, the channel can be raised or lowered with the switches. 
C. The channel switches will remain active for 4S after the last activation. 
D. New wireless channels 30-59 are available. These channels avoid interference when MDR 
units are positioned very close together (less than 1m). A blue dot is placed on hand units with 
this capability. The units are backwards compatible with all units having the G4 designation.

*At 1.5″ high the MDR-3 is 25% thinner than the MDR-2, it also offers an AUX motor port.


Size: 6.8×2.6×1.1″ (170 x 70 x 28) mm
Weight: 11 oz (.31 kg)
Power Requirements: 12 – 28 VDC
Maximum Motor Current: 1.5A
Motor Direction:
Set by Panel Switch

Order Information

  • 1110 MF3 Control only
  • 1120 Y cable for 12V Arri cameras
  • 1121 Y cable for 24V Arri and Moviecam cameras (3 pin Fischer)
  • 1122 Y cable for Panavision cameras
  • 1123 Y cable for Aaton (6-pin Lemo)
  • 1138 Canon 20-pin Hirose Cable
  • 1141 Canon Video 12-pin Hirose
  • 1140 Y cable for Sony HD/ Panasonic HD
  • 1158 Fujinon Video Cable
  • 1155 Articulating Pan Arm Adapter
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The Micro Force V+F3 improves upon its heritage of ruggedness and precision with a new speed control sensor and digital speed display. The new sensor/control knob is virtually indestructible, and it turns with glassy smoothness. The design maintains the ergonomic advantages which have made the Micro Force the leading zoom control worldwide.At the heart of the V+F3 is the same force sensor technology, which has made the Micro Force an industry standard. The control drives a wide range of analog motors from M26T Heden motors to the full range of Panavision zoom motors.

The V+F3 may also be used to provide the zoom function in conjunction with the FI+Z system as well as interface to professional Canon and Fujinon video lenses (having the 12 pin or 20 pin Hirose connector).

The V+F3 unit operates over an input voltage range from 12 to 28 volts (30V max.). A series of molded “Y” cables is used to interface the control with the zoom motor and the accessory connectors on most motion picture cameras. Straight cables connect the V+F3 directly to video lenses or to the FI+Z Hand Unit.

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