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Product ID : Z-DRV
Price: $550.00
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The Zacuto Z-Drive is a unique, universal direct drive follow focus, designed with single operator shoulder mounted rigs in mind. It attaches to a single 15mm diameter rod and curves away from the operator at a 60 degree angle creating space and distance from the lens for comfortable use when the camera is on your shoulder. This is the perfect follow focus for a Recoil kit set up (where the camera is directly over your shoulder) as it brings focus control further forward as well as down for comfortable operation. The Z-Drive can operate in four modes and is extremely adjustable for all size lenses. It can operate on the camera assistant or operators side of the rig positioned forward toward the lens or backward towards the tripod/dolly etc.. This makes for easy operation with a standard follow focus whip used on a tripod.

The Z-Drive slides onto a single 15mm diameter rod (on the left or right of your camera) and tightens in place next to your lens with a Zacuto quick-release ratcheting red lever. It comes with a fixed 1 ¾” diameter .8 pitch gear to connect to your lens. If your lenses are not pitched to .8 or are not pitched at all (most DSLR and basic video camera lenses are not) you can add our Zipgear Universal to your lens so the teeth match our gear correctly for smooth rotation. The ZipGears can be cut to fit the circumference of your lens and tightened with an Allen key. These ZipGear straps are pitched to .8 and are 13.5” long. With some smaller lenses a larger gear for the Z-Drive may be helpful. The 60mm Z-Drive Gear screws directly to the gear of Z-Drives purchased after Dec 8,2015. If you have an older version of the Z-Drive and want to upgrade to the newer Z-Drive to allow for the larger gear, email sales@zacuto.com. There is a $75 charge for the upgrade.

The Z-Drive has a slender marking disc to create distance marks for repeatable focus pulls and a standard whip port. We recommend using the Z-Drive with our Tornado grip when working handheld. The Tornado attaches to the Z-Drive whip port and works in tandem with the Z-Drive to create a unique mechanical follow focus handgrip perfect for single operator shoulder mounted work.

PLEASE NOTE: The Z-Drive is not compatible with matteboxes when working shoulder mounted. 
                       The Z-Drive's max operating temperature is 100 degrees F. 

Looking for a full handle kit? We offer the Z-Drive and Tornado together with a single handgrip in our Recoil Handgrip Kit.

Product Reviews

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Reviewed by UnseenCreative
09/13/2018 - 04:53:16 PM
Fantastic Addition to My Recoil Rig
Price definitely held me back for a while, but I knew from first seeing it, I'd want the Z-Drive, and once I pulled the trigger I was VERY glad I did. The Z-drive has become an essential tool for me in gaining added precision while pulling focus. Not only is it super smooth, but it's just tight enough that I feel confident in making tiny adjustments without over or under shooting my focus point.

It is a pricy unit, but the build quality, craftsmanship, and usability more than warrant the price tag. This is not a product you could NOT enjoy using!
Reviewed by 4wtmedia
4wtmedia bought "Z-Drive" on our website
12/11/2017 - 03:33:32 PM
Solid Follow Focus
As a former Redrock Micro customer, I'm used to average results when it comes to Follow Focus units. But with the Z-Drive, I was blown away by the simplicity and smoothness for pulling focus. We are using this in conjunction with our Canon 18-80 Servo lens and the Z-Drive is buttery and has little play. If you are looking to take it a step further, I would highly suggest the Tornado which adds a handle grip to your Z-Drive. Overall very happy with the Zacuto system here and will be looking to upgrade further camera systems with a similar approach. Highly recommend!
Reviewed by michaeljherbert
michaeljherbert bought "Z-Drive" on our website
09/12/2017 - 05:51:33 PM
A Follow Focus For Your Shoulder Rig
I didn't not expect to enjoy using this follow focus as much as I do. I have used a traditional style follow focus for years, but the Z-Drive is designed specifically for the shoulder mounted shooting that I am doing most days. That being said, the action and build of this unit are on par with any follow focus that I've used. Paired with the tornado, I'm sorry that I waited so long to add this to my rig.
Reviewed by Bonafide
04/05/2017 - 11:07:59 PM
A Fantastic follow focus system.
I have been using this follow focus system in conjunction with the Tornado and Gratical HD.

Our primary use has been using it on Super Telephoto setups while filming wildlife at extreme distances in the dead of winter in Yellowstone National Park. With the Tornado grip attached, it allows for the camera operator to use it all day comfortably, giving wonderful control over the cameras focus.

I would recommend this follow focus system to anyone.
Reviewed by clowrey
01/20/2017 - 12:02:18 PM
I love this tool and use it every opportunity I can. It's very smooth with little to no play. My only concern is the little rachet that locks the device on my 15mm rails. Sometimes I feel the spring mechanism could break if I lock it down super tight to prevent it from moving. I know Zacuto would stand behind the product however, I would have the down time for a repair. One suggestion maybe use the heavier ratchet like you have on your wonderful wood handle grips!
Reviewed by clowrey
01/20/2017 - 12:02:18 PM
I love this tool and use it every opportunity I can. It's very smooth with little to no play. My only concern is the little rachet that locks the device on my 15mm rails. Sometimes I feel the spring mechanism could break if I lock it down super tight to prevent it from moving. I know Zacuto would stand behind the product however, I would have the down time for a repair. One suggestion maybe use the heavier ratchet like you have on your wonderful wood handle grips!
Reviewed by grantfriedman
07/28/2016 - 03:55:23 PM
This thing is awesome!
The Z-Drive is one of the products that got me interested in using Zacuto rigs. This product has completely changed the way I shoot. By pulling the follow focus away from the lens, and giving me something to hold on to, I’m able to not only focus faster but also hold the camera much more steady.

I am also impressed with just how well the Z-Drive is constructed. While it it may look a bit like an engine part, it feels just as sturdy, and the focusing is exceptionally smooth. I can’t say enough good things about this product.
Reviewed by jaypremack
02/19/2016 - 09:16:53 AM
Very Well Built
I run a C100 on a VCT Universal with an ENG Grip Relocator. This follow focus allows me to keep my elbows tucked to my chest for stable on the shoulder shots and has super smooth action. It's not cheap but given that Zacuto non-electronic parts come with a lifetime warrantee I would expect to keep using this for years.

A huge thanks to Zacuto's amazing customer service. In addition to well engineered parts, they're just really great to deal with.
Reviewed by kerry
12/15/2015 - 05:21:23 PM
Z Drive
Compact, precision positioning with no lag the only way to improve this device would be to build in custom hard stops! It much smaller than any of are other follow focus devices and easy to keep in our camera bag. We have rubber gear grips on all lenses for quick installation and fast action between lens changes.
Reviewed by cpanson
cpanson bought "Z-Drive" on our website
12/13/2015 - 12:23:49 PM
Smooth and light
This is another amazing piece. It is light and smooth to operate. I can use it in both tripod and on my shoulder mode with ease. I am using it with the loxia lenses and find that while I can make it work, I will want to add the larger gear for greater flexibility. My only wish would be for hard stops.
Reviewed by akopinski
11/10/2015 - 11:05:34 AM
Great follow focus but not for all users.
I have used quite a few different follow focus brands and this by far is the smoothest, lightest and most compact product. I'm a single operator of a DSLR rig and this follow focus is a joy to use. It has zero play and reacts instantly from the moment I turn the knob.

However, having tried other brands, I miss the hard stops. Hope the next version would get modified without adding extra weight. Also, I agree with other reviews that installing matte box next to this follow focus is very challenging. Maybe the Zacuto designers give some more thought and accommodate matte box users in a future.
Reviewed by wigercj
08/13/2015 - 11:25:51 AM
Best Follow Focus on the Market
If you have the funds, this is no doubt the best follow focus on the market. I love how I can move it to any angle for an extremely comfortable grip. Brilliant design and extremely smooth focus pull.
Reviewed by visualhybrid
08/04/2015 - 11:22:17 AM
Decent follow focus
This kit definitely isn't cheap, but it works a treat and pairs flawlessly with the Recoil system. Definitely worth considering
07/08/2015 - 08:05:39 AM
Smooth Operator
Love how smooth this unit it. A must have in the world of DSLR Shooting. Mounted in second and feels great with my Tornado.
Reviewed by clynphotonerd
07/02/2015 - 04:41:51 PM
Very pleased!!!
The Z-drive was extremely useful and very accurate for the pulling of focus. I have been reminded of the quality that Zacuto brings to any film set. It isnâ
Reviewed by mliu1983
06/30/2015 - 09:19:10 PM
Great for one man band but wish it could adapt for matte box
For most run and gun setups, this is the perfect solution as it gives you control of the lens right on the grip. But because it protrudes so far forward, it can't accommodate a matte box. If Zacuto came up with a solution for this and a matte box, then it would be a perfect 10.
Reviewed by Elemeknow
Elemeknow bought "Z-Drive" on our website
06/03/2015 - 04:08:49 PM
The perfect tool for a lone wolf!
I shoot everything solo. I have tons of projects and I'm not prone to hiring anyone to pull focus for me. The Z-drive allows me to continue to capture every moment without creating an intrusive environment that will distract my clients.

If you pair this with your Next Gen Recoil rig, you'll be amazed by how quickly you begin to stop "thinking" while pulling focus. The teeth can catch grips on all of my "L" lenses, the focus pulls are smooth, and you can always attach a tornado if you want to go the extra mile.

It sets up super fast and you can literally break down your setup at the flip of the lever. The Z-drive is definitely money well spent.
Reviewed by arri_eyed
04/06/2015 - 02:02:14 PM
Just what I needed...
I have 2 other follow focus', and they each work fine, but I needed something a bit smaller, because I prefer to travel light. This thing is a gem. When I shoot solo this is usually the one I grab. It feels so solid in my hand, its one less thing I have to think about while shooting. I've used other, lessor brands that have way too much play, which then distracts from whats in front of the lens. I am not a Zacuto fanboy by any means, i use the best tools available, and it just so happens that they make some of the best tools available..
Reviewed by Realprod
02/17/2015 - 12:35:05 PM
Great Addition
This has been a great addition to my rig. It allows me to really control my focus when I'm on the move. Well, built, ergonomic, and precise. Allows for long focus pulls and fine adjustment. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by NiceLady
02/10/2015 - 02:44:02 AM
Smart Design, Easy to Use
For a single operator, this is the most comfortable follow focus on the market. Adding the tornado handle to this makes using any camera to shoot video, so simple to focus. My only suggestions would to somehow have this design start out further from the rods to accommodate a matte box, and I've love if it had hard stops.
Reviewed by professor.z
12/24/2014 - 05:11:39 PM
Great! Great! and great!
I use this with my Scorpion in conjunction with my Tornado grip. It has totally opened up doors for me as a one man DSLR shooter. It really puts the Independent in Independent Film Making. I can now follow focus easily without taking my hand away from the hand grip. It is beautifully engineered. It is hardy and works smoothly. I love it. Be aware that you can't use it with a matte box as it sits too close to your camera on a rig. Also, in my experience, with a regular DSLR lens the Z-drive and Tornado grip stick out at an almost horizontal angle. I remedied this with a big follow focus gear rather than the Zacuto zip gear and it reduces the angle of support considerably. And Zacuto sales and support are super nice and super helpful. They are a model of what customer service should be like in this country. This is super brilliant thinking Zacuto guys!
Reviewed by T.L.Wilson@icloud.com
06/06/2014 - 10:46:47 AM
Versatile little guy
Normally, when I preach Zacuto to the rest of my team I say that you get what you pay for. There are cheaper options out there but Zacuto lasts forever. Not so with this. I haven't seen anything else out there even remotely like it. There arenâ

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