I met the Hedèn guys for the first time last year. It was at IBC 2017. Had never heard about them before. It turned out that Hedèn had been making motion control systems for focus, zoom and aperture since 1964. The company was founded in 1964 by Björn Hedén, who at the time was a Hasselblad employee, working on the legendary Hasselblad 500C. Many of their legendary motors the M26T are still in service and Björn has won a Oscar scientific or technical Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the year 2009, for that exact motor.
For Fujinon MK and XK
Fast forward to 2017. Fujinon comes out with their brilliant Fujinon MK series, with the 18-55 and 50-135mm T2.9 lenses. Hedèn set out to do a motion control system for those lenses, and actually also for the Fujinon Cabrio XK 20-120mm T3.5, and it was preview ready at IBC 2017.
I received a package from Hedèn for test. And I was really exited to test it. I was’nt disappointed one bit.
The system is very compact. There is a control box, a lanc split cable, a power cable with a dtap connector and a zoom bracket. A dual bracket for zoom/or focus is available as an option. Rod mount is coming. More below.
Here are the features for the system, which are key for me:
- Easy to move from lens to lens
- Mounts available for several lenses – Fujinon MK and XK lenses
- For zoom or focus control. Stand alone rod mounted system is previewed at NAB 2018.
- Motor override function; servo and manual control can be combined
- 99 step speed setting
- Speed control from the handgrip (increment of 10) or motor controller (increments of 1)
- Ramping function for smooth movements for both zoom and focus.
- Low weight
- Very silent at normal speeds
I have used the system for several different shoots. Commercial, conference and sports. I took it to Austria and tested it in the cold and windy Sölden, to a commercial shoot at an international school in Copenhagen and to a conference.
After having used the system for some weeks I really like it. It’s solid, the speed settings are awesome. You can go snail speed (or almost) or full speed, it’s very easy to set up and when the rod mount comes out it’s usable on more than the Fujinons. I will try to preview that particular option at NAB, so stay tuned. (follow our Facebook page here or our Instagram here).
One last thing… The VLC-1 hardly does’nt use any power. I had it connected to my SWIT 8U93 battery and it’s like I’m only powewring the FS5, even in sub zero temperatures.
Watch the film below for a more visual presentation of the Hedèn VLC-1.