The Cine RT System

The Cine RT System is one of the most popular distance reference tools available to professional focus pullers on the market today and the best ultrasonic cinema rangefinder & transmitter tracking system in its class.


Designed by camera assistants to support the art of pulling focus, the Cine RT satisfies a broad range of working methods and has been widely recognized for its operational flexibility and exceptional performance for use on film and digital cameras. Constructed from pro-grade materials and containing electronics rated to work within an industrial operating temperature range, the components are purpose built to withstand a life on set - from your ditty bag to the most challenging set location. The innovative distribution of ultrasonic transducers across the custom-built wireless component family enables an expansive toolset unique to the Cine RT. Custom-designed and third-party serial protocol outputs deliver fast distance data to lens control systems by ARRI, Preston, c motion, Teradek, and Heden.

The lightweight, low-profile ultrasonic UBS-100 Base Sensor is the computational centre of the system and is the only component required on the camera, making it ideal for all builds. The Base performs multiple duties as both a rangefinder and receiver for tracking up to four compact BUG-100 Transmitters. 

The HSU-100 Handset Controller is the system’s command centre where all operational settings can be accessed. The Handset touchscreen offers a variety of view modes to display multiple subject distances, innovative DSP settings and doubles as a handheld invisible “tape measure” to support the traditional practice of collecting focus marks. 

The compact High-Bright Remote Display relays the system’s distance data with LED numbers visible in all lighting conditions. High-Brights can be chained to offer multiple readouts of the same subject distance or set up to monitor separate distance sources simultaneously and can be shared with any crew member who can use focus distance information to help nail the shot!

The Cine RT System goes one step further by connecting to all popular lens control systems. Custom or native serial protocols deliver fast distance data to products by ARRI, c motion, Preston, Teradek and Heden. In 2022 Focusbug’s partnership with ARRI advanced the integration to include the Focusbug License for bi-directional compatibility with the Hi-5 focus handset!

Greig Fraser operating on Dune (Warner Brothers) with focus by 1st AC Jake Marcuson, Photo:  Chiabella James, chiabellajames.com, "Dune Part One: The Photography"

Base Sensor Features

  • Single compact on-camera unit
  • Internal Class 3R targeting laser
  • 40' (12.19 m) ultrasonic rangefinder
  • 6" (15.2 cm) rangefinder minimum
  • 14°, 24°, 36° adjustable field of view
  • Outputs imperial and metric distance units
  • Supports up to 4x BUG Transmitters
  • Sync Mode for 2x Cine RT Systems
  • Interchangeable mounting hardware
  • Serial connectivity with popular LCS

Ultrasonic Base Sensor UBS-100

The lightweight, low-profile ULTRASONIC BASE SENSOR  is the computational center of the Cine RT System and the only system component required on the camera, making it ideal for all builds. The BASE acquires 12 ultrasonic readings per second, samples those readings at a rate of 1 million cycles per second, and generates constant distance data in imperial and/or metric. This distance data is shared remotely with the other system components via the 2.4 GHz ISM band at distances of up to 800’ (243.8m). Precision clocking, high sampling rates, and proprietary algorithms work to minimize outlier readings and increase stability like no other ultrasonic rangefinder before.

The laser-targetable rangefinder works from a near minimum distance of 6” (15.2 cm) to 40’ (12.19 m). Set an FPO (Film Plane Offset) easily by measuring from the back of the BASE to your camera film plane, or by eye using focus tracking via your LCS. Customize your rangefinder by selecting a 14°, 24°, or 36° field of view to compensate for different focal lengths and set limits to ignore unwanted foreground, mid-range, or background objects. Track up to four BUG transmitters to multiple subjects from 6” (15.2 cm) to 120’ (36.5 m) with minimal impedance from obstacles.

Click here for Technical Specifications


"The Cine RT makes small builds easy.  I often find myself, as 'A Camera', getting into configurations that require the least amount of space and weight.  With easy power solutions and the various readout options, I’m always confident I can find a solution that gets the camera the size the DP wants and the distance data I need." -Ian Barbella, USA

The BASE working on The Witcher (Netflix)

Photo: Susie Allnutt, www.susieallnutt.com

Steadicam operated by James Frater, focus by 1st AC Adam Coles.

1st AC Thijs van Geenhuizen collecting focus marks on Naar De Mann music video, Photo: David in den Bosch

Handset Features

  • System remote controller
  • Monitor two subjects simultaneously
  • Easily switchable sources
  • Customizable near, mid and long range limits
  • Integrated 120' (36.5m) tape measure
  • Collect and edit focus marks
  • Real-time graphical subject monitoring
  • Real-time audio mark cues
  • Real-time ultrasonic reflection display
  • Adjustable screen brightness, high contrast display mode and screen lock
  • Rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery
  • Power save mode & shutdown timers
  • Interchangeable mounting hardware

Handset Control Unit

Complete your focus station by adding the HANDSET CONTROL UNIT. The HANDSET is the system’s command center and contains a pressure-sensitive touchscreen to display several distance readout VIEW MODES and to access system-wide operational settings. Adjust SENSITIVITY to read larger or smaller objects and/or surface details, or use the tried and true general purpose default developed in the field. Customize your rangefinder range by setting LIMITS to ignore unwanted foreground and background object readings, or engage a LOCKOUT to remove mid-range obstacles. View the Rangefinder and one BUG, or two BUGs simultaneously, in 2X VIEW. Toggle seamlessly between all active distance sources and assign LCS focus tracking rack speeds with the SOURCE SWITCHER.

Did you know the HANDSET doubles as a 120’ (36.5m) invisible tape measure to quickly collect and store focus marks without pulling a physical tape or targeting a point laser?  When using the ARRI Focusbug License your collected marks will appear automatically on the Hi-5. Marks can also be collected directly with the rangefinder or BUG transmitters. Use the MARKS EDITOR to compensate for last-minute subject or camera repositions without needing to remeasure or calculate new marks. Use the headphone jack to hear your mark cues in real time with FOCUS WHISPER, or see your marks in real time on a graphical distance display in MARKS VIEW.

Click here for Technical Specifications


“Being able to use the HANDSET like a soft tape has been a huge time saver.  I get my marks so quickly and quietly the ADs usually don’t even know I’ve done it.  There’s no better feeling than an AD or DP asking if I need marks and I can respond, “No, I’m good” and then nail the shot.” -Scott Johnson, USA

TAPE MODE working on Hello Tomorrow! (Apple +)

Photo Credit: Peter Kramer

1st AC Cory Stambler uses the Handset to grab a focus mark for Billy Crudup.

ARRI Alexa build with Cine RT Base & High-Bright Display, Photo: 1st AC Arthur Chassaing

High-Bright Features

  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • 14 mm daylight viewable LED readout
  • Five adjustable brightness levels
  • Multiple units can be used simultaneously
  • Independently selectable Metric/Imperial units
  • Flip option for inverted mounting
  • Long lasting rechargeable internal LiPo battery
  • One touch battery life indicator
  • Interchangeable mounting options

High-Bright LED Display

The compact High-Bright LED Display receives data remotely from the BASE and relays that distance info with 0.55" (14mm) ultra-bright LED numbers. Five brightness levels ensure exceptional visibility in all lighting conditions.

Set up multiple HIGH-BRIGHTS to share readouts of the same distance source, or use two HIGH-BRIGHTS to track two different subjects simultaneously while in 2X VIEW.  If you have more than one HIGH-BRIGHT in your Cine RT System, or are viewing distance information on your HANDSET or LCS, give one to a Steadicam operator, dolly grip, crane boom op, picture car driver or visual effects supervisor - this unique opportunity to share critical live distance information can assist other crew members in the communal effort of shot creation.

Click here for Technical Specifications


“The Focusbug Cine RT is literally my guardian angel. Since I've owned my unit, it’s really hard to think about getting on set without it. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a face detection system build in since it is so accurate.  It really feels like I’m working with a partner… I could think about other solutions of course, but nothing is as versatile and practical as the Cine RT. Even on a very tight schedule, I can come on set and throw the BASE and HIGH-BRIGHT on a camera in a minute...it's insane! There’s no other system that can do this in this such a compact footprint.” -Maxime Raymond, Switzerland

The HIGH-BRIGHT positioned for easy viewing

Photo credit: Arthur Chassaing

A very complete focus station including HIGH-BRIGHT and HANDSET by 1st AC Arthur Chassaing.

1st AC David Churchyard bugging Jamie Dornan on A Private War (Universal)

Bug Features

  • Ultra lightweight design
  • Small form factor
  • Easily concealable
  • Works through common fabrics
  • 4x active BUGs at one time
  • Line of sight operation to BASE
  • Easily programmable Offset
  • No RF emissions
  • Long lasting rechargeable internal LiPo battery
  • Power save mode
  • Remote shutdown
  • Compatible with on-set sound recording

Ultrasonic Bug Transmitter

The miniature ULTRASONIC BUG TRANSMITTER is milled from rugged ABS, weighs virtually nothing and can be easily hidden under most fabrics.  BUGs can only receive RF commands and thus output no RF emissions.  BUGs work by sending 12 ultrasonic pulses per second directly to the BASE to distances of up to 120' (36.5m).  BUGs perform best within line of sight of the BASE and can operate effectively up to 90 degrees off-axis within a massive 160 degree field of view (relative to the BASE).  Imagine your BUG as a tiny silent speaker that only the BASE can hear.  If they are positioned well and not covered too aggressively, they are extremely effective with exceptional accuracy. 

Track and toggle between up to four active BUGS at one time. Use the BUGs on lens charts to aid with lens tests, give them to your 2nd AC to assist you in the collection of focus marks, place in a stand-in's pocket for constant live distance data during set-ups, and conceal them on actors for fast readings while shooting. 

Click here for Technical Specifications


"The Bug Transmitter has saved me more times than I can count, especially on high speed running sequences where the subject is approaching camera and changing directions and for scenes where your subject is moving through many obstacles that would normally block your horns. Not to mention it’s my favourite tool in camera prep, where I save tons of time applying it to the focus chart for fast and accurate lens prepping. With large format, wide open shooting and productions that work in rapid speed, the Cine RT system is an absolute must have for the modern focus puller and a tool that will have your back no matter the shot.” -Kyle Belousek, USA

A BUG-enabled focus chart

Photo Credit: Neffi Kristensen

1st AC Neffi Kristensen uses the BUG to speed up lens tests. 

LCS Integration

The Cine RT System’s utility goes even further by connecting to all popular lens control systems. Custom or native serial protocols deliver fast distance data to products by ARRI, c motion, Preston, Teradek and Heden. In 2022 Focusbug’s partnership with ARRI advanced the integration to include the Focusbug License for bi-directional operational compatibility with the Hi-5 focus handset.


1st AC Dennis Kuhnel surrounded by gear including the Cine RT Base & Handset, Photo: unknown