Matte Boxes

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Our boss, in a rare moment of weakness, has circulated an e-mail asking for gear we might like him to purchase. A couple of us are interested in looking at matte boxes. Can anyone recommend some brands, preferably at the lower end of the market. They will be used for longer news features, and some shorter current affairs. Anyone had experience with Cavision, or Vocas?


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Don't go cheap with buying a matte box. You are going to need one that's durable enough for everyday use. The cheaper ones fall apart quickly. I recommend the Vocas "Shade Fx". Its titanium and lightweight. It runs about $1000. plus the adapter ring for your IF lens. Remember, 4x4 filters cost about $100. & up each.


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I use a Chrosziel compact 16:9 mattebox and love it. It pretty much lives on the camera fulltime.

The filter trays and mechanical parts are aluminium and the box/shade is a fibreglass material. Their standard mattebox has two filter trays, one that rotates and a fixed one. They also come with a french flag.

If you have internal focus lenses I would recommend a clamp on box rather than one with rails. The rails can be annoying when shooting off the shoulder, add a fraction more weight and really arent needed.

Be very careful in who uses it. They are not really designed for hard news use. If its used by someone who treats it like their own there will be no problem. Give it to anyone else and you might have problems.

You also need to bear in mind the cost of the filters. As dinosaur said, they start at around $100 depending on the type, quality, and brand. Expect to pay around $200 or so for a diffuser or colour grad made of quality glass. There are cheaper resin filters around but save yourself the bother and go for the better glass ones. There is a huge difference in quality.

16x9 Specialty Products
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