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Matte boxes and filter thickness
  • I almost bough a TrustMT matte box .. I have decided to delay.

    I have confirmed with the supplier (as have others) that the filter holders take filters with a maximum thickness of 3mm. While I don't have any 4x4 or 4x5.6 filters .. looking through catalogs .. most/all of the filters (tiffen) I might like to get are 4mm thick.

    Has anybody experience/advice with this possible issue and cheaper matteboxes

  • 31 Replies sorted by
  • What filters are you looking at? I have the 4x4 version and I've had no problem using a Tiffen 1/2 Pro-Mist or Formatt ND 0.6 and Polariser.

  • Black ProMist 1/2 is one I wish to get .. .. if you go to the specifications .. it's 4mm thick.

    Similarly the Formatt is listed as 4mm at bhp

    Same with the polariser

    Click the specs tab

    I just don't want to spend $400ish and find I can't use the filters I wish to use.

    Any further thoughts?

    Can you use both holders at the same time? Or does a 4mm filter prevent the second tray being used?

    Can you confirm if when fitted the 4mm filters protrude beyond thickness of holder?

  • The 4 mm filter will fit in, but it will not lock as it should. So you can work with it but need to be very careful on filter change.

  • Hmmm .. sounds like a bit of an oversight .. my guess is they used cheap acrylic filters when designing it. I think I'll look around a bit more.

    With 4mm filters, can you use two at once?

  • @kavadni

    You need to get actual filters and measure them yourself.

    Glass Cinematics filters work pretty fine with all this MBs.

  • @Vitaliy, I have measured the two ND tiffens I have are 3.8mm. Also measured 6 others (All Tiffen) .. also 3.8mm

    Has anybody any experience of the lanparte mattebox with 4mm thick filters.

    I want a mattebox that will safely and easily hold 4mm filters, and enable me to use both filter slots if filters are 4mm thick.

  • In the end, I have purchased the Lanparte matte box. It according to Lanparte was designed using Tiffen 4mm filters.

  • @kavadni

    As far as I know most of them use absolutely same filter holders part. :-)

  • I hope it holds 4mm safely .. I figure the TrustMT must be different from Cinematics and Lanparte, as the TrustMT claims 360 degree rotation for both holders and Lanparte/Cinematics only 180 degrees .. so something is different

  • The filter holders in our Cinematics mattebox definatly does not fit with standard tiffen filters. The part that hold the filter in place has not enough space to get the filter in. Anyhow, it not a big issue, as once the holder is inside the mattebox it cant fall out.

  • @Meierhans .. Damn, that's not good news if the Cinematics is indeed identical to the Lanparte, as I have ordered Lanparte. I will get by .. will have to.

    If you have influence or are involved in manufacture, would it not be a good idea to make the matte boxes compatible with the 'Industry Standard'?

    It's not an issue until somebody drop a $200 filter during change out.

    I haven't held either in my hand as yet .. Trust, Cinematics, or Lanparte, I am just trying to avoid issues.

  • REALLY sucks that the cinematics (which I bought recently) can't handle the tiffens. I was planning on getting a few Ultra cons. ugh.

  • @rockroadpix I hope my Lanparte does indeed take 4mm thick .. some have said is identical to Cinematics .. I hope not

  • From Jerry at Lanparte

    I asked: 'Can you tell me what thickness filters does the Lanparte Mattebox take? What is maximum thickness? I need a matte box that will hold 4mm thick glass safely.'

    He replied: 4mm, you can use Tiffen. We changed the filter holder, so it can hold the filter very safe.

    I will cross my fingers

  • Ok, I just looked up my latest purchased ND grads on B&H and it claims they are 4mm. They fit okie dokie in the cinematics. There is probably hope for you @kavadni .

  • I confirm the Lanparte Mattebox holds Tiffen 4mm filters correctly.

  • I am up against the same issue right now. It looks like these are the options:

    • Chrosziel (personal test)
    • LockCircle (manufacturer confirmed)
    • Lanparte (confirmed by forum member)
    • Cavision (personal test)
    • Cinematics (confirmed by forum member)
    • Cokin (website info)
    • Vocas (manufacturer confirmed)
    • Genus (manufacturer confirmed)
    • Movcam (manufacturer confirmed)
    • Century Optics ["Sunshade Filter Holder"] (confirmed by forum member)

    I have no confirmation, but I'd be surprised if the matte boxes from Arri, O'Connor, Bright Tangerine and TLS Raven could not hold 4mm filters. But those are out of my price range anyway.

  • I have the Pro MB that's sold on here from time to time but bought mine from REDSTAR. They are all the same. Anyways, I actually had the accident someone talked about in an earlier thread, dropping a $300 filter out of the tray because they do not fit tight at all. I actually, scotch tape the far sides because it scares the shit out of me to pull the tray from the MB. I was using a Tiffen UV 4x5.56 just as a reference.

  • I'm about to buy some 4x4 filters to use with my Cinematics matte box, and I'm glad I found this thread. I had planned to buy Schneiders. Will they fit in the Cinematics filter trays? If not, will Lee filters? If not, what will?


  • @Sangye According to @rockroadpix above, they will fit (Schneiders are also 4mm thick).

  • Yes, that really is stupid in the first place to build a matte-box that cannot fit industry standard 4x4 filters. Because looking on b&h 90% of the filters are 4mm thick. So what is the purpose of building something that won't work with 90% of filters, because apart from people that want to look pro, they are of no use. I am still searching for an alternative, I am a bit worry to buy something that might still not hold the very expensive filters in place. I was looking at the Shoot35 model that got rave reviews even if it is in the $ 700 price range.

  • @danyyyel I agree.

    What I am looking in a matte box:

    • High-quality, low-profile, 2-stage (1x rotating) matte box
    • Compatible with 4x4, 4mm-thick filters (not 4x5.6; my filters are not this size and it seems to add unnecessary bulk)
    • Has a swingaway option

    So far, I have not been able to find this combination. I'm hoping that Genus can confirm that their matte box takes 4mm-thick filters. Their matte box is lower profile, but also very expensive.

    I'll update the post above when I hear back.

  • @quickhitrecord, when you say 'low-profile', what do you mean?

  • @kavadni Some matte boxes are much larger than others. I currently have Cavision 4x4 matte box and it is huge. It dwarfs my GH2 and it's hard to pack. I'd prefer to have one that is on the smaller side.

  • I have schneiders and tiffen and they all fit my cinematics MB. It works, it's not great, but for the $ it's a good deal. My main gripe is that the flag lock down screws don't necessarily stay tight. That COULD ruin a shot. Another issue is that I got Genus nun's knickers for it and the opening is smaller than standard. I had to unscrew the piece that the lens goes through to put the nun's knickers into it. Now I have to screw into the MB in order to hold the NK in place. It's a decent looking mattebox and will raise the eyebrows of people that aren't video brand oriented...

    @QuickHitRecord : The cinematics matches all your criteria except that calling it "high quality" is a stretch. If you want high quality, get something that costs twice as much or even much more... chrosziel etc..