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  • Hi guys. I've been looking around at various mattebox options. I've had a nose through the usual suspects - Chrosziel (Phew!!!), Redrock, Genus etc and have seen a lot of Indian and Chinese kit on eBay. When looking for some of the Chinese kit - which IMO seems to look far better engineered than the Indian stuff, i've been led to your site which has some interesting points of view.

    Anyway. I am in the market for a Mattbox, Rails and Baseplate and Follow focus.

    I've looked at the LanParTe, Cinematics, Wondlan and Wieldy producs as well as some others which look a bit too cheap (and on further inspection the seem to built to that price as well).

    I have a need for a mattebox with a rear opening of at least 105mm as i intend to use the box with a Century wide angle lens on a Z5 (which is that wide). I also need quite a wide box so that i don't get any vignetting with this lens.

    You guys seem to have a lot of experience with these products. I quite like the look of the LPT stuff, especially the follow focus, but maybe you have different ideas.

    I would be most grateful for any advice you may have on this.

    Many Thanks!!

  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • >I have a need for a mattebox with a rear opening of at least 105mm

    With rear metal round thing mounted, opening on Cinematics is 100mm.
    As you'll remove it becomes 105-106mm.
    Most probably TrusMT will be the same.
    I don't have Century, used only Samyang 14mm.
    But any 4x4 box has 100mm filters stage anyway :-)

    >I quite like the look of the LPT stuff, especially the follow focus, but maybe you have different ideas.

    I don't know.
    I think that TrusMT are better in follow focuses and both TrusMT and Cinematics are better in mattebox design.
  • How to prevent light leaking?

    Step-up rings and Zacuto universal donut?
  • Hmmm. What to do. The lens accepts 102mm filters so maybe the 4x4 filter holder won't be a problem. I'll have to fashion one out of cardboard and put in front of the lens to see what happens.

    This is the one:

    So basically what your saying is i'm stuffed with this lens?? :)

    There's also this one which does accept larger lens diameter, but still has 100mm filter stages:

    277 x 285 - 3K
  • @o2x

    I already provided you with actual measurements for Cinematics.
  • Sorry Vitaliy. Missed that, just me being a little excited.

    Also sorry for the muliple posts!!

    Having done some research, it seems that there will always be a little vignetting if the lens is used fully wide, on any regular matte box (5x6 monsters from Arri and O'Connor excluded) The barrelling on the lens fully wide is a little too much anyway. It seems there are several users out there who use 4x4 systems with the wide lens without any major difficulties (only one really seems to be some vignetting fully wide).


  • Hope this doesn't come off as elitist, but I have found many of the cheaper options to really be difficult to work with at times. From light leak to not holding up under the rigors of production, the saying you get what you paid for really does seem to hold up with matteboxes. For some people these will be fine for the type of work they do, for others I think they will discover the shortcomings. The Arri MB20 is a workhorse. Way out of many people's budget, understood. Chroziel makes good stuff, but still expensive. Vocas is good too. O'connor mattebox has a couple of issues, but overall pretty good value. Once you start going below that, there are compromises. A good mattebox with quality glass filters makes a world of difference in the images you can capture. I've learned that the hard way at times. If someone makes an MB20 clone for under $1K, I will buy it in a heartbeat. :-)
  • @smsjr

    We are not talking at such level on this forum.
    In such generalizations and in brands also.
    Show me the matte boxes you really used and show real shortcomings.
  • REDrock Micro comes well under 1K U$ and has worked very well for us in the last three years.

    That said, I'd also like proof of your generalizations. Rather have a closer look at the alternatives. Don't underestimate the Chinese!

    Japanese products had about the same image of cheap and crappy in the fifties – later there was a lesson to learn for those who underestimated them…
  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev Okay, let's start with Redrock. There is enough gap between the filter stages to let light in and bounce around in bad ways. Due to this reason or possibly that the angle of the mattebox is not precise, we have had issues with hot mirror style filters such as the Pancro IRND series which when used in an MB20 are fine but when used in Redrock will suffer from ghosting/double reflections. Build quality of the mattebox is ok, but I would say after a few productions with heavy use might get banged up pretty good.

    I don't want my statements to come off as completely negative generalizations about low cost matteboxes, but having been around a few film sets in my time, what I've come to learn is that you have to accept that often with lower cost products there is some compromise, which does affect production. Hopefully the above is a specific enough example of how low cost was good until the day we realized that we couldn't confidently use a particular set of filters due to a flaw in the mattebox. Now someone on a budget might say, okay I just won't use those filters and that's fine, that's the whole point. Not everyone has the same needs.
  • I admit that Arri's MBs are the ultimate quality, but I suppose you won't see many of them on a GH2 ;-)

    I wonder if the experience with the Redrock MB was user error, since we didn't see that in a similar situation. I can't detect much light leak at the filter stages either. You must make sure that the donut is placed properly and of course the IR filter must be frontmost, since it's highly reflective. We use Formatt, BTW.

    Even for our Red One we had to resort to something cheaper than Arri…
  • I am looking for a bigger (but not $3k+) mattebox as well.

    As my biggest lens is 111mm outer diameter and has wide angle with a field of view width of 100mm +16mm for each 10mm distance from lens (I hope you understand what I mean: a filter at 20mm from the lens will need to be at least132mm width). I would like to get a mattebox to use with two polarizers (variND) as it is not possible to screw a filter to the front of the big lens. As far as I understand I will need a mattebox that facilitate at least one 5,65x5.65" filters (rotating stage) plus one or two fixed stages of at least 4x5,65. Are there any on the market except for the very expensive Vocas MB450 or Arri MB20?

    Maybe @o2x could change this topic title to matteboxes for bigger and/or wide-angle lenses > 4x4" or 105mm)?

  • Well, post-NAB things haven't changed too much with regard to matte boxes - but there are a a couple of additions:

    This one is 4x4, but at least it has 3 rotating stages...

    This looks great, 3 stages of 4x5.65 PLUS a 138mm round. Alas, looks like the 138mm round is the only stage that rotates

    And a new Vocas model which looks excellent. Only problem is buying flags and extra trays as accessories can quickly mount up

    I still think there's room at the lower end of the market for a well designed and priced matte box that actually works that way a matte box should. Until then, I have to agree with SMSJR above, you get what you pay for.