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Old February 5th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #1
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How does the matte box attach to the rails?

Looking for a close up picture of matte box attached to rails. In the process of building my own (and what a long process it is...)

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Old February 5th, 2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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heres a pic of xl1s and mattebox on rails..
http://www.mediathreat.com/demo/cam/DSCN0059.gif
just an attatchment piece under the mattebox that the rails run through
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Old February 5th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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FYI chaps--they are traditionally referred to as "iris rods"--not sure where "rails" is coming from but it sure seems to have spread like a weed around here!
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Old February 5th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #4
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fyi- the term i have always heard used and used myself has been rails..
check out this website.. ebay.. or any google search for video mattebox support or for film cameras and you will see rails or rods used as a standard term for this item.. its definately not a term that started here.


http://www.cavision.com/Mattbox/DVX-...teBoxGuide.htm
http://www.broadcam.com.au/product.php?pid=27
etc...
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Old February 5th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #5
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I don't think Charles was suggesting the term originated here, I think he meant the term 'spread like a weed' on this board.

I am aware of the older term Iris Rods from 'back in the day' but I think the term 'rails' came in in the early 90's... first I heard it anyway. But as Charles is working in the industry in La La Land, I suspect his vocabulary will be more industry standard.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #6
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I am finding it quite interesting that all the rails I have seen have a raised platform for the camera. I am working on mine and have not used this type of construction for my letus and plastic matte box and it seems to have save me a step. MAybe there is something I am missing?
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:31 PM   #7
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Leo, that's so there is support for a matte box. The matte box has to extend downward and on some cameras I'm sure that falls below the bottom of the base.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #8
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Ben, thanks for the quick response.
True enough, but the matte box is beyond the tripod or the base (along the rails at the end of them), so I am still unsure why it is necessary. When I finish my rails, I will post a few pictures and show you what I am talking about - BUT having said that I don't have a full MATTE box, so maybe it is the one I am using, but in theory I still don't see the necessity.
Actually, now that I look at a few of the pictures, it is the rails relative size that make the raise part a necessity. I have long rails (15cm) and would just cut them shorter or have them hang out the back instead of building a raise platform.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #9
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It's not the length of the rods that's the issue, its the rods reaching the right height so they can touch the bottom of the matte box. Matte boxes come in different sizes and by having a rail system without an adjustable platform you're limiting yourself to using matte boxes that either share the same reach as the base of your camera or don't require rod support at all.

Your design works great for your matte box because you know the box's dimensions when you built it; but I don't think any manufacturer like Cavision would alienate consumers by not making their design adjustable.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 06:47 PM   #10
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You are probably right. WIthout a proper matte box, it is really hard to tell, but this one I am using and the rails I have made seem almost a perfect fit, so I guess Iwill have to wait and see.
Ben, checking out your flick on Youngcuts now...
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Old February 5th, 2006, 08:12 PM   #11
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Thanks Richard...

Yes indeed, I didn't think the term "rails" was born here. There are certain terms that I notice get bandied around more in the DV world than in the industry at large; always curious about how that happens. Another one would be "glass" to describe a lens; while I do hear and use that from time to time myself, I see it used very frequently here (i.e. "that camera has good glass" vs "that camera has a good lens").
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Old February 6th, 2006, 07:48 AM   #12
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Charles,

My career bounced between television, professional photography, radio, television, theatre, film and... well numerous 'media' related areas.

While working for a custom photo lab, back in the '70's, I heard the term 'glass' applied to the enlarger lenses. "Clean your glass" "Check your glass" "Change your glass to '17mm" - whatever. At the time, no one called our camera lenses 'glass'. Probably in the late '80's early '90's, while discussing SLR camera's with a pro, he kept saying "Nikon's glass is superior to Canon's" or "Great camera, bad glass..." So, if I had to make a guess... I would say the slang originated in the still profession, and migrated into video - and this is just a wild guess - when still photographers started shooting wedding videos???? But that's pure speculation.


More on topic - rods, or 'rails' - are necessary to support HEAVY matte boxes that cannot be lens mounted. (Yes, you can buy some that mount directly to the lens). Mounting the boxes on rods allows for the lens to move either in rotation, or a tiny fraction latterally while focusing. The box will have a flexible rear mask/donut in that case. Also, especially with large film cameras, the mattebox will swing AWAY from the lens on the rails, to allow for mounting a different lens, then slide back or forward on the rails to compensate. Let's also not forget that the rails (rods) provide a mounting platform for the focus assist, and in some cases zoom assist motors.
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