Does a matte box deliver more value than a 100 L series Macro? at DVinfo.net

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old October 10th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #1
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Does a matte box deliver more value than a 100 L series Macro?

Last year, I invested in a Genus Matte Box with some filters, an on-lens and a rails system to fit my EX1 and Canon T2i, and used it in a few shoots.

A year later, a list of interviewees who don't like seeing it, and I'd like to hear of how a matte box has brought client-visible value to their shoots.

I have worked with fellow videographers who use matte boxes but who are reluctant to put a value to its addition to their camera. When the beer flows, it's rapidly apparent that we're talking Camera Codpiece.

After spending almost $1k on hardware to use a polarising filter and some NDs, Is a matte box REALLY necessary?

And there's more than a few times that my clients and I would really like a 100mm IS Macro, which may get more use than the expensive and unloved hardware up front...

So why is a matte box so high up on the 'must have' list? :-)
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Old October 10th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #2
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Hey Matt,

We did this one in the 7D forum:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...s-yea-nay.html

In short, use what works for you. but use something.

I like to use a mattebox when I'm shooting cine style, but use threaded filters with lens hoods when I'm run and gun.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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In terms of personal experience, something happened recently that got me thinking about matte boxes and the improved contrast they can deliver...

I work outside under the sun and have worn baseball caps to keep the sun off and shade my eyes. I recently visited the optometrist who observed I'm getting micro fractures in the eye lenses from too much UV. I can't wear wrap-around sunglasses, so I bought a full-circumference wide brimmed. Walking out of the store wearing it, I was amazed at how much 'clearer' my vision 'felt'. I was experiencing the improved contrast mentioned over in the 7D forum by Ted Ramasola. Apparently the ball cap brim allows quite a bit of light onto my glasses, resulting in a general glare (although no flare).

So now I'm wondering whether my photography/videography out under the sun would improve as well by removing all that light bouncing around in the lens.

On the other hand, when you need a 100mm macro, you just need it... :)
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Old October 18th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Brickert View Post
On the other hand, when you need a 100mm macro, you just need it... :)
I think this is the crux of the matter. I could sell all sorts of stuff to part-fund a Macro, but a job will come along that demands it. Clients will notice the results of an L series 100mm Macro, but unless they enjoy the 'look' of a 'studley' camera, they're not going to immediately see the results of a matte box when used with an EX1.

I'll just cough up for the Nun's Knickers, learn to love the matte box, and wait for the right job to fund the Macro.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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No. Not even close. Give me glass, or give me death.

You can shoot w/o a mattebox, not w/o a lens.

And there are lots of nice DIY matteboxes out there (see "Teddybear" Ted Ramasola's version here and at dvx - it's awesome)....

But you'll never DIY the glass.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:58 AM   #6
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Matt,

Use an empty, clean ice cream tub. Cut a hole in it. Paint it black.... Then buy the Canon 100mm F2.8 IS Macro. I just have (for 700) - it's a cracker of a lens. I've yet to finish the ice cream (the kids have offered to help....)

But as Liam said, didn't we just do all this Matt box thing on another part of the forum.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 02:01 AM   #7
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I do not have a matte box. I use filters and lens shades and a cheap french flag when needed.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 03:18 AM   #8
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I've been seen shading my lens with a dark clipboard.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 03:34 AM   #9
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Matte boxes are great in difficult lighting conditions, the sort that make your film look great. Take off the big matte box and use a little clip on job or tell the interviewee this makes you look like a million dollars. It can if the lighting would cause a flare or you've put in a pro mist or other filter (although doing this in post is getting common).

It's often a matter of making the interviewee feel comfortable and if you're doing the interviewing behind the camera (rather than a separate interviewer), a matte box could prove distracting, so you have to work with that and take it off on those interviews.

As for buying lenses instead of a matte box, it really depends if you need the lens for a particular job. Good matte boxes last a long tome, I've got an old Arri Bellows matte box made in the 1970s and it works a treat, unfortunately the lens diameters have grown beyond 80mm, so I haven't used it for quite a few years.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 07:21 PM   #10
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put the money into the lens

I too am seduced by a matte box...especially for our EX 1. BUT....I also love a $150 circular polarizer on a 24-70 lens for about the same money. This is what is so cool about DSLR HD video...lenses and inexpensive filters! The stuff for my EX1 costs a fortune!
Thanks!
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