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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:16 AM   #1
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Matte Box Recommendations

Hi Everyone

I realise that there are many matte box options for XF300/305 but I really need some help from other users. I'm looking for something well-built, with at least two 4X4 stages, with good access to the stages (so that the built-in mic doesn't get in the way) and with an option to use rails as well as clip-on. I'm prepared to pay extra for quality! So far, I'm considering Vocas, Petroff, Chrosziel and Cinevate. Does anyone have any experience with these?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Tony
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 02:07 PM   #2
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Matte Boxes

I have used several matte boxes, inluding Chrosziel, Tiffen, Genus and CaVision. Currently I have a Vocas on my Canon XF305, and it's really is nice!

The parts were a little hard to get together here in the US, but it was well worth the money and time waiting. The MB-250 matte box has the ears inside the front that close down, and you'd be surprised at how often these can be used to shade the lens - without the need for an additional eyebrow. Attached, I can turn the rotating filter drawer around (to set a polarizer), It does have to be rotated to the camera right to pull the tray out. The back, non-rotating tray must be dropped through the bottom to remove. The rails do not interfere, but the mic on the camera prevents taking it out the top.

I use the MBS-100 rail support. It mounts to the camera nicely, and lets me keep the follow-focus on the rig while I can pull it from the tripos to do hand held work. The follow focus is nice too, with the new gear Vocas has, it locks nicely to the ring Canon has onthe lens. I like the FF fitting underneath the lens, because it keeps the unit compact and out of the way.

I lkie the Vocas because I also have the adapter rings to fit the matte box onto my Canon lenses for use on my DSLR rig. Changing this out is easy, and Vocas has engineered nifty little lock down tabs to make it clamp to the rail system or calmp onto the adapter rings.

Completely configured, I can keep the unit all together and I carry it in a large Kata bag. Depending on the shoot, I used to have to attach the matte box and accessories which took a lot of time and extra cases to lug around. Now it is all in one nice "package."

Like all good matteboxs, the system is not cheap, but I feel you get a very quality product for what you pay for. (looks really nice configured with the camera too!)
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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Matte Boxes

The Vocas MB-250 on my Canon XF-305
Attached Thumbnails
Matte Box Recommendations-canon-xf305-vocas-1.jpg   Matte Box Recommendations-canon-xf305-vocas-2.jpg  

Matte Box Recommendations-canon-xf305-vocas-3.jpg   Matte Box Recommendations-canon-xf305-vocas-4.jpg  

Matte Box Recommendations-canon-xf305-vocas-5.jpg  

Last edited by Greg Kubitschek; November 22nd, 2010 at 02:37 PM. Reason: Adding photos
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 04:09 AM   #4
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Thanks Greg! That's a huge help. Vocas systems are definitely good and - I think - easier to get hold of here in the UK. Do you use a quick release tripod plate with your rails-based rig?

Thanks again

Tony
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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Vocas Matte box

Yes, its the standard Manfrotto plate, on top of the new 504 head. Vocas sure engineered the system well. The folding shoulder steady mount on the rail system clears the sliding base plate and the tripod head when attaching it. I was taping a company event today with all the equipment attached to the camera and it was a dream to use!

Best of Luck
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Hi Greg,

Thanks for sharing those pics!

Do you have any links to the Vocas model you bought?

Best,
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Voicas Parts

0250-2000 Kit (Originally packaged for DSLR shooters)

Consists of
MB-250 matte box
Flexible Adapter ring kit 0320-0010
Adjustable bar adapter 0360-0100

MBS-100 Type G4 15mm rails support with shoulder Bracket

MFC-1 Follow Focus
Drive Gear 0500-0121 (New-Made for Canon XF-300 and XF305)

Purchased them from BandH Photo as well as Abel Cine Tech.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #8
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Re: Matte Box Recommendations

Greg, that rig looks great!

Have you tried it with Grads? How much travel do you get with the vertical positioning of the horizontal "grad-line", with the near proximity of the Canon mic, sitting over the MB? Likewise, how much rotation of the rotator can you get?

Back on the body of the Canon, how much rotational movement of the LCD screen can you achieve? It appears awfully close to the rear of the MB. Is it?

How easy is it to get to those buttons/controls near to the rails?

I've got a supplier sourcing this and a Chroziel. Your feedback on the Vocas, will give me your "real world" experience/view.

TIA

Grazie
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Old June 15th, 2011, 12:36 AM   #9
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Re: Matte Box Recommendations

Greg,
Thanks for posting those pictures. I can't tell if the LCD monitor can rotate freely with the mattebox attached. I see you have the LCD aimed slightly up. Can you also aim the LCD straight back, or slightly down?

Ken
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Old June 15th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #10
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Re: Matte Box Recommendations

Hi Guys,
Just asking . . . when you cover the lens with this Mattebox, aren't you also covering up the little "fast focusing" lens element off on the right side of the lens too?? Thus making the lens autofocus not nearly as fast as it "should"?

Of course I'm sure you're manually focusing anyway -- but is my theory right?
Thanks,
Larry
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: Matte Box Recommendations

2 AFs on camera. The one you say AND through the lens proper.

Grazie
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Old June 15th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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Re: Matte Box Recommendations

Checkout this retailer, getting very good reviews.

U.S. special forces Zhuo
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