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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 24th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #1
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Matte box and polarizer

Hi all, I have been in the market for a polarizer and a matte box. I have seen circular and linear polarizers. In the matte box category I lile the cavision and chrosziel. The matte boxes have 4", 4x5.65" and 5", I am using a Canon xha1. My questions are...
1. linear or circular
2. what matte boxes do you prefer and does anyone have any experience with my two pics
3. what format, square or rectangular. I would like the matte box to be able to be used on future cameras
4. if shooting 16x9 what happens when you rotate a rectangular filter, does it not cover the shooting aspect ratio
Thanks TAG
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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Hi Terry
The most useful filters I use will be :
1) a circular polorizer... I have a Schneider Trupol but a Tiffen would be as good.
2) one or two ND graduates..I have a 0.9 Tiffen
Both 4x4

My matte box is a TLS Kestrel...(google it).. excellent company.. A system I find great for these type of cameras.. I fit it to a Sony Z1.

I think with these and the French flag you'll cover most bases for what you'll want to do with a matte box and filters..

Gareth
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #3
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I really like the Kestrel and the Genius, well I really like all they make. What color and what material is the sun shade and french flag made of. It looks like it is tan in some pics. Should it be black?
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #4
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If you want something simple you could try a Lee filters bellows lens hood. It'll hold 2 or 3 4" square filters and clamps to the lens. It's really light and comparatively cheap. Their filters are terrific too. I use ND grad .6 soft and .9 hard plus a regular polariser. Only reason to use circular polariser is to maintain auto focus and exposure I believe, something I never use.
Steve
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Old October 25th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #5
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Here's an article with photos about the Lee: DVFreelancer Article: Wide Angle Lens Hood and Matte Box | Digital Video Freelancing on the Net
(you might have to register to read it, I'm not sure).

It's so lightweight you really don't notice it and you don't need rails. It comes with two 2mm slots for the resin filters, but for about 20 bucks more I also got two 4mm slots so I could use glass filters if I didn't like the resin. The resin are fine and much cheaper. An ND.3 was about a hundred bucks, vs. over $200 for glass. Lee makes a 2mm glass polarizer, and Hightech 4X4 filters are also good. Many of them are well under $100. Resin filters are made of the same thing as eyeglasses, so they're not a flimsy gel as you might think if you haven't used them before. You can't really tell they're not glass except by looking at the edges. I like them because they're lighter and cheaper. Downside is they can scratch easier, but if you're careful as you should be that's not a problem. Anyway, you can use glass filters by replacing the 2mm slots with 4mm slots, so it's not really a big deal.

The Lee rotates so you can drop in a polarizer easily if you need to. Downside is you can't clamp on a French flag to the hood itself, but it's big enough so I haven't need one (I have a clamp-on one that clamps to the handle).
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Old October 25th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #6
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Glad there's someone else in the world that uses one, Bill, thought it was only me! I shoot wildlife and want to keep weight and bulk to a minimum so they work well for me. As well as the screw in adapters you can get a clamp on one that'll fit 95mm fronts.
Steve
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Old October 25th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #7
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I got here from the dark ages of 16mm film and still photography, so I had no problem with a bellows, or with resin filters. No relationship at all between today's resin and Kodak's old wratten. I wanted to keep things to a minimum too because I often do some hand held work in tight quarters. I was trying to avoid a rail system. In the past few years I used Series 9 filters on a bigger camera, but I could never find a Series 9 lens hood that didn't create vignetting at a wide angle in 16:9. Even with this Lee extended all the way, my corners are clear zoomed back to full wide angle.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins View Post
Hi Terry
The most useful filters I use will be :
1) a circular polorizer... I have a Schneider Trupol but a Tiffen would be as good.
2) one or two ND graduates..I have a 0.9 Tiffen
Both 4x4

My matte box is a TLS Kestrel...(google it).. excellent company.. A system I find great for these type of cameras.. I fit it to a Sony Z1.

I think with these and the French flag you'll cover most bases for what you'll want to do with a matte box and filters..

Gareth
The Schneider True-Pol is 12x more effective than the Tiffen Polarizer. The extinction ratio of the ours is 374. Tiffen = 34. This means that the Schneider True-Pol provides superior polarization at all light angles not just with the light source at 90 degrees from the lens.

Note: Do yourself a huge favor and don't buy resin filters. Buy glass no matter what your brand preference happends to be. Resin scratches very easily, is not optically flat, and will eventually warp and cause anomolies in your image.

Ryan Avery
Schneider Optics
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #9
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Too many over-polarised shots out there already without making it 12x worse!
I agree about resin filters though, they do scratch really easily. LEE resin filters are very good optically, and about 1/5 the price of a Tiffen glass one of the same type - BUT, I was having to replace them every 9 months or so at £50 a go, so got glass instead.
Steve
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Too many over-polarised shots out there already without making it 12x worse!
I agree about resin filters though, they do scratch really easily. LEE resin filters are very good optically, and about 1/5 the price of a Tiffen glass one of the same type - BUT, I was having to replace them every 9 months or so at £50 a go, so got glass instead.
Steve
Steve,

Like any professional tool, you have to know how to use it. It sounds like you do. With our filter, you have complete professional control. Better to have more than you need in some cases in the stable rather than run short in a critical situation. Just dial it back if its too much.

Ryan Avery
Schneider Optics
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #11
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I just got a Redrock Micromattebox. Excellent build and has swing away arm. In addition it takes to types of filters. Looking into circular polorizer filters. More familiar with those in the photo world. Not to mention I can rotate the filter in the mattebox.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #12
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Sorry Ryan, should have put a smiley on it!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #13
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You have to consider the WA converter issue. If you use the Canon WA converter, the outside dia. is 108.5mm so any matte box has to have a min. dia of 110mm. We like the Chroziel 450 box.....on rods without any rings, it slips right over the WA converter. Then you can use the Schneider Tru-Pol (4x4) in the rotating stage so you can then dial in the right amount of polarising.

Jim Martin
Birns & Sawyer Inc
"At the ArcLight"
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #14
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Redrock Micromattebox

Love mine. Built very well. For the price it can't be beat. Now for the rails? thatís another fun thing to shop for. I have the Zacuto universal plate. Itís pricy but solid.
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