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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 25th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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matte box..

I'm looking at getting a matte box for my XL2, and I've seen a few posts in the past where people write in advising to get a bellows style matte box. I understand the basic idea behind the bellows matte box, but even in film school all we ever seemed to use the matte boxes for was to hold 4X4 filters. The bellows matte boxes look a little less durable, and I am going be shooting lots of outdoors stuff, not so much dramatic shoots. I tend to shoot either corporate videos, or docs. I like the idea of having french flags, and I'm not going to use screw on filters, but I'm not convinced I need a bellows style matte box. When you're using a bellows style, don't you have to be really careful about how wide you shoot versus how much the bellows is extended? I've just see posts where guys are really adamant about bellows style matte boxes, but I'm not sure of the benefit.
Cal Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #2
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Location: Bend, Oregon
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never used a bellows. my chorizel works great though.
and why are these damn things so expensive?
consider getting the soft ones they make now that are really cheap. ballistic nylon and padding.
also, get a wide version so if you want to shoot 16:9 wide angle you are set.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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thanks...

Thanks Gregory... I don't know if my post was a little vague, and that's why I didn't get any responses but yours. To put it more succinctly, there have been a number of posts in regards to matte boxes warning "make sure you get a bellows style matte box" and my question is why.

I agree with you, so far I haven't seen a real reason for it, unless I was going to be doing nothing but dramatic work. I'm looking at the Cavision matte box, seems the most affordable and when I saw it at NAB last year it looked like a well made product. Thanks for your input!
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Old April 27th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #4
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The bellows type (I have a Cavision 4x4 type) is nice because it's more flexible in blocking unwanted light. On mine, I zoomed out in 16x9 mode, and pulled the bellows out until it started vignetting on the side. I then pushed it in a bit to clear the full frame, and marked the rail position with a silver Sharpie. I use my XL-2 exclusively outdoors. If I have to zoom in to something and the angle to the sun is acute, I can pull the bellows out even farther. I carry the standard upper flag removed, and install it as necessary.
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