Cavision 4x4 Matte Box at DVinfo.net

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Old June 5th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #1
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Cavision 4x4 Matte Box

I know there has been some question as to the quality of this product so I decided to be a test subject. I wanted to start shooting filters and I liked the added benefit of the large sun shade and support rods & french flag all included in the $560 price tag. Now I know the Chroziel is the best but for half the price, I was rather impressed with the quality of the Cavision and I am pretty anal about attention to detail.

I posted a few pics here for anyone to look at, as you can see the unit has changed some from the pics on www.cavision.com (for the better). There is no more 3" long adapter, it is flush with the end of the lens, the support rods are nice thick graphite now, and the mounting plate is much beefier than depicted on their website as you can see by my photos.

http://homepage.mac.com/motionworks_video/PhotoAlbum1.html

Now with that being said, I did break off a 5mm hex head screw while assembling the beast so I dont think they are using top quality screws... A quick stop to Lowe's fixed that, I replaced some of the other screws as well with higher quality ones, all in all I spent a little over $2.

All the pieces seem to be finished off rather well, the filter frames seem pretty decent too, there are adjustable detents on the matte box to adjust the amount of pressre you want exerted on the filter frames when you insert them. One stage rotates, one is fixed. The shade itself is a thick ABS plastic that does not flex much when squeezed. The french flag works fine but the knurled thumb screws that tighten it seem to need a little extra torque to hold the flag up. The support rods are very beefy and you can mount your tripod directly to the plate that holds the rods or you can mount it to the plate that screws into your XL1. All in all it is a solid unit with only maybe a little less attention to detail in the filter stage area. As far as value for your dollar, I dont think you could ask for more at $560. Now spend over a grand on a chroziel with support rods and im sure you wont find any faults... but I am happy with the money I spent and I hope I get a few good years of service out of it. If anyone has been contemplating a matte box but didnt want to spend $1000 like me, this is a good choice.

Of course after I shoot with it for a while I may have a more detailed report to give, I just received it today so I have not had much time to play.

hope this was somewhat helpful in clearing up the Cavision quality issue,

Chris
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Old June 5th, 2002, 01:03 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report, Chris... can I combine your post with your images and put it on the Watchdog?
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Old June 5th, 2002, 02:03 PM   #3
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Sure can. I am about to post a few more pics with the matte box mounted to the XL1s, then you can choose which pics you want.

thanks,

Chris
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Old June 5th, 2002, 11:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for the report, Chris. Very nice page of photo details, too! It sounds like CAVision has spent a bit of effort in improving their product.
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Old June 6th, 2002, 01:35 AM   #5
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Hi, I'm thinking of one too.
Just wondering, how much does it weigh, and does it make the camera a lot more difficult to shoot with off tripod?
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Old June 6th, 2002, 07:49 AM   #6
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I never actually saw their previous version, just the pics off their site and the rumors running around here so it was a shot in the dark... When I ordered it I wasnt exaclty sure what I was going to get so I can say I am happy with their improvements too!

As for the weight, when you hold the mounting plate seperately in your hand you can feel some 'heft' (which is a good thing) but when mounted on the camera the majority of the weight is centered on the camera (where you screw the plate into the tripod socket) so it does not feel like it is all on the tip of the lens. The matte box itself is not that heavy. The thing I love most about it is that there is now a place you can brace the camera from when shooting from the shoulder, those rods sit perfectly in the palm of your hand! You can even fine focus the camera with your thumb too, it makes shoulder shooting more comfortable for me. I have not used it for its intended purpose yet though, no filters at this time...

As for tripod shooting, all I have done so far is mount my plate to it and set it on my tripod, it seems to work fine, I didnt see any limitations. The way my libec matthews plate mounts, I used the tripod socket on the rod plate vs. the camera plate becasue I have to tip my XL1s forward to lock it in and the camera plate wouldnt allow me to do that as easily. The rod mounting plate is far strong enough to hold the weight of the camera, I even put all my anton bauer gear on it and it was fine.

Chris
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