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Old December 29th, 2003, 02:49 PM   #1
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Matte box recommendations?

Anyone have a good matte box recommendation for the camera? Darren Kelly?

heath
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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:47 PM   #2
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The matte box that ships with the Canadian version of the camera is made by a company called Cavision out of Vancouver, BC.

They are sold through a number of retailers. I believe you can find the one nearest you on their web site. I think B&H sells them.

The key here is to buy one that will take a set of filters. One thing to remember though is that the filters are expensive. As I said onthe DVD, the polarizer cost me over $200.00, and gradiated ND's are a minimum of $100 each.

I do personally recommend the use of a mattebox as it helps manage stray light, minimizes barrel distortion and allows the use of multiple filters without getting reflections.

Hope this helps

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Old December 29th, 2003, 03:57 PM   #3
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THANKS!

I'm trying to get in touch with Jon Fordham about the small plastic "filters" he used with some sort of low budget lens holder, for lack of a better word.

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Old December 29th, 2003, 04:12 PM   #4
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The lens holder (I think you mean filter holder) comes as part of the mattebox. In the case of the Cavision, you get 2 of them. One of the slots rotates, while the other is fixed. The rotation allows you to get the most out of Gradiated ND filters and Polaraizers.

I bought some Lee ND filters for my camera. They were not too expensive, less than $100 I believe but they are resin and not glass.

Does this help?

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Old December 29th, 2003, 08:05 PM   #5
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Was he using little floppy plastic filters, maybe with a frame to hold them?
If so, he probably just got a free filter sample book from a popular filter company, and used those.
They contain from 10 to 50 gel filters. No grads.
-Les


<<<-- Originally posted by Heath McKnight : THANKS!

I'm trying to get in touch with Jon Fordham about the small plastic "filters" he used with some sort of low budget lens holder, for lack of a better word.

heath -->>>
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Old December 29th, 2003, 08:29 PM   #6
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Les, maybe. I'll try calling him again tonight.

Darren, I called Cavision and they must've had me repeat my email address four times to get a quote sent. Never got it. I'm not impressed...Onto Rapid LLC and their matte box.

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Old December 29th, 2003, 08:33 PM   #7
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Are there any Ultra Contrast filters for that matte box?
And while were at it what are your guys opinions between using an ultra con vs. ND filters?

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Old December 30th, 2003, 12:11 PM   #8
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The Ultra Contrast filters produce a completely different effect than a Neutral Density filter. A ND filter will reduce the amount of light travelling through the filter without effecting color, contrast, or sharpness. The ND effects nothing at all except the amount of light. Hence, "Neutral Density". An Ultra Contrast filter however, will lower contrast evenly throughout the image without effecting the amount of light, color, or sharpness. Keep in mind though that only the "Ultra" series of contrast filters don't effect the amount of light or sharpness. There are also "Soft Contrast" and "Low Contrast" filters that will effect more than just the contrast. Each has their own specific application and aesthetic.

I often use contrast filters when shooting Digitally. ND's however are a basic optical tool no matter what your chosen format.

The lens attachment I used for Heath's film, "Release Me", was a Cokin system. The Cokin filter system is an excellent tool for economic filtering. I often use my Cokin system when working with prosumer / low end cams. They allow me to meet my filtering needs quickly and easily.

For those of you not familiar with the Cokin filter system:

The Cokin system works by having a standard size square filter that is held by the Cokin filter holder. The Cokin filter holder will hold up to 3 square filters. The filter holder then attaches to a step ring which simply screws onto front filter threads of the lens. There is a range of adapter rings that the filter holder attaches to. So you simply buy a set of adapter rings, and then all of your filters will fit onto a wide range of thread sizes. Cokin also makes a modular "lens hood" that attaches to the filter holder. You can attach multiple modular hoods onto each other to create your own custom size matte box depending on the focal length you are using. Or if you desire, you can also attach a "Bellows" style lens hood. Being that the filter holder screws onto the threads with an adapter ring, you can also still use your appropriately sized round screw on type filters with the Cokin's attached to them. And since you attach the filter holder to an adapter / step ring, you have full 360 rotation of the filter holder to achieve whatever filter placement you desire.

The pros are that you can use many filters on many cameras without breaking the bank.

The cons are that the filters are resin and eventually will easily become damaged without proper care. It is also worth noting that resolution purests will point out that resin filters may cause a slight loss of sharpness or detail compared to glass filters. But for those of you looking for diffusion filters or working with Digital formats, that may not be an issue.

I will be posting my thoughts and opinions on the experience of working with the HD10 on Heath's film in a seperate thread. But for those of you reading this, I used a C830 diffuser with my Cokin Filter System for the film. I normally use my more complete P series set of Cokin's, but on this one (for size and convienence), I used my A series.

In regards to the Cavision matte box:

I worked with a Cavision matte box on a shoot about two years ago. The Cavision 4x4 matte box was attached to a PD150 via a rod support of some type. It seemed horribly unstable and cheap. I was very unimpressed with the entire system. This was merely one experience. And perhaps Cavision has modified the system in the last two years.

For the most bang for your buck, I highly recommend the Chrosziel 4x4 DV sunshade. In my opinon, this is without a doubt the best matte box solution for DV cameras. The 4x4 DV sunshade will accept two 4x4 square filters. You can also attach a small eyebrow (French Flag as Chrosziel lists it) to the front. The DV sunshade works similiarly to the Cokin system in that you simply clamp the matte box to a step ring adapter to attach it to the lens. I've used the 4x4 sunshade on many DV shoots. I enjoy using this matte box primarily because it allows me to use my same set of 4x4 Tiffen glass filters that I use with the HD rigs. If I recall correctly, Chrosziel also manufactures a rod support attachment for the DV sunshade to allow you a rod support option if required.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 03:34 PM   #9
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Jon, I just went to B&H's website and ordered:

Modular Hood for "P" Series Filter Holder (#P255)

and

52mm Introduction Kit P II: Includes 52mm Adapter Ring, P Series Filter Holder and Cokin Brochure.

What filters do you recommend? I saw that you used the A Series on our film...Any particular reason why, ie, should I buy that instead of the P series?

Thanks!

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Old December 30th, 2003, 04:58 PM   #10
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Heath,

I used the A series on "Release Me", mainly due to size. The A series is the perfect size for the small cams like the HD10. Not to mention the smaller size meant that it fit in the side pocket of my backpack that I carried on the plane! I knew that due to the scope of the film, I wouldn't be doing any major filtering. So there was no need for my P series filters. I used to use my A series filters on the VX1000 and my TRV900. They were perfect for the those. I even put them to good use on the PD150 a time or two. However, the P series is much more versatile if you're working with larger lenses and cameras. The P series filter holder with a 52mm, 58mm, and 72mm adapter ring will give the ability to use your filter set with cameras ranging from the HD10 and PD150, to the DVX100 and the XL1. Basicaly a setup such as this will keep you covered on most of the prosumer class of DV (and HDV) cameras without spending a fortune. Of course, if you need to use your filters on anything larger, then you may be out of luck. Most of the HD EC lenses I work with on the F900 and 27F are of a much larger diameter and require 4x4, 4x4.56 or larger filters to properly cover the lens. So, for the individual who is going to invest in filters for use on many cameras, it may be worthwhile to invest in the more expensive 4x4 filters and a Chrosziel matte box. But for those just looking to do some creative filtering on most of the prosumer level cameras, then the Cokin system is probrably the best and most economical choice.

Selecting some good basic filters for the Cokin system is no different than any other system. For use with the HD10, I would recommend a basic diffuser, and some ND's. I'm not up on the current line of filters that Cokin is producing. And I don't recall Cokin having a specific contrast filter. What may be best is to wait until you get the kit you ordered. It should come with a book that shows you the base line of filters that Cokin offers. There are hundreds. But the base line of filters should do the job for the HD10.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #11
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OH, one more thing... Due to some bad design, the filter threads are inset and you can't attach the Cokin filter holder directly to the HD10's threads. I got around this by attaching a screw on UV filter to the HD10's filter threads and then attaching the Cokin holder to the UV filter. The screw on UV filter gave me just enough breathing room to squeeze the Cokin adapter onto the camera. Since most owners probrably already have a UV filter on the camera, this shouldn't be an issue. But bear in mind that it is advisable to get a REAL UV filter. Not a UV Protector. A real UV filter is coated to actually cut down on the amount of ultraviolet light. This coating is preferable as it should also minimize reflection. Nothing wrong with the clear UV glass protector as it does protect the lens. But the coated filter would be best since you have to leave it on with this method.
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Old December 30th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #12
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Umm, you guys know that CCD's are blind to UV right?
Only very fancy back thinned CCDs pick up UV.

Same thing about UV filters for still camera films. An Eastman engineer told me that Kodak films, since cheap disposable cams with UV transmissive lenses came about, they started coating the actual film with a UV absorber as a first layer. So 'true' UV filters are a waste.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 01:32 PM   #13
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Les, you may want to re-read Jon's post. I think you may have misread what he typed.

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Old December 31st, 2003, 02:40 PM   #14
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I'm just saying that a UV filter is the same as a piece of clear glass. For each of these, sure, it's better to have it AR coated!
-Les
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Old December 31st, 2003, 03:20 PM   #15
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I am butting in to an area that I know nothing about, but I found this link.
http://www.naturfotograf.com/UV_IR_rev01UV.html
This seems to offer empirical evidence at least that CCDs can pick up UV.

Also John Acorn, who uses ordinary video cameras to study the UV patterns of butterflies states "Much to the surprise of most videographers, almost all consumer level video cameras are sensitive to wavelengths of light in the long wave portion of the UV spectrum.", he later states "donít bother asking camera sales people about which models are most sensitive to ultraviolet light. My experience is that they will tell you that all cameras are carefully designed to avoid the haze that ultraviolet light can produce on landscape photos, and are therefore not sensitive at all. This is simply not true"

http://www.esb.utexas.edu/philjs/news/pdf/uv.pdf

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