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Old September 3rd, 2005, 05:51 PM   #1
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Getting stuck on which matte box to buy

Hello everyone,

I've real a LOT in this forum about matte boxes, and now I can't really decide on which one to target. (By the way, I hope this is in the right category, sorry if you have to move it.). My favorites are Chrosziel, Century Optics/Vocas, and Petroff. Personally, I like chrosziel best, but it would be too expensive if I included the side wing kit. Century Optics is just fine for me, and the sidewings are affordable. (I have to get side wings, by the way - difficult shooting conditions......) But, it seems Vocas is also the same as Century Optics, and manufacture more fully-featured boxes, such as the M-310, M-320, and M-350. However, if I were to go with this company, I would just get the CPO DV Matte Box MK II Wide version.

Now, Petroff is the one I know the least about. I have seen the box once before, and I thought it looked really nice. I know it has a sidewing kit available. But, I don't know where I can get it, or where to get info about it. The Petroff website doesn't give enough info.

So, I gues it would be great if someone could steer me in the direction of info on the Petroff. I've got the Century Optics/Vocas box figured out, and I've already decided the Chgrosziel is too expensive, unless I can find it used. Well, thank you all very much for helping out,

~Clint Grant~
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Old September 4th, 2005, 04:16 PM   #2
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Don't be a hoser, check out www.cavision.com, eh!

Great product, great price. In fact, a lot of people here use Cavision matte boxes, including myself.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #3
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One more option for you priced under$ 350.00

http://www.evsonline.com/merchant2/m...de=BFFM500MATT
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Old September 4th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #4
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There's no doubt that Cavision has attractively priced gear. You know what the deal killer would be for me, though? The sidewings are just non-adjustable plasic wings. Nothing necessarily wrong with that for just a single flag, but with side flags you want to basically be able to build a box of any size and angle out in front of the lens.

Now look at the Chrosziel, Petroff, or to a lesser extent, the Vocas. They all have multi-part adjustable sidewings which allow you to block out a lot more flare with a lot less hassle.

You're right, Clint - Century is made by Vocas. The Vocas integrated eyebrows might be very useful, if you shoot on the long end of your lens.

You said "difficult shooting conditions". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but if it has to do with a lot of outdoor, extreme environments, you might also want to look at a very different mattebox - The Matteblox by cinetactics.

www.cinetactics.com/

They make a soft, nylon box with 2 sizes of flags. Very cheap, plus they fold down flat! I own a Chrosziel which I'm very happy with, but I do feel like I should baby it just a little, and it always takes up a ton of room in my camera bag. Just a thought...
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Old September 5th, 2005, 01:28 AM   #5
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another vote for cavision. have one on my z1, work perfectly.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 08:30 AM   #6
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thanks A LOT, everybody!

Thanks, this is all great help. Yes, I already knew much about Cavision and Cinetactics. Thanks for the Formatt suggestion, also, but the truth is; I just simply don't like the Formatt. I'm sure it's a great mattebox that does the job really well, but I just don't think it's expandable enough for my needs.

I've looked into Cavision extensively, and really like their stuff. I like the look of the bellows box, but I personally prefer the 16x9 box they make - it can be found on B&H for $350 USD, I think. The only concern I have with the Cavision sidewings is that they can't be adjusted - which may be limiting/detrimental to how my shot is composed. But yes, I am going to have Cavision in my mind just as much.

Cinetactics was a real eye catcher for me. It was very inexpensive, rugged,very durable, and simply looked neat. The shading capabilities of the "matteblox" were clearly evident. I would have bought that one in a jiffy; but there was one small problem. Cinetactics makes these velcro filter holders, which I literally stick into the box area of the hood. This is limiting in two ways - I can only use one filter securely, and there is vignetting. I would be using the Canon XL 3x wide lens, and definately need to use filters also. I contacted Cinetactics regarding this issue, and he said he'd check how much vignetting there would be with my 3x lens. Unfortuneatly, I can't have any vignetting. Otherwise, the cinetactice "matteblox" looks like an excellent value for its price.

What I meant by "harsh shooting conditions" was that there would be intense lighting nearly on the sides of the lens, shining quite directly at the lens. I need the sidewings to guard against the unusual configuration of the lighting. Of course, there's going to be different situations than only lights at the sides, I will be doing lots outside, also; in many situations where I simply can't avoid the sun.

Well, thanks very much everyone, your suggested links were very valuable, and reminded me of the other options out there, all of which I will take into re-consideration. Thanks,

~Clint Grant~
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Old September 5th, 2005, 06:02 PM   #7
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I don't even have side wings for my matte box, so I can't comment on Cavision's wings. I've always used foil to block flares, as you can't get any more maliable than that.

Side wings do look cooler than foil though...
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Old September 5th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #8
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Very true. I could also just use a "makeshift" style sideflag. Good advice. Thanks.

~Clint Grant~
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