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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:10 PM   #1
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HVR-A1U - Best Matte Box?

Hello all,

Excellent Forums! I have learned alot here...

I am looking into a Matte Box for the A1U...

Looking at Cavisions 3x3" Rubber Shade Matte Box, MB385/P/M/W with French Flap and 8mm Rods. Total cost from Cavision is $340. with the French Flag, 8mm Rod Kit and the MB385.

I will be using it with the Sony VCL-HG0737Y wide angle lens.

Will this work ok? Will it fit-up properly to the lens?

Thank you, Scott K.

Last edited by Scott Karlins; June 21st, 2006 at 01:42 PM.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:37 PM   #2
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Hi Scott

Probably your best value Matte boxes on the market are the Formatt or the TLS Kestrel

I have the Kestrel on my Z1 but both units are very similar in design... robust and well-made. They hold two filters, one fixed and one rotating for say, a polarizer...I got a set of Schneider filters and am now looking for a couple of grads..

I paid less than £300 ordering from the UK.

Check : http://www.2filter.com/Formatt/formattFM500.html for a US distributor.

regards
Gareth
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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:43 PM   #3
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Gareth,

So, you do NOT need a rail kit in order to use this Matte Box?

Thanks, Scott K.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 02:47 PM   #4
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No, the Formatt screws (with an adapter) into the filter thread - so it is only usable with internally focussing lenses - like the A1.

Be warned - it will dwarf the A1 though!
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:14 PM   #5
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Hi there

Martin is right it is a fairly hefty unit... perhaps too big for the A1...it fits fine on a camera the size of a Z1 and as he says fits easily with an adapter ring... I use it a lot with a polarizing filter for my work.

Maybe something by Cokin would better suit the A1...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Hood_with.html

I used to use this system on my TRV950 which I believe has the same size thread of 37mm...

Regards
Gareth
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Old June 21st, 2006, 06:40 PM   #6
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I have that Cavision you were looking at and, provided you buy a rod support system too, it is the perfect size. I use it with my 35mm adapter.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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HVR-A1U - Best Matte Box?

hi,
i bought the formatt 500 and yes it does dwarf the a1 but in a great looking way. this model is very well designed and fits two filters. however, i personally would not buy it again for the simple reason that the plastic material is very, very poor and i've had to replace several fittings and also managed to repair and make new parts myself. if the formatt 500 were made of good material it could easily be one of the best matte boxes on the market.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 04:24 PM   #8
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I went with the Cavision setup.

I will be receiving it tomorrow, and will post photo's when I get it all installed.

Thank you all for your posts!

Thanks, Scott K.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #10
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Very nice Scott, thank you for the great photos. This is the finest matte box system for the A1 I have seen.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #11
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Scott,

I talked to a Cavision rep and he said the setup you describe (and have photographed) is impossible. Can you tell me how you got the Matte Box to fit with the Sony VCL-HG0737Y?

Thanks much,
Ian
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Old July 7th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #12
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Question: what makes one matte box system better than another? Isn't their purpose simply to hold filters? How hard can that be - perhaps a completely naive question, but I don't understand.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 03:11 AM   #13
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I have the Cavision 3x3 on my JVC DV300. Does your setup need the rods?

Does it allow full width with the wide angle adapter?
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Old July 11th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #14
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RE: HVR-A1U - Best Matte Box?

Ian,

I worked with Bernie at Cavision. Ask for him, and mention my name. He will remember my setup, and get you the same stuff. The system works great.

I got the following:

-3x3 Matte Box in ABS plastic
-Extra long 'T' Bracket for the Matte Box (so the matte box will align with the lens) --This piece is important, so be sure he substitutes it for the stock shorter 'T' Bracket.
-8mm Rod Set
-French Flag
-A1U spacer (so I can eject tapes with the rod set mounted)
-Plastic Adapter Ring (to go from the 3x3 matte box to the Sony VCL-HG0737Y)

I added a thin piece of the fuzzy side of velcro to the inside of the adapter ring, so that it would fit up snug to the outside of the Sony VCL-HG0737Y.

Workes great, and I can use the Sony VCL-HG0737Y at full wide with no problems.

Thnaks, Scott K.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #15
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Much appreciated, sir.
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