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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old March 9th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #31
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Matte box setup

To start with I don't know what the original setup of your MB is. Perhaps it came ready for the Z1, which mine did not.

As you can see, this MB is designed in a modular way to serve several cameras.

1) The first thing you have to see is which holes in the will serve your camera on the base plate. Holes on one side are more centered tha on the other, which also the rubber strips. There are also large holes that can be used to put a screwdriver through to tighten the camera screw.

2) If you have an Z1 you will probably need to use the side with more holes on it. Here comes the first problem: you need two threaded holes, one for the camera screw and another for the guiding screw. You won't have the latter on the side I used, which in my case was the "right" one. You will have a screw hole and another hole in front of it, but it's not threaded. The holes I picked are closer to the front of the base plate. You will see why later.

3) I simply glued the guiding screw to the unthreaded hole, using non-epoxy glue so I could take it out if I wanted to. Using that position the base plate will be centered between the two rods. It worked perfectly.

4) Next comes setting the height in the vertical length adjuster. Use the tool the MB came with, loosen the screw and move the adjuster to the other side, closer to where the screws now are.

5) Put the rods in and lock them in their longest position up front. The screws position I picked on the base plate will not allow any protruding of the rods to the front or to the back.

6) Screw the camera to the base + rods. To tighten the camera screw you might have to do what I did, which is a large hole to put the screwdriver through. You may use a small coin, but it won't be easy. Or at least it was not for me.

7) Unscrew the plastic ring on the back of the sunshade and insert the rubber donut you will use, probably 72mm. Screw the ring back in.

8) Now insert the sunshade on the rods and on the zoom lens of camera. Watch that the donut goes back a bit, so it's not on the the front of the lens.

Basically you are set to go now. Now you will need a slight mod on the filter holder.


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Old March 9th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #32
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MB filter holders

The filter holders have a springed pressure arm, secured by a screw, to keep the filters in place. But I found that the spring is not too strong.

So what I did was glue a 1mm thick rectangular piece of rubber to the pressure arm. This did it, and now I can shake the filter holder that the filter won't come off. In fact you should test that every time you put a filter in, just to be sure.

You will also need to tighten the screw.


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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #33
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MB in the field

I just came back from shooting with the MB on my Z1. And I am very happy to say using results were great.

The camera looks impressive and is well balanced with the whole setup. I was shooting on a tropical city (Salvador, Bahia), so I had to use two filters besides the internal NDs in order to keep the F stop low.

In my case a pola screen and a graduated ND. They worked perfectly. Perhaps a minor complaint might be that to rotate the filter holder and polarize the light, with the grad ND, would demand one fixed and one rotating holders. But I could get away with it here. But you have to go much higher in price to get that.

You need at least two screw-drivers to take with you for the MB: a wide one with a short blade for the camera screw; a 5mm one for adjusting the filter holder screw.

The sunshade was very effective in keeping reflections away too, and I didn't have any. I didn't even take the French flag, and I didn't miss it.

The whole thing felt very solid, and I am now seriously thinking in modifying the camera case I built, so I can put the camera away on it with the MB on. That should reflect how satisfied I am.

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Old March 9th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #34
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Tip for other matte boxes

This is a tip that might be useful on many sunshades using movable horizontal shutters inside the shade to further control reflections.

There's a very light material, which in Brazil is called "pluma" (feather) that could be velcroed to the shutters to further extend the shaded area up front.

It's about 4mm thick, and looks like a styrofoam "sandwich" panel. The styrofoam is hardly pressed, with thin black cardboard doing the sandwich.

You can cut rectangular pieces, 2" long by the width of the shutters, and glue 1/2" strips of velcro on it and on the shutter.

You can then attach these add-ons whenever you need them.


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Old March 9th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #35
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Thanks so much for your help Carlos - you are correct in that my matte box was technically designed for the Z1, but I can see that it is probably very little different from yours.

I know the material that you are talking about for the shutter extensions - and yes we have it here in Australia - so I will get some and try it out.

I have started the assembly and modification process - will let you know how I get on. Your help has been invaluable on this and is much appreciated.

All the best,
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Old March 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #36
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AFAIK these matte-boxes were not designed for one specific camera. I bought mine as being for a Z1 too.

I'm glad my info is helping you. Things will work out alright. It's a great tool, as you may have seen on my other shooting comments.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #37
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Carlos,

Used your modifications - and they worked well. The filter stage is a little loose and I am going to have to work on this a bit - but the rest seems fine. I had to turn the spacer over just as you suggested as well - that was the key to getting the thing aligned. It just would not work the other way.

Still looking for the "alignment card" mentioned in the manual - which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Century maual available on line.

Once again thanks very much for the help - made it an easy job instead of a hard one.

All the best,
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Fullick View Post
Used your modifications - and they worked well. The filter stage is a little loose and I am going to have to work on this a bit - but the rest seems fine. I had to turn the spacer over just as you suggested as well - that was the key to getting the thing aligned. It just would not work the other way.
I'm glad things turned out fine. The filters support have a two screws behind the frontal rod support that keep the filter holders in place. Don't forget about them when you put the filters.

The rubber strips will probably be useless. I discarded them.

Quote:
Still looking for the "alignment card" mentioned in the manual - which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Century maual available on line.
No, there's none. Can you give me URL to that Century manual?

This people should be smarter in doing a better manual. My first impressions had been very bad, which was frustrating. Only my perseverance kept me going until I found the way out. Fortunately.
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Old March 9th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #39
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Carlos,

Here is the URL for the Century Manual.

http://www.libraprobroadcast.co.uk/B...nual%20122.pdf

Enjoy the similarity.

Graeme
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Old March 12th, 2007, 04:45 AM   #40
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Carlos,

I have completed my matte box modifications per your instructions and it now seems to work well. The only problem is the anticipated one of the handles on the filter holders being too long. I did get your ideas about cutting the filter holders down - I agree that it sounds like a very good idea. I might try it myself if I can get a source of filter holders - may be able to make one out of aluminium, but it will be tricky.

Still waiting on my filters to arrive from the US. WIll be at least another week yet.

Once again thanks for all your shared help and ideas - I hope that I can repay the favour some time.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Fullick View Post
I have completed my matte box modifications per your instructions and it now seems to work well. The only problem is the anticipated one of the handles on the filter holders being too long. I did get your ideas about cutting the filter holders down - I agree that it sounds like a very good idea. I might try it myself if I can get a source of filter holders - may be able to make one out of aluminium, but it will be tricky.
The guys that sell the mb may have filter holders to sell separately.

As the filter holders handles should usually be on the right (or left), the length is not a problem then. It becomes so in cases like graduated NDs, where it's useful to have a vertical adjustment to move the filter up and down.

It's for those cases only that I suggested cutting the filter holders so as to make them shorter on the handle side.

Quote:
I hope that I can repay the favour some time.
Let's see: I once knew a stunning Aussie girl that I lost the contact of...



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Old March 13th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #42
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Carlos,

I won't give you her address ,,,,,,, as I am married to her!

All the best,
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