Is the Chrosziel 450-HDV matte box a good long term investment? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #1
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Is the Chrosziel 450-HDV matte box a good long term investment?

Iíve never used a matte box for video cameras, and I want to use filters on my camera. I have been recommended Chrosziel for its excellent products. However when it comes to the Z1 there seem to be some problems with the 450-HDV designed for the Z1, mainly because of the overhanging mic position of the Z1. Iíve been reading threads where people complain about having to remove the camera to change filters (is this really thru?); also that it is bottom loading instead of top loading (is this annoying?); that you canít turn the filters around 100 % (is this abnormal?). In general I wonder if the design is too compromised to be a good long term investment, to use with other camera models in the future.

And there is this thing with the filter size that bothers me. One slot is for the standard 4x4 and one slot is for 4x5.65 filters. What would be the advantage of this? Wouldnít this just limit my creative possibilities combining filters, if I have to start buying two sizes of filters? Or can I easily put 4x4 filters in this extra wide slot also? Arenít square filters more versatile in the first place? Maybe the 16x9 trend has caused matte box makers to abandon better systems? Wouldnít a 4x4 box be better for a 72 mm lens (Z1) even with a wide angle adaptor lens? Lots of questions I know.

Risking asking to many questions in one thread and realizing this is somewhat unrelated to the title of the thread, I also wonder if the supporting rods are really necessary if I just want to use filters with the matte box.

I hope someone can help me clearing up my doubts about this matte box.

Greetings,

Johan
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:43 PM   #2
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Is the Chrosziel 450-HDV matte box a good long term investment?

The straight answer is "yes".
The placement of the built-in mic is awkward but just access the filter trays from the bottom (have the rails back to ensure clearance). The rotating stage rotates 360 deg but you can have the "handle" hitting the mic; if it turns out that that's exactly where you want to put a graded filter then you would have to invert the filter in its tray. These are matters related to the Z1/FX and not to the design of the matte-box.
All trays take 4 x 4 filters, but the non-rotating stages will take up to 4 x 5.65
Rods are essential for a matte-box of this capability. Trying to hang filter stages with french flags off the lens would be ill-advised. To use graded filters you need a rigid setup. The rails also take follow-focus.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; May 13th, 2007 at 06:46 PM. Reason: change incorrect term
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Old May 13th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #3
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The Chrosziel 4 x 5.65 filterholder will take both 4" x 4" or 4" x 5.65" filters. It is designed to hold either one properly.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:24 PM   #4
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Thank you for your answer Dan and Serena. So you don't think the bottomloading design of this mattebox is a big issue then? If the 4x5.65 slot can take 4x4 filters, do I need to buy a 4x4 filterholder or do I work with the provided 4x5.65 holder? And would you recomend 4x5.65 filters at all?

Again thanks for answering.

Johan
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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:26 PM   #5
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Sorry Dan. I just realized you already answered the second question.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #6
 
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Johan,
We've got a couple of the Chrosziel systems for our Z1's (also use them on the V1) and are very happy; the bottom load works well. We use 4x4 filters, not the larger 4 x 5.65. You can often find very good deals on used 4x4's if you look around at various dealers. You only need to be sure they're clean/not scratched.
You can put 4x4 glass in the larger holder, just need to be sure it's centered.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #7
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It's good news the bottomloading doesn't cause problems (like filters dropping on the ground), and the 4x4 filters can be used in the two holders. So I think I settle for this matte box. I keep wondering though, who would use the 4x5.65 filters with the Z1 and why?

Johan
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #8
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Purchasing filters for the two-stage Chrosziel presents some interesting challenges.

Any filter that you will need to rotate needs to be purchased in the 4" x 4" size as the 4" x 5.65" filter stage does not rotate. So, all polarizers should be purchased in the 4" x 4" size, unless you purchase a polarizer built into a rotating holder. These types of polarizers are very desirable as it is very easy to get the proper effect.

While the standard filterholder for the 4" x 5.65" filter is fine, a new trend is to get 5.65" x 5.65" filters and a special filterholder. This gives you a greater adjustment range for graduated filters, as the boundary line can be moved up or down more than a standard 4" x 5.65" filter.

While it may rarely or never used, this size also allows you to rotate the filter 90" for special purposes.

You will love the Chrosziel.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #9
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This is very interesting Dan. Do you know of a good example of such a polarizer filter with a rotating holder. Would that be a 4x4 filter in a 4x5.65 holder then? A polarizer is one of the filters I plan to buy.

You mean it is posible to use 5.65x5.65 filters with this matte box given you buy a suitable filterholder? Versatility with graduated filters seems interesting to me. I was wondering how one could adjust these for different placements of a horizon. If a 5.65x5.65 filter gets the job done better I could go for this size. A problem would rize however if I want to use a graduated filter together with a polarizer. One of the two would have to be in a 4x4 frame. But which one, I'm not sure.

thanks for the replies.

Johan
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #10
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Dear Johan,

Do a Google search for "Non-Chromatic Filters", then scroll down to "Geared Pola Frames".

You will see that they are available in many sizes.

Also, you will see the relative sizes of the polarizing filter within the geared frame.

The good thing about these is that you can easily make fine adjustments, as they are geared. This is better than rotating the filterholder, as most filterholders can only be rotated a certain amount before you have to go the other way.

Yes, you can use 5.65 x 5.65 filters with the Chrosziel, if you get the proper filterholder.

The tough question is what filters to purchase, in what sizes. You are on the right track if you consider which filters you will be combining with which other filters. I have a hard time answering this question. I like the Panavision size filters, 4 x 5.65, since our HD format is 16 x 9.

But the answer is just not that simple. The Panavision size, fits into the Chrosziel farther from the lens and the filter stage does not rotate. So, for any filter that I need to rotate, I purchase a 4x4.

One very interesting choice is to get 6.6 x 6.6" filters, if you can find good ones at a reasonable price, and then have an expert cut them down to 5.65 x 5.65 or 4 x 5.65.

I was on a commercial shoot last Friday and the Director of Photography liked to use multiple filters. When he needs more than two fillters while using the two-stage Chrosziel, he just taped the third filter (a Panavision sized one) to the front of the mattebox. It worked well, but I have yet to do this myself.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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Hello Dan,

Taping filters to the front of the matte box. I hadn't thought about it, but it is indeed a possibility. And it would better with the Ďpanavisionísize filters I suppose, because they would fit better on the front of the matte box.

I found the geared pola filters system on the internet. They seem interesting. I could not find them on the B&H website however. Maybe they are rare or I didnít look well.

Iíve read that for some filters (Ďgelatine filtersí; donít know if I will be using them some day though) the polarizer should be up front. So if the 4x4 holder on the Chrosziel matte box is closest to the lens, it would be wise to use a geared polarizer in a 4x5.65 frame. Then I would put the ND filters and graduated filters in the 4x4 frame (together with possible other filters that need to rotate, as you said) because I think they will be used more often in combination with a polarizer (outdoors). Other filters (like diffusion filters) could be in the 4x5.65 format to be used instead of the polarizer or taped to the front of the matte box. Am I making sense here? Iím not sure what filter combinations are most often used by videographers.

Johan
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #12
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Dear Johan,

Your conclusions are the same as mine.

I could not find a geared polarizer at B&H in the 4x4, or larger sizes.

I agree with your thinking on the selection of filters.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #13
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polarising filter

Remember that you can use a screw threaded polariser on the lens itself (or any other 72mm filter).
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #14
 
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Serena,
I've been meaning to let you know how great it is to see you spending some time with us!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #15
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Hi Spot. Yes, it's a good site and I like to scrounge knowledge wherever I can find it!
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