First Impressions of Cavision 3x3 Matte box at DVinfo.net

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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 26th, 2003, 11:51 AM   #1
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First Impressions of Cavision 3x3 Matte box

So I recently got the 3x3 Cavision matte box and am very pleased with it. The biggest advantage of it, I think, is its size. It mates very well to the size of the PDX10. I can't imagine what the Century DV matte box would look like mounted to the PDX10 (which I almost bought--sight unseen, and which I later found out to be much larger)

I also got the mini rails and the french flag. I think all three totalled around $500 US.

I did end up modifying the setup a bit, though. I found the fit and finish to be very good (not as good as some Century stuff, but, hey, this is much cheaper, too). I ended up grinding two of the allen screws down a bit on the mini rails. They protruded just a bit past the through-threaded mounting holes and I just wanted to clean this up a bit. (ok, I'm pretty anal about this kind of stuff). I also had to shim the connecting mount between the mini-rails and the matte box; it was off just a bit so they weren't exactly perpendicular--and parallel to the lens. (again, I'm pretty picky... the total shimming was around 1/32nd of an inch, if that). This kind of tweaky stuff I love doing, but some people may be annoyed if they feel they have to do this with a new product. Then again, some people probably wouldn't notice this stuff, anyway :)

I also sacrificed the small hood that Sony includes with the PDX10 to get the proprietary bayonet mount. I epoxied this to a 58mm metal lens shade so I could more easily interface the camera to the matte box and still use 37mm filters. I have not tested whether I can mount a wide angle unit yet...

Don't get me wrong, though, I love this little unit. Even without the above modifications, the Cavision matte box and rails is a very capable out-of-the box unit. If anyone is interested in getting one, though, I would recommend adding something between the lens and the matte box (as I did with the metal lens hood). With the shotgun mounted on the PDX10, you will need some room to be able to change the filter trays.

Check out the pics at http://www.blippio.com
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Old July 26th, 2003, 12:50 PM   #2
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Very cool Blip! I've been thinking about going this route myself and the photos are really helpful in visualizing the fit.

I don't completely follow why you made the custom lens hood though, would the filters be blocked by the XLR box without this? How does Cavision suggest that you mount it? Could you just leave the normal (small) lens hood in place and press the mattebox up against it? Also, how do you protect the lens when not in use, since you said you destroyed the original small lens hood (the one with the cap)?

Will be interested to hear if you get any vignetting with a WA adaptor (I use a .45x adaptor, however it does not vignette when using the supplied PDX-10 wide lens hood.
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Old July 26th, 2003, 01:24 PM   #3
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Boyd-

Thanks. Yes, the filters would be blocked by the XLR mount if I had not spaced the box forward a bit. I don't think Cavision factored in the mounted mic.

I actually just fold down the french flag to protect the lens, though I also have a nice B+W uv filter over the 37mm, so I don't worry about it too much.

You could just butt the matte box against one of the included hoods, I was concerned about light leaks and wanted a more solid connection.

now to get a wa adapter!...though I fear I may get some vignetting..we will see...
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Old July 26th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #4
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From the look of it, I'll bet your homebrew lens hood will cause some vignetting, depending of course on how wide an adaptor lens you add...
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Old July 26th, 2003, 05:03 PM   #5
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When you do get a Wide angle adapter just buy the $5 slip ring to allow the cavision to clamp on. The 3x3 has an 85mm backmpount. It wouldn't vignette on my Optex .65 and that puppy has an 85mm lens barrel.
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