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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 21st, 2005, 02:27 AM   #1
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matte boxes - some questions

Hi everyone, I've been luggin around the vx2k wi/ a shotgun mounted on the hotshoe port and i gotta say, this stuff gets heavy after a while. I'm new & i'm not familiar with a lot of these equipment that are out. Hence, i had a few questions about matte boxes. I imagine cavision is probably going to suit me best, but i have a better question. What exactly are these things used for?

I saw that they have attachment handles, so does this mean it can make my camera shoulder mountable? If so, how? The camera is not nearly long enough!!

Another question, does the matte box only work if you have a wide angle lens on the camera ?

As you can tell, i'm confused regardin this topic, any help and feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old March 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM   #2
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Think of a matte box as a large sun shade.

It won't make the camera lighter, it will make it more difficult to hold

It will cost a lot

If you are doing hand-hold the camera, it will mostly get in the way.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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Matte boxes are a combination of sun shade/filter holders. Matte boxes (the bellows type, like the Cavision you mentioned) adjusts horizontally to prevent vignetting when using wide angle lenses.

Most camera operators/DPs buy matte boxes to utilize the 3 X 3 and 4 x 4 professional glass and resin filters.

Be careful about the type of matte box you mount to the front of your lens as their added weight could be a stress "issue" to the lens mount. You may need the lightweight rods as well. As far as value, it seems Cavision sells a package with the matte box and rods for a little over $500.00. Nice deal since a comparible Chrosziel system would be over triple that.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM   #4
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hm, looks like a matte box won't be suitable for me then.. I plan on doing a lot of hand held shots, there will be parts where i will use a tripod, but al ot will be handhelds. I don't want to grab the camera as a consumer model, from the strap, i want something that'll allow me to mount it on my shoulder, perhaps... Any suggestions?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 04:53 PM   #5
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Do a search here and in the Camera Support forum will get you much more than you probably ever wanted to know.

Try to not change the subject of a thread as it makes it hard to follow and find. Just start a new thread whenever you wish.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:56 PM   #6
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A good sunshade will do most of the job of a mattebox, although you will be limited to one or two filters, and they may not be rotatable. The sunshade I use is light enough to be used on a Steadicam JR and takes a single filter. Speaking of the JR, in the retracted stage it has a flip-out brace that lets you shoulder mount the camera. That might be just what you're looking for. You can go from flying the camera to shoulder mount in an instant. You can also screw the quick release plate to the lower stage and put the whole setup on a tripod without having to detach the camcorder from the steadicam. It's as cool as it sounds. By way, you can wrap some black foil around the front of the sunshade if you need some extra protection from flare in problem shots.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 03:05 PM   #7
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To shoulder mount your camera comfortably, look into the Image 2000 shoulder brace. Before you buy make sure the camera rests properly in a position enabling you to use either the viewfinder or the flip out screen. I've noticed that the Image 2000 works great with my XL1s and poorly with my PD 170.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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In that case perhaps an Image 2000 isn't a good choice, as the PD170 and VX2k are identical in form factor...

There's also the DV Caddie (I've not used either of these, but seen people posting them as options), or the Cavision system will support just using rods, pistol grips and an extendable shoulder brace - looks like a good system and Cavision products are very reasonably priced - also, the rods are lightweight, which is good news for you!

Some pics of Cavision setups here (although they are for the FX-1, but still quite similar....):

http://www.cavision.com/SonyHDRFX1.htm
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