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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #46
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I know it is big and heavy but the Red Rock Micro Matte box is more versatile than all of those mentioned here. The 4x4 is going to vignette with wide angle adapters. The RR box is inexpensive, built very well, swing away, and uses the nice 4x5.65 filters. Based on the price of the Schnieder rig for around $1350, you should be able to easily come up with a comparable RR setup that is much nicer. But it will be heavier for hand held work so that would be the one reason to go with something like the Chroisziel which I have used a lot but I think is far to expensive for the construction quality, and the optional side flags cost more than the entire RR Mattebox itself!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #47
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The RedRock is excellent but I would be very wary of using it in the stock EX1 lens. I had real problems with vignetting due to the fact that it you have to but the thing right up to the mic.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #48
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Dave: The shutters (eyebrows) on the Century/Vocas mattebox are completely different from the doors on the stock lens hood. On the lens hood, they are used like a lens cap to keep dirt out when not in use. The shutters on the mattebox are small and cannot seal the lens at all. They are used like tiny "flags" to mask off stray light. Actually, I think the real idea is probably to make what is basically a 4:3 mattebox more suitable for a 16:9 camera. You just need to be a little careful to always check their position to be sure they aren't clipping off part of the shot. Are they worth the extra cost? That's up to you I guess. I would not buy this product simply for the shutters.

The shoulder support is made of pretty heavy metal rod and is very solid. It folds down out of the way when not in use, and is spring-loaded to "pop" into position when extended. Note that it's like a rifle stock that presses against your shoulder, and not like a shoulder mounted camera that sits on top of your shoulder. Of course, the EX1 is very front-heavy, especially with a mattebox and wide lens, so the shoulder rest is not a cure-all by any means. But I find it handy nonetheless.

Depending on the type and position of your tripod plate, you may have to remove it or slide it forward to prevent blocking the shoulder rest from folding out.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #49
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Yes you have to back it pretty tight against the mic, but I have not had it causing any ill effects. There is no question that it is a tight fit there.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #50
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The big deal about the Vocas is the weight or the lack thereof. It is made of carbon fiber and is as light as a feather. Build quality is really good too. A major piece of functionality of a mattebox is to dramatically reduce stray light. The more that is blocked the better. The Vocas mini shutters are just another tool to this end.

If you have to do a lot of handheld work or steadicam where your rig is near max weight capacity then a Vocas mattebox would be a good choice. Chrosziel would be up there on my list too but the Vocas is way lighter.

BTW I run a Chrosziel but if I were to do it again Vocas and even the TLS matteboxes would be on my shortlist. The Redrock is incredible bang for the buck but the weight and the funky donut work you have to do on the back to get a snug fit with some lenses turned me off the unit. However, I can see why a large number of people go for the Redrock mattebox.

-Andrew
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Old July 21st, 2010, 12:23 AM   #51
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Trying to wake this thread up again as I'm getting close to buying a mattebox and the Vocas seemed to be a great option. The only problem is that they are "missing in action" here in the States. Schneider/Century was selling them but they have ceased carrying the Vocas brand and I can't seem to find them any more. Anybody know who carries them now?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:25 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
The only problem is that they are "missing in action" here in the States. Schneider/Century was selling them but they have ceased carrying the Vocas brand
Are you sure about that? B&H still lists the same Vocas/Century model that I have:
Century Precision Optics 0DS-MB44-WEX 4x4 DV 0DS-MB44-WEX - B&H

Schneider still has them on their site as well: https://www.schneideroptics.com/ecom...=1390&IID=6415

Note that they do not advertise them as "Vocas", but it is the same product.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:13 PM   #53
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Thanks for the link, Boyd. I had it on good authority that they were not carrying the line any more and that somebody else would be selling Vocas. Either way, thanks for the link.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 02:13 PM   #54
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You certainly could be right - I have no inside knowledge. But the model shown above is the same as the Vocas, and also the same as the one I have. I did note that B&H shows it as a special order. But that was also the case when I bought mine. If anyone is in the market, I'm sure a call or e-mail to Century would clear this up.
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