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-   -   Mattebox question: Genus et al (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdcam-ex-pro-handhelds/477743-mattebox-question-genus-et-al.html)

Dave Morrison April 27th, 2010 08:49 PM

Mattebox question: Genus et al
I'm hoping to get a mattebox but my limited funds are keeping me away from some of the better ones. Does anybody have any experience with the Genus unit seen here?:

If this one stinks, what would you suggest?

Charles Newcomb April 27th, 2010 09:08 PM

Personally, I'd be skeptical of clamp-on matte boxes. You really need rail supports or you're just asking for trouble. That's a lot of weight clamped onto the lens when you have filters in it; and if you don't have filters in it, what's the point of having it.

Dave Morrison April 27th, 2010 09:15 PM

I hate to admit this, but part of the desire to have this thing hanging off the front of the camera is for client appeal as well as sun shading. In my opinion, clients will look at a camera that has a more "professional" appearance differently than they would with the standard EX1. Just my opinion, of course.

Ron Wilk April 27th, 2010 09:51 PM

Take a look at the Cavision Matt boxes. They are reasonably priced, fairly sturdy and have rod support. I have used and continue to use one that has served my previously owned Ex3, Panasonic HPX 300 and more recently, a Sony PMW 350, naturally, with different rod systems.

Doug Jensen April 27th, 2010 10:10 PM

Ron, can either of the Cavision filter holders be moved vertically? The reason I ask is because I tried a Cavision a couple of years ago and was surprised to find that neither of the stages could be raised or lowered. Have they improved the design, because if not, that should be a deal killer.

90% of the reason for going with a matte box instead of screw-in filters is so that you can raise and lower grad filters. Other than that function, there isn't really any reason to hassle with a matte box at all. Polarizers, soft filters, etc. all work just as well with screw-in filters for a lot less money and easier use.

I use a 10 year old Chrosziel clamp-on model on my EX1 and EX1R, and it works great. Lightweight and rock solid without any rails. The only drawback is that I have to insert the trays from below because of the camera's microphone. No big deal once you get used to it. I still have plenty of clearance for vertical adjustment and rotataion.

I use a Redrock matte box with Zacuto rails on my F800, but that rig is way too big and heavy to recommend for use with an EX1R or EX3. I know some people use a Redrock with the small camcorders, but I don't know how they manage it. I couldn't stand that bulk.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't have any real advice for which current model to choose, I just suggest that whatever someone buys they should make sure that it has at least one stage that can be rotated; at least one stage that can be moved vertically; and that it isn't so big and heavy that it overwhelms the camera itself. My experience shows that the clamp-on models work fine and won't harm the lens.

Ron Wilk April 27th, 2010 10:18 PM

Hi Doug:

The rear, rotatable stage of the MB410H can move into the vertical position, the front stage is fixed. Not sure that answers your question, however. I believe that they have designed this model specifically for the Ex series (the Ex1 ad Ex3) and their particular problem regarding the ingress and egress of filters.

David C. Williams April 27th, 2010 10:29 PM

Chrosziel CMB-R20, clamp-on, VERY light, two 4x4 180 degree rotating trays, access trays top or bottom, flag, heaps of options.

Doug Jensen April 27th, 2010 10:39 PM


Originally Posted by Ron Wilk (Post 1520486)
Hi Doug:

The rear, rotatable stage of the MB410H can move into the vertical position, the front stage is fixed. Not sure that answers your question, however. I believe that they have designed this model specifically for the Ex series (the Ex1 ad Ex3) and their particular problem regarding the ingress and egress of filters.

Ron, okay now it's coming back to me. Thanks for the refresher.

The front stage was fixed, and therefore the matte box was useless to me. I always shoot outdoors with both a polarizer and a .6 ND 1/2 grad. The polarizer needs to rotate and the 1/2 grad needs to rotate and be movable vertically to get the split right where I want it. With the Cavision, only one stage could be adjusted, so therefore, it was pointless for me to buy it. Either I could rotate the polarizer or I could slide the grad, but I could never do both.

If the Chrosziel CMB-R20 that David mentions is anything like my older Chrosziel, I'd give it two thumbs up. That's what I'd buy if I was in the market for a new matte box for the EX1R or EX3.

Dave, once you get the matte box, you'll find it is a great tool with a lot more benefits than just making the camera look pimped out for the client. And I'm someone that used to bring lots of extra c-stands, flags, and other crap I didn't actually need to every shoot for particular client that wanted to think it was a bigger production than it really was. He was happy and I was happy for over 80 videos over a 7 year period. Sometimes you gotta give the client what they expect to see, but the matte box will actually make a difference if you buy the right filters and use it right.

Dave Morrison April 27th, 2010 10:40 PM

Many thanks Dave and Doug. That Chrosziel R20 looks pretty good. One question: does the French Flag lock into position fairly well? The quality of the hardware is always impossible to judge until you've had this gear in use for a while, 'ya know? ;-)

Victor Matos April 27th, 2010 11:07 PM

I own a R20 and my flag stays put like it should. Overall I'm satisfied with the mattebox.

Rick Jones April 28th, 2010 09:43 AM

My 2 cents...

I've got 4 different matteboxes I've tried over the years for different needs. 2 of which I've just sold. The Redrock is mostly used on my EX3. A bit heavy but very flexible and easy to use. A Cavision bellows which I used on my old XL2 (also sold) with rails. Ok, but not my favorite. (sold) A Chrosziel 440 (sold) which is a clamp on and very light but to me is too small for the EX3 but was good for the XL2. And finally a Formatt FM-600 which is a very light screw on and takes both 4x4 and 5.65x4 filters. It's a strange filter holder in that they're not removable but pressure fit. But it works fine.

The Formatt is the cheapest and lightest. I haven't had it long so I can't tell about long term use but I'm happy with it on my 5DMk2's. The Redrock is a great value for all it's features but is heavy and I mostly use it for tripod and occasionally shoulder use.

I find that rods are needed if the mattebox is heavy and you're going to load it up with all the flags and filters. Otherwise a light screw-on or clamp-on mattebox works fine. Unfortunately, like cameras, one doesn't fit perfectly all your needs.

Darren Ruddock April 28th, 2010 09:56 AM


We have just ordered the Genus. It does com with a rails setup too and in this package 3 filters!....

Genus Ultimate Matte Box Kit

We originally purchased a Redrock. It was a great looking mattebox but I wouldn't recommend it for the EX1. I could not get it to not vignette and I took all the advice offered on the Redrock forum.

I think the Genus will do the job. If Matt Davis likes it it will do me!

Piotr Wozniacki April 28th, 2010 11:26 AM

My RR mattebox doesn't vignette, but it's bulky - definitely for tripod work only.

Darren Ruddock April 28th, 2010 12:22 PM

Hi Piotr,

Thanks for the original advice but I had it as far back as it would go and it still vignetted. I also took the inner frame out but still no joy. Needless to say I sold it. I also found that if it was not completely and utterly perfectly aligned iI saw vignetting at the widest shot.

I think it works fine with EX3 or if your using an adaptor.

Piotr Wozniacki April 28th, 2010 12:47 PM

Darren, were you using the rubber lens hood as an "adapter" for your RR mattebox?

If so, it was probably the hood that was vignetting - not the mb itself.

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