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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old October 16th, 2010, 04:43 AM   #46
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Location: Berkshire, UK
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Almost had one for sale...

I bought a matte box partially when I was caught out needing a grad ND and Pola at the same time, but mostly as 'Camera Codpiece' for a litany of talking heads I had to film.

Quite frankly, I'd have felt better with screw-ins, and it's been hateful to use, slowing things down, unpopular with interviewees and presenters, as well as a bloody fiddle to transport and assemble. When I got my anti IR filter, it was a screw-in.

So I was about to sell it.

Then I got into DSLR stuff, needed ND, thought 'Aha! I know!' - bought yet more ironmongery (riser and bars) and found that a circular polariser is basically another ND filter...

... which means, I'll either sell the Matte Box, or follow the usual pattern and sink yet MORE cash into it to get a linear pola and the now infamous 'Nun's Knickers'.

Will this Matte Box money pit never fill?!
Director/Editor - MDMA Ltd: Write, Shoot, Edit, Publish -
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Old October 16th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #47
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Matt, you need a circular polarizer for a DSLR if you intend to use your TTL metering.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 02:39 AM   #48
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Thanks for the tip, but already have Circulars and don't need the TTL metering, autofocus, etc.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #49
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Matte box all the way.

Most of my stills lenses have different filter sizes. 4x4 Schneiders (Pola and Grads) that can stay on the camera make life easy and are so good it's not even funny...... Can't do that with screw ins.

I also have Nikon Lenses on my Canon 7D, and Nikon lenses focus dial turns in the wrong direction.... So the rails and follow focus are things I can't do without. I also use the rails to support my 80-200 so the camera is nicely balanced, especially with zoom recorder and Radio mics attached to camera.

I would not have been able to shoot the beautifully back lit interviews I did on the weekend without a french flag, i would have blown the whole shot out.

use one, I can't recommend them Highly enough, mine came from india and was about $400 Aussie Dollars and arrived in 7 days.

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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Ted Ramasola View Post
I then realized that a typical mb with a top flag can stop flares from light sources or the sun even from relatively low angles not just the high ones.

But one mostly overlooked benefit which I don't see mentioned often is contrast.

In my tests the deep recess provided by the MB adds contrast to an image as compared to a lens protected by a hood.

...Some flare are so huge that it covers the entire image like haze, you wont know its there since it covers the entire frame. This removes contrast which is subtle in some scenarios.

This process can be done by flags and an umbrella! But when your out in the field running and gunning doing landscapes, panning shots, moving a lot the MB is essential.
Ted, thanks for sharing your fabulous home-brew!

I'd agree strongly with the contrast-reduction observation. I was just out shooting landscape last week, with sun low down. The flare was very bad, and I realized it washed the whole frame, as well as being visible at some angles. And that's on my Canon L-series medium zoom (24-70) lens with anti-reflective coatings all over the lens elements, and with a significant lens hood on it already!

Making a flag out of my hand just beyond the lens hood made a huge improvement to the contrast.

But there's no way I could have done that with my Canon video camera, handheld. A mattebox would have been very helpful then.

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Old October 21st, 2010, 04:08 AM   #51
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As Gabe already mentioned:
A matte box is generally not needed with stills because the photographer has the option to expose with both aperture and shutter. Whereas a videographer is generally keeping his shutter speed near as possible, or at, 1/48.
...but for video, I couldn't work without a mattebox. The one I have is a hacked Century mattebox Century DV Matte Box 4x4 System to fit my 5d.

Here's how it looked on my old rig (new video/photos will be up soon of my new setup):

-- peer
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 08:07 PM   #52
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every tool has it's time and place.

I still keep a cavision accordion style mattebox in the kit but only use it maybe 15% of the time.

I ALWAYS use lens shades if not the mattebox though, they give reasonably solid coverage, some crash protection, are relatively cheap and the canon lenses have very quick bayonet mounts that never take more than 5 seconds and can mount backwards to protect the lens body a little extra when not in use. they also NEVER leak light from behind onto a filter since the filter is screwed into the lens and housed in it's own ring, unlike square filters.

When I shot stills with nikon a lot of their prime lens hoods are screw-in and metal which is slow, doesn't absorb shock as well and directs the stresses right to the moving front element. I don't like those.

but yes, of course you HAVE to have a set of ND's that's a given, and a polarizer.

I do use my mattebox for setups that are on heavy sticks and using grad filters and such, I don't want to get rid of it at all but I won't use it for handheld set-ups since my rig is way too front heavy as it is with 7" marshall, follow focus and everything.

It's a tool in the kit but not one that gets used all that often anymore.

P.S. I still love using filters because all of my heroes in cinematography used them for years and years when movies were edited with white gloves, wax pencils and splicers instead of apple computers... usually with better results then what people are getting today with every high tech toy in the world at their disposal.
Jon Bickford, Trepany Films
San Pedro, CA
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