Thread: Matte box advantages

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  1. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    increase your general contrast in your imagery
    This is very interesting. Do you care to elaborate - maybe with an example of a shot that is contaminated where a matte box would have helped with contrast? And I mean fairly subtle contamination, my eyes are good enough to spot flares etc. :)

    I know quite a few times when I shot with my 5D and screw-on ND outside and felt like I got a very milky look without understanding why. Figured I was just being picky but maybe it's a real issue. I would hate to make that mistake on my feature coming up...
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by daniel caruso View Post
    maybe look into IRND. I used a 1.2 on a 1.5 the other day for 9 stops and everything looked great! Just another suggestion =].
    I will definitely start looking into it. On the 5D I have been happy with simply using the vari-ND but it sounds like that solution may not be up to par here. Resolution degradation on top of IR color contamination sounds like a high price to pay for the convenience.

    I did not notice these problems when we tried with and without the vari-ND on a Scarlet the other day but I guess one test does not prove anything... Maybe the resolution issue is specific to certain focal lengths and the IR to certain scenarios with lots of IR?
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  3. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Lliam Worthington View Post
    it's not just clients who see pro when it comes to Matteboxes, it's some actors. Some really do respond to a "Film" camera look.
    You raise a valid point. Honestly, whatever I can do to get a better performance out of my talented but underpaid cast, I will consider. One guy told me he performed better when he heard the sound of real film rolling because he knew how expensive it was and that someone was paying good money, so he had to get his act together... Maybe we can add a little speaker on the Scarlet to emulate the sound? :)
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member Jeff Whitehurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Klittmark View Post
    Great feedback, thanks a bunch guys! I am definitely learning here...



    That's fair but I wonder if the time saved in setting up the flag is countered by time spent messing with the matte box in combination with still lenses? My lenses all have different front diameters and some of them (particularly the Zeiss 100mm f/2) move quite a bit during focus change etc. I'm not familiar with all the specifics of how to deal with this but it seems to end up with either screwing the matte box on and off of every lens, or changing donuts if it's a swing-away etc.?

    Maybe matte-box is not a great combo with still lenses period?
    I am using my clip-on RED mattebox with all my Canon glass, (including telescoping zooms) and I simply bought a 110mm-XXmm mattebox adaptor for each lens and leave it installed.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Down_Ring.html
    10 seconds to remove the box from a lens and replace it, with filters, on the next lens choice. Your proposed system would require that you either unscrew filters from the lens every time you change it out or buy multiple filters. I also think that you might be oversimplifying the use of a flag by assuming you have only one light source. A mattebox assures you have the lens shaded from almost every angle, simultaneously. If you simply set up a shot with no movement and you have only one source of light, sure a flag might work fine. Try to follow on-screen action or change angles and you would need a grip following you around with that flag to keep shade on the lens.

    BTW, when I just don't want to deal with packing and carrying a MB, I use the Flex Lens Shade and screw on filters. Works pretty good, but definitely slows things down.

    Hope this helps you see why a mattebox is much more than just looking cool.
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  5. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Whitehurst View Post
    I am using my clip-on RED mattebox with all my Canon glass, (including telescoping zooms) and I simply bought a 110mm-XXmm mattebox adaptor for each lens and leave it installed.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Down_Ring.html
    10 seconds to remove the box from a lens and replace it, with filters, on the next lens choice. Your proposed system would require that you either unscrew filters from the lens every time you change it out or buy multiple filters. I also think that you might be oversimplifying the use of a flag by assuming you have only one light source. A mattebox assures you have the lens shaded from almost every angle, simultaneously. If you simply set up a shot with no movement and you have only one source of light, sure a flag might work fine. Try to follow on-screen action or change angles and you would need a grip following you around with that flag to keep shade on the lens.

    BTW, when I just don't want to deal with packing and carrying a MB, I use the Flex Lens Shade and screw on filters. Works pretty good, but definitely slows things down.

    Hope this helps you see why a mattebox is much more than just looking cool.
    Thanks Jeff, it does help. One question though, do you ever worry that the weight of the matte box is harmful for the lenses as it's sitting out there all the way, especially on telescoping zoom and macro still lenses?
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Jeff Whitehurst's Avatar
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    That's one of the reasons I got the RED box. It's crazy light. With my 24-70mm Canon (which telescopes) I do help it out a bit when changing zoom to prevent wearing out the internal gears, but I never zoom while rolling. If it was just the standard Canon mount, maybe I'd worry about the mount itself. The Canon mount RED built is really stout with a double lock down system, so I don't think that's an issue. Once RED offers a rod mount for their box, I'll get it, but I chose it so I can use it either clip-on or rod mounted depending on the situation. I've only had my Scarlet for a week, but after setting it up and checking it out, I'm not worried about the weight on the lens too much.
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  7. #17  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Majtan View Post
    Just to point out another issue - cost. My lenses have (so far) 3 different front diameters - that means I would need 3 sets of screw-in filters and one more for every other diameter introduced.
    Well, that's just crazy talk. I use screw-in filters of 77mm for my still glass all the time. For each filter I attach a 72mm-77mm step-up ring. (as cheap as $1 each in some places!). For my other lenses I just have step-up rings to get up to 77mm. Cheaper solution than buying filters of different sizes.

    An interesting advantage of screw type filters is that there is never any light bleed between the glass and the filter. On a matte box you have to be a bit careful about that or you can see the lens reflection on the filter.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas Klittmark View Post
    This is very interesting. Do you care to elaborate - maybe with an example of a shot that is contaminated where a matte box would have helped with contrast? And I mean fairly subtle contamination, my eyes are good enough to spot flares etc. :)

    I know quite a few times when I shot with my 5D and screw-on ND outside and felt like I got a very milky look without understanding why. Figured I was just being picky but maybe it's a real issue. I would hate to make that mistake on my feature coming up...
    Light hitting the front element, especially something real bright like the sun, can certain "soften the punch" of contrast and color within an image. I don't have any side by side examples on me, but I can show you light physically hitting the matte box and what it's protecting from:



    So in that example you can see the side and top flag is protecting the front element from the light source as it's casting a shadow across the matte box (top image). The image below shows just exactly where and what that light is doing. It's "dangerously" close to camera and without a matte box or flag of some sort it would introduce flare and glare to the image and thus reducing contrast and color.

    We are all familiar with typical lens flares, but there's a whole separate effect of "glare" within the recorded image.

    A somewhat extreme example and what Red's new OLPF port bushing protects from is this exact issue:



    That's an extreme example, but you can see the weird lack of color reproduction and loss of detail on "her" forehead area.
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  8. #18  
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    Couple of points on a journey I have taken as well. First, if you are going to use a mattebox it has to be practical - you will need standard fronts to your lenses. I got 80mm fronts put on by Duclos lenses. Second, in my books anyway, it has to be swing away. Third, I think your lenses actually lengthen when focusing. Is that correct? Then you cannot use a standard fixed mount on the back of the mattebox. This will preclude you using most models of mattebox eg the O'Connor. I think the Arri MMB1 has a solution for this. The Shoot35 is the cheapest solution (and an excellent one by the way - terrific quality and swing away) but it is 4 x4. That is not a problem unless you are using very wide angle lenses. If you buy the wrong solution it is going to really irritate you. These are some of the specific issues associated with using still glass as opposed to cine glass (I use still glass). Another issue is attaching a clip on - still lenses were never made to take that kind of force on their mounts and I was specifically warned about this by someone who should know.
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  9. #19  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Some lenses shorten and lengthen as they focus, like the Canon 85mm f/1.2L for instance. I'm using the rubber ring with my O-box and it moves in and out with the focus movement without any issue. I have the step down to 80mm opening and most of my lenses fit tight in there. Some of the 72mm threaded lenses have a little gap and that's where you have to problem solve or use a step-up ring.

    I originally was a huge swing away fan, but actually prefer the added real estate that the OConnor O-Box WM adds to the rails. Gives me a bit more space for positioning my follow focus. Most swing away matte boxes clamp on ahead of the box slightly and take up too much space.

    I don't use clip on matte boxes with still lenses and agree that should be avoided unless you're mounted to the external housing of the lens.


    ** Aha! I found an example of "with and without" glare/flare protection that I can show! In this particular case a french flag on a flexible arm was used:

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  10. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Some lenses shorten and lengthen as they focus, like the Canon 85mm f/1.2L for instance. I'm using the rubber ring with my O-box and it moves in and out with the focus movement without any issue. I have the step down to 80mm opening and most of my lenses fit tight in there. Some of the 72mm threaded lenses have a little gap and that's where you have to problem solve or use a step-up ring.

    I originally was a huge swing away fan, but actually prefer the added real estate that the OConnor O-Box WM adds to the rails. Gives me a bit more space for positioning my follow focus. Most swing away matte boxes clamp on ahead of the box slightly and take up too much space.

    I don't use clip on matte boxes with still lenses and agree that should be avoided unless you're mounted to the external housing of the lens.


    ** Aha! I found an example of "with and without" glare/flare protection that I can show! In this particular case a french flag on a flexible arm was used:

    Wow, that is quite an example... And setting the flares aside - which even I would notice and make sure to eliminate one way or the other - this is exactly the type of washed out look I see all the time and that bothers me. I think I'm sold on getting the MB, if nothing else for my own peace-of-mind knowing that I'm not killing contrast without being aware of it.

    Now onto the question of which one to get... The Shoot35 looks great! A few questions:
    1) I imagine wide angle lenses will be used quite frequently in combination with the matte box. I will be using the Tokina 11-16mm and Zeiss ZF 21mm. Will these vignette at 4K? What about 3K?
    2) My lenses do breathe. The ZF 100mm f/2 is a real pain and travels about an inch. The 21mm does not breathe at all. The 35, 50 and 85mm all breathe about 1/2" or less. The Tokina I'm not sure about because I'm waiting for the new version to come out at the end of March before buying it. Which of these would work with the Shoot35?
    3) I notice it uses 15mm with studio spacing. I use 15mm LW right now... Is there a way to mount it anyway? I would rather not have to switch to studio and get new rails, a new follow focus and everything for the time being :/
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