View Full Version : Looking for a minimalistic matte box, or universal lens hood...

09-05-2011, 01:40 AM
I've been deliberating for quite a while now over the optimum shoulder rig for my FS100. I do have a working solution for my EX1, based around the RR mattebox on rails, with a large and heavy PAG battery as the over-the-shoulder counterweight... But that's very heavy, so I decided to make anoether one for my FS100 much lighter. Not only to spare my own (weakened) spine, but also in order to be able to rest it on a smaller/cheaper tripod head...

It will still incorporate rails, as I do need some sort of counter weight at the back as well as 2 handles & FF in the front - but I'd like the matte box to be as small and lightweight as possible (the RedRock is nice, but makes the rig very front-heavy). Perhaps even not a true matte box (I prefer using my Heliopan VND filter), but some lens hood that would fit any one of my lenses with a universal donut or bellows...

Any suggestions for such a minimalistic matte box, or universal lens hood? It should be rails -mounted, but lightweight and... cheap :)

09-05-2011, 05:09 AM
IMO coming from photography, matte boxes are a pain. They're big, heavy (depending on which one you buy), pricey and never fit well into my (large and always full) bag. When working outdoors, the flag may ruin some shots on windy days.

Give a look at the Cokin "P" filter holder. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c//browse/Cokin/ci/9308/N/4232858777
With hoods, rings, caps, a set of gradual NDs and NDs you will spend around 250-300 bucks. It's really lightweight, less than 200 gr with 2 filters and 3 hoods attached. I guess you can still use your Heliopan when the filter holder is attached.

Hope it helps.

09-05-2011, 05:24 AM
Thanks; your link doesn't seem to be working, but I looked at similar holders and I still think in some situations, a matte box is better. Especially now, when my Canon FD filters with the Helopan VND filter attached tend to produce all kinds of ghosting and flare when shooting against the light...

What is the opinion on Proaim products, like this one here:

http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/product.php?productid=87&cat=26&page=1 ?

It looks solid for the price, and not as large and heavy as my RR...

09-05-2011, 06:25 AM
You might want to check ebay for old Arri matte boxes. I was able to land one for about $200, it's the old style with the expanding bellows and it holds 4x4 filters. I would imagine that it weighs about a pound. Mine is somewhat similar to this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Arri-Matte-Box-Arri-S-ST-SB-/290605171393?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a96b02c1 but those filter holders look tiny.

I think it will do me just fine for a number of years. The thing I love about buying gear that is probably 20-30 years old is that if it works NOW, it will work for awhile down the road!

09-05-2011, 07:15 AM
The $99 Indian matte box that I got that is nearly identical to the indimattebox is super lightweight small but is just the right size for still lenses, and the best part is it has little adjustable top and bottom cutters built in so the eyebrow is rarely needed. Its not the best built but it works for me and the price is right.

09-05-2011, 08:44 AM
Any link to the model, please? The cheapest CinceCity Proaim matte box (MB-300) is $125...Do you mean something else?

09-05-2011, 10:20 AM
Here is what I found (and posted on your request at the other forum as well). $99 IndiMatte Box.


Not sure if it will work for what you want, but worth a look. Price seems to be right.

09-05-2011, 10:59 AM
Judging from the pictures, is the disk (screwing into the lens thread, and seated inside the matte box "shell" held only by 2 screws) the only connection that this matte box is attached to the camera with?

If so, than - even though the size and weight are exactly what I'm after - I'm afraid it's no good for lenses with the Heliopan VND filter on, as the latter has no external thread. BTW, the manufacturer would sell those Indigos by hundreds if the disks could double as step up rings from various lens diameter to - say - 77mm Heliopan...

Should this $99 little thing have rails bracket, and a universal "sack" (or even set of donuts), I'd be all over it!

Thanks anyway :)

PS. All the above shortcomings are solved with the Pro version, but this is $350. Still worth considering, though...

09-05-2011, 11:29 AM
I've got the indi mattebox. No complaints except don't expect them to answer any questions after the sale.

09-05-2011, 11:38 AM
Can someone elaborate on what benefits are achieved using the $99 indigo matte? You can't attach side flaps, and can't slip square filters into it.

09-05-2011, 06:41 PM
Any link to the model, please? The cheapest CinceCity Proaim matte box (MB-300) is $125...Do you mean something else?

I cant seem to find it available anywhere anymore. The closest thing currently is the CineCity proaim V-11 / MB-300 matte box for $175 but they got rid of the little internal flags that I love on mine and they nearly doubled the price. I think the one I bought was through dvcity's ebay account, and maybe I just got lucky since it was a pretty nice little mattebox that was available for only $99 at the time. As I mentioned, at one point, the one indisystem was calling the indimattePRO looked pretty much identical to what I bought, but it looks like they have since updated it with side flag attachments. It's hard to say what is the best option now since mine isnt available anywhere anymore, and at the time I was extremely impressed with the value. The stuff from indisystem looks pretty overpriced and I don't really trust them considering I bought an identical matte box to their $350 one for $99... Their new IndiGO matte box looks like a bit of a joke.

Then again these are all a steal compared to the century dv matte box they are rip-offs of that normally costs $1400.

09-06-2011, 09:44 AM
I have to say that, even though I own the Genus and DSLR rails (which work fine on the FS100), I am probably going to switch over to the Lee filter system:


(maybe not that one exactly). Based on the maxim that the best bit of kit or the best camera is the one you actually use, this looks far more appealing than my experience with the Genus. Any system that means I can just drop a filter in, rather than fiddle with a separate holder and fumble around with where to put everything else, has to win.

09-06-2011, 09:54 AM
Matt, this is exactly what I did but I use the Cokin system (P for video and Zpro for my medium format camera).
In all honesty, I don't miss my mattebox :)

09-06-2011, 10:48 AM

The wide angle version. Looks interesting.

09-06-2011, 11:57 AM
In all honesty, I don't miss my mattebox :)

Oh gosh, would love to be in that 'matte box free' zone.

Totally with you on the Cokin thing. Used Cokin extensively 'when I was but a little tiny photography student (http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/shakespeare/when_that_i_was_and.html)' - not for the silly-whizzy effects, but because that's how Polarisers and NDs should work together. Even their modular hood (works like lego) is a wonderful idea.

However, their brand seems to be cursed like Ronco and Remington. And @Kraut69, yes - the wide looks very interesting. A two-stage version would have been ideal!

Richard Allen Crook
09-08-2011, 10:59 AM
I purchased one of these when I first used an hvx200 with a red rock adapter, and surprisingly, it is one of the few cinecity items I still use today. It's simple, effective, cheap, and looks cool. Looks like they have a swing away version that would make things easier for lens switches, but meh you get used to it. http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/product.php?productid=87&cat=26&page=1

09-08-2011, 12:30 PM
I'm also considering the MB-600, but - already having the RR micromattebox for studio lighting environment - I'd happily trade the side flags etc. for the lowest size and weight possible, as I'm going to use it with my FS100 on a shoulder rig. Therefore, the other option is the MB-300, also from Cinecity: http://www.thecinecity.com/eshop/product.php?productid=301&cat=26&bestseller=Y

Anyone using it? Opinions on build quality, size and weight welcome!