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View Full Version : indie snap! Mattebox Review!



Slimothy
03-07-2006, 09:12 PM
http://www.stickypod.com/stickypod_upload/uploads/indisnapfinal3.jpg

As young aspiring filmmakers we have very limited choices when it comes to an affordable mattebox. I always find myself teetering between a purchase I ďneedĒ and a purchase I ďwant.Ē This is especially the case in regards to a mattebox. Can I really justify spending $500-$1000 on a mattebox? Sometimes I feel like I need to in order to get one that gets the job done technically and (of course) aesthetically. For instance, I like the price of the cinetactics matteblox, but I donít care for how it looks. I like the looks of the Formatt 500, but I donít care for the way it mounts to the front of the lens (Iíve never heard of definitive problems with the mount, some people just arenít comfortable having that much weight on the front of the lens). When choosing between purchasing a nice microphone or a nice mattebox, I just canít justify going for the mattebox. Finally, we as consumers have another reason not to file bankruptcy, and it comes in the form of the indie snap! mattebox with french flag/side flags. If you are looking for a mattebox that looks good, holds filters and is relatively pro-looking, then the indie snap! is a damn good choice. Priced at $189.00, itís kinda hard to go wrong with the purchase. Below are some descriptions of the things that this mattebox is/isnít good for.

Installation to the camera:I read the directions, but anyone with a brain will find it very easy to install. You basically slide the box, upside down onto the adapter ring that comes with it, spin it around until it is upright then tighten the screws to secure it. The unit is very light and I am not worried at all whether the lens can handle the weight or not.

Filter holders: I received some 84 mm filters w/ the unit (sold separately), and they fit very nicely into the filter holders. They feel very snug, which is important to anyone who has spent some money on some nice filters.

French Flag/Side Flags: The French flag that comes with it is mounted via 2 star knobs that screw directly through the flag and into the top of the unit. The knobs are a bit big, but really donít inhibit anything. The French flag is NOT adjustable. Since it is screwed on, there is no swivel action. I would like to have seen an adjustable flag, but doubt it is very plausible at this price range. The side flags are mounted the same way, and also do not adjust. When ordering, you have a choice to buy the mattebox w/ just the French flag, or with the additional side flags for $209.00. Personally, I donít think I would spend the extra $20 for the extra side flags, but thatís just because I donít think I would use them.

Durability: The indie snap! Is made of aluminum, so if you are a clumsy sasquatch, then this unit might not be for you. It will not handle the weight of you stepping on it! That being said, most matteboxes that cost a lot more wouldnít either. You donít need to treat it like a newborn, but some care will go a long way in ensuring the longevity of this unit.

Aesthetics: Your camera will definitely receive some instant edification when you put the indie snap! on. It really does look pretty cool/expensive. If youíre looking to impress clients/actors, I think it will do the trick. If youíre looking to impress girls, you need to remember that youíre a film geek, and girls care less about your new mattebox.

Overview: You really canít go wrong at this price range. I am really surprised more people havenít gotten into inventing affordable units like this. For aspiring filmmakers, wedding videographers, music video directors etc, this unit will be a great compliment. If you have been around the block, want a top of the line product thatís built like a tank, you need not bother. If youíre looking for a decent product to add to your arsenal at a decent price, Iíd definitely recommend it.

Slimothy
03-07-2006, 09:21 PM
BTW: I will be adding more to this review in the next couple of days.

I will have some more pics and some tests on the sound. Some people have had some questions on whether or not the french flag interferes with the sound or not. Not that I would recommend ever using your On board mic, but some people do. So I'm going to test it. I just wanted to get some preliminary overviews up for those who are teetering on the purchase right now.

dakotapod
03-07-2006, 09:32 PM
Thanx for taking the time to review the matte box Slimothy.

I will let your dog go free now.

J.R. Hudson
03-07-2006, 09:53 PM
I have to agree; this seems like a no-brainer to me. Anyone considering an affordable Mattebox to use Filters with (and if you aint using a POL and Grad ND then what the hay ?) this just seems logical.

I've seen too many over priced Matteboxes that just never seem to be the right fit for the DVX/HVX unless one drops a $1000 Duckets on one.

And it looks sexy too. And let's face it, it's all about the sex

Daniel_Runyon
03-07-2006, 10:33 PM
I'm mainly curious as to whether or not it does a good job of shading the lens for general outdoor shooting (realizing that without being adjustable there will be some situations you may have to adjust the camera angle to compensate for). Any word from either Dakota or Tim? BTW, Dakota, as soon as I get enough weddings booked you'll be hearing from my PayPal account!

Kevin Dorsey
03-07-2006, 10:47 PM
If you’re looking to impress girls, you need to remember that you’re a film geek, and girls care less about your new mattebox.The only reason I wanted a matte box was to pick up some nice ladies.

I think this product fills a nice little void in the indie community. There's the overpriced pro stuff, and the DIY cardboard ghetto rigs. I put this product right in the middle, with a price that most can afford. Indie Snap may become the IKEA of digital video.


I am really surprised more people haven’t gotten into inventing affordable units like this. Me too.

Slimothy
03-07-2006, 10:58 PM
Daniel, I'll be putting some more in-depth info over the next couple of days. I just needed to get my basic overview up first.

Daniel Skubal
03-07-2006, 11:36 PM
Thanks for the review! Man, I really really really am considering getting out the credit card and buying one.

KOVAROVA
03-08-2006, 04:59 PM
will it also fit on a Sony Z1U?

dakotapod
03-08-2006, 06:02 PM
will it also fit on a Sony Z1U?

It will, yes. The Z1U is 72mm like the DVX

Matt Grunau
03-08-2006, 06:43 PM
Looks cool. I think I'll get one.

lpcvideo1
03-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Nice!! Can't wait to see the HVX version of the box.

Ought2bCommitted
03-10-2006, 08:51 PM
Any idea where you can buy one? I haven't been able to find it online anywhere.

lpcvideo1
03-11-2006, 07:13 AM
Any idea where you can buy one? I haven't been able to find it online anywhere.


http://www.indiesnap.com/DVXuser/

KOVAROVA
03-12-2006, 03:39 PM
will hold 4x4 or 3x3 filters or only the p series filters?

dakotapod
03-12-2006, 03:41 PM
This one only 84mm / P - The HD version coming at the end of the month will hold 4x4. can also be used with the DVX. It's $100 more

KOVAROVA
03-12-2006, 03:44 PM
This one only 84mm / P - The HD version coming at the end of the month will hold 4x4. can also be used with the DVX. It's $100 more

that is good. will that version also fit the z1u?

thanks dakota

dakotapod
03-12-2006, 05:21 PM
It will fit all cameras from 52mm to 96mm

Nick Adams
03-12-2006, 09:22 PM
I want one but I'll have to wait a month or two before ordering......

KOVAROVA
03-12-2006, 09:24 PM
how many 4x4 s will the HD hold at a time?

dakotapod
03-12-2006, 09:42 PM
3 - 2 @ 4mm and 1 @ 2mm

nycfilmmaker
03-13-2006, 05:53 PM
Does a matte box have to be 16:9 contructed to work effectively with the hvx200?
my hvx 200 will be arriving in a few days BUT i havea 4:3 chroziel with a16:9 mask
will this work?

dustino
03-15-2006, 08:12 AM
I'm confused - does it fit onto the lens housing like the stock lens shade (that's what I'm assuming) or does it screw into the 72mm threads like a UV or polarizing filter?

BTW, reading this review and seeing another brilliant product from a user reminds me why this website is so freakin' great. That happens about once a week.

dakotapod
03-15-2006, 09:17 AM
It fits on the lens or uv filter - Screws into the 72mm threads [or what ever size camera has]

LukeJ
03-15-2006, 06:19 PM
At the risk of sounding redundant...I'm thinking about building my own 35 mm adaptor following Edweirdo's directions. Will this work with that?

dakotapod
03-15-2006, 06:26 PM
Yes. You just need to know what size threads are on the front of the adapter. It comes with 72mm for the DVX [or whatever size your camera is] Best to get it for stock camera lens and an additional adapter for any micro/mini 35 kit.

John Rivers
03-24-2006, 09:54 PM
Question: if the Mattebox has no rotating filters, how would you handle both a Graduated ND and a Graduated Polarizer? Or is this just one of those things you'd have to live without?

dakotapod
03-25-2006, 08:03 PM
...is this just one of those things you'd have to live without?

Well, sorta, yes.

The whole matte box can be rotated but all the filters will rotate with it so it will limit you to a degree if you want to use various combinations of rotating filters. A single grad is workable, but combining pols and grads can't cut it. But it's $189, rotating the whole shade may be limiting and unusual but it's entry level... And inexpensive. I'll quote one user: "I'm saving a wack of cash so rotating stages is not a deal breaker"

If independently rotating filter stages are paramount, save some extra coin, this is not for you.

Hope that helps. :)

ChrisByrnes
04-04-2006, 09:18 PM
You can handle P-system filters - right? How about the P-system POL? It is round, not designed for threaded mounting, and designed to revolve within a normal P=holder. Can you hold it? If so, the revolving POL (along with a grad) should be a non-issue. If you cannot hold it, then maybe a simple shim of some sort could make it usable.

dakotapod
04-04-2006, 09:33 PM
Hold it yes. However you could have issues. With 84mm filters or P series you may have vignetting with their circular filters. [Because of frame around filter] Could maybe be defeated by zooming in a tad. The lens on the DVX is pretty big and you would be pushing it with circular filters. I would recommend full 84mm wide filters only with the DVX

eMJay
04-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Thanks for taking time out to review this product. It drives me nuts that a matte box kit could cost half if not more than half of the camera to begin with. Definately something to check out.

peace, MJ

Matt Grunau
04-05-2006, 07:29 PM
Thanks for taking time out to review this product. It drives me nuts that a matte box kit could cost half if not more than half of the camera to begin with. Definately something to check out.

peace, MJ


What he said. :)

Awsome review. Good info, good price.

This is a good thing for those of us who are felxing our wings in the filming department.

Thanks dude.

vocare
04-15-2006, 07:37 AM
possible to do your own matte box ?

scannon
04-15-2006, 10:32 AM
You can handle P-system filters - right? How about the P-system POL? It is round, not designed for threaded mounting, and designed to revolve within a normal P=holder. Can you hold it? If so, the revolving POL (along with a grad) should be a non-issue. If you cannot hold it, then maybe a simple shim of some sort could make it usable.

The P series Glass Pol will fit in the last slot in the filter holder. Its best to insert this before mounting the mattebox to the camera. You can then rotate it with the notched ring. An ND grad can go forward of this if needed.

The Pol knocks the exposure down by 2 F stops and can serve as an ND outdoors. I use it a lot this way a well as to remove glare and reflection.

This is a great device for the money.

S Cannon

keynstring
04-15-2006, 02:44 PM
Is there anyplace where there are additional pics of the MB?

The ones on the sight are at a strange angle. I'll be buying 2 shortly.

dudadoubt
05-07-2006, 11:45 AM
i am interested to order one for my dvx102 and i am here in the philippines? how can we order? thanks

chrisbhall
06-22-2006, 08:37 AM
It seem like the web site for ordering is down right now...

dakotapod
06-22-2006, 09:04 AM
It seem like the web site for ordering is down right now...

Server is back up :)

Kyle Stebbins
08-29-2006, 04:52 PM
i just ordered mine... cant wait to get it!

DerekLee
09-01-2006, 02:54 AM
I just checked the site, It's listed a whole $100 higher now. at $289. Any news on the price increase anyone?

piercerides
09-30-2006, 11:17 PM
I was hoping someone might be able to tell me how much of a difference the matte box makes. I am considering buying one except I am not bucks-up at the moment. Is it worth it?

Kyle Stebbins
10-03-2006, 06:08 AM
ive noticed a significant reduction in lens flare whenever i am shooting outside. also, one of the important things to me was getting more out of my talent... they are willing to give 110% when the camera looks twice as expensive as it really is (when the mattebox was only $200 some dollars! -- especially awesome since dvxuser members get a special discount)

i highly recommend this product.
-kyle :thumbup:

Nathan Drillot
10-07-2006, 12:43 PM
Could this work with the Red Rock?

Kyle Stebbins
10-07-2006, 03:17 PM
just make sure the lens you use either has 72mm threads or you get a step up ring

Noel Evans
10-13-2006, 06:53 AM
Could this work with the Red Rock?

Im pretty sure the hyson box comes with an optional rail mount with the m2 that would be the way to go.

Kyle Stebbins
10-13-2006, 11:11 PM
was i right, though? im guessing... since the mattebox has a 72mm ring that comes in the package...

Noel Evans
10-14-2006, 06:20 PM
Yeah for this design without the step up you would probably end up with possibility of light entering through the rear of the box. Also would give more support on the lens.

Drew Ott
12-26-2006, 03:32 PM
I have 2 stupid questions (I assume they are stupid).

1) Do you need the HD package if you have a 16:9 camera? Would the DV package work with a Canon A1?

2) What do side flags do? Is there anything that they do other than protect the sun from the sides?

Drew Ott
12-27-2006, 09:26 PM
Nevermind. Found out my answers.

robyne
08-09-2007, 07:48 PM
Will this work when using the anamorphic lens on the original dvx100? TIA

ninjadumbass
07-03-2008, 03:02 PM
The price is now $249, when did that happen? What was that earlier about a dvx discount?

- Tom