Cinetactics Matteblox Matte
by Roger Richards
The other day I came across a useful accessory kit for DV filmmakers
and videojournalists. It is a collapsible matte box and filter
mounting system called the Matteblox, produced by a California company
called Cinetactics. Information on the Cinetactics Web site says the
system is designed for Panasonic DVX100/100A and AG- DVC80, Canon
XL-1/XL1S and GL-1/GL-2, Sony PD 150/170 and VX2000/2100 camcorders.
The enthusiastic responses I read from people who had bought the
Matteblox piqued my interest.
I wrote to Cinetactics and heard back from company representative Greg
Mote, who said that he would send out a set for us to evaluate for
Digital Vision Network (DVN-The Digital Journalist, The Digital
Filmmaker, et al.) readers. I told him that most of the professionals
visiting DVN who use compact DV camcorders have either Canon or Sony,
usually with the Canon WD-58 wide angle lens adapter mounted (the
WD-58 fits both the Canon GL and Sony PD/VX camcorders). Greg Mote
responded that most of the company's Matteblox customers also use
these cameras, with an increasing number of Panasonic DVX100/DVX100A
and Canon XL-1/XL-1S users now ordering kits as well.
For those unfamiliar with its use, a matte box is used by filmmakers
and videographers to control light diffracting into the lens, a cause
of degraded image quality. For example, to videojournalists or
documentary filmmakers shooting live action when the light source is
at an angle low on the horizon, such as working outdoors in the
morning or late afternoon, the extra control of a matte box can be
invaluable. In addition, a matte box allows the use of multiple
filters mounted in front of the lens without the vignetting caused by
stacking screw-in filters.
it arrived, my first impression of the Matteblox system was of a
compact, well-constructed and very lightweight set of hardware. It
comes in a case with the Matteblox shade, a French flag for extra
flare protection and a carabinier to clip the case to a bag or belt.
Made of ballistic nylon and reinforced with rigid plastic inserts, the
Matteblox folds open and mounts on the front of your camcorder in
place of the stock manufacturers lens shade. It is wide enough to
offer significantly more protection from lens flare than the OEM
shade, whether Canon, Sony or Panasonic.