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Matte Box For Studios

By Author: James Hill
Total Articles: 26

Being a professional studio camera operator, you would probably want or would have to use variety of matte box.
A matte box does two major things. One, it holds the filters and cuts down glare and lens flare. Matte box is more common in motion picture with hand-held cameras.
Filters are very important for a number of reasons, as it filters out the unwanted light that may harm the footage and a matte box gives you the much needed flexibility with the amount of variety of filters it allows you to use.
Another great feature of a matte box is it allows adjusting the height of the filter, as well as the rotation. You need to make sure that the matte box that you get has these options because not all models offer.
Some matte box may have three fully rotating filter trays which can each hold 5.65x5.65 or 4x5.65 filters. It can also be mounted to a 15mm lightweight rod or with an adapter to 15mm studio or 19mm studio rods. It is a “swing away” system, meaning that the matte box assembly can hinge away from the lens while remaining mounted to the rods for easy and fast lens changes. The rear ring of the matte box can accommodate lenses with front diameters as large as 143mm. For smaller lenses, bellows systems with various screw-in rings are available. This bellows system also includes an internal tray for a 138mm circular filter. And it may come with adjustable top and side flags.
Neutral density filters (also known as ND filters), UV filters or Polariser filters are very useful for studio shooting. They reduce and control the amount of light needs to reach lens without affecting the footage. This is helpful when you have various lighting facilities inside the studios and some times you need to keep a particular light on but don’t want it to affect the shoot.
Cutting down lens flare and minimizing excess light hitting the lens helps increase contrast and depth, and this provides a more pleasing image with more vibrant colours. The Studio Matte Box blocks the excess light, and is usually black on the inside to absorb light. Some matte boxes also have flags which are adjustable, so that they can be set to match the focal length of different lenses. A wide shot the angle of the lens will need the flags to be more open than a long focal length lens.
There are different types of studio matte boxes. Some connect to the camera via bars while some use a clamp to connect directly to the lens. High-end versions of matte boxes are also available that have a pivot, which allows them to swing away from the lens. This allows you to quickly change lenses if you have a several fixed length lenses, instead of just a zoom lens during an indoor photo shoot or recording.
As anyone working with a camera will know that weight of the camera and lens as a whole unit can be an issue when you are to various lens, and holding it for long periods. So a Lightweight studio Matte Box is highly advantageous.

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