Jump to content


Photo

Super 8 Matte Box Updated Photos


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 25 September 2007 - 02:29 AM

I thought I would post a couple of pics of the current stage of the matte box so those interested can see how it's coming along. I'm hoping that this design will fit most Super 8 cameras.

Note: Final version will have a nicely painted matte box instead of electrical tape. Also, railblocks will be painted as well. A few features have yet to be implemented yet, such as filter holders, french flag option, and the camera base railblock screw (I forgot to pick that up at Home Depot! Grr....).

Feel free to comment!



  • 0

#2 Jim Simon

Jim Simon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 93 posts
  • Director

Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:02 PM

Given the weight distribution, it might make more sense to put the tripod block more towards the middle, after the camera block, rather than at the very end.
  • 0

#3 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:39 PM

Given the weight distribution, it might make more sense to put the tripod block more towards the middle, after the camera block, rather than at the very end.


Of course that's what I wanted, and thus was my first design...however, Super 8 being the demonic cameras they are, the block for the tripod mount got in the way of the camera itself (at least on my Sankyo, it did). Never fear however, as I'm still trying to engineer a way around this. Today I got a Miter Saw...heh, so I will make the design work because I don't like the tripod mount at the end either because 1) It puts all the weight at the end and 2) it shortens the potential length of a camera/lens setup to be compatible with the Matte box. I mainly just wanted to post updates up to that point in time, but at this point, designs change daily. I'm down to only needing two tools left...
  • 0

#4 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 September 2007 - 04:45 AM

I'll use this thread to post my continually updated photos until I reach the final stage of development which I'm getting closer to. Would love comments and suggestions before I wrap this project up. I am waiting on a drill press which I should get in a week, as my hand drill is not nearly accurate enough for this project. You can tell by these pics that the holes are not drilled straight enough but that problem is about to be gone. Also, the railblocks are not smooth at the end because I cut them with a jigsaw but I now have a miter saw which makes fantastic cuts and I'm going to use that when I get more wood. These design is VERY close to what the finished product should look like unless I think of something else soon. The dimensions of the matte box have changed a little, as the box is now slightly more wide than it is high which gives it a better look IMHO. It's not widescreen by any measure, and I may develop a widescreen box (16:9) in the future for those who prefer that look.

I fixed the problem of the tripod mount block being at the tail end. All it took was adding an extra block above the camera mount block to raise the camera up and thus give clearance for the rails underneath.

From handling this box, it is built like a mini-tank. I have dropped this thing from 7-8 feet up and it hits the ground with a thud and doesn't crack. I have thrown it across the room and it doesn't budge. It is definitely built like a tank, and perhaps even looks like one...lol.

The final version will be painted black and future editions may have color options if enough people show interest. The one feature I'm having extreme peril trying to implement is the filter holders... :o

Anyways, here is the up to date pics with the camera on the tripod...





  • 0

#5 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:45 AM

Wow, you are working hard on that, Matthew, with rapid progress.

Will the base plate around the tripod mount where the camera is placed upon, remain so narrow, or will you broaden (or lengthen, depends on the perspective) the base plate a bit?

The reason I ask is: the base plate might maybe be a bit to narrow to provide a stable base for the camera sitting on it. Leverage applied by mistake on the camera (some have weakly mounted tripod threads) or the base plate would be less significant and potentially damaging if the base plate the camera sits on has more surface area.

(hope I could communicate well what I am on about - if not, drop me a line)
  • 0

#6 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 September 2007 - 01:06 PM

Wow, you are working hard on that, Matthew, with rapid progress.

Will the base plate around the tripod mount where the camera is placed upon, remain so narrow, or will you broaden (or lengthen, depends on the perspective) the base plate a bit?

The reason I ask is: the base plate might maybe be a bit to narrow to provide a stable base for the camera sitting on it. Leverage applied by mistake on the camera (some have weakly mounted tripod threads) or the base plate would be less significant and potentially damaging if the base plate the camera sits on has more surface area.

(hope I could communicate well what I am on about - if not, drop me a line)


As far as the camera base blocks, there are 2 stacked 3/4" x 4" solid blocks with a 1/4" x 2" Hex Carriage Bolt that runs between them into the camera base thread. It may not look like it, but it is incredibly stable. Never let it be said that I don't listen to recommendations however. When I make my next wood run, I'll look to double the breadth of the camera base plate to give consumers peace of mind and a more "rugid" look.

Regarding the tripod mount, the weak threading of people's tripod pieces aren't really a concern because, although you can't tell it from the pic, the tripod mount piece is not going into the wood directly. I installed a solid metal 1/4" thread into the 3/4" woodblock, so the thread is a real thread, not just bolt into wood. It gives a surprisely strong bond. However, like the camera base, I will try to double the breadth for peace of mind and additional security.

I will limit the breadth of the base plates at 1 1/2" so it doesn't become so broad that it interferes with the ability of certain cameras to mount to it.

Any other questions? lol
  • 0

#7 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 September 2007 - 07:12 PM

OK, Michael, I'm in between college classes right now so I figured I would take your advice, make a trip to Home Depot and get some 1 1/2" x 3/4" wood. I followed the idea you recommended and doubled the broadness or breadth of the camera base block and the tripod mount block. Here are pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I'm down to only needing a Drill Press, a Paint Airbrush gun, a Sander, and an Electronic Screwdriver (for my sanity!). Just think, I've only soaked $280 so far on tools for a $100 matte box. Add to that all the raw materials I've bought and I might come out of this only being down $500 when it's all said and done...woohoo! It's been a lot of fun though.








  • 0

#8 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:08 PM

Hi Matthew!

OK, Michael, I'm in between college classes right now so I figured I [...] make a trip to Home Depot


Oh, I miss that time... B)

I followed the idea you recommended and doubled the broadness or breadth of the camera base block and the tripod mount block. Here are pictures for your viewing pleasure.


I think that this looks much more now like a base that should be very stable and tank-ish! Thanks also for the earlier clarification about the way the tripod screw and mount are constructed. I hadn't seen a close-up picture of that and hence didn't know what to expect. Your description sounds exactly how it should be.

I might come out of this only being down $500 when it's all said and done...woohoo! It's been a lot of fun though.


So you would need to sell 6 to break-even. I think that might be feasable with the right plugging and presentation and p-placement. As long as its passionate fun, though, the efforts are legitimate. ;)

One more thing: will the 'technical-term-in-English-escapes-me-at-the-moment'-butterflyish screws that are mounted on the outside of the matte box itself remain unchanged, as they are right now, or will you use another method, e.g. long nails hammered in from the side orthogonally through the side-piece, i.e. longitudinally straight into the top or bottom piece, to give the matte box a flush outside construction and look, plus loose the inside-the-mattebox screw ends in the same step?
(sorry, but me English knowledge does abandon me when it comes to building terms or DIY stuff :( )

Have a great week-end, Matthew. Cheers, -Michael
  • 0

#9 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:25 PM

I attach a weird picture example not worthy of my Macs credentials, but hopefully shedding some more light into what I meant above... or not :rolleyes:

Attached Images

  • 1.jpg

  • 0

#10 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:35 PM

I attach a weird picture example not worthy of my Macs credentials, but hopefully shedding some more light into what I meant above... or not :rolleyes:


What the Matte box is held together with is 1" L-brackets with (2) 1/4" x 1/2" flat head stove bolts in each bracket.

I knew this issue would come up with the Matte box in terms of cosmetic issues, which I stated was the #2 thing of importance for me after being sturdy. I must admit, there is somewhat of a dilemma with how to bond the sides of the Matte box together. Here are the three different techniques I've tried and the outcome:

1) Bond by using wood glue-> Pro: Seemless cosmetic look -> Con: Breaks on 6 foot drop

2) Use L-brackets -> Pro: Rugid, almost indestructible -> Con: Cosmetically suffers, no seemless look (although the issue of the bolt end showing on the inside could be a non-issue by using washers on the outside end and drilling to a lesser depth, thus not allowing the end to show through)

3) Nails, as you suggested -> Pro: Seemless cosmetic look with sturdiness somewhere between wood glue and L-brackets...might even survive a 6 foot fall -> Con: Current design of Matte box uses 1/4" thick wood which is a pain to nail into. Mostly resulting in Nail going awry or splitting the wood.

I see what you mean in terms of seemlessness. Part of me was ready to scrap the idea of building this thing once I realized that sheet metal was too difficult to work with because of it's bonding issues with the sides. I tried galvanized wire to bond the edges of the sheet metal pieces, but it was equivocal in strength with what wood glue is. It just couldn't survive a good beating, which is the worst case scenario for me.

I'll experiment with some different nails and joining, and see what I come up with. If I find a good fit, I will implement your idea. If not, I'll have some serious design decisions to make such as if I should increase the thickness of the wood, etc. I'll keep you posted.

PS- You have offered a lot of design help and I thank you for that. I hope you'll be the first in line on the order list once this puppy is up to your specifications ... ;)
  • 0

#11 Michael Lehnert

Michael Lehnert
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1086 posts
  • Other
  • London, UK / Basel, CH

Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:52 PM

What the Matte box is held together with is 1" L-brackets with (2) 1/4" x 1/2" flat head stove bolts in each bracket.


Thanks. I shall never forget the terminology again. :P

I knew this issue would come up with the Matte box in terms of cosmetic issues,


Just trying to increase saleability as I think this matters to some.

I'll keep you posted.


Thanks for the explanation. I think everyone here appreciates the efforts you put into this.

PS- You have offered a lot of design help and I thank you for that. I hope you'll be the first in line on the order list once this puppy is up to your specifications ... ;)


Damn, why is this "bespoke thingy" always happening to me? Last time, I did the same for Rolls-Royce, and that bankrupted me... ;)
  • 0

#12 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 September 2007 - 03:07 AM

I got my drill press today...it was an early Birthday gift from my charming fiance. I really thought this thing would be compact since it looked like it on the pictures I saw of it on the net. Turns out, it weighs about 25 ibs more than my daughter and is almost as tall. Reading the instruction manual was humorous, as it said, and I quote "For safety, mount the base of the drill press to a sturdy work bench or table." Yeah, I suppose they are right because you know I can tip over that 3 ton base that it has on it already. Anyhow, I had my fiance take a picture of me with my beloved drill press. I tested it out and it makes the cleanest, straightest holes I've ever seen in my life...not to mention it has a laser for extreme accuracy. It kindof makes me hope that I sell a lot of these matte boxes so I can use this thing often.

Here is the picture...(forgive my mad scientist hairdo, as I've spent most of my time working on the matte box instead of, you know, grooming!)


  • 0

#13 Glenn Brady

Glenn Brady
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 327 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 September 2007 - 06:34 AM

What the Matte box is held together with is 1" L-brackets with (2) 1/4" x 1/2" flat head stove bolts in each bracket.

I knew this issue would come up with the Matte box in terms of cosmetic issues, which I stated was the #2 thing of importance for me after being sturdy. I must admit, there is somewhat of a dilemma with how to bond the sides of the Matte box together. Here are the three different techniques I've tried and the outcome:

1) Bond by using wood glue-> Pro: Seemless cosmetic look -> Con: Breaks on 6 foot drop


There are router bits (here's a chance to add to your growing tool collection) that create an interlocking glue joint. The increased surface area produced by these bits, when joined with the proper glue (maybe an epoxy glue), would make those joints virtually unbreakable.
  • 0

#14 Oron Cohen

Oron Cohen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tel-Aviv/London

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:03 AM

hey,

have you seen this matte box by wittner-cinetec?

oron.

Attached Images

  • 1727b_g.jpg

  • 0

#15 Tony Hudson

Tony Hudson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 22 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:45 AM

hey,

have you seen this matte box by wittner-cinetec?

oron.



Wittner don't make that matte box, they are just a sell through for pro8mm gear who've been selling that matte box for years.

matte
  • 0

#16 alexandros petin

alexandros petin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 106 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Athens Greece

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:45 AM

Well really nice but personally i like Matthews better. I think Wittners costs more than Matthews new laser accurate drill press. :-)
  • 0

#17 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 30 September 2007 - 07:47 AM

Will there be a Super-8B Matte Box? Because if there is I think you've got a customer.*

-Good Luck.




*If the price is right.
  • 0

#18 Oron Cohen

Oron Cohen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tel-Aviv/London

Posted 30 September 2007 - 08:22 AM

Wittner don't make that matte box, they are just a sell through for pro8mm gear who've been selling that matte box for years.

matte


Hey,

Thank you for updating me, didn't know that this is a pro8mm matte box.
And even if there is a matte box around it doesn?t mean that I don?t appreciate Matthews effort on building a matte box.
I am just wondering how cheap you can go when you pricing this thing? after all a nice (not the best) DV matte box with support rods and all will cost cost you at least 500$.

oron.
  • 0

#19 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 September 2007 - 11:49 AM

I have decided that, based on the difficulty of implementing, that I will not be adding a filter holder to this...BUT, I will be making the box 100% compatible with the Cokin 3x3 Filter system which is a very low cost alternative.

However, to offset this terrible loss, I have decided to offer the box + rails system for a price of
$75USD.

I think that is a value, all things considered. My motivation behind this is quantity hopefully. And I also realized that based on my designs, quite a bit of smaller Mini-DV cams will mount nicely to this as well so I may try that angle if the Super8 angle doesn't take off so well. The no filter holder issue is a blow but I believe there are enough people who desire the look of a box/rail system for a decent price who will tolerate the lack of filter holders. I just don't have the resources to implement it right now.

Because my efforts can focus on the design as it is now (instead of the L-brackets, which are gone...I'll have a picture of the seamless design up soon, thanks to my trusty 90 degree clamp!), I'm going to instead make different aspect ratios for the boxes as Matthew Buick recommended.

Here is an example of what the "product line" will be like:

Standard 1.33 Aspect ratio box - $75.00
16:9 Aspect ratio box - $90.00
2.35 Anamorphic box - $100.00

That being said, I hope I still have the support of the Super 8 community. I tried really hard to implement the filter holders but it was becoming maddening. However, I must ask if anyone is interested in a French Flag option? That might be more doable.
  • 0

#20 Matthew Buick

Matthew Buick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2345 posts
  • Student
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Posted 30 September 2007 - 02:31 PM

Cool. I've helped shape a brilliant product. The 2:35 box sounds really tempting. :)
  • 0


Metropolis Post

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Opal

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

CineTape

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Technodolly

The Slider

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC