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Widest lens with 4x4 matte box


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#1 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 11:19 PM

Hi,

If I have a 4x4 matte box with 4x4 filters, what's the widest lens that I could use with it without having any vignetting? Is 8mm pushing it? I understand that lenses vary - I'm just trying to get a rough feel for it. If the 4x4 matte box could take 4x5.65 filters, would that be a better for a very wide lens?

Thanks

Mohammed
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 10:29 AM

As all the professionals who answered this question on cml said: This can only be answered if the exact make and model of both lense and mattebox are known. This kind of knowledge comes from experience, not a book or Internet forum. This is why the pro Camera Assistants there told you to TEST the combination you had in mind.
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#3 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:59 PM

It's a 4x4 Petroff with two stages. The filters can either be 4x4 or 4x5.65. I use a Zeiss Zoom S16 11.5mm to 115mm lens. I wanted to know whether it would be ok with, say, a Ziess Distagon SuperSpeed at 9.5mm and perhaps even the Optar Illumina 8mm one. I've never gone beyond 11.5mm but then this was with a Petroff 4x5 and 4x5.65 filters.

The Petroff 4x5 matte box is being changed to a 4x4 and there is a choice of 4x4 filter trays or 4x5.65 ones. I just wanted to see if the 4x4 matte box with 4x5.65 filters would be a better option than with 4x4 filters if attempting to use, say a 8mm or 9.5mm lens. I don't have the matte box or the wide lenses to test this. What I do know is that the Petroff 4x5 matte box does not fit well with an Arri SRII using lightweight rods - you need to use a base plate, dovetail etc. - hence the reason for the change to a 4x4 one.

I have some 4x5.65 filters and I was thinking of selling those to get some 4x4 ones which seem to more plentiful and somewhat cheaper than the 4x5.65 ones. This is really for my own experiments and if on the off chance I happen to acquire a wider prime lens, the I just wanted to know roughly what the limits maybe.

Thanks
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 03:44 PM


Good that you have the mattebox and filters to test. I suggest you rent the lenses you think might work and test them. Someone in London should have those lenses. You might try Panavision first since they bought out Samuelson's who seemed to have everything.

If you have an existing relationship with a rental house, they may be willing to let you bring your gear in and test lenses in their prep room, particularly if they also sell the same lenses and have a chance to sell you something. Do you know a really good AC to bring with you?
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#5 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 08:39 AM

Thanks, Hal. My problem is that the matte box is with Petroff in Canada which is where they are based. They want to know if I want the 4x5.65 trays or 4x4 trays before sending the whole thing back to me (they're exchanging the 4x5 matte box for a 4x4). I'm inclined to just stick with the 4x5.65 trays because I have the filters and I'm sure I won't have problems with the Zeiss S16 zoom I'm using. Otherwise, if I opt for the 4x4 trays, I'll have to offload the 4x5.65 filters, get some 4x4's and then as you say do some tests once it's been returned to me. Without any money is difficult to explore any of this!

As I say this is for my use and I don't use anything beyond an 85 or some form of ND. When I get to shoot for real, then these things will be up to the DP. Many moons ago I was told that with 4x4 matte box/4x4 filters, I should be good to around 9mm but I understand now that was very generic advice!
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:31 AM

If you already own 4x5.65 filters, why would you scrap your whole collection and go with 4x4. For the most part the matte-box will be fine (i use a 4x4 Arri MB on my SR without issue) and in times when you need a bigger box, there is the joy of a quick rental ;)
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#7 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:04 PM

Thanks Adrian. I only have 3 filters at the moment. I need the 4x4 matte box because the 4x5 won't fit with the lightweight rods setup I have and that was the main reason for the change from the 4x5 to 4x4. Since I had the option of replacing the 4x5 trays with the 4x4, that's when I started to think about sticking with 4x4 filters and getting 4x4 trays because they're cheaper to pick up and there are a lot more of them around. With your 4x4, what's the widest you've shot without vignetting?
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:31 PM

I've used a 10mm without issue, though it's quite pushing it.
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#9 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:13 PM

Thanks, Adrian. I just wonder if the 4x4 with 4x5.65 filters, will get me some more width. I should be OK then with 11.5mm and 4x4 filters?
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:23 PM

I don't think you'd have a problem; but it will depend a bit on the lens/mattebox. It's not that I ever see the edges of the filter, rather I see the outer edges of the mattebox.
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#11 Mohammed Tahir

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 01:25 AM

Thanks, Adrian.

What aspect ratio were you using with your 10mm lens? I believe it also matters if you are trying to shoot 1.85:1, 1.78:1, 1:66 etc.
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