Friday, August 29, 2008

The RedRock Micro MatteBox

Christmas in August.

The RedRock Mattebox, probably the most sought after film production accessories today. They are so much hype surrounding this product and the waiting list can span across several month. Out of the 8 lb shipping weight, out come 1x mattebox, 1x arm (15mm or 19mm available), swing away with 2 horizontal adjustment arms, 2 side wings, 1 top wing and 4x neoprene donuts in the following sizes (2" + 2.5" + 3" + 4").

The Redrock Mattebox is extremely well designed mattebox and it rivals other much more expensive system. Everything was well engineered and very well made and built, everything is solid and you cannot find any loose or rattling part in the system.

Almost everything is build out of metal. The eyebrow, side wings and mattebox adapter (the front body) are made of high impact ABS plastic ( dont worry as they are extremely hard material). There are also horizontal and vertical adjustments along with full 360 degree rotatable filter stage. The system comes with 2 filter stages and you can buy and add more stages from Redrock as needed. There is also the option of purchasing the 19mm swing away arm should you are moving towards studio accessories in the future. The finish on everything down to the 4x4 matte are all superbly done.

The whole package is housed on a very nice fitted foam case. You can save some money and just buy a blank Pelican Case or any hard case without their foam and reuse the Redrock packaging.

The swing away component of the mattebox is brilliantly designed. The whole block that attaches the mattebox body to the swing away piece is very solid and robust. Apart from the filter stages, this is the only major moving part of the entire mattebox design. There are no rattling, gaps or anything that doesnt inspire confidence in the design. Instead of just pushing the entire mattebox back into its position, I would rather lift the knob and then push the pin into its sitting position. Not that you will wear down the sitting metal pin, but I like to minimize any metal to metal grinding.

Neoprene Rubber Donut Bellow.
eInstead of having a hard mount bellow, Redrock uses 0.5mm thick rubber neoprene donuts to wrap around your camera's lens to act as a bellow. It is a less than elegant solution but it works pretty well. My nikon 50mm f1.4 fits snug on the 2" donut and my Nikon f2.8mm zooms lenses fit the 2.5" and 3" donuts.

Direct sunlight is an enemy for neoprene as UV rays will cause neoprene to cracking and stiffening. However, I will be covering the filter stage as well as the donut/lens area with duvetyne to block out stray light anyways, so hopefully that will minimize the sun damage in the outdoors. So only time will tell how well the donuts do on those long summer outdoor shoots. Neoprene also stretches over time. Make sure that you do not introduce crease into the donuts during storage, as it is almost impossible to make them dissapear again. Heat also deteriorates the neoprene and will shorten its life, so ideally you want to store those neoprene donuts on a dark cool place.


The 2x filter trays that was supplied with the mattebox. The filter tray stock size is 4 x 4.56 and you can use the RedRock 4x4 Matte to use with your 4x4 filter. Depending on the lens that you have on your camera, you might be able to get by with cheaper 4 x 4 filter or you might be forced to use 4 x 5.65 filters which are more expensive. Here lies problem or quirk no 1 for the RedRock Micro Mattebox.
The extremely thin 4x4 plastic matte that was supplied with the MatteBox does not fit right into the filter tray. The plastic matte ws shipped slightly big for the filter tray. As a result, the matte will not sit flat inside the tray and this causes the tray to leak and allowed light to enter. As a result of using a very thin material, the matte also do not have a firm structure therefore, movement may cause the matte to leak and allow stray lights to come enter. I would assume that in order to solve the size problem, you can simply take a siccor and carefully trim along the side of the plastic matte to make it sit evenly on the tray.

Redrock Micro Mattebox French Flag/Top eyebrow.
Good Things Come To Those That Waits.
At $695.00 for the Deluxe Bundle, the RedRock Micro Mattebox is the deal of the century. The mattebox is simply an unreal and fantasic deal. There is talk that RedRock will be increasing the price of the mattebox in the near future. Even at $ 1200.00 this mattebox is worth every penny.
If you are looking for a mattebox, place and order and get inline, you will not be dissapointed. This is the preliminary report on the Redrock Micro Mattebox, more practical application and on the field report to come soon.

1 comment:

Yohan said...

Hi, I'm a owner of a D90 and I want to read on how to get started in video. I don't want to buy everything, I just want to be able to know what come first. Maybe one of you can link me with a web page that explain how to get started.