Anyone have opinions as to the differences in the Chrosziel
vs. the Vocas 4x4 2 stage matte box systems? I'm looking at
both for a variety of DV cameras. Thanks.
Jim Sofranko wrote:
>Anyone have opinions as to the
differences in the Chrosziel vs. the >Vocas 4x4 2 stage
matte box systems? I'm looking at both for a variety >of DV
I think before you decide on either, you should really check
out the Petroff mattebox system. It's the lightest and most
versatile I've ever used. Each manufacturer has it's strong
points and I stock all three at Moviola. However, I think
it would be a mistake to choose Chrosziel or Vocas (Century)
without also looking at the Petroff 4x4 (or 4x5 for that matter.)
Disclaimer : I don't have any financial interest in any of
the before mentioned companies. I do however, have to constantly
replace lost and damaged mattebox parts. In that regard the
people at Ste-man, Inc. (Petroff distributors in L.A.) have
been outstanding to work with the very, very, very few times
I've needed anything with the Petroff name.
Senior Camera Rental Agent
Hollywood, CA www.moviola.com
>I think before you decide on
either, you should really check out the >Petroff mattebox system.
The new Petroff mattebox is very cool - I used it recently
on a documentary in Mali, then on a couple of music videos.
MAJOR ADVANTAGES : the mattebox is 'modular' (i.e., you can
add/drop stages), and each filter tray independently rotates
or can be locked.
This is extremely useful when shooting landscapes shots /
b-roll on a low budget with minimal gear. The only matte boxes
I know of that can do this is the Arri studio or Chrosziel.
Certainly none in clip-on can do this (am I wrong?).
The modularity is useful in case you need to use that 'ultra-wide'
lens, and would need to drop a stage or two so as not to vignette.
The pieces quickly snap on and off, and look pretty rugged.
You can also get mattes for individual lenses, or get a topper
For what it can do, the price is cheaper than what Chrosziel
or Arri offers, especially with the price of the Euro these
DISDVANTAGES: it has these weird adaptor rings that can fit
most everything in video, but not film. But I hear from Mr.
Petroff that new ones are on the way, and he can build on
demand in the meantime.
Also, as great as the mattebox is, I've found that I needed
to make a cloth 'cover' that can come on and off with velcro
to prevent light leaks from the spaces between the filters.
Now, keep in mind this is only when placing heavy ND’s
in front or when doing time-lapse work. And, it is no better
or worse than the Chrosziel.
All in all, it's a good mattebox system, is actually very
sturdy despite its light weight, and can be switched between
clip-on mode and rails. IMHO, it edges out the Chrosziel system,
but Arri is still the best overall.
Usual Disclaimers apply...sfgh
>IMHO, it edges out the Chrosziel
system, but Arri is still the best overall.
Duraid, what is the mattebox made of?
I owned one of the old Petroff matte boxes years ago, used
it for road trips where I needed to travel light. It was great
for that, but the plastic material the stages were made of
wasn't as rugged as it might have been...
I regularly use both Arri and Chrosziel - mostly Chrosziel
for video, I tend to save the Arri for film work - and have
found they're both much more rugged. It sounds like the new
Petroff is greatly improved - what is it made of? Have they
gone to more rugged metal stages?
> Duraid, what is the mattebox
It's plastic, but it seems more 'dense' than what the old
Petroff system was.
I remember those matte boxes, and in some ways this new system
is an improvement, in others, it's not. The trays are more
rugged, but the bracket that keeps the front and back together
Take a look at the website, you'll see what I mean.
Having said this, it did withstand the daily grind of shooting
in Mali, with all the sand it got exposed to. Given that it's
modular, you can take it fully apart with the minimal of tools,
clean out all the sand and put it back together. The mattebox
was in use on the back of a 4x4 pickup for 6 hours of heavy
pounding, and it handled it fine. All the filters that were
placed in and locked, stayed in. I had some grads in at some
points and they stayed during the duration.
But then again, with the price range of these matte boxes,
they should last for YEARS, and time will tell with the new
>I remember those matte boxes,
and in some ways this new system is >an improvement, in
others, it's not. The trays are more rugged, but the >bracket
that keeps the front and back together seems fragile.
Yes, this was one of the big problems I had - the screws were
stronger than the plastic material they were threaded into,
which meant that a good jolt would strip the thread, not on
the screw, but on the bracket.
Also, the screws were neither a standard metric, nor a standard
imperial size! I finally took it into a shop and had every
hole re-bored to a standard size, as a couple of screws had
worked their way loose & I couldn't find replacements.
What I liked most about the old Petroff is what they've eliminated
in the new one - the collapsible coated-paper shade. It made
the system super lightweight and small, very well suited for
travel. (I had mine for almost ten years, and only had to
replace that shade once!)
I think I'll stick to my Chrosziel and Arris for now