Wide Lenses With 4x4 Matte Box

When shooting 35mm, what's the widest lens you can use with a 4x4 mattebox? In other words, at which focal length do you have to switch over to a 6x6?

Got a producer breathing down my neck about renting both matte boxes and filters. We're carrying a 14mm for the entire week, but only day playing the 8mm. Honestly, I've never worried about this nit-picky stuff, but now I've got to give this guy an answer.
Thanks for any info.

Jake "came up through lighting" Pollock
Taipei, Taiwan

Jake Pollock wrote :

>When shooting 35mm, what's the widest lens you can use with a 4x4 mattebox?

Are you talking 4x4 clip-on or studio MB ? The latter can stick out further and vignette easier specifically when you're also using a round filter in the back (such as a Pola or Diopter). Off hand I think your 8mm will definitely vignette on a 4x4. I don't even know if the 14mm is safe, and if its Super-35mm its even more a step-up to 6.6x6.6 inch (plus there you have 4 stages). I think that even the 14mm is close to vignetting on a 6x6 when you're using a 138mm filter (older 6x6's vignette more than the newer Arri's). Certainly not a lot of room to slide the grads around.

Also, you may look into getting 4x5.65 inch filters & MB instead. You can still use 4x4's provided you get the trays. But if you use 4x5's horizontally you vignette less on the sides.

Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP

Generally speaking, you can go as wide as a 16mm lens with a 4x4 matte box.

The 14mm is just too large and would probably vignette anyway. As the 8mm, there is no matte box which I am aware of which will clear an 8mm lens.

The 8mm has a field of view of 170-180 degrees. The physics just don't allow any matte box or front filtration!

Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Cine Rental
Oppenheimer Camera Products

What's the widest angle lens you can use in 35 and still use a 4x4 mattebox without vignetting? Is it an all purpose situation or does it depend on the mattebox in question? I've got a job next week with a producer who doesn't want to rent a 4x4 and 6x6 mattebox with all the filters. We're day playing an 8mm and I know we'll need the 6x6 for that one, but what about a 14mm?

Thanks folks.

Jake "came up through lighting" Pollock
Taipei, Taiwan


Don't sell yourself short & get the 6.6 matte box. At least you are pretty much covered for most lenses. You will cover a 14mm Cooke S4, Ultra Prime & Zeiss std lenses with a 6.6 matte box, even in super 35 wide screen TV.

In Australia a 4x4 matte box comes standard with the camera kit as part of the package & the 6.6 is an extra expense. In the grand scheme of things, a 6.6 matte box is 'petty cash' when you look at the price of a whole kit!

Angelo Sartore
1st. AC

I use a 4x4 Arriflex matte box on my BL, but I have to take it off when using the 18mm. If I am using a filter or getting flares and want to keep it on, I pull the donut off and slide the matte box back a bit and it works.

Blain Brown

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