Vocas MB-256 Matte Box

If you want to fit the larger, professional filters to your DSLR or cinema camera, then nothing can beat the flexibility of a purpose-made matte box. And it’s the only way of fitting the 2mm-plus standard broadcast filters, which are too fat for most stills photo-style filter holders.

It’s possible to spend thousands on a matte box, and many Hollywood-types do. But for a more realistic budget that independent filmmaker can stretch to, Dutch company Vocas makes a range of matte boxes to suit different cameras sizes. We tried the MB-256, a wide-angle matte box with two filter trays – one fixed and one that can be rotated, so it’s ideal for grad filters or polarisers. 

The kit comes with two filter holders in 4x4in size, although a whole array of sizes can be bought to take filters up to 4x6in. To fit it to your camera you can either buy the kit that fastens it to standard 15mm rails, or via an adapter ring that screws into your lens filter thread. We used it on a Sony 18-110mm cine lens with a 95mm filter thread. The adapter screws into this, then the matte box slides over it and clamps firmly down using a knurled aluminium knob on the side. The matte box can also clamp directly onto lenses with a diameter of up to 114mm.

In use, the Vocas is relatively light thanks to its carbon fibre and aluminium construction, and holds filters very securely without any light leaks. Rotating one filter is a bit fiddly, but it works and has just the right amount of resistance. The build quality is excellent, the price is not stratospheric and it opens up the world of true pro broadcast filters.

 

Specifications

Filter sizes: 2x2, 2x3, 3x3, 3x4, 4x4, 4x5, 4x5.65, 4x6in

Diameter: 114mm

Filter slots: 2, 1 rotatable

Comes with: Flag, 4x4 filter holders

Material: Aluminium and carbon fibre

Weight: 556g/1.23lb

 

 PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 8/10

Well built and easy to set up, great flare control

Pros: Professional kit for use on lots of lenses

Cons: Only two filter slots

 

 

Price: £718/$837  

Vocas.com

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Targeting independent commercial filmmakers and small production companies, Pro Moviemaker delivers the latest industry tech innovation and gear scoops to creatives, entrepreneurs and decision makers hell bent on staying ahead of the game. As early adopters, Pro Moviemaker readers want news, reviews and technique features focused on kit so that they know what to buy next and how it will drive the continued success of their business. Diverse in their roles and shooting genres, Pro Moviemaker readers are united by their thirst for knowledge – a thirst which is quenched not only by our hands-on production, post and business advice features, but also our inspirational interviews with leading pros.

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