Personal View site logo
Make sure to join PV on Telegram or Facebook! Perfect to keep up with community on your smartphone.
Smaller Cameras can Make Do with 3x3 Matte Boxes
  • Cavision 3x3" Matte Box with Top and Side Flags $208

    (At a pinch, a single 4.5" x 6" glass ND filter can be cut into two stackable 3" filters !!) image

  • 77 Replies sorted by
  • Yep, Have ordered one of these. I couldn't resist being able to travel light with this outfit. Hence my ability to resist the optional 8mm rails.

    [Also got a 3x3" ND filter] I'm hoping this size filter becomes more readily available.

    Also keen to see Chinese manufacturers jump onto this DSLR-friendly format!

  • @goanna How wide can you go with the 3x3 Cavision? Especially interested if with pana 14-140 @14 I will still be able to use filters in trays. What about 12 mm? Still possible?

  • Very nice. I hope they update this with removable rod support. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

    Edit -- apparently it does have optional rod support. I may buy this.

  • They say that it has optional rod support, but I didn't find any details. Anybody has some additional informations?

  • @Meierhans

    I am loving this tiny matte box. Yesterday I shot lots with Panasonic 14mm pancake. I currently have the top flag adjusted so it only just clears the FOV of that lens.{I'm absolutely sure it can be raised further but I can't work out what Cavision want me to do with their screw/lock nut/rubber grommet combination].

    All plastic but the design is impressive. You'll need their 10 thick mm step-ring, say 77-85mm diameter. I've had to order this later. I will keep this permanently attached to the m/b and use a series of xx->77mm step rings to fit all my lenses.

    B&H have user comments on the 8mm rails, People are impressed with the tiny size - with the impression given that you don't get much for what you pay for(?)

  • Can you supply some pics of your setup? I'd love to see just how small this really is.


  • Mounted on Olympus 45-150mm zoom. Using Cokin-P filter. MB is light enough, but I support it with one hand while changing focal lengths. I never do zoom shots.

    image | image

    8mm rig $79.95 at image

    8mm carbon fibre Rails with adjustable base plate reputedly only available at Cavision. They say B&H are selling old stock with fixed plate.

    626 x 427 - 78K
    449 x 632 - 131K
  • At last, a matte box that actually seems sensible for the GH2. My only reservation is how future-proof those 3x3 filters going to be, though newer cameras do seem to be getting smaller...

  • Of course, the French flags fold in nearly all the way for travelling. If side flags are removed first, all the way.

    The rails seem superfluous to me - and defeat the purpose of compactness. I can see myself buying them and never using them. If anyone has owned the rig with rails for a while, can you tell us how useful it is?

  • @goanna

    In a clip-on configuration as you have it, does it feel like the total weight of the lens + matte box could be a strain on the delicate GH2 mount?

  • @QuickHitRecord

    There will always be that doubt - as well as the lens-to-mattebox mount. If worried, use the rig.

    For me, I consider that life is short and the GH2 is cheap.

  • My only reservation is how future-proof those 3x3 filters going to be

    I get the impression that my long (>10 weeks?) wait for my 0.6 Cavision filter at B&H means that they are being made to order!

    As I said, get creative. Use Cokin P (nice-tight fit but no little handle)


    Start cutting glass. A big filter can make 2 small ones.

  • I'm a big fan of rod systems. I'm waiting to hear back from Cavision, but this part might add swing-away capability to this 3x3 mattebox:

  • Anyone use a 12mm or wider with this MB yet?

  • This actually looks good guys. Thanks for sharing, I will have to research this.

  • Thank you for the the report that it works with 14mm pancake. Still wondering if it will work with 14-140 as it has a much larger diameter. I second the question about 12 mm. If this works this is bought.

  • From the Cavision website: "Fit DSLR lens wide angle: APS-C: 15mm & up. Full frame: 35mm & up (may work at wider angles on lenses with less than 77mm filter diameter; may also work on wider lenses if clamped directly on lens front)."

    This suggests that it will work without vignette down to 17.5mm on an M43, but @goanna has already confirmed that he has been able to use it down to 14mm, at least with a pancake lens. Cavision also offers a recessed adapter ring available that may buy a little more wide-angle flexibility. This could possibly push it into 12mm territory.

  • I just heard back from Cavision. Here's what I've learned:

    • The swing-away featured in item RSSA-1520 can be purchased separately from the rods and platform attachment for $100 USD. It should work with the 3x3 matte box but they are going to confirm it and follow up with me.
    • The T-part and bracket needed to mount the matte box to standard 15mm rods (not the 8mm rod set) is $50 USD.
    • The matte box can be used with 3x4 filters and filter trays, which is especially useful for positioning ND grads.
    • There is a cloth donut for the 3x3 matte box in development.
    • Shipping from Cavision in Canada to the USA can also be done via Canada Post for MUCH less than FedEx, but it will take up to two weeks to arrive.

    So, minus the fact that there isn't an 85mm cloth donut yet (a DIY solution would not be too difficult), it appears to be a compact, fully-featured swing-away mattebox for about $350, with high quality filters that seem to go for 30-40% less than the 4x4 filters.

  • This is extremely interesting. @QuickHitRecord thanks for keeping us updated. Please do let us know what Cavision says regarding the swing-away attachment.

  • I don't have all the step-rings I'd need to try all lenses.

    But my 6mm Pentax just checks out fine. (40.5mm dia, then 2 step rings, C-mount, ~12mm equiv) By fine I mean I can start to fold in the French flags well before there's any cropping.

    As I said, I've worked out all step rings will go to 77mm. Then the M/B will have a permanent 77-82mm step ring with a good, wide lip to fit the m/b.

    Re rigs: there are two embedded brass screw-holes in the M/B base. I may make an aluminium plate to go from the M/B to an elongated hole to match the camera's tripod mount hole. That would come off quickly enough to change lenses and still keep it all rigid.

  • @QuickHitRecord

    Thanks for the info about the proposed do-nut. If they're doing that they're obviously contemplating other ways to attach to the camera. Maybe an 8mm swing-away...

    I really don't see how it could do you any harm to order just the matte box to start with. Once you're putting it through its paces you'll be better placed to modify a rig to suit.

  • Do you see any reason why this won't work with the Black Magic CC as well? This could be a sweet option (with rails.)

  • @goanna Agreed. But it's good to know that there is a full system out there to support this matte box.

    @ahbleza I can't see a reason why it would not be a good match.

    From Cavision, regarding the swing away:

    With the addition of a spacer (we can provide that) it does work on the new 3x3 matte box. However, you may run into a problem if you are using any lenses that are fairly short. The issue is that the rods bracket on the swing away piece will sit about two inches behind the matte box. This will also depend partly on the 15mm rods support system you're using (ie how far the bracket can slide back towards or under the camera before hitting an obstruction).

    It probably won't work so well with the Lumix Pancake lenses, but I don't think that it would be a problem with anything else.

  • The rod bracket may also be an issue with bigger lenses, if you use a rail-mounted follow focus.

  • I just bought a FOTGA ND set for my Lumix 20mm. I am waiting for the FOTGAS to arrive but was wondering what the hell to do for my Lumix m7-14mm.

    I didn't want to turn my nimble GH2 into a rig but I keep wanting more control over the image and I guess that's how it starts. It looks like this mattebox will accomodate the 7-14mm - I really want one.