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Brett Allbritton

Can a 15mm Studio Matte Box be converted to used with 15mm LWS?

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Hey everybody,

I'm trying to find a matte box to use for an upcoming project (whenever that might be considering this pandemic), and in the process I was offered an old Super16 camera matte box for 15mm Studio rods at a good price.

I've seen brackets available that allow you to use a 15mm LWS matte box on 19mm and 15mm Studio rods, but I'm curious if there are any options to use a 15mm Studio matte box with 15mm LWS rods. I imagine this is possible even with the offset, but I wouldn't know. Should I pass?

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So a solution came to mind, but I really don't know if it would work in practice.

The idea is to have rods come from my 15mm LWS baseplate, attach them to the LWS part at the top of a Studio to LWS Adaptor, then run some short rods out from the bottom Studio part and attach the matte box to those. Basically, the adaptor and matte box would hang from the LWS rods coming from my baseplate.

My intuition tells me that professionals will find this needlessly complicated, but I figured it was at least worth consideration. My other concern is whether that would put some unnecessary strain on the system. Like I said, I'm not sure if this would work in practice.

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It would depend on the particular matte box in question. But generally no, you can’t make a Studio 15/19 matte box into a Lightweight 15mm one.

Also, LW15 4x5.65 matte boxes are so widely available and affordable now, that unless you absolutely need trays or orientable stages, there’s not much reason to go thru all the trouble of adapting.

Also depends on what camera and lenses you’re using. If you’re using a heavy camera system that would benefit from Studio support anyway, then you might as well go that route.

Also, if you’re using lenses that don’t have front threads to accept a screw-in Polarizer, and thus need a rotating 4x5.65 stage, a 4.5” or 138mm Round stage, or a fixed 4x5.65 ARRI LMB-5 compatible stage for a Rota-Pola, then that would tip things in favor of the Studio matte box. Otherwise, you might as well avoid the extra weight and expense of both the large filter and Studio bracketry. 

 

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I've made up brackets like this for when I've had to mix lightweight and studio components.  There are lots of inexpensive rod clamps available these days, so customizing things to your needs is easier than ever before.  Of course, you might have to budget a generous amount of time for inexpensive parts to come from overseas; if you need something quickly it's always more expensive. 

What matte box are you trying to use?  It's a bit unusual for Super 16 accessories to be studio format; almost all of the S16 cameras I've used have been primarily set up for 15mm lightweight rods.  

15mm-bracket.jpg

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