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SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field Evaluate – Nice Price/Characteristic Ratio on a Finances

SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Box Review – Great Cost/Feature Ratio on a Budget

Canadian digicam equipment producer SHAPE has launched a brand new Swing-Away Matte Field with some distinctive options that make it a compelling entry into what was a stagnant accent class. This new matte field options magnets, a improbable tray locking design, and an adjustable top knob to lift and decrease the entire matte field. I took the matte field out for a spin (or is it a swing?) on a several-weeks-long unannounced manufacturing. Listed below are my ideas.

That is one snazzy-looking matte field. At first look, no corners seem to have been lower on design. The little pops of crimson, now a trademark of SHAPE merchandise, look nice.

Nonetheless, I admit to worrying that I may need to gaff tape to kill any undesirable camera-op cameo on a reflective set sooner or later. I may also admit that’s a minor quibble.

SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field – First impressions

Although prior to now, I’ve been drawn to clip-on matte containers (SHAPE makes these, too), my love of classic lenses has led me again to the trusty swing-away design as a result of older classic lenses can’t assist a lot weight. And but, the design stays important after all. When executed poorly, a swing-away matte field can add valuable manufacturing time to a easy lens swap.

SHAPE Swing-Away
Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

I’ve used earlier SHAPE matte field designs prior to now, and I’ll be trustworthy, I wasn’t an enormous fan. Connecting the field with the digicam in user-friendly methods wasn’t occurring. That’s not the case right here. A profitable matte field revolves round compatibility, and with this design, it’s apparent SHAPE has listened to suggestions.

There are some normal sizes to remember right here and ARRI has finished a lot through the years to make the gap from heart lens to rail considerably normal, although SHAPE has a solution for any variability of digicam dimensions right here within the type of an adjustable knob on the underside of the matte field (see beneath picture).

This crimson knob lets you increase and decrease the complete matte field. Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

Elevating and reducing the matte field is a chunk of cake, and this tells me regardless of the digicam and lens combo, the matte field will in all probability work. Disclosure: For this overview, I didn’t attempt each lens and digicam combo on the planet. Principally I labored with the Sony FS7, the Canon C500 MK II, and quite a lot of primes.

SHAPE Swing-Away
Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

Included at launch together with a material “knicker” that helps management gentle spill between the matte field and lens are 87-82 mm, 87-77 mm, 87-72 mm, 87-67 mm aluminum adapter rings. I wish to see extra adapter rings obtainable as a result of not all lenses I take advantage of on a day-to-day foundation are coated. Additionally, I want the material “knicker” was made with a rubber-donut design as a result of I really feel like there could be much less likelihood of that design by chance intruding on the shot than with the material model supplied.

At 1.9 lbs., the general weight is a bit on the heavy aspect when in comparison with clip-on choices I’ve used from the likes of Vibrant Tangerine or Picket Digicam — nevertheless, with that weight comes a sturdy construct that feels as if it could maintain up properly in a rental surroundings or the standard jostling on set or location. I can’t say the identical about most of the different model clip-on choices I’ve tried recently. I at all times really feel like I’m rolling cube with them as as to whether a clip-on matte field will survive a rental.

The design

My favourite design aspect is likely to be one of many smallest bodily however among the many most consequential whereas working. In addition to altering lenses, altering filters whereas utilizing a matte field may also be difficult. Image a fragile one-handed dance with one hand greedy a 4 x 5.65″ $500 filter and the opposite hand trying to unlock a matte field security screw. The 4 x 5.65″ SHAPE filter trays — every marked “entrance” or “rear” — have a useful little crimson locking mechanism that makes eradicating filters a breeze.

All filter trays ought to have this locking mechanism. Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

For added security, you continue to have a small silver side-locking screw for every tray, however I’ve to say the crimson mechanism that locks and unlocks trays is simply so satisfying. It’s one among my favourite elements of the design.

Additionally, observe one tray can rotate if you happen to’re utilizing a polarizer and looking for the right spot to kill undesirable glare or reflections.

SHAPE Swing-Away
Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

The SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field features a gentle carbon fiber high flag (typically lovingly referred to as an eyebrow) with adjustable rigidity knobs. I do want they’d included flags to assist management gentle spill from the perimeters. You may’t purchase aspect flags as an added accent as a result of there isn’t a approach to mount.

For moments when you possibly can’t management an undesirable flare, I counsel buying a french flag like this one. I take advantage of french flags on a regular basis, and so they’re one among my favourite equipment.

SHAPE Swing-Away
Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

One other one among my favourite design options is the swing-away mechanism itself. Did I do know I wanted a magnet on my matte field? I didn’t, however now I can’t reside with out them. The magnet used right here is simply robust sufficient to forestall an undesirable mid-shot swing away in live performance with a red-locking knob from occurring. It additionally helps give peace of thoughts with the sound of a gentle click on noise confirming the magnet is again in place towards the bottom of the matte field.

This crimson knob lets you begin the swing-away transfer in prep for a lens change. Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

I’m wondering what number of different digicam equipment would profit each from the usage of magnets and the useful locking mechanism in use on the filter trays? I’ll go away that to raised minds to determine.

SHAPE Swing-Away
Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

Ultimate ideas

Is a matte field essentially the most essentially the most thrilling a part of filmmaking for you? Possibly not, however if you happen to’ve ever used a poorly designed matte field, and there are lots of, then you realize what a trouble it will probably grow to be in the midst of a 40 lens swap day on A-Cam. The brand new SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field is properly thought out and makes my life simpler whereas filming. I’d additionally guess you a Canadian loonie this steel/carbon fiber matte field isn’t going to interrupt anytime quickly. In case you resolve to hire it out, my guess is it gained’t come again in a pile of items.

For me, the magnetic locks, the red-locking tray system, and the bottom adjustable knob alone make this matte field well worth the $597 worth of admission. SHAPE nailed the design on this one, and I hope they proceed supporting the product with extra lens adapter rings and possibly a molded onerous case for leases and journey. Within the meantime, I give it two thumbs up.

Hyperlink: SHAPE

What do you assume? Does the design of this new SHAPE Swing-Away matte field repair any of the quibbles you could have with different swing-away matte field designs? Will you be including this to your equipment? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

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