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SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field Overview – Nice Price/Characteristic Ratio on a Price range

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

Canadian digital camera 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 here 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.

Nevertheless, 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 up to now, I’ve been drawn to clip-on matte packing 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 treasured manufacturing time to a easy lens swap.

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

I’ve used earlier SHAPE matte field designs up to now, and I’ll be trustworthy, I wasn’t an enormous fan. Connecting the field with the digital camera 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 accomplished a lot through the years to make the gap from middle lens to rail considerably normal, although SHAPE has a solution for any variability of digital camera dimensions right here within the type of an adjustable knob on the underside of the matte field (see under picture).

This crimson knob lets you elevate and decrease your entire matte field. Picture Credit score: Graham Sheldon, CineD

Elevating and decreasing the matte field is a chunk of cake, and this tells me regardless of the digital camera and lens combo, the matte field will in all probability work. Disclosure: For this evaluate, I didn’t attempt each lens and digital camera combo on the planet. Principally I labored with the Sony FS7, the Canon C500 MK II, and a wide range 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 want to see extra adapter rings out there as a result of not all lenses I exploit 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 probability of that design by accident intruding on the shot than with the material model offered.

At 1.9 lbs., the general weight is a bit on the heavy facet when in comparison with clip-on choices I’ve used from the likes of Vibrant Tangerine or Picket Digicam — nonetheless, with that weight comes a sturdy construct that feels as if it might maintain up effectively in a rental setting or the same old jostling on set or location. I can’t say the identical about lots of the different model clip-on choices I’ve tried these days. 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 factor is perhaps one of many smallest bodily however among the many most consequential whereas working. Apart from 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 making an attempt 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 considered one of my favourite components of the design.

Additionally, be aware one tray can rotate if you happen to’re utilizing a polarizer and looking for the proper 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 known as an eyebrow) with adjustable rigidity knobs. I do want that they had included flags to assist management gentle spill from the perimeters. You possibly can’t purchase facet flags as an added accent as a result of there isn’t a strategy to mount.

For moments when you may’t management an undesirable flare, I recommend buying a french flag like this one. I exploit french flags on a regular basis, and so they’re considered one of my favourite equipment.

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

One other considered one of 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 stay 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 comfortable 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 digital camera 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 higher 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? Perhaps not, however if you happen to’ve ever used a poorly designed matte field, and there are a lot of, then you recognize what a trouble it might probably turn out to be in the course of a 40 lens swap day on A-Cam. The brand new SHAPE Swing-Away Matte Field is effectively thought out and makes my life simpler whereas filming. I’d additionally wager you a Canadian loonie this steel/carbon fiber matte field isn’t going to interrupt anytime quickly. When you resolve to lease 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 perhaps a molded exhausting 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 might have with different swing-away matte field designs? Will you be including this to your equipment? Tell us within the feedback under!

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