Posts Tagged ‘Filming


KOTM – Matte Boxes

Matte Boxesmattbox


Hi, folks, today I want to talk about Matt Boxes and before I get started I must admit that they are something that falls right into a gap in my knowledge. Being a stills kind of guy I am used to using lens hoods to avoid lens flare and apart from using the correct one for the lens there really is nothing much to learn about them, however, as normal the moving image world is somewhat more complicated. Luckily I have an entire department of camera wizards to help me out so I thought it was about time I got myself educated in this important accessory.


So firstly a Matte box is used for much the same reason as a lens hood, and that is to stop unwanted light from hitting the front of the lens and causing issues such as lens flare, they differ from photographic lens hoods but essentially do the same job. Matte boxes tend to be more generic than lens hoods that are generally lens specific. This is an advantage as you only need to lug around one matte box for all the lenses on a job as opposed to carrying a different lens hood for each and every lens that may be used (I always seem to forget the lens hoods when I pack my equipment and then need to find room for them which is a pain as they are bulky, fragile and certainly not cheap for a plastic tube.


The first thing I notice is that matte boxes are not circular as lens hoods are but are oblong (my mission to revive the word oblong as it’s so much better than a rectangle). This is due to the matte box being a generic hood designed to fit a multitude of lenses as compared to a lens hood that can be manufactured to an exact field of view for the lens in question.

They also tend to have adjustable flaps on the front edge just like a set of barn doors on a light. These are known as French Flags or occasionally French Flaps (I prefer flaps as I think it’s an Australian expression). Now don’t start, French flaps is actually a bookbinding term originally and not rude at all. They allow for more flexibility to block light than the fixed form of a lens hood, this is necessary when the one box is to be used with many different lenses.


The other main difference between hoods and boxes is that matte boxes are designed to hold filters. Us stills guys tend to screw our filters directly onto the front of the lens and if we need more than one we stack them together sometimes causing vignetting, Cinematographic filters tend to be larger and square or oblong in shape allowing for multiple amounts to be used without this problem arising, they are inserted into slots or trays in the matte box itself.


Now we can separate matte boxes into a couple of types, clip on being ones that attach directly to the front of the lens and others that attach to a rod system. For those uninitiated in the cinematographic world, a rod system is literally two metal rods that attach under the camera and offer support for accessories such as batteries and of course matte boxes. The clip on matte boxes are light in weight and normally have fewer filter slots than the rail system equivalents that are generally larger and heavier. We need to use the rail system with these larger matte boxes due to their weight that lenses are not designed to support.


Now remember that rod systems come in two main diameters 15 and 19 mm and needless to say some matte boxes will fit on both but some will only fit on one or the other so this is something we need to check before selecting a particular unit.


Another thing to think about is how many filters you are going to need to use at any one time and ensure that the matte box you select has enough slots.


Various adaptor rings are available to fit between the front of the lens and the matte box or a flexible fabric alternative can be used, these are known humorously as nun’s knickers! (I could not possibly do a blog about matte boxes and not mention these).

For obvious reasons, the lighter smaller clip on units is recommended for hand-held work and the larger heavier ones for when the camera is on a tripod etc.


One thing I have learnt is that most matte boxes come with a set of mattes, these are thin black plates with various sized holes cut into them (letterbox style) and they can be fitted to the matte box to help adapt it to the particular lenses field of view, bigger hole for a wider angle and Visa-versa, this is so simple that I think it’s clever, as a firm believer of the KISS principle that is.


So that’s about it I will put a list together of what matte boxes we carry and how many and what size filters they can hold and so on for all our reference.

Clip On 15mm Rods 19mm rods Filter size Number of trays Other
Chrosziel MB 450


NO YES NO 4 X 5.46 2
Arri LMB 25


Arri LMB 15


YES NO NO 4 X 5.46 2 OR 3
Arri LMB 6




Arri MB 29


Arri MB 20


Arri MB 19


Arri MB 18


YES YES YES 4 x 4 , 4 x 5.65 AND 4.5 ROUND 2, 3, or 4


AND 138 MM

Arri MB 16


NO YES NO 4 X 5.46 3
Arri MMB 2


Arri SMB 2


NO YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3
Arri SMB 1


YES YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3
VIV 3 stage


YES YES YES 4 X 5.46 1, 2, OR 3

AND 138 MM

Missfit Clip on 3 stage


Backlight 6


4 x 4 Van Dieman Mosquito


4 X 4 1 or 2
Bright Tangerine Atom




Now remember this pearl of wisdom I found online “While nobody will notice that you’ve used a matte box, the important thing is that nobody will notice that you didn’t use one but should have”, wise words indeed.


Now Matte boxes don’t really warrant a BCR collectively but I feel that French Flaps and Nuns knickers deserve some score in their own right so let’s rename the BCR from Brucie Coolness Rating to Brilliant Crude or Rude and give them 5 points each making the score a maximum 10.


Cheers guys merry shooting BB.



Introducing Genevieve

Now it’s quite an unusual name Genevieve especially in the present day, I don’t think I have ever met one to be honest. I recall an old film about a car race back from Brighton and I happen to know Sainte Genevieve (Saint Geneviève de Loqueffret )is the patron saint of Paris. I didn’t know that she is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun and an outbreak of ergot poisoning (very nasty) not to mention being appointed as the guardian of the “consecrated virgins of Paris” so the name has some interesting and amusing history but it is still very unusual.

So having said that, I would like to introduce you to the newest Genevieve in London, She hails from Belgium which is very nearly Paris in my book, so it will suffice as a introduction and she is most definitely without any doubt whatsoever UNUSUAL.


Now Genevieve is a big girl she is quite heavy, but tall with it and she is delightfully quiet so you can take her home to meet the folks and she won’t embarrass you, but none of that is what makes her unusual. She is unusual, because of her power and she has heaps of it, she puts a 1970’s female Soviet Block weightlifter to shame and without the steroids!


Ok, I’ve had my fun and before I put you off Genevive all together, I should point out that she is a truck, a 4 x 4 wheel drive truck and she carries with her a 100kva generator!


Yes, Genevieve is our shiny new Mitsubishi Canter generator truck and you won’t find another lady like her in London.

genevieve 1

So lets start with Geneviève’s body, as I said she is a Mitsubishi Canter truck so has constant four wheel drive, high ground clearance, locking hubs, heavy duty axles and off road tires in fact many councils use the Canter as a base for their snow ploughs so she is a tough go anywhere kind of girl. She weighs in at about 6.5 tones so she’s not exactly anorexic and requires a taco (no not as in like a burrito) as in a tachograph! But don’t let that put you off, we can always find a driver if required and a spark (electrician) for that matter.


One quick glance inside her shapely rear end reveals the mother of all generators producing 100 Kva at your demand for anything from charging your IPhone to bringing Frankenstein’s monster back to life. With more outlets than Costa Coffee you won’t be short of places to plug into whatever you are using in fact she has:

One each of 125 and 63 amp single phase outlets and a brace of 32 and 16 Amp ones too. If you are after 3 Phase then she is equipped with a power lock and a 125 amp socket. Ok so no USB port but you can plug your phone into the cigarette lighter like everyone else.



A modest amount of storage is available for kit at the very back but if you need 100Kva then I don’t think this will be enough room for everything you are running still it’s better than a poke in the eye!

genevieve load.jpg

But by far the most impressive thing about this lady is how quiet she is, I had Toby start her up for me yesterday and even with the rear service hatch wide open I swear she made less noise than a little Honda 2Kva generator and they are renowned for being quiet.


So if you like your women tall well built, adventurous, powerful and silent then Genevieve is the girl for you. Why not give us a call and arrange a date?


The only improvement I would make is a huge set of bull bars and a winch but I’ve spent too long down under so ignore me, she is a perfect 10 as Kevin Bloody Wilson would say (those easily offended should not look up Kevin or his music)


KOTW – Dedo DLED 4.0 bi colour kit.

Today we will be looking at the Dedo light   DLED 4.0 bi colour kit.


Yes i know it another LED Bi colour light but it’s not a panel on this occasion so don’t moan

As i know absolutely nothing about Dedo lights this could be fun, I’ve happily hired them out for quite a few years now in a state of sublime ignorance. (and got away with it) so it’s about time I educated myself (and you lot) a bit.

Firstly the Dedo light concept started as the brainchild of a German DOP from Munich. Dedo Weigert originally designed the first Dedo lights to fill his own requirements for a compact yet powerful light with high quality beam, a  large degree of controllability and minimal power requirement.

His design was so good that after only 3 years the Dedo light achieved a technical achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science in the US (pretty impressive). Dedo lights are now in use worldwide for everything from motion pictures and stills photography to galleries and architectural lighting.


So whats so good about Dedo lights?

Well firstly they are German so they work!

Compact size

Light output equal to much larger light sources.

Precision beam control (no unwanted light spill)

Even light distribution

Excellent light reach

Precise colour temperature

Dedo lights all use a pair of aspheric lenses and an internal glass reflector, the rear lens can be moved relative to the front one and this is what gives them such a controllable and evenly distributed beam.


Aspheric lenses are lenses with a surface profile that is not part of a sphere or cylinder and are often designed using this formula

don’t ask me i cant even do Freya’s maths homework and she is 11 lol.

So what all that means is that the beam of light produced by a dedo light is able to cover a wide range from spot to flood and has no “overspill”, also the light is consistent across its entire spread.

So the Dedo DLED 4 can produce a focused beam of light from 4 to 60 degrees, (this can be increased to 85 degrees by using a wide-angle attachment.) They have a 1:20 zoom to spot ratio if you are ever asked.

Also the lens system allows it to produce a very powerful beam of around 18000 lux (that’s bright)

The lights themselves are very compact and this allows them to be hidden in shot easily, hence they are very popular for internal room shots and the like.

The DLED version we are talking about here can have its colour temperature set at any temperature between 3,200 k and 5,600 k so they are great to use with flash or Hmi lighting or ambient room lights or fire light etc.

Also they are able to be dimmed down to 20% power without any effect on the selected colour temperature.

Being LED the heads give out very little heat.

Our kit contains 3 heads with gel holders and barn doors, 3 nano stands and 3 in line dimmers (13amp)

As they can also be used with batteries the kit includes a DC dimmer and a Dtap battery plate / adaptor. (trap for the un trained here as kit has 3 heads but only one dc supply so be careful if a customer wants DC power), you will also need to add a Dtap battery system.

The lights are surprisingly heavy for the size (due to all the glass in them) but not heavy enough to cause any special requirements for stands etc, they have a quality feel to them and a nice yellow focus collar (they look a bit like a bumble bee to me, with my glasses off anyway)

The DLED’s are comparable with all the normal Dedo accessories such as the image projector (don’t get excited , we don’t have one) or the wide-angle adaptor (don’t think we have one of these either)

so that’s about it folks , in terms of the Brucie coolness rating i think about 9 / 10 and i want some but going to knock them down to 7 / 10 due to the German origin (2 world wars and one world cup etc etc )

now for some pics and tech specks and a bit of outrageous patriotism.


Have a great Monday peeps!!!

Brucie Blogger

Spitfire (English)

Spitfire (English)

Dedo Weigert (German)

Dedo Weigert (German)


Hire the New Carl Zeiss Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 for Canon C300

With the new arrival of our Canon C300 we thought it would be a good idea to marry it with the new Carl Zeiss Lightweight Zoom LWZ.2 as they make such a perfect pair. Available for hire now this professional quality EF mount zoom lens can be used on both cinema and still cameras.  However the lens is intended for Super 35mm sensor cameras and will vignette on full frame sensors (like the 5D MkII) but perfect with the C300.  It has a wide angle of view and is light weight, making it ideal for shooting in tight spaces or following action.

  • Compact, lightweight zoom ideal for Steadicam, handheld and remote work
  • Super color matched with all ZEISS cine lenses
  • Highest optical performance despite compact build
  • T* XP coating ensures flare resistance

Now in Stock Canon C300 Available for Hire

We are really excited to have the new Canon C300 cinema camera in stock and available to hire from today. To hire, this impressive piece of equipment is priced at £200 (excl VAT) a day. Please take a look at our full price list here Digital Equipment Pricelist.

What we love about the new C300: It’s surprisingly compact in size and feels comfortable to hold using the removable padded handgrip or handle.  Our kit comes with x2 64GB CF cards with frame rates of 24p, 25p, 30p which can be adjusted in increments of 1fps to 60fps.  It handles low lighting situations incredibly well up to 20,000 ISO! Included is a good sized LCD monitor and control panel which rotates and accepts microphone XLR connections. Interchangeable EF lenses are available to hire with the camera, of course if you already have your own lenses then the C300 is all you need.
  • 8.3MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor; Full HD
  • Interchangeable lens (EF mount)
  • Compact, modular, lightweight
  • 50Mbps MPEG-2 MXF to CF card
  • High sensitivity, low noise
  • Canon Log Gamma
  • 24.00p for movie production
  • Wi-Fi remote control
  • Seamless workflow integration

Zacuto Stinger Rig for DSLR

The Stinger Rig

The Stinger rig is perfect for shoulder mounted shooting with a DSLR camera while using an EVF high resolution monitor.
Easily adjustable, DSLR Baseplate, follow focus, dual handgrips, shoulder pad and 3kg Z-Lite counterbalance weight for a fully balanced in-line rig.
Use with your DSLR for steady filming and If you want to shoot low then the Stinger handle makes for easy shooting.  Different baseplates and accessories can be used to build the perfect rig for what you need.

The EVF Monitor

The 3.2″ LCD Monitor with flip up frame connects to the DSLR for easier viewing and impressive screen quality. The viewfinder is compatible with all cameras with an HDMI output. The LCD viewfinder works great as a small portable field monitor as well as an EVF.  It can also be offset on a shoulder rig in front of your eye and has a nice big eyecup which is comfortable to use.

Matte Box

The Zacuto Rig is highly adaptable and can be used with a wide range of accessories. Pictured to the right our 5D Mark II with CP2 lens and 4×4 wide matte box with two filter stages and snap on system for easy removal.

Litepanels Ringlite Mini

 The Litepanel Ringlite Mini is lightweight and measures 10.5″ in diameter and is just 2″ thick.  Easy to set up it produces a lovely luminous soft, directional and dimmable light. Battery powered by removing the 7-pound Z-Lite counterbalance weight and linking the Ringlite to the battery.

Also attached is a TV Logic viewfinder (VFM-056W/WP) an amazingly lightweight and compact monitor specially designed for DSLR and small camcorder shooters. The 5.6″ monitor has a high resolution of 1280×800, a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees and performs well with indoor and outdoor shooting.

Sennheiser ME66

As a videographer not only do you have to get the best picture you have to make sure you get great sound as well. As we all know built in microphones aren’t always going to give you the best results so it’s always a good idea to go for a reliable microphone such as the Sennheiser ME66/K6, a recommended choice by us and popular with video and film professionals.  Pictured above, the Canon 5D Mark II with Zeisss 85mm lens and follow focus mounted on the Chrosziel 15mm Rail, a light weight support for DSLR cameras, complete with twist stopper and adjustable rods.


Hire Zeiss MF and Compact Prime CP.2 Lens Sets

Compact Prime CP.2 Lens Set

The Compact Prime CP.2’s are fantastic full frame cinema lenses.  Designed for film making the CP.2 lenses are perfect for high quality cinematic results.  These lenses will give you a more professional, high-end look on a DSLR. Basically they are the best choice of lens available on the market right now and we recommend that you go for the CP.2’s over any other lens for a cinematic feel.

The Zeiss glass is impressive quality, producing sharp, snappy, and contrasty images.  They are robust, have a longer focus rotation and allow you to focus with precision and speed with manual focusing. Our lenses are PL mount only and can be used with our Canon 7D, 5D Mark II’s and the new C300.

Zeiss Compact Prime Lens Set available for hire:

  • 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm – £230

Zeiss Compact Prime Lenses available for hire:

  • Compact Prime 50mm Macro – £75
  • Compact Prime 100mm Macro – £75

Features include:

  • Full-frame coverage (24 x 36mm ) for focal lengths 21 to 100 mm, including a 50 mm macro lens
  • Common aperture of T2.1 for the standard lens set
  • High stability due to support bracket, which is included for additional lens stability
  • Sweet spot effect with APS-C sensors

Zeiss MF Lenses

The lenses can be used for both photography and filmmaking. Capable of capturing extremely sharp images along with a smooth focus transition, the ZE lens series is a versatile, crisp alternative to standard DSLR lenses.  Again can be used with our Canon 7D, 5D Mark II’s and the new C300.  The MF lenses are perfect for enthusiasts and professional videographers and still photographers.

Zeiss MF Lenses for Canon EF Mount available for hire:

Zeiss ZE Lens Set:

  • 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm – £130

Features include:

  • Canon EF-Mount
  • Zeiss T Anti-Reflective Coating
  • Tough IP67 Waterproof Case

Please refer to our Digital Equipment pricelist for more information on hire prices for our Zeiss Lens range.

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