At Cine Gear 2023, Lightwidow showed the Filter Reading System (FRS) upgrade for the ARRI LMB. that replaces the filter section of the matte box with a new module that includes an RFID antenna, an upgraded brake system, and composite trays.
The system reads inserted filters using RFID tags that adhere to the glass’s edge and displays the data on wireless e-ink displays (Companions).
Using small RFID sticker tags, the FRS module detects the type and position of each inserted filter and displays the information so the camera crew can easily track what is in the matte box.
The tags are easily programmable using a phone app. Each filter tag can be programmed to include a custom display name, as well as different background colors and display modes.
All of the filter programmings can be done either at the rental house or in prep, leaving the camera crew free to focus on more important things during a shoot.
The FRS module doesn’t send filter data directly to the camera yet, but it still logs the information to its internal memory. Each filter change is logged using timecode so that the filter data can easily be referenced for each take after shooting. By having filter info for each take, post-production specialists have an easier time grading and matching the look for shots with different filters. The information can easily be accessed when needed for pick-up shots as well.
Up to five Companion displays can be connected to the FRS module at the same time, with a wireless line-of-sight range of over 150 ft. Every screen always updates automatically. This makes it easy to have one on the camera and others for the 1st AC, 2nd AC, DIT, DP, B Cam, or even the Scripty.
RFID tags can also be added to self-contained filters such as rota-pola or diopter trays. In addition to filter tags, the screen can be used for camera information.
The Lightwidow Filter Reading System for the ARRI LMB Matte Boxes kit retails for $1200, and extra displays are $350 for two or $199 for one.