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I just thought I'd put this out there in case anyone is considering buying the Tilta Mini Matte Box. I have one and while it's a very good and simple matte box overall; however, it has one fundamental flaw. The flaw is something no reviewer has ever mentioned and I contacted Tilta about this, but received plenty of silence.

I often like to film wide, using a lens that is the equivalent angle of view of a FF 24mm lens. Unfortunately, with the mini matte box, vignetting is a serious problem. The reason being is that the design of the adapter makes it stick out far too much beyond the front of the lens (being screw on) and so it will vignette, seriously so if you attach a filter. It doesn't matter whether you attach the filter before or after the adapter, you'll have vignetting.

I did find a solution for this and that involved modifying (destroying) the lens hood that came with the lens, such that the matte box now attaches to the lens hood and therefore sits back over the lens like it should have in the first place. I can now use two filters without vignetting (an SLR Magic Image Enhancer and VND). I might also add that I have a NiSi VND 77mm filter and because the outer part of the filter take 82mm filters, you can't use this with the mini matte box because it can't accommodate such a wide filter.

The mini matte box is a good concept, I love the light weight, but in part very poorly executed.

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Interesting. I didn't realise that it wasn't designed to slide over the body of the lens. How annoying for you, and surprising it hasn't been flagged (excuse the pun) before.

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It's cheap at $99 so I wouldn't expect it to be perfect. Did you use a full frame 24mm lens on a full frame camera? I didn't. I My cameras are S35 and the Canon 24-105 worked fine without issues. I wasn't able to get a variable ND to work. Does not fit.  

 

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Posted (edited)

I didn't expect it to be perfect either, given the price, but I did expect that it would have been tested with wider angle lenses and that someone would have noted this issue. I use m4/3 lenses and it caused vignetting on two 12mm (24mm FF equivalent lenses). With an S35 sensor, your lens is more of a 36-158mm equivalent lens (unless you're using a focal reducer). I'm referring to a lens that has an actual 24mm FF equivalent angle of view on the sensor.

Had Tilta tested the matte box with wider angle lenses, the problem would have been obvious and the fix would have been quite easy. All that would have been required was to make the adapter ring sit back over the lens (which is what I did with my Heath Robinson fix) rather than forward of the lens.

The other issue is that with wider VNDs. If you use 77mm filters, you can't use a VND that has an 82mm outer diameter. So that matte box wouldn't fit two other lenses. This too would have been a simple fix by making the matte box slightly larger to accommodate wider filters.

 

Edited by Australian Image

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