There are plenty of options for rails on the market, and I advise you to shop around, but for a pair of 8" 15mm rails with both Male and Female threads these prices are pretty darn good. Check it out at PhotographyandCinema.com (click here).
P&C 15mm Extension Rails with Male / Female Threads
Ryan writes in and shares another Video Matte box with dual 4x4 filter trays that has become available for budget shooters [Thanks Ryan]. It's listed as a 'Pro Compact Matte Box', but it should probably be re-named to 'Very Basic Matte Box'. On higher end Matte Boxes you will at least find a quick release clamp system or even swing away arm to make lens changes easier.
The inexpensive matte box comes with 15mm rail clamp, removable top and side flags, and various neoprene donuts. One listing states that at least one of the filter trays is rotatable for a polarizer, but it's hard to tell from the generic photos online. The matte box starts from $140+, found via eBay (click here).
Opteka just released a new Matte Box called the MBX. Product description states All metal construction, Folding french flags and adjustable side wings; Flattened shade for wide angle lenses, Fits industry standard 15mm supporting rods, Two 360-degree rotating filter trays support 4x5.65" filters, and Swing-away design to provide easy access to lenses.
I'm sure people are hoping to hear good things, as there are not many Matte Boxes out there to come in under the $250 dollar mark. You can find more about the new MBX MatteBox product via Amazon (Click Here).
Opteka MB-X Professional Matte Box Kit 15mm Rod System
Chris writes in shares Fotga's latest MatteBox. Just over $220 dollars, it offers the usual dual rotating filter trays, three flags, and mounts to standard 15mm rods. Instead of the massive bracket on one side, the Fotga uses a very low profile swing away that sits just above the rod clamp for faster lens changes.
In the specs it claims to have +/- 10mm of height adjustments, but I don't see how that could be done. There's some additional photos at the eBay product page (Click Here).
(Above) That's the Wondlan Shoulder Rig, that comes with the shoulder pad, two handles, a swing away Matte Box, Top handle, Side Brackets, etc. You know i'm not even sure if that comes with a follow focus, but you'll find a setup like this going for about $1800+ dollars (see here).
Konova today posted up their slimmed down version of such a rig (above). Parts are definitely not from Wondlan, and it looks like they have an RJ Matte Box + RJ Follow Focus. Same overall design with one side bracket, top handle, shoulder pad, two long grips, and a rear mounting plate. Some of the pieces I've seen before, and some other ones like the locking handles i've never seen on other rigs. Konova listed this kit for $1100 dollars cheaper than Wondlan's, and there's some additional photos following the link (click here).
Konova Video Shoulder Rig Matte Box Follow Focus Bundle
A few days ago I posted about using Rubber Hoods as an inexpensive solution to shading your glass (as opposed to Matte Boxes). The LCW - Light Craft Workshop Digi Pro ND Filter starts with a 77mm thread and cones out to an 82mm thread. Since these ND filters can be pretty expensive, you can adapt one ND to several lenses by using cheap step up filter rings. The same idea goes for other filters like a CPL - Circular Polarizer. If you plan to do this, you want to make sure that you get the largest ND filter available to cover all your lenses. The one problem you'll run into is that you can no longer use the stock lens hood, so a cheap fix is to use these folding rubber lens hoods. Here's a look at how it all comes together.
When shopping for Step Up filters, make sure the first number is smaller than the second. There is such a thing as 'Step Down Filters' which you probably won't have much use for. Not sure about the thread size of your lens? Normally you'll find the information on the lens itself, but another tip is to look carefully for tiny numbers on the back of your Lens Cap. Rubber lens hoods can be for under $5 bucks (click here).
I don't suggest stacking a step up on top of another step up. This could work in a pinch, but it will have a slimmer profile if you use just one. I'm using a 77mm LCW Digi Pro Variable ND filter, so to save myself the headache, I ended up purchasing (2) of every filter size up to 77mm. There's only about 7 common sizes to cover most DSLR lenses you'll come across from 49mm-77mm, 52mm-77mm, 55mm-77mm, 58mm-77mm, 62mm-77mm, 67mm-77mm, and 72mm-77mm.. Depending on the size of the ND or CPL you're trying to adapt to, you might want to do the same. For Step up filter rings, they run as low as $1 dollar + Free shipping.
Konova has added a new Matte Box to their list of products. The dual stage Matte box with full Flags comes with two fully rotatable (360 degree) filter trays to support Grads or CPL filters. The Matte box mounts on 15mm standard rails and includes the highly sought after swing away arm for fast lens changes.
Description:* Made of high-grade ABS and heavy-duty aluminum * Precision Engineered design with robust Swing-Away design* 2 filter trays, supporting both 4x4 and 4x5.6" filter(rotating 360degrees)* Sunshade Material : ABS Plastic* Swing-away bracket & filter holders : Alluminum black anodized * French Flag & Side Flags : Alluminum texture coated
Konova has a pretty good reputation among the products they carry, and compared to the other matte boxes, the price is one of cheapest swing-away / dual stage rotating / rail mount matte boxes available right now. You can check out more following the link (click here).
Frank writes in and shares a new find [Thanks Frank]. Probably best known for their budget follow focus a.k.a. 'RJ Follow Focus', here's a new Matte Box in their product lineup. Not long ago they offered a cheaper plastic version, which I didn't think too highly of. Seems like they were listening and is now offering a more professional version with dual rotating 4x4 filter trays in a swing away design.
That's quite a bit of features for something in this price range, which is about $100 dollars cheaper than the TrusMT (reviewed here). Of course, no reviews on this item just yet about build quality, and what's up with the blue accents again? You can find the RJ Pro MatteBox available now (click here).