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Review: Adorama Flashpoint DV DSLR Matte Box Pro Complete Bundle 3

In this review we're going to look at the Adorama Flashpoint line of Cinema DSLR Gear. We're going to start off with a broadly compatible and modular system including the Mattebox, the Shoulder Rig, and the Follow Focus, and finish off (in a separate review) with Adorama's 7-inch LCD monitor.

Mounting the Matte Box

The Mattebox itself, it mounts onto well-built, industry-standard 15mm rail and rod system shown in Figure 4 (below). In Figure 4 you see it mounted on a riser block, along with my own tripod plate. Your tripod plate goes onto your tripod, with the mounting block on top of that, and then the rods. Adorama supplies a quick-release plate as well as a new tripod plate.

Figure 4. The 15mm rail-and-rod system mounted on my tripod. Click the image to see it at full size.

My little pet peeve with this tripod plate is that the plate itself doesn’t seem to be compatible with any of my existing tripods or ones that I find are common. The ones that I use are Vinten tripods (which I know aren’t very compatible with any of the systems out there), so I didn’t really expect it to work with the Adorama system.

But I was surprised to find that it wasn’t compatible with my Manfrotto 501 plate, which is very standard and has a very standard quick-release. So that’s a bit of a knock against the Adorama tripod plate for compatibility and ease of use. If I’ve got that Manfrotto 501 plate I can slide it in on a variety of my accessories including my crane and my slider, but this quick-release plate is of a different size.

Is that the end of the world? Not really, because I can replace the quick-release plate if I want to, but it’s just one of those small details that I would have paid attention to if I had designed this system. I would have a standardized Manfrotto plate because that seems to be what a lot of producers are using.

Neoprene Rings and Lens Compatibility

In order to increase the compatibility of the Matte Box with the wide variety of lenses of differing sizes, Adorama is shipping a bunch of neoprene rings that help bridge the gap between the diameter of the lens and larger opening of the Matte Box. To apply one of these rings, you simply slide it around the front of the lens, as shown in Figure 5 (below).

Figure 5. Sliding the neoprene ring around the front of the lens to make it fit with the Matte Box. Click the image to see it at full size.

The Matte Box bundle includes rings in three different sizes, so it’ll fit pretty much all your lenses. Once again, the whole purpose of a Matte Box in this application is to make sure stray light isn’t hitting that lens.

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