Redrock Matte Box & mounting Letus upside down

Adrenaline Televion’s Steve Connor hired me to do my “thing” at Duxford Air Show this week in Cambridgeshire. He wanted someone new to the Air Show world to bring a new eye to it. Others cameras used on this shoot were my F350, an HDCAM 790 and an XDCAM F700.

I shot about 60GB worth of footage! That is quite a lot. There was so much to film, great images, great characters.

This was also the first shoot I did using the new Redrock Matte Box and the first shoot using the brand new Production Ultimate. Unfortunately there is a problem with the new Letus Rods that I had that meant they could not be used on this shoot. I need to get them sorted before I can use them. From what I saw of them they are a massive step up. I just got a problem with the blase plate holes being too inset. This has now been fixed on the models shipping.

Redrock Matte Box mounted on Zacuto rails

Steve and Vic with the XDCAM 700
Steve and Vic with the XDCAM 700

So much better balance mounted this way. Shame LCD screen won’t close
So much better balance mounted this way. Shame LCD screen won’t close

The essential (until I get an EX3) Hoodman 400
The essential (until I get an EX3) Hoodman 400

The Redrock Matte Box is great, as Benji Barnes who assisted me will agree, I change lenses A LOT. The swing away was a joy. The filters trays held my Tiffen filters fine but the Formatt ones with the metal surround didn’t grip well and needed a bit of gaffer tape on the top edge to make it grippable.

It is very solid and feels more expensive than it is. I played with the new EX1 Arri Mattebox, which is lovely but is not swing away, costs 5 times as much but the Redock is more flexible. It has been a long wait for it and hopefully they can ramp up production as they are going to sell thousands.

A real quality bit of kit.

I have always mounted my Letus with a drop down but this has always caused problems with balance on the tripod. With the Matte Box on this balance was unusable. So I mounted the Letus upside down as you can see in the photos and was able to move the tripod plate to the correct centre of gravity. Downside of this is you cannot now close the LCD all the way. Bit of bugger that. Won’t be an issue with the EX3 but despite that, this is the way I will mount the Letus from now on.

I will post the short I made as soon as I get permission to do so.

Also great to meet everyone in Manchester, Glasgow and especially Dublin where I had a very warm welcome. Thanks guys!


  1. Thanks for the photos Philip, I’m anxiously waiting to receive my MB and test that puppy out. Is this one of the pre-production models or is this the final model? The photos don’t show if this is the model with the ‘finner’ (bell-shaped) knob improvement on the swing-away mechanism or not.

    Can you comment on the swing-away mechanism, any play in it or is it rock solid?


  2. Was great to see you in Dublin Philip. The Duxford footage looked amazing on the computer, and the big(gish) screen projection of your showreel convinced my pals from The Farm (post house here in Dublin) that shooting their next short on EX1and lens adapter is a definite way to go.
    Would have liked to stay around and chat more myself. Maybe we’ll see you back here one of these days. Can’t wait to see how the feature looks blown up to cinema proportions. Slan!

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