LockCircle’s NOLUX Mattebox Traps Photons, Absorbs Light

February 16th, 2018
LockCircle's NOLUX Mattebox Traps Photons, Absorbs Light

Once again, LockCircle is driving innovation. This time, it’s with the new NOLUX Mattebox, which not only acts as a conventional filter tray but also blocks – or rather absorbs – ambient light to minimize stray light. Let’s have a look!

NOLUX
The heart of this fresh approach to matteboxes lies in the materials used. The surface has a so-called “photon trap” built-in. It sounds quite strange, indeed. But LockCircle actually has a reputation of approaching things a little different. Products like the RodRocket or the LockPort line of little helpers prove the company’s love for detail and precision.

LockCircle NOLUX Mattebox

The NOLUX is based on the already available LockCircle MAT BOX pro, but has been redesigned and built from scratch. The magic lies in the materials used and the way they are applied to the frame construction. Here’s a quote from the press release:

LockCircle’s approach to the internal design of the NOLUX rayshade is totally innovative, based on research in different fields connected to international universities publishings, to deeply understand the meaning of “photon trap” concepts and complex “dielectric patterns” for sophisticated reflection control.

The aim of this design is to absorb ambient light and not just shield it. The designers have created a unique “organic structure” that creates a kind of black hole for light photons. Think of a negative reflecting surface.

NOLUX
The NOLUX is made of carbon fiber, kevlar and other high-tech materials to create a strong but lightweight mattebox. Just like the MAT BOX Pro, it is available as a clamp-on version or, when used with a sliding base, as a 15mm lightweight version. The sliding base will adjust the position of the NOLUX even when used with a photo lens with front barrel movement. The lens extension just pushes and pulls the NOLUX mattebox smoothly on the 15mm rods.

NOLUX
The sliding base contains special brass bearings and features a centric design which enables smooth travels on 15mm rods (not only the pictured RodRocket ones, of course).

NOLUX Accessories

The design covers wide angle lenses up to 14mm in combination with a full-frame sensor (18mm for APS-C) and a large number of mounting accessories like 95mm/80mm/ Cine-Style front mounts, Adapter Rings (threaded) from 52mm to 95mm, filter trays (two are already included), threaded trays and step-down rings.

All these components work in harmony with the “photon trap” treatment of the rayshade, so this NOLUX mattebox really absorbs the light and keeps it away from the front lens. Here’s a further explanation by LockCircle:

Light consist of tiny quantum particles called “photons”. One of the most spectacular properties of quantum particles is that they can condense or lose their invidual identity in special micro-cavities called “photon trapping microstructures”. The NOLUX rayshade has very weird and complex 3D photon trapping patterns engineered to match the mattebox system, including french flag, side barndoors, mattes and accessories.

Here’s another picture of the rich structure used to achieve this effect:

Nolux
Make sure to examine this picture in full size by clicking on it! All these weird structures are the result of long-term research and developement work. I am really looking forward to checking one of these units out in the field!

Pricing and Availability

The NOLUX had its international premiere at the Micro Salon Paris in Febraury this year, so it should become available shortly. The prices have not yet been announced. Also, a 114mm edition of the NOLUX will be available in the next months.

Link: LockCircle

What do you think about this new concept, is it worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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 Wil van Haaren
Member
February 21st, 2018

As Joseph says, one would think that the inside of the matt box is completly black and at least not as gray as on the pictures shown.

 Bernard Shaw
Bernard Shaw
Member
February 19th, 2018

The solution of using ANY Mattebox to shield against light unfortunately also INCREASES light entering the lens due to the heterogenic effect of the surfaces reflecting light into the lens.

The most efficient Mattebox would be a shape perfectly matched to the lens so that only the field of view is permitted to be seen and nothing more.

Yes if the surfaces reduce reflection significantly it may be a noticeable ie JND of difference.

Let’s see them now.produce valid and reliable evidence that shows a significant reduction.

 Dante Cecchin
Dante Cecchin
Member
February 16th, 2018

Hi Joseph.
Your comment surprised me, personally and all the R&D team here at LockCircle.
The LockCircle team worked really hard in the last 8 months to reach something really different in a new mattebox project.
The main idea is to dig deeply to offer superior light control in front of everyday more performing lenses, and a long research started after reading many international universities research files about Photon Traps, dielectric patterns ….we later realized our own algorithm to apply to a mattebox. The weird and sophisticated design and a special additive manufacturing together with long testings is what you can see in the pictures published here: something we are really proud about.
We know Surrey NanoSystems (VantaBlack) and we had a technical exchange, but the Photon Trap Concept need a different black
paint , that don’t limit the concept.
Something about the picture taked for the front with French flag and barndoors: shooting the image for Cinema5D, to show better the concept, the Photon Trap pattern was just looking “deeply black” with no details exposing until 7stops over. A Dedolight HMI was used to pull out the details from an incredible dark black. This is the true story about our really hard but exciting last year of work.
My name is Dante Cecchin, project manager at LockCircle. Thank You for reading my comment.

Joseph Moore
Member
February 16th, 2018
Reply to  Dante Cecchin

Would love to see some actual data, actual research and actual photos, then. Quantify the supposed advantage. This “article” is a press release based on no actual hands on usage, just PR technobabble.

Joseph Moore
Member
February 16th, 2018

Largely bullshit. Look at the photos. If the material was effective at absorbing light, the mattebox would be hard to photograph as little light would be reflecting.

A material like Vantablack actually does something: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack

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