SmallRig is taking lightness to a whole new level by introducing the SmallRig Mini Matte Box. This brand new model has everything you’d expect from a professional matte box, including the ability to stack two 4×5.65″ filters in front of the lens.
As cameras become smaller and smaller, camera accessories must follow this trend.
Almost two years ago, Tilta released its Mini Matte Box. It looks like SmallRig is trying to bring an alternative to the market.
The Chinese company has been providing customers with high-quality, well-designed, affordable camera rigs and accessories for years… and arguably their quality has increased significantly over the last few years.
After releasing their Lightweight Matte Box last year, they’re now going the extra mile by introducing an even lighter, more compact version: the SmallRig Mini Matte Box.
SmallRig Mini Matte Box: Size and Weight
This brand new model only weighs 125g (without its top flag) and yes, it is tiny (176 x 137 x 42,7 mm).
These features make this accessory portable and compact but they don’t seem to compromise on the features.
Controlling light – top flag
The main purpose of a matte box is to prevent unwanted flare and glare: the adjustable top flag of the Mini Matte Box seems to serve that purpose. The flag is made of carbon fiber and the anti-reflective treatment of the matte box should prevent annoying reflections caused by strong light sources.
Multi-filter stacking design
Despite the small size, the Mini Matte Box can accomodate up to two industry-standard 4×5.65″ filters as well as a circular filter. This will give filmmakers the flexibility they need on the field in order to control exposure.
The filter frame seems well thought-out. The multi-point silicon lining helps protecting the filter from any accidental damage, while a carry handle makes it easier to push in or pull out the filter from the matte box.
On top of that, by using the handle you make sure you’re not leaving horrible fingerprints on the filter!
SmallRig only provides one filter frame with their kit, but additional trays can be purchased separately if you want to have extra filters ready and save time on set.
SmallRig Mini Matte Box: compatibility
The Mini Matte Box features a 95mm clamp connector, so it can be attached directly to lenses with a 95mm front diameter. In addition, the package includes four adapting rings for 67, 72, 77 and 82mm lenses, making it compatible with a wide range of glass.
Adapter rings for 52, 55, 58, 62 and 86 mm lenses are also available, but they must be purchased separately.
1/4″-20 threaded holes are present both on the top and at the bottom of the matte box, offering multiple mounting options for additional accessories.
Due to its clamp-on design, the Mini Matte Box is supposed to be attached in front of the lens, but it’s also compatible with the SmallRig 15mm LWS Rod Support for Matte Box (sold separately), so it can be rigged on rods in case things get heavy.
Shooting with wide angle lenses using a matte box can be tricky sometimes, since you might end up with vignetting at the edge of the frame.
In order to tackle that issue, SmallRig came up with an innovative inward design for the adapter ring. This should help avoiding vignetting, especially when shooting with wide angle lenses, as shown in the example below.
Lightweight vs Mini Matte Box: which one should I choose?
The main difference between the two models is weight, with the Mini Matte Box being 113g lighter than the previous model. The Lightweight Matte Box though can also be used with 114mm lenses and it can accomodate 4×4″ filters as well.
Who’s this product for?
The item is designed with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in mind. This should make it ideal for independent filmmakers, shooting one-man-band and run-and-gun style.
If your goal is to keep your camera package light and slim, then this product is worth considering.
Price and availability
The SmallRig Mini Matte Box is now available for pre-order on B&H and it should be ready for shipping from June 25th, 2021. Retail price is $99.00 and the kit includes the Mini Matte Box, one filter frame and adapter rings.
Are you looking for a lighter matte box for your camera rig? The SmallRig Mini Matte Box can now be preordered at B&H.