The Wooden Camera Zip Box Pro starts shipping today. Originally premiered at IBC 2018, the Zip Box Pro provides some common mod cons of a traditional mattebox but in a very compact form.
The original Zip Box was a glorified filter holder, made from rubber and with a metal clamp it simply wrapped around the front of your lens, holding a single filter in place.
The Zip Box Pro is much more of a lightweight mattebox.
Weighing about 12oz, the Zip Box Pro is super small, it can hold up to 3 stacked 4X5.65” filters, and has a ridged base so that 1-2 filters can tilt to eliminate glare.
There are no trays, the filters simply load from the front and secure via snap top clamp; included also is a carbon fibre top flag
There are two versions the Zip Box Pro Swing Away and the Zip Box Pro Clamp On.
Zip Box Pro Swing Away
The Swing Away version relies on a pair of 15mm rods in standard configuration, mounting via tension-based hinge.
The hinge has adjustment through 2 small allen threads; it can move 8mm in vertical direction as well as offering a small degree of tilt to the entire box (also for anti glare).
On the back there is a 114mm opening that can receive a cloth donut around the outside, or reduction rings on the inside to suit your front lens diameter. Available sizes are 110mm, 104mm, 95mm, 87mm, and 80mm.
Zip Box Pro Clamp On
The Clamp On version simply has a different back, there’s tension thumb clamp to attach to the front of your lens.
There are different sized clamp on backs to suit your specific lens – 114mm, 110mm, 104mm, 95mm, 87mm, and 80mm.
Isn’t it just a Bright Tangerine Misfit?
If you know your matteboxes you’ll notice straight away the similarities with the Bright Tangerine Misfit range. As an owner of both the Misfit and Misfit Atom I can chime in on their differences, as it’s clear each product brings something different to the table.
The Misfit Atom is lighter, but needs reducing donuts for clamp on use that don’t stick to one side (mattebox or the lens), this make lens changes longer-than-it-should. It does not have a swing away option.
The Misfit is the version with a swing away arm. The arm will provide more up/down adjustment than the Zip Box Pro, and also has more conventional stages with filter holder, albeit at much more weight.
The Zip Box Pro reducers look better than the Misfit Atom for sure – the Zip Box Pro Clamp On has physical different backs, making it much more efficient in the field, it also has the ability to hold up to 3 filters (v 2 on the Misfit Atom), and the anti-glare tilt action is quicker to access.
Therefore the Zip Box Pro kind of sits in the middle of the two Misfits – it offers a little more as a clamp on box to the Misfit Atom, and ‘gets by’ as a swing away before missing a few features of the heavier Misfit.
I can see the Zip Box Pro being a great option to people looking for a compact, lightweight solution for gimbal, aerial and remote camera use. It will also make a great ‘first mattebox’ for operators looking to delve into the world of professional filtration, but without too much investment and jump-up in workflow.
Prices for various options below.