My new PROAIM matte box arrived today, for my Aaton LTR-54 camera. I’m quite impressed by its construction, and doubly impressed that it only took six days from the day I ordered it to arrive from India. Can you imagine how excited I was to mount it on my camera?
The matte box came with a variety of ‘doughnuts’ – rings at the matte box/lens interface to keep light from hitting the lens. I chose the one that fit my lens. I put the French flags on. I put the filter holders in the slots. (More on that in a minute.) And then I mounted the matte box on the Aaton’s support rods.
Oops. The matte box is 1 cm too high for the lens. The box itself is attached to the mounting block by two arms. One is a flat piece of aluminum (except for one side, which is machined hollow). The other is an integral part of the block. No way to remove it. I’ve emailed the company, hoping that with the inexpensive workforce they can whip out a new mounting block. But that, of course, is a long-shot.
The right side bracket attaches to the integral arm of the mounting block. According to my Swiss Army Knife, the integral arm is 1 cm thick. That’s convenient. I should be able to merely move the bracket from the top of the integral arm to the bottom, and that will lower that side by the required 1 cm.
The left-side arm, the flat one, is attached to the block with two screws. It is attached to the matte box by one screw, which runs through a ~3 cm spacing tube. That will have to be replaced. I don’t know where I can get a small piece of aluminum stock. Assuming I can find one, I think I can make a new arm by removing the existing arm, tracing the angled bit that attaches to the block, rotating the arm such that the end is 1 cm lower than the original, tracing that, copying the tracing to the aluminum stock, cutting it out with a hacksaw, drilling three holes, finishing it with a fine file and some steel wool, and then spray-painting it black. Or just see if I can find a machinist in the Yellow Pages.
I mentioned the filter holders. The matte box has two stationary, and one rotating stage. The front stationary filter holder slid in snugly. The rear one went in about 3/4 of the way and then stopped. WTFO? There’s nothing in the slot to stop it! Eventually I discovered that two screws on the rotating stage were protruding slightly into the stationary filter’s slot. I used the hacksaw on my Swiss Army Knife to cut the ends off, and everything is hunky-dory as far as the filers go.