I will start off with a little rant. I think matte boxes are a waste of money. A matte box performs 2 tasks, first it prevents lens flares by keeping the lens in the shade, and second it gives you a place to mount your filters.  Most DSLR lenses come with a lens hood which prevents the majority of lens flares and almost every DSLR lens that I know of has threads at the front of the lens so you can add any kind of filter you like.

So if that’s the case, then why do people want them on their DSLR Rig? Well, I’ve asked the same question and the two most common responses are these: “Yea but it looks cool.” and “I have one so I may as well use it.” The first answer was by far the the most common, but I did get a few of the second from people who made the transition to DSLR video from older rigs and already owned a matte box.

All that said, I still get e-mails weekly asking for ideas on affordable matte box recommendations. With that in mind, the most affordable matte box I’ve found is made by PROAIM. I don’t care for a lot of PROAIM’s rigs but their matte box is a good design at a reasonable price. You can find the for $249, it’s more affordable then most of the matte boxes on the net and it mounts on rails, which is better then some of the .

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