[Proaim Matte Box MB-300]
Yes yes yes, nice people from Proaim/CineCity/Filmcity (can you keep up with the names?)
Maybe I'm a little bit over excited after my disasterous experience with their Filmcity Matte Box MB-77, wich was dirt cheap but also came bit all the dirt cheap benefits.
The Proaim MB-600 mattebox feels, looks and performs much more like a Mattebox is supposed to. It is build sturdy and the barn doors greatly reduce/eliminate any light spill that would occur with some inferior Mattboxes.
This type also has a dual filter option, which is a step up from the MB-100 series. Personally I am not a big fan of filters (like it as raw as possible) so I could have opted for the MB-100 however, was able to get my hands on this one and for the few occasions were I need this it comes in handy.
In the past I have used some more high end MatteBox systems that had better barn door securing options. Again, not a big fan of Proaim's fastening technology.
I prefer tighter screws/bolts/fittings, but this usually comes with added production costs and quality control and therefore also increased product price. So if this allows them to keep their prices low I can live with it and put in a little more effort during filming.
If you spend some extra money you could even opt for the swing away versions, however I would not recommend doing so. Yes, it is a little bit easier to change lenses, but as a indie filmmaker I would rather save my money and by an extra piece of gear than to buy add-ons that don't increase picture or production quality.
[Filmcity Matte Box MB-77]
Just like the FC-10W shoulder mount of Filmcity this MB-77 matte box with barn door is priced very competitively.
At just under $25 this is probably one of the cheapest matte boxes around. If you are familiar with normal matte box prices this price will shock you.
Oke, so is it any good??
Simple answer: NO!!
It does what a matte box is supposed to do, which is to reduce or eliminate lens flare. However the plastic hooks that secure the barn doors are extremely fragile and I broke mine within 1 hour of using it.
The lack of proper securing pins also cause the barn doors to move around with heavy camera movement.
Simply put, you get what you pay for, which is a cheap product.
So looking for a cheap matte box that adds volume to your rig setup?? Then get this, however if you are looking for one that will last you a bit longer keep looking.