I’ve seen matteboxes costing thousands of dollars and I’ve seen matteboxes costing barely under a thousand dollars. Very few have broken the sub-$500 price point and even fewer are worth the investment. Surprisingly the D|Matte from D|Focus System not only comes in at $359, but it comes in with some impressive features as well.
A mattebox is many things for shooters. It allows the shooter to block light from spilling into the lens and causing flares. It holds glass filters such as NDs, polarizers and many more. But perhaps most vain of all is the added benefit of allowing your camera to look a bit more pro. In any case, there are plenty of reasons to have one in your kit. But having a camera like the FS700 with built in ND filters and actually preferring flares in my shots most of the time, makes it hard to justify spending a ton of money on at mattebox that may not get used often. It may get used even less often if it is too heavy or bulky. Thankfully the D|Matte comes in at a great price and a great design.
The plastic design is durable but amazingly lightweight. Perfect for on the end of the lens. Leave your lens hoods at home as the D|Matte can be your go-to light controller. When you’re ready to kit out your camera for some serious shooting, the D|Matte is prepared to easily and quickly slide onto a rail support. The lens sock keeps light from spilling in from the sides, a major plus.
The only gripe I have with the D|Matte is the filter tray. It’s great that they’ve included a dual system with one rotating, but my 4×4 FaderND filters had a hard time sliding in and out without some serious effort. Other filters I tried went in a little easier.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a mattebox and you’re on a budget, the D|Matte should be on the top of your list.