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    Part 1 on Gear and Gripes

    First off, I just wanted to put out a bit of a warning for anyone contemplating getting the Tilta Mini Matte box. If you plan to use it on lenses wider than around 30mm in FF terms, you likely experience sever vignetting, especially the wider the lens. This become worse if you want to use VND filters attached to the adapter ring. I managed to fix the issue on two lenses with some significant modifications.

    On an Olympus 12-100mm f4 lens, I had to effectively destroy the original lens hood and mod it to take the matte box without the adapter ring. With my Olympus 14-35mm f2 lens, I had to use a linishing machine to sand away just about all of the adapter ring until it was flush with the inner thread and then I could use it with a VND filter attached.

    The Mini Matte box is basically a good product, but beset by an awful design that could have been easily avoided with a bit more planning and testing.

    I also have a Tilta Nucleus Nano follow focus system and, while it does work quite well, there are a few issues that might assist owners and potential owners. Firstly, Tilta informed me that the control wheel USB port is only for firmware updates (likely to never happen); however, I’ve been using it powered via my V-lock battery (5V output) without issue for over a year. What’s needed is a battery inside the housing and it doesn’t need to be charged. If not charged, the control wheel powers on and off like the motor when the V-lock battery is turned on or off. Tilta seems totally unaware of this.

    Secondly, I was never happy with the wooden handle design, as it didn’t offer a very good purchase for fine movement. So I added a 0.8 mod rubber ring to the wheel and it now works perfectly. All you need to do is buy some of those cheap 0.8 mod rubber follow focus rings, cut it to length and then use plastic glue (the sort that comes in two tubes – primer and super glue) and slide it on. It totally changes the way the wheel works. The wood might look cool (for some eyes), but it’s not a great material for precise work, quite OK for hammers and axe handles.

    Thirdly, for ages I’ve been looking for a spare motor for the Nucleus Nano so I can use it as a zoom control, flipping between focus and zoom, but these haven’t been available anywhere. This is one thing that seems to be very common with Tilta, they make a product and then move on to make new toys, forgetting about what came before and not supporting the older gear. I also understand that many of the Tilta cage components are more or less propriety design, so you can’t use then with other products such as SmallRig. That sucks.

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    Rich H
    Keymaster

    I wanna add something else to your post. I got the Titla Matte box myself and have so far been decently impressed. One of the first gripes I had was no side flags. I got around that by using Glide Gear articulating arm lens shade. Because the top of the box has holes for mounting things, these work perfectly.

    I too sometimes power the Nucleus Nano with a 5v power source when my battery dies. Glad it’s a hidden feature cause it’s come in handy a few times.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Rich H.

    The concept of the matte box and the materials/manufacture is quite good, but I simply don’t understand why it wasn’t more comprehensively tested. I even contacted Tilta with a suggestion on how to possibly fix the problem with some different adapters, it would fix the problem given what I’ve done, but they have been deathly silent.

    This is why I don’t have a lot of confidence in their products, as they don’t seem to acknowledge problems, nor seem to care.

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