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The 5 Most Affordable Matte Boxes for Your Camera in 2022

Logan Baker

Let’s discuss the cheapest, most well-made matte boxes on the market for the upcoming year and what you can expect from each of them.

Of all the different pieces of equipment you end up accruing over the course of your time spent in production, perhaps one of the most annoying, yet necessary purchases is a matte box.

Regardless of the size of the production you’re involved with or the size of camera you’re using, these lens and rig attachments are crucial for providing consistent ease to exposing images, as well as protecting your lenses.

So, let’s talk gear . . .

1. SmallRig Mini Mattebox – $84

SmallRig matte box display
SmallRig matte box. Image via SmallRig.

The carbon fiber build is lightweight and sturdy, and completely capable of handling filters while protecting your lens in the process.

Plus, it just might be the best bargain for any type of video gear of any kind. What a bold statement, right? That’s how serious I am!

This matte box accepts multiple 4 x 5.65″ filters, and comes with one filter tray and four adapter rings.

I’ve written about this specific matte box before and I’ll say once again that it’s bigger than I was expecting. A proper snug fit isn’t possible with my camera bag, so it requires its own box or case. This isn’t a complaint, just a heads up.

Key specs:

  • Compact, lightweight matte box
  • Carbon fiber box and top flag
  • Includes 4 x 5.65″ filter frame
  • Includes 67/72/77/82-95mm adapter rings
  • Maximum load capacity of 2.2 lbs
  • Multiple 1/4″-20 accessory threads
  • Works with circular filters up to 92.5mm
  • Optional additional adapter ring set

Price: $84

2. Tiltaing Mini Matte Box – $79.99

Tiltaing Mini Matte Box display
Tiltaing Mini Matte Box. Image via TILTA.

The tried-and-true TILTA matte box. While there are many different variations from this brand, the “Mini” is the perfect companion for consumer-sized lenses. I’ve used this on about thirty to forty shoots over the course of two years and can confidently say it has yet to fail me.

I think the lens I specifically used was the Canon 24-70 f4 with a NiSi filter. Worked like a charm and never had an issue with it falling off or becoming a production problem in any way. Therefore, it makes this list!

Key specs:

  • Compact, lightweight matte box
  • 4 x adapter rings, carbon fiber top flag
  • Supports one 4 x 5.65″ filter, 77mm hole
  • 15mm rod clamp with 3.9″ rod
  • 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threads, shoe mounts

Price: $79.99

Ironically enough, there’s a review video comparing these two matte boxes (SmallRig Mini vs. Tiltaing Mini). Check it out below!

3. YELANGU M2 15mm LWS Swing-Away Matte Box – $99

YELANGU M2 15mm LWS Swing-Away Matte Box display
YELANGU M2 15mm LWS Swing-Away Matte Box. Image via YELANGU.

In terms of features, this YELANGU matte box has everything you need. Top and side flags will prevent any unwanted light from interfering with your shot, as well as provide ample protection for your lens and filters.

The matte box mounts onto 15mm LWS rod systems using a height-adjustable swing-away bracket and works with lenses up to 100mm in diameter. So, for a cinema lens matte box, it doesn’t get any cheaper than this.

All that being said, just because it’s capable of working with top-tier glass, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to last you forever. I mean, it’s only $99. But, for the price, you really can’t beat it if you’re trying to stay under budget, or if you really need a cheap setup.

At the end of the day, this matte box will get you through your shoot as long as you treat it right.

Key Specs:

  • For up to 100mm lenses
  • Two rotating 4 x 4″ filter stages
  • 15mm rod mounting
  • Swing-away design
  • Top & side flags

Price: $99

4. SHAPE 4 x 5.6 Carbon Fiber Swing-Away Matte Box – $791

SHAPE 4 x 5.6 Carbon Fiber Swing-Away Matte Box display
SHAPE 4 x 5.6 Carbon Fiber Swing-Away Matte Box. Image via SHAPE.

This is easily the most expensive matte box listed in this article. While it’s not exactly “cheap,” it’s all relative to what you’re getting. This matte box is for cinema-sized lenses (for the most part) and requires any standard 15mm LWS or 19mm studio rod systems.

This carbon fiber matte box is one of the cheapest of all the carbon fiber matte boxes out there. When it comes to something like SHAPE, you’re in good hands and you don’t really need one of the more expensive brands that may seem similar.

Key Specs:

  • Lightweight carbon fiber construction
  • 2 x 360° rotating 4 x 5.65 filter stages
  • 15mm LWS and 19mm studio rod adapters
  • 143mm diameter opening
  • 114mm standard ARRI-style rubber bellows
  • 82mm filter ring
  • 4 x lens adapters (80, 95, 104, 114mm)
  • Top flag and 2 x side wings
  • Top handle with 5 x threaded holes

Price: $791

5. CAME-TV Matte Box with 114mm Cine Lens Opening – $216

CAME-TV Matte Box with 114mm Cine Lens Opening display
CAME-TV Matte Box with 114mm Cine Lens Opening. Image via CAME-TV.

This matte box is specific to cinema lenses, given that the opening is a fixed size. That being said, its beauty lies in its simplicity.

So, if you don’t want to deal with some of those overly-complicated matte boxes with a million different features that can break and take time to tweak, this matte box is your best friend.

The top flag is made of carbon fiber and the box itself accepts one 4 x 5.65″ or 4 x 4″ filter without the use of filter trays.

As of writing this article, this one is listed as “coming soon” so, if anything, add it to your wish list and keep your eyes peeled for its eventual release!

Key Specs:

  • Compact, lightweight matte box
  • Removable, Tilting carbon fiber top flag
  • Supports one 4 x 5.65″ or 4 x 4″ filter
  • 114mm diameter lens opening
  • 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threads, shoe mount

Price: $216.00

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Cover image via Tanel Topaasia.