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Tiffen Multi Rota Tray

written by Shane Hurlbut, ASC

Tiffen has done it. For years if you wanted to use a rota pola you had to go out of your filter kit and use third party glass. But Tiffen has their own version called the Multi Rota Tray, and it offers a rotating polarizer, a Variable ND and Warm/Cool FX filter.



The system is quite simple. The tray has an ultra-thin 138mm Circular polarizer embedded in a geared tray. The filter rotates within the tray allowing you to dial in your desired polarization effect (notice the windshields in the images below).

The tray has an empty slot that accepts Tiffen’s ultra-thin 4×5 polarizer. When paired together the two polarizers act as a variable ND, giving you between two and six stops.

When flipped around it acts as a warm/cool filter. This could function great for a stylized in-camera effect.

The filters must be aligned in a certain way with a particular side facing the camera to get the desired effect. This may sound easy to mix up, but Tiffen has set you up for success. Each filter is engraved with its intended use and which side faces camera. Here are the basic facts:

  • For the polarizer effect: Place the A-Side towards the lens. You do not need to add the 4×5 filter, just use the built in 138mm pola.
  • For VND: Place the B-side towards the lens and add the filter following the engraving instructions: “FOR VND USE. THIS SIDE MUST FACE THE LENS.”
  • For Warm/Cool FX: Place the B-side towards the lens and add the filter following the engraving instructions: “FOR WARM / COOL USE. THIS SIDE MUST FACE THE LENS.”



The MRT is the standard width of a 4×5 tray so it is compatible with your Bright Tangerine Misfit ATOM matte box and with a wide variety of other manufacturer’s products (Chrosziel, Vocas, TLS Optics and Arri).


The tray is equipped with an M8 geared wheel allowing you to spin it with your finger or to attach a wireless motor to it.


With its sleek design and brilliant 3-in-1 effect, the Multi Rota Tray is the perfect addition to your filter bag.

All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.







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Reuben E January 28, 2016 at 6:49 AM

So much awesome

Danmarie February 1, 2016 at 4:11 PM

Hi Shane, does Tiffen Multi Rota Tray fit on wooden camera UMB-1 UNIVERSAL MATTE BOX pro?

Shane February 7, 2016 at 9:27 AM

It should. It is supposed to work with all 4×5 matte boxes that will receive a 4×5 tray.

Max October 5, 2016 at 10:03 AM

How is the color shift when using the variable ND method of two filters?

Matt Weeks March 2, 2017 at 3:18 PM

I bought this and I really wish i hadn’t. The color shift is pretty bad and I don’t seem to notice any dramatic shift in stops. I can’t tell if I’m doing something wrong or not. Can you comment on this Shane?

Jr Campbell April 24, 2017 at 3:16 PM

What about the need for IR ND? Most cameras these days all need IRND’s. I assume this is not IR?


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