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Silk vs Grid Cloth vs White Diffusion


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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:05 PM

Can anyone breifly explain the differences in Silk, Grid Cloth, and the frost diffusion gels from Rosco or Lee. Are there advantages or light quality differences that would dictate use of one over another?
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#2 Rik Andino

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 12:25 AM

Can anyone breifly explain the differences in Silk, Grid Cloth, and the frost diffusion gels from Rosco or Lee. Are there advantages or light quality differences that would dictate use of one over another?


They are all different forms of diffusion.
Some are more intense when diffusing light & some are lighter...
I think Silk and Grid Cloth are both pretty strong forms of difussion.

You'll have to check them both out to see which one you like best.
Normally most cinematographers I work with
They just see how much light the diffusion is cutting off or how much light it's spreading out...
And they decide from that whether they want to use it or not.

Well
Good Luck
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#3 darrin p nim

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 12:56 AM

Not really too offtopic but as far as quality, i dont know if this applies to diffusion but i think it would. Colored gels made by Lee arent as durable as Rosco Gels, atleast as far as color goes, apparently Lee sprays the color onto there gels which under enough heat can cause them to run/deform/lose color and etc. whereas Rosco bakes the color into their gels creating a more durable component in a longer lasting and higher quality gel.

Edited by Darrin P Nim, 27 September 2006 - 12:56 AM.

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#4 darrin p nim

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:08 AM

And as far as comparing type of diffusion whether it be a silk, grid cloth or diffusion gel. If you compared all types with the same light, all the same size and at a the same distance each would show a different quality, intensity and color temp. (color temp. does change and must be regarded, although it is the least effected).
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#5 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:16 AM

If I were you, I'd call up Rosco and Lee and ask for some swatch books. They're free and a good tool to have on set. I know Lee makes their extra durable gels out of polycarbonate rather than polyester, and I'm sure GAM, Lee and Apollo each have their own special recipe.
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#6 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 04:55 AM

thanks for the replies so far but that is not quite what I am getting at. Perhaps I should just do some tests. I am trying to compare the differences of silk vs grid etc in terms of spread, falloff, quality of the diffusion etc and wanted to see if anyone had any comments in that regard.
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#7 Tshaka

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:11 AM

Can anyone breifly explain the differences in Silk, Grid Cloth, and the frost diffusion gels from Rosco or Lee. Are there advantages or light quality differences that would dictate use of one over another?



My experience with Silk is that it cuts light value by about 1.5 stops and difusses the source over a great area but with a dramatic falloff. The Silk does introduce a good deal of ambient light. It's as if you had a bucket full of soft white light and you poured it out onto everything. Well that's not entirely accurate. I have never used or seen silk on a gel roll. Also I have only used Black Silk a few times. Black Silk was made to minimize the amount of ambient light introduced by the (White) Silk. Other Silks out there are China Silk(1 stop loss) and 1/4 stop Silk (1/2 stop light loss).

The grid patterns in the Grid Cloth diffusion are intended to focus the source and not take away too much from the throw of the beam. Full Grid seems to cut exposure by about 2.5 stops. Light Grid (1/2 Grid) is about a 2 stop loss and I think Quarter Grid is actually the same as, if not a little less than, the stop loss of Silk, 1.5 stops. The general diffusion quality of Grid Cloth seems to have more definition than the Silk. There also doesn't appear to be as much ambient light introduced with the Grid as there is with the Silk. Of course that's just how I remember it.

As far as the frosts they blend the light subtly and minimize the harsh quality of light. Falloff is practically a non issue. I can't get too specific here since Frost describes a family of diffusions and not a particular diffusion like opal or hampshire for example.

I haven't experienced any differences between Rosco and Lee diffusions. Dan Madsen mentioned GAM's diffusion, Gamfusion (some people call them GAM colors). GAM has its own type of diffusion and its own rating system. It's worth looking into. I haven't heard of Apollo.

Darrin Nim also made a good point about color temperature. Diffusions do tend to add warm tones to a light. How the film sees it is another story.

That's my experience. Testing for yourself is a great idea since my experience is more intuitive and less scientific. I haven't perceived any differences between Rosco and Lee diffusion but who knows there might be a few.

Yeah. You really should do that test. You always walk away from that with your own understanding of it and that's a great thing.

Later
Tshaka

Edited by Tshaka, 27 September 2006 - 08:14 AM.

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#8 Aaron Medick

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 06:02 PM

The answer is we can't describe it briefly. I also suggest you test the diffusions. Buy a sheet of Hampshire, opal frost, 250, 216, full grid, and light grid. There are many others but these are a good start and the most common. You'll also need a 1K light with barn doors and scrims, a 35mm and/or digital camera, and a subject. Set up with the light, and camera subject as you choose. I would suggest putting the light 50 degrees off the camera, so you can see how the fall off changes with each diffusion. keep the stop the same by adding and subtracting scrims and distance of light to subject. Then take a still of the subject without diffusion on the light, then another with Hampshire and so on until you have a still of all, develop and compare. Of course you can do the test with a motion picture camera or video camera. If you us a particular camera for all your project then by all means us that camera.
The cutting and diffusing of light is a practical exercise in physics. It wouldn't hurt to read up on the physics of light. This was my favorite class in college. You'll learn why the sky is blue, where rainbows come from and why and how diffusion works.

If you have any more question fire away.

Aaron
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#9 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:13 PM

Aaron and Tshaka are absolutely right. Testing and seeing for yourself is of prime importance to your evolution as a DP. It amazes me that people spend thousands of dollars on a miniDV system and then balk at the pittance that a few sheets of gel cost. I'm not saying that's your case so don't feel attacked.
Test, look, note, use (or not!)
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 11:27 PM

For a beginner on a budget, it sometimes is useful to just limit yourself to one or two types of diffusion, such as 216. Using that all the time will teach you whether you need something lighter or something heavier.

On my current project, I mostly use Opal, 250, and 216 diffusion on 4x4 frames and smaller, and Lt. Grid, Half Soft Frost, and Silk for the large frames. Try to not get too complicated -- remember you can always double-up on the layers of diffusion gel if you need something denser.
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#11 Sofia Fontenla

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:37 PM

Hi there! It´s my first time here. I don´t know if I should ask here but it´s so similar my issue...

 

I´m a junior DP, I´m filming on Monday my first advertisment. We don´t have much money, though. 

I was really on a rush and had to resolve evrything today. I´m lookin for a cold and very soft light for this project.

I´m having a HMI PAR 2.5 K ; 575 w HMI par; and some kinoflow.

My quesiton is related to filters:

I bought a roll of OPAL 420 (Lee) -is very thin! and half roll of Light Grid (Rosco 3060) and 3 meters of Half white diffusion  (Rosco 3027)

I´m not sure how to use this filters and the best way to organize them.

I have also 4  1x1 meters frames.

Could you please give me some advise???? I´m in a hurry and can´t buy or rent anything else!!

I´m shooting on Monday!!!

Thanks!!!

 

P.S: I attach a reference for my lighting idea. It could be more bright though...


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#12 Jonathan O'Neill

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 04:54 AM

For a beginner on a budget, it sometimes is useful to just limit yourself to one or two types of diffusion, such as 216. Using that all the time will teach you whether you need something lighter or something heavier.

On my current project, I mostly use Opal, 250, and 216 diffusion on 4x4 frames and smaller, and Lt. Grid, Half Soft Frost, and Silk for the large frames. Try to not get too complicated -- remember you can always double-up on the layers of diffusion gel if you need something denser.

Hi David, If you were to get one 8'x8' diffusion textile, what would you recommend as the most versatile? Grid cloth / China silk / Artificial silk etc Mainly for use outside.  Thanks a lot


Edited by Jonathan O'Neill, 07 April 2015 - 04:54 AM.

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#13 Lance Soltys

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 08:18 AM

Here is a pretty nice resource for looking at different types of diffusion.  You may have already seen it, this video seems to come up a lot when people discuss diffusion material.

 


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#14 JD Hartman

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 09:24 AM

Hi David, If you were to get one 8'x8' diffusion textile, what would you recommend as the most versatile? Grid cloth / China silk / Artificial silk etc Mainly for use outside.  Thanks a lot

 

I'd be interested in DM's answer to this as well.  My experience is often, no matter what rags you have, the DP will inevitably ask for something else.


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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 04:16 PM

Hi David, If you were to get one 8'x8' diffusion textile, what would you recommend as the most versatile? Grid cloth / China silk / Artificial silk etc Mainly for use outside.  Thanks a lot


Not having more information, I'd probably get Light Grid Cloth. Silk still allows a little faint hard light to leak through and it doesn't spread a light evenly -- look at the star-shaped spread of a light through silk -- but it is quieter in larger frames when there is some wind.
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