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Low-con versus Ultra con


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#1 Mike Medavoy

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 01:57 AM

Hello!

I have a quick question. Do the ultra-con and the low-con serve basically the same purpose? Or are they two different set of filters, each one used for a particular (and different) effect than the other one?

Now, I know that the Ultra-con filters do not flare, as opposed to the Low-con. Is this the only difference? Other than that, would I be safe to assume they have almost exactly the same effect?

Thank you!

Mike
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#2 Mike Medavoy

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:06 AM

I was thinking about buying one of these two sets... A quick adice would be appreciated!

All the best,
Mike
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#3 Scott Bullock

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:46 PM

Hello;

Here's a link that should clarify the differences for you: Tiffen filters

I hope that helps.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 11:37 PM

Hello!

I have a quick question. Do the ultra-con and the low-con serve basically the same purpose? Or are they two different set of filters, each one used for a particular (and different) effect than the other one?

Now, I know that the Ultra-con filters do not flare, as opposed to the Low-con. Is this the only difference? Other than that, would I be safe to assume they have almost exactly the same effect?

Thank you!

Mike


Other than they look different, they do the same thing?

Well, both lower contrast by causing bright areas to spread into the shadow areas, lifting the blacks and bringing out some shadow detail. But that's about it. LowCons are closer to Fogs, causing visible halation around lights and some softening of detail, whereas UltraCons create an effect more like flashing where the blacks are lifted but there isn't a diffusing quality.
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#5 Scott Bullock

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 12:34 AM

If it were my money, taking into account the possibility that I could only afford one or the other, I'd purchase the ultra contrast filters. They seem to do a better job of giving detail in the shadow areas without completely compromising them.

Edited by Scott Bullock, 09 December 2006 - 12:37 AM.

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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 02:04 PM

I've just had a period of some low con filtering - the last 2 years, basically. I've shot with both the Low Con and the Ultra Con's. Basically, like David said, the Low Con fogs and milks out a bit more than the Ultra Cons. As long as you don't shoot with bright sources in frame, the effect is roughly the same. In my experience the Ultra Con's are a little more forgiving with lights in frame, but their low con effect also tends to be less visible than the older Low Cons.

Watch out for stray lights and sunny exteriors - the mattebox might half shadow the frame in sunlight creating a visible streak of milkiness where the light hits the filters. This happened to me. Not very pretty and virtually impossible to get rid of in post.

I've now come off them a bit since I realized the effect is just as easy to achieve in telecine - no real point in hanging a bunch of glass in front of the lens if one doesn't need to. The one exception to that however is when you have a really bright source in the frame - the way the filter milks out with the flare can not be replicated in telecine. One example of the milkiness the Low Con (3 I think it was) can produce with a bright source in frame is my Laura Michelle Kelly video clip. It especially visible on the beach scene at the end where the sun flares in.

http://www.adamfrisc...indexmovie.html
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 05:47 PM

Also, the modern Kodak Vision-2 and Fuji Eterna stocks are fairly wide in latitude and somewhat lower-contrast already, giving you room in the telecine process to create a low-con look. The real advantage to the filters is when you want more halation (glowing) around bright lights, in which case you'd probably be happier with the older LowCons rather than the UltraCons. Or something like a GlimmerGlass or ProMist. Or Fog or DoubleFog.

Also the new Tiffen Smoque filter has an interesting look, sort of like a DoubleFog without as much softening.
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#8 Kim Sargenius

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 12:48 AM

If it were my money, taking into account the possibility that I could only afford one or the other, I'd purchase the ultra contrast filters. They seem to do a better job of giving detail in the shadow areas without completely compromising them.



I like SoftCons for DFN - essentially a Diffusion filter (spreads a bit of light into the shadows) sandwiched with an ND (holds back the highlights a bit).

One time I could only get a set of UltraCons for a DFN pick up shot - the rest of the scene had already been shot with SoftCons. To match the two I used a bit of hairspray on the UltraCons, just a very fine mist from about 6in away - matched very well in the end! :)

So, yeah, if you can only get one or the other, get the UltraCons - some Streaks'n'Tips will get you the halation if you want it! :P


cheers,

Kim
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