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#1 Mike Williamson

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 08:32 PM

I'm wondering what filters people recommend for softening without adding halation to the image. On a recent HD shoot I used Mitchell A, B and C diffusion filters from Panavision, but I'm not sure who manufactures these and how common they are at other rentals houses. Previously I've used Tiffen Glimmerglass filters, but I found these halated more than I'd realized when I did a comparison with the Mitchell filters.

Anybody have other recommendations? Maybe the Classic Softs or Soft F/X, or do those halate more? I don't use filtration that much, so opinions and advice are much appreciated, thanks.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 09:29 PM

Tiffen Black Diffusion-FX are probably the best at softening without halation artifacts. Mitchells are similar but I find that Mitchells tend to make the image look slightly out-of-focus.

The lighter Classic Softs and Soft-FX don't halate too much (not compared to a GlimmerGlass or Black or White ProMist) but they do halate a little (the heavier ones even more.)
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:00 PM

Along these lines, I'm wondering about "resin" filters. As far as I know, I've always used glass filters
but I just got an offer in the mail from Lee Filters advertising its series of resin filters. Lee is offering
this starter kit with (2) 4" x 6" hard grad filters and a filter holder that with adaptor rings "fits nearly
every lens" . This might be a way to build a personal filter collection that would be useable for
various cameras and lenses but how do people feel about resin filters? Lee says in its mailer that
for the resin filters "Lee uses tough, optically pure polymers, resulting in a filter of rigid flatness,
optical quality, and color cosistency that is second to none!"

They're not inexpensive though. They seem to average around $80.00 to $100.00, certainly less than
some other 4" x 6" but what is the quality difference?

In the same promotional material there is also an ad for polyester filters with "Tough, optically pure
polyester base" for a full range of "afordable" filters.

'Polyester' sounds kind of scary though.

Are any of these any good or would saving a small amount (maybe not small to some if buying
several filters) a case of being penny-wise and pound foolish?
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:10 PM

Along these lines, I'm wondering about "resin" filters.


I have a bunch of Cokin resin filters I sometimes use for standard def video. At standard def they're optically "good enough." I haven't tried them with HD, but I wouldn't expect these particular ones to perform like glass.

However, Cokin doesn't offer any light grades of diffusion in resin. I haven't seen the Tiffen resin filters.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:31 PM

I have a bunch of Cokin resin filters I sometimes use for standard def video. At standard def they're optically "good enough." I haven't tried them with HD, but I wouldn't expect these particular ones to perform like glass.

However, Cokin doesn't offer any light grades of diffusion in resin. I haven't seen the Tiffen resin filters.





Thank you, Michael.

I checked out the Cokin link but couldn't find any prices though.

Cokin's "P" series would fit several cameras that I use, up to my HVX-200 but I'd like to
know how much more the larger "Z" and "X" Pro series cost.

One thing struck me as strange on the Cokin site: "ND-8 reduces amount of light to 50%
or in other words ND-8 absorbs 3 f-stops"

It seems to me that an ND-8, what I also believe is called an ND.9, reduces the amount of
light by 3 stops and that's down to 1/8th the amount of light, much more than a reduction of
50%.


I wish that more web sites would post prices instead of having the ubiquitous "contact us".
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:49 PM

I have the P series and holder, which fits most broadcast lenses.

The filters are available at most photography shops, so check around. I picked up a bunch on sale at Sammy's Camera (LA) for like $10 each or so. Most of them are in the $15-$20 range normally, I think.
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#7 Mike Williamson

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 03:46 AM

Thanks David, I'll take a look at the Black Diffusion FX filters when I get a chance. I had a similar feeling about the Mitchell diffusion filters in terms of things look a little out of focus, especially the C filter. I guess I felt "that's diffusion", good to hear that there are other options out there.
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 06:38 AM

I have the P series and holder, which fits most broadcast lenses.

The filters are available at most photography shops, so check around. I picked up a bunch on sale at Sammy's Camera (LA) for like $10 each or so. Most of them are in the $15-$20 range normally, I think.


Wow, thanks. I'd definitely pick up an assemblage at those prices. I'm going over in a little while to the
camera shop where I bought my camera so I'll start there and see what they have. Could do some
serious impulse purchasing.


Mike W. thanks for letting me jump in on your thread.
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#9 Tony Brown

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:53 PM

Mitchell Diffs - a pet subject of mine. There are two types. The old original Mitchell diffs were superb (anyone remember the 'sliding diffs'? What I'd give to get one of those... The etchings on the glass were not uniform, they looked like cheesecloth covered in acid had been stretch over the glass. The recent ones (probably last 25 years) are a uniform pattern and are dreadful. I have no idea why, but they are very brutal and they spread the highlights a very nasty way.

I've looked for an old set (actually I've only wanted the A&B for years). I know of a set of 3x3 at a London Rental house (in leather pouches) and have used those .... until I find them I'll stick with a light black net
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Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab