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Cold Grey Filters.


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:02 PM

I'll be shooting a short documentary around some 1960's concrete buildings in Newcastle, either next week or the week after.

I'm after a highly stylised look. I want a very grey murky feel, with the tiniest hint of blue, without really being all that noticable.

Are there any two filters which lend themselves to such a look? I'll be using a light blue filter, probably an 80B. But I'm not sure which filter would supply the ideal grey feel.

Can anyone supply a list of possible filters. I'll select the one I prefer.

I'll be shooting with a Canon 814XL-S, on a 150 degree shutter, and E64T. It will be a murky day, so that I can get a muted feel, with little contrast.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:10 PM

A "grey" filter is just an ND (Neutral Density) and all it does is make things darker, cut exposure.

What you're really thinking of is desaturation, combined with a cool color balance.

If you are transferring to video, plan on reducing the chroma levels in post.

Since you are shooting outside on 64T stock, you don't need to use a blue filter -- you can pull (or leave out / switch off) the normal 85 filter inside the camera for a blue look, or leave it out but use a pale warming filter if you want less blue. The stock is balanced for 3200K, so shooting in 5500K daylight without any correction filter creates a very blue-ish image.

If you are shooting Super-8 for direct projection, not video transfer, there isn't really a filter that reduces color saturation except for fog-type diffusion filters which create more haze & halation, which reduces color. But they also soften the image.
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#3 Jon Kukla

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:06 AM

South London Filters have a set of filters called Blue-Greys, which I used on a shoot earlier this year. It's a more subtle blue that doesn't pop as much but supresses more of the warm tones, so you might want to look into those. As they specialize in filters, they also might have some good ideas for similar filters if that particular set doesn't do it for you. Storm Blue filters might also be close in tone.
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#4 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 01:03 PM

You might try a test using 81B, 81C and 81EF warming filters because 64T unfiltered will be really blue.
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:05 PM

Thanks guys! I'll probaly use a light warming filter on Daylight-shot E64. I doubt the light loss will be very much. Less that a stop?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 07:36 PM

Thanks guys! I'll probaly use a light warming filter on Daylight-shot E64. I doubt the light loss will be very much. Less that a stop?


Remember to switch-off the 85 filter...

The 85 filter loses 2/3's of a stop, so an even lighter filter would cut even less. An 81EF cuts a 1/2 stop, for example.
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 02:56 PM

I think I'll go with an 81EF. With the 85 Engaged. So not a great deal more that 1 stop.

First I'll do a recce for those beastly CCTV Cameras.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 04:06 PM

I think I'll go with an 81EF. With the 85 Engaged. So not a great deal more that 1 stop.

First I'll do a recce for those beastly CCTV Cameras.


If you engage the 85 filter plus add the 81EF filter, you'll have a very warm image, not a cold image. The 85 corrects 64T to daylight and the 81EF adds more warmth on top of that.

What you want is to dis-engage the 85 filter (switch to the "lightbulb" icon on some Super-8 cameras), then add the 81EF to get halfway back from blue to neutral color, for a pale blue.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 04:34 PM

Oh! Thanks, David. You saved my Bacon. :)
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