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#1 Paul Vanderhoof

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:39 AM

I searched a lot to see if my question has already been answered but I could not quite find the answer I am looking for.

So, here is my questions: In shooting HD, 16mm, and sometimes S8mm, I always telecine and edit digitally and the final product is nearly always digital -- dvd. I have a mixed bag of filters in different sizes: most Series 9 and 4x4, but really a mish-mash. Other than ND or ND grad and 85 / 85 B for Film, is there really much / any need for filters any longer, as color and diffusion can quite easily be adjusted digitally.

What would be the basic filter kit: pola, 85x, ND, ND grad, and then? Any need for the softnets, diff, fog, choco, tobac, coral, coral grad, etc, etc? OK, I know the first answer will be -- depends on what look you want, etc, etc.

I know from my still shooting days that you want to put as few glass surfaces in front of your lens as possible, none if you can get away with it -- lessens the air-glass surfaces that create reflections and flare -- and its worse for zooms because they inherently have more surfaces. Since my 16mm equipment is Scoopic and a CP-16/R, here I am depending on older lens design and coating technology. And once you have "filtered" the original, be it digital or film, you are quite stuck with it.

Also, filter kits and matte boxes to fit everything runs into a lot of $$.

Thanks for whatever help you can advise.

Paul
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 01:45 AM

You sort of answered your own question.

If you can afford them, an 85/Pola combo and 85/ND combos are useful for minimizing the number of glass filters, if you are doing a lot of shooting with tungsten stocks outdoors in daylight.

Beyond those, the 85B, the ND's, the ND grads, and Polas... well, that's up to you. Maybe you'll need a few diopter filters for close-focusing, for example. If you have access to good post software that simulates diffusion filters, then perhaps it's not worth buying them, but I find it fun to learn to use them on camera, but then, I mostly shoot 35mm. But it's not a bad thing to get to know how to diffuse a close-up in a subtle manner.

For some of us, "being stuck with it" is sort of the point of doing it in-camera -- we don't want it "unstuck".
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#3 Paul Vanderhoof

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:03 AM

David -- thanks for the reply. Need to get some bounce back to know what I should be doing. Also, for subtle diffusion on the cheap what advice can you give regarding "nets" , ie, actual women's hosiery and such used for diffusion. I have read that's the way the old timers did it and I have seen some posts about which material is best but I haven't a bookmark on those older posts. What is the best way to use these nets -- glue into a cardboard or plastic 4x4 filter holder or stretch it over the matte box / lens, etc, etc. And do you have to keep a pretty distant focal point and wide apertures so not to "see" the netting?

Paul
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:33 AM

You can stretch them over a filter frame or over the back of the lens. Generally you want to most ultra-sheer black pantyhose you can find, or some sort of black veil/tule material from a fabric store, the finest grade you can get. Yes, when on the front, longer lenses and wider apertures are a good idea. And keep any stray light off of the filter.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 04:01 AM

You can stretch them over a filter frame or over the back of the lens. Generally you want to most ultra-sheer black pantyhose you can find, or some sort of black veil/tule material from a fabric store, the finest grade you can get. Yes, when on the front, longer lenses and wider apertures are a good idea. And keep any stray light off of the filter.


I've often stretched all sorts of hose and other stuff* over the fronts of lenses, lots of times just to experiment but
I've also shot with some of those found diffusers and used quite a bit of that footage.

I've never put anything in back of the lens though. I remember using Bolexes a long time ago and how they had
slots in which you could slide a gel cut to make an 85 for example and I think that was in the camera body just
in back of the lens.

How do you put a net behind a lens? Do you simply hold it there, stretched, and mount the lens and let the lens
hold it in place? What would determine putting diffusion in back of or in front of a lens?


*Okay, this sounds dumb but shows how far back the how do I make video look like film question goes.
When I was making one of my first shorts, using a JVC 1900 3 tube video camera and shooting
on 3/4" (!) I found that putting a sheet of ND across the front made it look more filmic.

Actually, that was because the gel was old and worn and made the image soft but it was so different from the
the sharp news look of that camera that at the time it seemed kind of cool. Didn't do that gag much otherwise
though.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 12:42 PM

I haven't done it either myself. I hear nowadays the people use snot tape, after the rental houses complained about people using nail polish to hold the net in place. You basically put the sticky stuff around the metal edges, stretch the net across (maybe holding it temporarily in place with a rubber band?), trim the excess once it dries.

Some lens mounts allow a rubber ring to hold the net in place.
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#7 Paul Vanderhoof

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 02:30 PM

I haven't done it either myself. I hear nowadays the people use snot tape, after the rental houses complained about people using nail polish to hold the net in place. You basically put the sticky stuff around the metal edges, stretch the net across (maybe holding it temporarily in place with a rubber band?), trim the excess once it dries.

Some lens mounts allow a rubber ring to hold the net in place.


Interesting comments -- will try some of these ideas. My Scoopic MS and Scoopic Sound 200 both have filter slots behind the lens, so I could stretch some net over that and slide it in. A Scoopic MS or the older type (which few people like) don't have this option, so the filters and nets would have to go in front of the lens. Few Pro-sumer HD video cams have interchangeable lenses, so they too would have to have "nets" in front of the lens.

Anybody have a suggestion of what brand of pantyhose to use? Super ultra fine expensive brands I would assume. And only black? What about white? Doesn't Tiffen make a white SoftNet as well as black? Doesn't white give you the wedding diffusion (high key) look while black would be the low key, glamour look?

Any names of cinematographers, old or new, who use these "nets" a lot -- to get some idea of the look from the pros.

Thanks,

Paul
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:56 PM

Diffusion tends to wash-out the image and lower contrast, so you'll get closest to a normal contrast with a black net. With a white net, there could be some veiling & milkiness, especially if in front of the lens.

"Fiddler on the Roof" and some of "Bound for Glory" used a brown pantyhose (in front for "Fiddler", don't know about the other), and "Excalibur" used a white net behind the lens. But black nets are by far the most common to use.
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