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Using Gels as Filters -


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#1 Danny Lachman

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:04 AM

I'm sure there is a reason but I've never heard of it. Is there a reason you can't put lighting gels in front of a camera lens and use it as a filter??

Those Lee filter sample packs have so many different color correction filters, It'd be great if you could use them.
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#2 Michele Peterson

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:56 AM

For one, Gels get creases in them. I've never personally tried putting lighting gels in front of a lens, but I would predict that it will screw up your focus.

Edited by Michele Peterson, 19 September 2008 - 11:56 AM.

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:42 PM

For one, Gels get creases in them. I've never personally tried putting lighting gels in front of a lens, but I would predict that it will screw up your focus.



They are not optically clear enough to be good camera filters. They will throw off the focus slightly more than create a nice diffusion effect too.
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#4 Garrett Shannon

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 06:23 PM

You may also have more problems with flares/reflections in the gels as well.
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#5 Mike Simpson

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 12:37 PM

Old Bolex's have little slots for gels. In school we would cut out NDs, B, and O for them, but it was a pain in the ass, and I dont doubt the previous posts, but the lenses were bad enough on their own that it didnt matter much =p

Also the camera was designed for it, so the gel would actually sit behind the lens. Taping a gel to the lens or mattebox sounds like a total nightmare.
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#6 Garrett Shannon

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:22 PM

HAHAH. Ya, I have definitely used the gel filter holder in the bolex before. I remember I got a free swatch of lee gel samples. The one that comes in that mini booklet and then cut out small squares of ND to fit in that little slide in holder thing. So good...
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#7 Gus Sacks

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 07:25 PM

I did it once with an XTR. We were inside a red cloth tent in daylight (no direct light), and I put quarter-straw in the filter tray (no noticeable creasing or light jumping around in reflections), to not fully correct it to an 85, but to just warm it up and make it look a little odd with the red... which it did. :)
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 08:27 PM

HAHAH. Ya, I have definitely used the gel filter holder in the bolex before. I remember I got a free swatch of lee gel samples. The one that comes in that mini booklet and then cut out small squares of ND to fit in that little slide in holder thing. So good...


I did the same thing once. Cut out some Full CTO gel from a swatch book (substituting for an 85 filter) and just threw it behind the lens on a Bolex. It worked out fine.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 30 September 2008 - 08:28 PM.

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