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Sticking nets


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#1 Tony Brown

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:37 AM

I spend (too) many years as a 1st AC in a time when it was de rigueur to stick 7 denier Dior to the back of lenses. The practice then was to use clear nail varnish and to clean it off at the end of the day with acetate. Apart from the fact it trashed the anti reflective surfaces surrounding the rear element it took 15 minutes to net each lens and at least as long to take them off. People tried Black Tack, snot tape, UHU, elastic bands, super glue (I kid you not) usually with disastrous consequences, mainly that these alternatives never held the net tightly enough.

I want to use nets / gauze on an upcoming project. Does anyone have a less destructive method than nail varnish for fitting nets to the backs of lenses please.

many thanks
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#2 David Brickley

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:03 AM

I've used very small pieces of 1" gaff to hold the stocking in place. I trim the stocking so that it will cover the glass and then has a little extra play. Using small strips, I loosely tape 4 sides to hold it in place, then fine tune it around the entire circumference so it's taut. The tape is hidden away once the lens is on, and seeing the stocking held tightly makes me less concerned a moving piece will snag it from its resting area. So far so good, though most cameras I'm working on now are digital so I haven't had to fret as much lately on moving pieces taking hold. Taping onto metal, I don't worry about any damage to the rear element other than the stocking, which I'm mindful of. Usually takes about 20 minutes per lens.
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#3 Tony Brown

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 09:02 AM

Thanks David, unfortunately tape wont hold the sort of tension I'm after, I'd also be very concerned about it coming away in heat/cold.

Appreciate any other suggestions.....
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#4 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:13 AM

Thanks David, unfortunately tape wont hold the sort of tension I'm after, I'd also be very concerned about it coming away in heat/cold.

Appreciate any other suggestions.....


have you tried a small elastic band Tony! Always works for me!
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:50 AM

I've used an I ring on video lenses.

http://www.filmtools.com/iring.html
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#6 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:34 PM

Thanks David, unfortunately tape wont hold the sort of tension I'm after, I'd also be very concerned about it coming away in heat/cold.

Appreciate any other suggestions.....



Its been a while but i think Cooke and Panavision brought out a ring to hold rear nets in place on S4's and Primos. Never used them myself as I always used snot tape as an AC but the rings maybe worth investigating.
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#7 Christopher Arata

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:03 PM

3M snot tape rolled into a thin string & wrapped around as close as possible to the rear element works for me. Its easy then to stretch & trim the net. Defiantly takes less than 15min per lens to do & pulls off pretty easy.
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#8 Matt Kelly

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 06:00 PM

Clear nail varnish??? Super glue? Holy crap man, that sounds terrible. Lol. Easiest way in my opinion is to stretch the net over the rear element, hold it in place with a rubber band, and then CAREFULLY paint the joining surface through the top of the net with rubber cement. It's easiest to do a number of lenses at once, cycling though all of them and then coming back to the first one for a second coat. You can do a set in about a half hour. It keeps a little tack so if the net gets loose, you can pull it taught again and it should remain held. I'm currently on a show doing this and we've tone about 35 days with no trouble an no need to re-net. Best part is at the end of the show, you roll the net off and wipe up any rubber cement left behind with your finger. It's incredibly easy. Easier than snot tape IMO
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#9 Matt Kelly

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 06:02 PM

Also, this is the only way I can imagine to easily net lenses that have recessed back elements such as a 75mm or 100mm Cooke S4.
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#10 Scott Weatherford

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 08:59 PM

i interned on a show that connie hall jr dped, and he had a whole series of nets he threw in front of the lens... is the aesthetic of having it behind the lens that much better than the front to justify going through snot taping or etc etc?
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 01:43 AM

i interned on a show that connie hall jr dped, and he had a whole series of nets he threw in front of the lens... is the aesthetic of having it behind the lens that much better than the front to justify going through snot taping or etc etc?


I use nets sometimes in front of the lens, for convenience's sake... the main difference is that the strength of the net is more greatly affected by the focal length when in front, because a longer lens is going to be seeing through a smaller portion of the net, whereas with rear netting, the amount of softening will be similar for each focal length. Of course, a rear net is also less prone to create veiling when light strikes the lens.
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#12 Tony Brown

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:05 AM

i interned on a show that connie hall jr dped, and he had a whole series of nets he threw in front of the lens... is the aesthetic of having it behind the lens that much better than the front to justify going through snot taping or etc etc?


I'll go on the front if its just a CU of a woman who needs some kindness on a longer focal length but try to be EXTREMELY discreet when putting it on. There is an etiquette with nets ......

Yes many reasons to keep them on the back, consistent look, safer on wide angles, less flare and they dont get forgotten. The gel slides on Cooke zooms were handy and the rear rings for the old 25-250's would also fir 300 Canons.

When I worked for a rental company in London we had a Japanese crew return a Panaflex kit .....they'd netted the gel slides LOL. They reshot the following week :)

Snot tape works for my gauzes but not for stocking.

The rings look interesting but would restrict the choice of lens

@ Matt.....would you 'brand' your rubber cement suggestion please. (Its sounds like UHU which doesn't work but......) It maybe something I haven't tried. UHU doesn't work.

Another way to get the right diffusion is to lessen the tension but remove some of the 'threads' from the stocking. Sadly I no longer have the eyesight nor the patience for that.
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#13 Matt Kelly

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:45 PM

Posted ImagePosted Image
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#14 Tony Brown

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:55 PM

Ordered, thanks Matt, I'll give it a try.
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