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Matthews Diffusion Fabric VS. bed sheets


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#1 Michael Christensen

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:02 PM

Hi All,

I was wondering if anyone would care to discuss the relative merits of Matthews diffusion fabric and more economical solutions, like a bed sheet.

Thanks.
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#2 Albert Smith

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 03:58 PM

The benfits:
-Having lots of options (1/4,1/2,full + opal and a slew of other materials) ...things like tough spun or opal will retain a beam shape so the light stays hot in the middle while stronger stuff will spread light more evenly.
- It wont catch on fire...just melt....I wouldn't put a piece of flammable fabric on barn doors or that close to the source



...I have in a pinch put light through stuff like bedsheets or actual curtains on windows and it can work out great, you just need to be careful and hope it gives you the right level of diffusion. Gel+Diff is really expensive like many things for filmaking do to the small market and the fact most of the money is coming from higher end jobs shooting bigger shows. Most of the stuff I have gotten came from snatching spare sheets from gigs or scraps from rental houses....it can be tough if you are doing small budget stuff the hundred bucks or w/e for a full roll of diff can be a big hassle.


if you are renting from a small rental house or when you are able to establish a relationship with one ask for scraps a lot of the time they will help you out especially if you are a student

Edited by Jake Zalutsky, 15 November 2011 - 04:01 PM.

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#3 robert duke

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:28 AM

As Jake stated, duffusions come in different sizes and flavors from Matthews or any of the other "rag" houses. Everything from 1/2 soft frost to Clear Grifflon to full grid is available. Yes bed sheets can be used as a diffusion, but bed sheets are not fire treated and can pose a serious threat on set. Lights get hot and I mean HOT. I have seen fabrics catch fire on set, and I have seen fabrics extinguish themselves on set. I dont remember the exact requirements of the flame retardancy requirements, but I am sure you can find them online.

The other reason to use a Manufacturer's diffusion is they are grommeted and have elastic straps in the corners installed. This handy feature makes it the bees knees when tying it to a frame. Most makers also put webbing around the edges also to make them more durable.

So It really falls to the Choice of the user:

Cheap and compromised filled or exactly what you need.

most makers also can sew custom sizes 12x20 20x30 30x40 6x20 etc.
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