I'm in the market for a 4x4 ND9 glass filter but don't want to shell out close to $150 for a new Tiffen. At the moment I can't find anything reasonably priced in the used market, but I noticed that Cavision offers a line of glass 4x4 filters, and their ND9 is available new for around $55. Can anyone comment on the quality of Cavision's glass filters? I'd be using it in a Chrosziel 4x4 matte box.
On one hand, I'd think it would be pretty difficult to screw up an ND filter, but on the other hand I realize you often get what you pay for...
I'd be worried about color shifts. Even some of the high end filters have colorshift. When it comes to glass, it's much wiser,I would think, to buy once, for a long time. And that means Tiffen or Schniedir. Even Formatt had given me problems.
I have a whole set of CAVISION filters and they do let in a whole lot of UV pollution, especially the 9 and 1.2. I even got their hot mirror and that helps a little but it is still pretty bad. I can only assume that more expensive filters might handle UV better, but I don't know. I typically like cavision stuff, I've bought a lot of gear from them and it seeme to me they fit into a good middle-ground of reasonably priced pretty solid gear, especially since I'm mostly a hobbiest these days and I'm not making money off my stuff.
I should mention that I was able to color correct everything I shot with those (and it was just crappy 4:2:0 AVCHD files) but it was a pain.
I would try to find some inexpensive Tiffen or Schneider if you can. There is no set relation between cost and quality of used filters. There is overpriced stuff that may never sell and there are sometimes bargains. Used filters are actually quite hard to sell. Sure, ok NDs and ND grads are more in demand. I had a look at eBay and things did look a bit lean and more expensive there. May just be temporary. Anyway, you need a little time and patience is you want to buy good stuff cheap.
Bexel used to have large numbers of used 4x4s listed starting cheap on eBay, they may still have them in their inventory. Do you have a big rental house near you? Just walk in the door when they are not super busy and ask if they have any used 4x4s they are selling. What about putting a WTB add in the cine market place sub-forum here.
Just realized, you're probably thinking of getting an ND because you're thinking of shooting daylight film first up, trying out the SRII. An alternative is to shoot 200T and get the 85ND combos for that, or even one. They will be less in demand than the NDs, should be cheaper.
Good suggestions, Gregg. I've already emailed a few of the larger rental houses inquiring about used 4x4 filters, so we'll see if that yields anything. I didn't think of checking with Bexel until I read your message, so I've contacted them as well, and posted a message here in the marketplace.
I've been keeping an eye on eBay offerings, but I haven't found much in the way of reasonable pricing for new or used filters, at least the filters I need. I've made a few offers on "best offer" auctions, but the sellers don't seem too willing to budge too much on price....even on items they've had listed for well over a year!
Fortunately, I'm not in too big of a hurry, so I can just wait until a good offer comes along. I'll be shooting some test film on my new SR3 soon, but I've decided to shoot exteriors with 50D since I'm without filters now. Plus, the SR3 has a variable shutter I can close all the way down to 45 degrees, so that allows me to open up the lens an extra 2 stops if necessary.
"...I've already emailed a few of the larger rental houses inquiring about used 4x4 filters, so we'll see if that yields anything...."
Email is ok if it's at the front of their mind when they get that. Phone is better, gives you a chance to convince someone that this is worth thinking about right now. Walking in the door poses the most risk of wasting your own time, but gives the most chance that they will recognize you as someone they want to help, who may buy the filters they want to get rid of.
You generally don't want to change shutter angle to deal with exposure since it'll effect motion rendering.
Good point, Adrian. Actually, I did some metering tests the other day, and it looks like even in late morning or early afternoon direct sunlight, with 50D I can still still shoot around T16 without using any ND filters. Certainly not the best option if I'm wanting a shallower DOF, but for testing purposes of basic camera functionality, I'm not too concerned about having a narrow DOF.
I originally bought tiffens a long time ago. They've been great for a while. But if I were to buy today, I'd go for IRND's Since cameras are super light sensitive these days. Scroll to middle of page for the IRND XFS - http://www.lockcircl...ers/buy4x4tech/