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Nets


Roberto Hernandez
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I was wondering how common nets are used over the camera's lense (not nets for lights). I have used it several times for video projects but I have had some trouble becuase the net's mesh is sometimes noticable if the lighting isn't right. I was hoping someone could give me some tips on the best way to use nets.

 

Roberto Hernandez

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Hi. I've used nets behind the lens on a couple of occasions. It's a nice

way to bring some softness to it. But unless you have a lot of bright

spots or lights in frame, it's not that visible on 35mm. On one shoot

I had some HMI's pumping into the lens, which created this multicolored

mesh-flare that was rather nice. But on another one mainly front-lit,

you couldn't really tell. I imagine you could probably easylier see it

if it was intended for the big screen. The quite shitty, but nicely shot

film From Hell has some nice nets effects. Check it out. On 16mm on

the other hand, it becomes very visible. A little bit too visible for my

taste - it makes it look very soft.

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Check the archives for more information.

 

You're probably seeing the net because your video lens has too much depth of field. You can drop this down by shooting with wider appertures, longer focal lengths, and by putting the net behind the lens instead of in front (if that's possible with your video camera).

 

If you can only put the net in front of the lens, use as thin a net as possible and try to keep as much direct light off the net as possible. You may want to improvise a matte box out of black posterboard. You could even make "hard mattes" for different focal lengths for the front of the box this way.

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I had a question as to what types of materials you would use for a net? Of course it would depend on how soft you want the image to be, but are there some materials that are more common than others?

 

And how do you put the net on the back of the lens? Do you use tape, or just rest it back there when you mount it to the camera body?

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And how do you put the net on the back of the lens? Do you use tape, or just rest it back there when you mount it to the camera body?

It depends on the lens. I usually just use a rubber band, a small one doubled over. But the shape of the back of the lens has to be able to hold the band in place. Some people use "snot tape", carefully keeping the stuff off the rear element.

 

For video there's also an item called an "I Ring" that acts as a net holder you can slip on and off. You can make something similar with a 35mm still film canister (cut the lid and can into a sanp-together ring. Doesn't fit all lenses, though.

 

You wouldn't want to just rest a net behind the lens, because most nets have to be stretched tight, and you don't want it to fall out of place (especially into the movement of a film camera).

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest oscar

HI, I dont usually use any kind of net on the lens, I do always panic that some textile might fall inside camera body!!! ( might never happen, but everybody has his or her own personal panics ) You have to stretch very very good that nylon pantyhouse, black ones work better as I have tried. One major issue is your lens has to be very much flare protected, no light whatsoever must hit the lens never, it has to be very well protected against light invasion. Should lower down black m. pedestal to a -15 or -20 pedestal and increase saturation and hue levels a little bit. I own a DXC 50 C sony camera and I do low m. pedestal black at that level, then saturation given a 25 value plus another 5 for hue. lower down a little bit the detail level. It should look good!!!

Best regards

Oscar

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It can vary greatly depending on the particular lens, size of the exit pupil and how tightly you stretch the material. In the past I've tested this with an individual lens by projecting light through to a white card and measuring this with a spot meter, then doing the same with the net in place. I've seen variations from as little as 1/4 stop to as much as 1 full stop of light. Of course in video it's not as much an issue since the camera will automatically compensate.

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