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Tiffen Pro Mist vs Smoque vs fog


Joseph Chen
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Tiffen Smoque (early 2000's) is like a heavy UltraCon, it reacts to light sources in the frame, creating a hazy glow, but is hard to see when there is no light in the shot. Doesn't impact sharpness much. The effect can disappear when someone blocks the light source in the frame for a moment and reappear once they clear.

 

Tiffen ProMist (mid-1980's) was a glass version of the briefly popular plastic Wilson SupaFrost (or SupraFrost, I've seen it spelled both ways) -- it softens the image a bit while causing highlights to glow. Often combined with blacks specks (Black ProMist) to restore some loss of contrast. Schneider makes a White Frost and Black Frost which are similar. A Tiffen GlimmerGlass is basically a Black ProMist with silver specks instead of black.

 

Fog (various, mainly Harrison or Tiffen) dates back to the early days, before 1940 at least, but has been improved over the decades, but generally the design dates back now to the 1970's. Mist particles cause highlights to glow. In some ways, it wasn't designed to soften detail like a ProMist was, just fog the highlights, but the nature of the particles sprayed on a layer (I think sandwiched between glass) causes some blurring of detail / contrast loss, a milky effect... and that can get stronger depending on how the light hits the subject or filter... this inconsistency in effect/strength due to the older design is one reason why people prefer ProMist. I've also found that the glow around lights can take on a blue-ish cast with Fogs, but are neutral with ProMists. However, I think of Fog as a 1970's look and ProMist as a 1980's look and tend to use them accordingly.

 

It's hard to tell in manipulated b&w stills what filters could have been used.

 

"Tess" is a good example of the use of Fog filters:

 

tess1.jpg

 


tess2.jpg

tess3.jpg
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Anything for starters... you could even make your own net filters with some ultrasheer black pantyhose stretched tight over a filter frame or the lens, just shade the camera lens well to avoid a veiling flare. You could also save it for Photoshop if you are just talking about stills.

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