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Colin Rich

Contrast Filters

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Hi,

 

Soon I'll be shooting a moody student short about a war veteran with PTSD. I'll be using a Panasonic HVX-200 at 720p/24p. The lighting will be contrasty and cool. However, I don't feel the HVX produces the smooth gradation between tones and colors that a reversal film stock would. To get a smoother image, I was thinking of using a contrast filter.

 

Is this a good idea? What filter would you recommend? I'm thinking of trying a low-con filter or possibly a black-pro-mist (though that might be too much). Of course I'll be shooting some tests, but I'd appreciate your input nonetheless.

 

Thanks!

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Why do you think higher contrast gives you a smoother gradation between colors/tones? It's the opposite, ain't it?

 

I'm no expert, but after being on this site for awhile, if you can point to an example of the look you're after, I know that the experts here will point you in the right direction.

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I always try to use some softening filters on HD

especially the hvx

it takes away the hard digital look,and I find it makes clipping a bit more pleasing

I mainly use a 1/3 Promist, sometimes a half

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Why do you think higher contrast gives you a smoother gradation between colors/tones? It's the opposite, ain't it?

 

Sorry if I was confusing. The lighting scheme will be contrasty, typically a few stops between key side and fill, but I would also like the smoothness between levels of light and dark that you can get more easily from film than digital. (If I could I'd shoot S16)

 

I mainly use a 1/3 Promist, sometimes a half

 

Thanks for the tip!

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I like the black pro mist myself :P, and Classic softs are fantastic.

 

Adrian, would you happen to have any stills?

 

Thanks!

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The contrast filters bleed light into the dark areas of the shot so the whole picture has less contrast which make it easier for video chips to record. Good for very bright daytime shots, night/dark shots tend to go milky as the black levels are lifted.

 

The black pro mist will be your friend for dark/night type shots but stick with the lower strengths 1/4 or 1/2

Edited by Rohan Dadswell

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I couldn't find this info on the Tiffen website. Any idea how much light these filters take up? Does the 1/4 black promist take up 1/4 of a stop? I'm assuming the stronger filters take up more light, is that right?

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Nope, it doesn't. I believe, though I"m not looking at the book right now; it may take away 1/3 a stop if any; but so would a 1/2, or a 1. The # designation for those filters is how "blurry" in simple terms, they make the image. Higher is blurrier.

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Pro-Mist is not really a 'contrast' filter as much a softening filter.

 

Use a Lo-Con if you want to lower contrast with a softening effect...

 

Use an Ultra-Con if you want to lower contrast and not soften (as much)...

 

Generally, you make no (T Stop) compensation for Black Pro-Mist, Lo-Con or Ultra Cons.

Edited by David Rakoczy

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