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sebastian

filters on your cameras?

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Polarizer, ND's, ND Grad's, Ultra Contrasts, Low Contrasts, Close-up set, Diffuser, Center Spot, Warmers

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An interesting thing I discovered messing around, is that prosumer cameras like the XL2 and the DVX100A look great with very heavy diffusion filters. Last project, I shot on a DVX, I had a double fog filter 1, and an antique suede 1. I was also doing all kinds of funky stuff with the color temp so the footage came out really wild...I'm very pleased with it. As a matter of fact I'm beginning to shoot a mixed format short-S16mm and DVX, in 2 weeks, and my filter order is all thick diffusion filters and partial color correction filters...it's a lot of fun! :D

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An interesting thing I discovered messing around, is that prosumer cameras like the XL2 and the DVX100A look great with very heavy diffusion filters.  Last project, I shot on a DVX, I had a double fog filter 1, and an antique suede

 

Wow, I thought I was crazy shooting day4night and night ext using a black promist and nd grad but everyone loved it... It was a highly stylized short that required 5 distinct visual pallets so I got to play alot.Another character owned a Low Contrast 2 filter which I thought looked great on location but now I fear an audience might just see it as out of focus (this is to be projected using a 5k projector in a theater). Im looking to buy a Ultracon 1/2 and tobacco grad.

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Hi,

 

I also find that video benefits from fairly heavy colour work, but I don't usually carry a huge number of colour effects filters. Things like promist and ultracons clearly can't be emulated effectively in camera, but just finding something to balance on (if it's a one-off) is often effective. On that music promo the other day I just balanced the Varicam through full CTO for a couple of shots, and manually set it to tungsten while outdoors on others. The polariser lived on the camera and I used .6 and .9 NDs frequently, except for Steadicam shots - on one shot, I even left the filter wheel slightly in-frame for a vignette of an otherwise blown-out sky (Yeah, I know, but whatever works!). The biggest problem was the 4.5mm wide end of the zoom and 4" mattebox, which meant I could hardly use the close end of the extender with filters.

 

I'd be worried about having five different looks in any production - especially one under feature length. Could just end up looking confused - how're you separating them?

 

Phil

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Does my zoom shots get afected whene i use filters on my XL1?

 

Somebody told me this today.

 

Dont Know if its true...

 

Can i zoom in and out freely?

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There is something about video that makes me want to go absolutely crazy lol I would never even think about using the filter combos I use on the DVX, on film. Video just yells: "abuse me."

 

I'm researching different filter combos at the moment, for a gold tint.

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Hi,

 

> ultracon

 

A filter designed (perhaps counter-intuitively, given the name) to reduce the contrast of the image by filling darker areas with light from brighter ones. They work surprisingly well, but there's always a slight glow or halation around bright highlights, kind of like a promist, as an inevitable side-effect of what they're trying to do. They can be very useful in video, but ironically the glow problem tends to be most apparent in exactly the sort of situation you'd use one - very hot highlights which, if you just exposed for them, would put the rest of the frame in complete blackness. The ultracon will help there but those very hot highlights will glow, albeit subtly. That might still be better than very high contrast, though.

 

> Can i zoom in and out freely?

 

If your mattebox is big enough to cover the whole range of the zoom (likely on consumber cameras with longish lenses and small CCDs) then possibly, depending on the type of filter. Certain types of filter will look different at different focal lengths - obviously grads, but also things like diffusion will change. Also with video you have the issue that the depth of field can be large enough, especially on a short lens or short end of the zoom, that the filter comes into focus and this is a fairly big problem with something like Promist which has a granular structure which may become visible.

 

This doesn't mean you absolutely cannot zoom, but when using grads and diffusion you need to carefully check whether the result is acceptable to you. Frequently zooming on grads works out, if you're tilting down from a sky or something.

 

Phil

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Hi,

 

> Gold tint

 

I'm cautious when people start talking about metallic colours. ther areas for lower noise.

 

What this usually means is that you want a fairly monochrome picture with elements of both grey (cool grey will make the effect more apparent) and yellow in it. I think this is what someone was talking about a week or so ago when discussing colour grading - make it look yellowish without just making the whole frame deficient in blue, which is heavy-handed and obvious. The way I'd choose to do this would be to increase the gamma in the blue channel, which would tint the midtones yellow while leaving highlight and shadow alone. A filter can't do this, although a camera's DSP electronics might be able to, particularly in concert with a filter. In either case, I'd filter the whole image for your tint colour and correct it out of of the tonal ranges you don't want it later, for lower noise.

 

Phil

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Thanks Phil, that was very informative. I recall the gaffer of The Crow saying they shot with a sepia filter, which they timed out, just to make sure that no blue was recorded on the negative.

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The ultracon will help there but those very hot highlights will glow, albeit subtly. That might still be better than very high contrast, though.

 

Just a quick note about these filters - be sure to flag any light that may spill onto the lens. Because UltraCons are essentially designed to "glow" when illuminated (effectively lifting shadow areas), an out-of-frame source like a backlight (that wouldn't normally flare without using the UltraCon) can wash out the entire picture if it is not properly flagged. To play with this, bring a light source, like a flashlight, next to the lens and slowly point it towards the filter. Eventually, the image will nearly fade away into grayness.

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I made the mistake once of leaving a 1/4 Black ProMist (4x4" matte box) on a PD150 outside. The DOF was like 2 miles and looked like the lens was dirty. Stupid.

J

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