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Hello,

 

I'm looking at buying a 4x4 0.6 graduated filter and perhaps a few more 4x4 filters.

 

I'd like to go for glass, but obviously the cost is a consideration. To be used with Arri SR3 super16.

 

What you guys recommend? Tiffen or Formatt seem to be the only manufacturers of 4x4 glass grads. Are there others?

 

Also I came across these Century filters. Has anybody had any experience with them and would recommend them? Are they glass or plastic?

 

https://www.schneideroptics.com/pdfs/century/brochures/CP_FilterKit.pdf

 

Thanks,

 

Greg

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I like Tiffen White Water for NDs and Schneider for grads.

 

Century and Schneider are the same company, so those filters would most likely be rebranded glass Schneiders.

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I'm not sure, Century is Schneider's digital video branch. Also the Century filters are cheaper than Tiffen or Formatt glass 4x4 filters, which is not usually the case with Schneider filters. If the filters are re-branded Schneider glass I'd definitely buy, but I don't think that's the case.

 

Annoying that this info, or info on the filter material, isn't included in the Century filters brochure.

 

If anyone can clear this up for me would be much appreciated.

 

Cheers, Greg

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It may be the same glass but it is most likly not the same coatings/etc in the glass as well as perhaps not done to nearly as tight a tolerance as the "name brand."
Personally I see no reason to go cheap on a filter-- unless I'll be "re purposing" it for something such as scratching/cracking/drawing on/gluing to/ or covering in "stuff."

But once, use often, and for a long time is a much wiser, in my opinion, mantra for ANY film equipment.

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It may be the same glass but it is most likly not the same coatings/etc in the glass as well as perhaps not done to nearly as tight a tolerance as the "name brand."

Personally I see no reason to go cheap on a filter-- unless I'll be "re purposing" it for something such as scratching/cracking/drawing on/gluing to/ or covering in "stuff."

But once, use often, and for a long time is a much wiser, in my opinion, mantra for ANY film equipment.

Thanks Adrian, if money wasn't a finite resource I would agree with you 100%. But the reality is there are lots of things I need to buy, including a 20kg load tripod and a good fluid head. What I spend on filters I can't spend on other stuff.

 

So I'm trying to see if there's a good cheaper option, that won't affect the image quality. I'm hoping these Century filters are it, and just seeing if anyone here can give me the 411. While I appreciate your opinion, what I would really like is if anyone has some actual info on these filters, because without that we're all just speculating.

 

Thanks, Greg

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Here's the thing-- you can buy cheapish filters and put them on a film camera and hope for the best, after you've spent a good deal of money on the film and processing, or you can bite the bullet and dig up pro filters, used, or just through savings. The thing of it is, and this comes from experience, some of the non name-brand filters are pretty awful. I had a Formatt .9ND grad once which turned everything a lovely shade of green when shooting Fuji F64D. Of course we didn't have any of that on the Tiffen .6ND we would use-- and Formatt is a pretty not awful brand-- but again it's no Tiffen or Schneider.

It's your money to spend, but you may wind up penny wise and pound foolish.

 

For Tripods see if you can find a used O'Connor 50D head combo, phenomenal tripod system and I love mine to death and certainly won't run you too too much.

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Here's the thing-- you can buy cheapish filters and put them on a film camera and hope for the best, after you've spent a good deal of money on the film and processing, or you can bite the bullet and dig up pro filters, used, or just through savings. The thing of it is, and this comes from experience, some of the non name-brand filters are pretty awful. I had a Formatt .9ND grad once which turned everything a lovely shade of green when shooting Fuji F64D. Of course we didn't have any of that on the Tiffen .6ND we would use-- and Formatt is a pretty not awful brand-- but again it's no Tiffen or Schneider.

It's your money to spend, but you may wind up penny wise and pound foolish.

 

For Tripods see if you can find a used O'Connor 50D head combo, phenomenal tripod system and I love mine to death and certainly won't run you too too much

I'm not planning to buy cheap and hope for the best, or I wouldn't have started the thread. I'm simply trying to find out if there's a money saving option that won't degrade the image, which these Century filters might be. But if they are not, then I'll just have to buy expensive filters.

 

Wasting money on shoddy kit that's going to make everything look shite would obviously be naive, but for me sheeping along following the received wisdom without researching stuff for yourself is just as stupid.

 

Cheers for the heads-up on the formatt filters!

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My camera rental company, Latitude 33 Motion Picture Services, has owned numerous filters sets over the years. In the end, nothing compares to Schneider. Their quality is far superior than Tiffen and is an industry standard. I have several clients who will not settle for any other manufacturer.

 

G

Edited by Gregory Irwin

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Hi Greg,

 

I agree with you in general, Schneider filters are finished much better than Tiffen. And I understand that as a company, they are easier to deal with directly. Mostly for the latter reason one local rental house in my market only buys Schneider, except for the odd specialty Tiffen filter.

 

However, I have noticed that for regular NDs (not the newer Platinum IRs or Hot Mirrors) every Schneider set I have come across at multiple rental houses has been very magenta with all digital cameras. I don't believe it is solely a IR issue affecting only digital cameras, as I can clearly see the difference with my eye just by looking thru the filters. To my eye, I find them unacceptably warm on camera starting around N9.

 

The regular ND Tiffen White Waters by comparison are much more neutral, and of course both brands of IRNDs add varying amounts of green. Have you noticed this yourself, and if so what are your thoughts? Maybe those are just older Schneider sets? I have some old 80's Tiffen ND grads that are crazy warm as well,

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....Schneider filters are finished much better than Tiffen....

@satsuki

Are you talking about the edge finishing? Does that affect the optical performance or the longevity? I do wonder about how edge finishing affects longevity. But if not, does it really matter?

 

@Greg

Schneider vs Tiffen. What quality issues are giving Schneider the edge, in your opinion?

 

Cheers,

Gregg (two gs)

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Yes, I was talking about edge finishing. The polished rounded Schneider corners just feel nicer to handle, that's all. If you drop one on the corner, I'm sure it'll break just as easy.

 

Still, my newer Tiffen filters like the Smoques have nice edge blackening to reduce reflections. And I've seen some recent Schneiders like Hollywood Black Magics and Classic Softs have consistency issues with labeling, 1/8 being heavier than 1/4 in one particular case. So I guess it's all a wash.

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I like Tiffen White Water for NDs and Schneider for grads.

 

Century and Schneider are the same company, so those filters would most likely be rebranded glass Schneiders.

 

 

It may be the same glass but it is most likly not the same coatings/etc in the glass as well as perhaps not done to nearly as tight a tolerance as the "name brand."

Personally I see no reason to go cheap on a filter-- unless I'll be "re purposing" it for something such as scratching/cracking/drawing on/gluing to/ or covering in "stuff."

But once, use often, and for a long time is a much wiser, in my opinion, mantra for ANY film equipment.

 

 

 

 

@satsuki

Are you talking about the edge finishing? Does that affect the optical performance or the longevity? I do wonder about how edge finishing affects longevity. But if not, does it really matter?

 

@Greg

Schneider vs Tiffen. What quality issues are giving Schneider the edge, in your opinion?

 

Cheers,

Gregg (two gs)

Hey, thanks for all the replies. After a few evenings looking around internet forums I did track down info on the Century filters, and coincidentally it ties in with the edge finishing questions that have come up.

 

Ryan Avery from Schneider Optics says that the Century filters "do not feature the edge seal like our standard Schneider filters but are the same in every other way - The quality is the same on these as the regular Schneider filters except they aren't edge sealed".

 

"The edge sealing is made on standard Schneider filters for two reasons. One, Schneider filters are made for the most demanding environments (Hollywood Rental Houses) and therefore the edge sealing prevents the incidence of chipping. While this is a minor problem that usually only comes up in heavy use environments, it does give that extra margin of safety. Chipping is also something that is inherent to all filters with or without edge sealing as they are still made of glass at the end of the day. Two, edge sealing can prevent delamination of the filter in high heat environments. Either way we warranty our filters and are very reasonable in the rare incidences of delamination."

 

You can read the full thread here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/great-deals-dv-info-net-sponsors/109240-new-century-4x4-filters-do-you-use-filters.html

 

So was definitely worth doing the research, as for all intensive purposes they are Schneider filters, but half the price! The only drawn back is that, at the moment there's only a limited range of Cenury 4x4s available. I've just picked a Century 4X4 0.6 soft grad.

 

Greg

  • Upvote 1

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Greg, Thanks for getting back to us here. It's always good to have an answer at the end of a thread so when people go asking the same question, the answer is easily discovered! :)

 

Freya

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Based on all the replies, you have a lot of options but I've always been very happy with my Tiffen filters. The ND 0.6 looks great and you should bear in mind that there is a 10-year warranty on Tiffen filters, so it's definitely worth the investment.

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@Gregory Irwin
Schneider vs Tiffen. What quality issues are giving Schneider the edge, in your opinion?

Sorry, I wrote that I actually meant to ask Gregory Irwin. I think he could have some great answers on that. But I also realized later that it might look like a joking reference to edge treatment.

 

So if you are reading, Gregory, any insights on the quality of Tiffen vs Schneider filters ?

Anyone else have some thoughts?

 

Gregg

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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@Gregory Irwin

Schneider vs Tiffen. What quality issues are giving Schneider the edge, in your opinion?

 

Sorry, I wrote that I actually meant to ask Gregory Irwin. I think he could have some great answers on that. But I also realized later that it might look like a joking reference to edge treatment.

 

So if you are reading, Gregory, any insights on the quality of Tiffen vs Schneider filters ?

Anyone else have some thoughts?

 

Gregg

 

Schneider filters have elements melted between glass sheets while Tiffen just "glue" them. Also Schneider have better coatings to prevent glare, Tiffen uses few or no coating.

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Schneider filters have elements melted between glass sheets while Tiffen just "glue" them. Also Schneider have better coatings to prevent glare, Tiffen uses few or no coating.

 

I started looking around on this question and bumped into this info on B&H Photo

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/Product_Resources/filter_faq.jsp

 

Q: Are Tiffen filters made of gelatin laminated between glass?

A: No, Tiffen filters are two pieces of high-quality optical glass laminated together, with the filter effect actually contained in the special bonding material.

Q: Do Tiffen filters separate?

A: No

Q: How long is the Tiffen Filter Warranty?

A: Ten years.

Q: Does Tiffen import their filters like all the other filter companies do?

A: 95% of Tiffen filters are AMERICAN MADE in Tiffen's New York factory.

Q: How do Tiffen filters compare with Kodak Wratten filters?

A: Tiffen filters exactly match Kodak Wratten filters in color and transmission light curves. These are technical capabilities no other filter maker can match.

Q: What is the benefit of a Tiffen laminated filter vs. a competitor's solid glass filter?

A: Tiffen filters, because of their lamination process, offer total consistency from filter to filter, regardless of when the filter was manufactured. Solid glass filters often vary from one filter batch to the next!

Q: Do multi-coated filters offer a benefit over Tiffen non-coated filters?

A: Only to the extent that they emit about 1/10th of an f:stop more light, which is almost immeasurable. Coated filters do cut down lens flare. This can also be done just by using a lens shade. Furthermore, many multi-coated filters on the market are not coated 8-12 times as found in lenses, but usually about two times, and sometimes not even on both sides of the filter! Properly coated lenses minimize or eliminate lens flare with or without coated filters.

Q: Are Tiffen non-coated filters easy to clean?

A: Yes. Whereas it is often impossible to clean a multi-coated filter, because this may just spread the dirt and grease on the filter. In some cases, the cleaning solution has removed the filter's coating altogether!

Q: Are Tiffen filters made of glass or plastic?

A: All Tiffen filters are made of glass for durability and excellent light transmission.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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The edit function didn't let me add.....

In spite of what they say I do have a couple Tiffens that show what has to be delamination. Otherwise pristine, but I don't know what conditions (heat) they have been exposed to.

 

I found the ideas on the cleanability of filters with more coatings interesting. With big budgets, who would care, but for owner users who are indies, artists, experimentals, forget about it.

 

Yet to find out what exact coatings may be on the different brands.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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Sorry that I've been absent Gregg. My schedule has been a bit brutal. We just wrapped FAST & FURIOUS 7 in Central California and immediately flew to New Orleans for TERMINATOR 5. I guess we just do numbered movies nowadays!

 

With regards to Tiffen vs. Schneider, I appreciate all of the above postings and research on the subject. But in my opinion, Tiffen has always had a greenish tint to their NDs and diffusion filters. You can really see it in digital. Schneider has a true neutral color to their glass. In the end, you have to go with your instincts with what works for you. For me, Schneider works perfectly.

 

G

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Sorry that I've been absent Gregg. My schedule has been a bit brutal. ....

....in my opinion, Tiffen has always had a greenish tint to their NDs and diffusion filters. You can really see it in digital. Schneider has a true neutral color

 

Thanks for comming back on this. So did the ND and diffusion comparison win you over completely to the Schneider brand? Or are there some Tiffens that compare OK? Back when you were renting 85NDs a lot were most of those Tiffen?

 

Do you notice damage to the coatings from cleaning on some filters and have to replace them often?

 

Gregg

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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Yes, I was talking about edge finishing. The polished rounded Schneider corners just feel nicer to handle, ....

Still, my newer Tiffen filters like the Smoques have nice edge blackening to reduce reflections......

 

 

I have some Scneider NDs that have the edges coated in what looks and feels like epoxy resin. It may be black pigmented, can't tell. I often wonder if this kind of treatment might stop delamination.

 

Gregg.

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Thanks for comming back on this. So did the ND and diffusion comparison win you over completely to the Schneider brand? Or are there some Tiffens that compare OK? Back when you were renting 85NDs a lot were most of those Tiffen?

 

Do you notice damage to the coatings from cleaning on some filters and have to replace them often?

 

Gregg

 

None of the NDs from Tiffen and Schneider are neutral, see test here: http://www.dvinfo.net/article/optical-science/one-set-of-nd-filters-to-rule-them-all.html

 

Currently the only truely neutral NDs are made by a Japanese company Mitomo. Also, Formatt Hitech just released a new line of ND called Firecrest and claims that it's truely neutral as well, but there's no comparison to confirm this yet.

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I have some Scneider NDs that have the edges coated in what looks and feels like epoxy resin. It may be black pigmented, can't tell. I often wonder if this kind of treatment might stop delamination.

 

Gregg.

 

As I said in previous posts, Schneider filters are not laminated, the filter core is melted inside the glass so the entire filter becomes one solid piece. The black epoxy resin you see is called edge seal, it further prevents stray light from entering the filter through the edges and causing flare.

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