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Sune Bang Ingemann

Uncoated lenses with intent to lower blacks

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Hello, I am in the middle of prepping for my final project at film school and had a question about uncoated lenses.

To my knowledge uncoated lenses do the following:

Reduce contrast and apparent sharpness

Introduce more vivid flares. 

In this project I was originally looking at ‘normal’ spherical lenses, which I would pair with a Schneider Digicon and a halation filter. After more talks with the director we have gone to highly consider a pair of uncoated Zeiss B-Speeds because of their looks and flares. What I was wondering was;

Except for flares, how does the reduced contrast affect the image compared to say a Schneider Digicon (Or similar filter from another brand)? My original intent with the Digicon was to lower the blacks in post as with old school film-flashing with the Arri Varicon (We’re shooting digital). Can I expect somewhat the same affect at a varying strength with uncoated lenses?

Best Regards

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Best thing you can do for yourself and the director is to shoot a camera test. There’s no substitute for shooting first hand and seeing the results, and your director will thank you.

But in general, shooting with uncoated lenses gives a much stronger effect. Not only do you get milky blacks and extreme veiling glare, but the color saturation is also greatly reduced. It’s a look that you can’t come back from, so if you’re not sure, then I’d go with the normal lenses and Contrast filters. But seriously, test test test. 

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Yes, you are right of course. 

The choice for the uncoated lenses are because of the entire look, not only reduced contrast, but of course tests are necessary. 

I am not in a situation where I can't simply do tests at the moment, since I do not have significant contacts at the rental houses and the budget is next to zero. So I am trying to get as close as possible before taking anything of our miniscule budget and do any testing. 

Thanks a lot for the answer.

Edited by Sune Bang Ingemann

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As well as reduced contrast and increased flares and halation, you’ll find that the uncoated lenses are no longer as fast as the aperture might suggest, unless the aperture ring has been adjusted to compensate for the less efficient light transmission.

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@Stuart Brereton 

Uncoated lenses increase halation on digital as well? Very interesting. 

@Giray Izcan
Yes of course. The wish for uncoated lenses are the entire look. I was wondering on the differences in contrast reduction from uncoated lenses vs contrast filters. It seems now that the question is probably a bit too schematic.

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