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Black Pro-Mist Filter 1/4 to unsharp nx1 footage


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On 1/3/2019 at 10:37 PM, Sunscreen said:

Yes.  I've also used a Tiffen Black diffusion/ FX1.  I prefer the Tiffen Black diffusion/ FX1 over the pro-mist.  YMMV.

Why is that?

I am in the market for one, but honestly the Pro-mist is the only one I know.

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It depends on the camera and camera settings (and what look you like) but imo diffusion filters are a key missing ingredient toward a more "organic" look, if that's what you're after. They add an extra layer beyond even using vintage lenses, and imo it's worth combining the two if you want a "cinematic" look rather than a technical one.

I think @Zach Goodwin2 proselytized extensively about them, and while I think he was using stronger grades perhaps than I settled on (don't really remember), I agree they have great value.

That said, most on this forum seem inclined toward sharpening video and generally going for a sharper image than I prefer personally. So it is a matter of taste. I like the Alexa, which is quite soft, and I really like the look of 16mm and late-90s films shot by Richardson and Kaminski, which make heavy use of promist, classic soft, and nets. I think JFK is a beautiful movie.

(And the Alexa is a weird camera. I'm convinced it has an optical diffusion filter in front of the OLPF similar to Tiffen digital diffusion but that the pipeline also applies a slight wide-radius unsharp mask. Which isn't crazy. Film's modulation transfer function curve can exceed 100% mtf and then it drops off to extinction more slowly than digital; so this approach could emulate that. And give the "3d" look people talk about while still making skin smooth. But this is conjecture.)

The issue with black promist (also with classic softs and Hollywood black magic) is that you can see "speckles" in the bokeh, which may or may not be desirable, and at very deep stops sometimes the black dots that mitigate the promist's natural halation come into focus. (Also you need a matte box if you want to use a 4x4 filter, so screw on filters might make more sense depending on if you want to keep your rig small... but 1/4 BPM has a good look. Surprisingly strong, though.)

I find these tests interesting:



Particularly the latter. It's amazing how close the C300 with 1/4 to 1/2 digital diffusion looks to the Alexa. Imo it's a big improvement, however subtle.


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