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Filters?


kye

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The more I try to get a higher-end / less video-looking image, the more I keep coming back to filters.

We've all heard about the Tiffen Black Pro Mist filters, but there's a whole world of them out there, Tiffen and other brands.

I'm curious who uses filters, for any reason really, but particularly to counter the video look.

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I do use filters for certain projects.

UV-Filters are on all of my lenses as a protection of the front element.

I use NDs to keep the aperture low. I don´t really like to film wide open, but one step down still needs NDs, especially outside if I want to keep 180° shutter angle.

I use the Tiffen Black Pro mist 1/4 and the Cinebloom 10% for diffusion. With some of my vintage lenses I don´t really need them, as they already give a softer look to the image, but it can be used as a effect.

I mostly use them with the Sigma 18-35 and 50-100, because they are sharper. I started to use them for photos aswell. You can form the light leaking across your subject in very organic ways.

I have a polarizer for my photography aswell, that I sometimes use outside for landscape or when water/rain is included. 

Overall, with ND and Diffusion you can counter the "video look" to a certain degree. But only if framing and what you´re filming supports this. But they can definitely help.

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This product is cheaper than UV filters, improves image quality instead of degrading it, and protects your lens: Magic Lens Protector and Image Quality Improver

I've got a variety of filters, but don't use them all that often. The one I have used the most is variable ND filter just because of how convenience. Just got the Canon drop-in-variable ND-filter for the RF adapter, but since the sun has hardly come above the horizon I haven't gotten to use it much. The small amount I used it, it annoyed me a bit how easy it was to make adjustments by mistake. I wish it had a locking function or more resistance.

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1 hour ago, androidlad said:

Other than polarisation filter, all filter effects can be precisely emulated digitally in post. This allows for much greater and finessed control and guarantees glare-free.

I wasn´t satisfied with the diffusion I tried to add in resolve, compared to the pro mist. Sure, the diffusion effect can be emulated, but the way the light on set/location interacted with the lens and the filter was different.

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1 hour ago, androidlad said:

Other than polarisation filter, all filter effects can be precisely emulated digitally in post. This allows for much greater and finessed control and guarantees glare-free.

Not quite, for many reasons which we've gone through already.  This thread has more info than you ever wanted to know about emulating a Tiffen BPM filter in post.

 

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1 hour ago, Mr. Freeze said:

I wasn´t satisfied with the diffusion I tried to add in resolve, compared to the pro mist. Sure, the diffusion effect can be emulated, but the way the light on set/location interacted with the lens and the filter was different.

 

1 hour ago, kye said:

Not quite, for many reasons which we've gone through already.  This thread has more info than you ever wanted to know about emulating a Tiffen BPM filter in post.

 

That thread was from 2018. Technology has progressed far enough that we can now accurately replicate (not even "emulate") diffusion effects digitally that are indistinguishable from optical filters:

https://videovillage.co/scatter/ 

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1 hour ago, Sethman said:

I prefer far more the black glimmerglass instead of the pro mist

Funny you should mention that, but I watched the 38 minute Tiffen demo video last night (it was riveting - I won't spoil the ending if you haven't watched it..) and I was thinking that I might be more interested in the areas further away from the halation corner and towards lowering contrast and resolution.

TriangleOfDiffusion-Web.jpg?8477

On first review the Digital Diffusion, HDTV FX, Black Satin and Smoque were of the most interest, with the filters in the halation corner seeming to push the image too far very quickly, whereas the others seemed to add a certain something but then not fall off a cliff when the filter was stronger.

My criteria was whatever makes the unfiltered one look cheapest / most video / most digital, but without looking like the image quality has gone funny.

I'm particularly interested in the contrast corner as it increases the effective DR of your camera, which is something that we'd almost all appreciate.

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14 hours ago, UncleBobsPhotography said:

This product is cheaper than UV filters, improves image quality instead of degrading it, and protects your lens: Magic Lens Protector and Image Quality Improver

Don't believe everything you see on the internet! 🤣🤣
They've even added digital lens flares to the "before" images. The picture with the sun in the frame would be exactly the same in the before/after in real life, which shows that not only are they flogging junk, but they don't even understand what their junk is supposed to do!

13 hours ago, androidlad said:

Other than polarisation filter, all filter effects can be precisely emulated digitally in post. This allows for much greater and finessed control and guarantees glare-free.

Yes, please tell me more about how I can digitally add back the shallow DOF and motion blur that is lacking if I shot outside at f11 & 1/400th without ND's!

As for diffusion filters, it's generally much faster (& therefore cheaper) to get the effect in camera, regardless of how well you can digitally add it in later.

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2 hours ago, kye said:

Funny you should mention that, but I watched the 38 minute Tiffen demo video last night (it was riveting - I won't spoil the ending if you haven't watched it..) and I was thinking that I might be more interested in the areas further away from the halation corner and towards lowering contrast and resolution.

TriangleOfDiffusion-Web.jpg?8477

 

I can never understand these types of charts haha.

The Ultra contrast and Low contrast filters are right next to each other in the contrast corner, so what does that mean? Shouldn't the low contrast be mapped as far away from that corner as possible? And do the "resolution" and "contrast" corners mean "your image will remain sharp/contrasty with this filter" or do they mean "this filter will effect your resolution/contrast so it will be soft/milky"

Filters are confusing haha.

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2 hours ago, kye said:

On first review the Digital Diffusion, HDTV FX, Black Satin and Smoque were of the most interest, with the filters in the halation corner seeming to push the image too far very quickly, whereas the others seemed to add a certain something but then not fall off a cliff when the filter was stronger.

My criteria was whatever makes the unfiltered one look cheapest / most video / most digital, but without looking like the image quality has gone funny.

I'm particularly interested in the contrast corner as it increases the effective DR of your camera, which is something that we'd almost all appreciate.

Of those three, I've used Digital Diffusion FX, HDTV FX, and Smoque.

Smoque looks to me like it's simulating filling a room with haze. Imo it's probably not what you're after.

I think HDTV FX is a combination of Digital Diffusion FX and Ultra Contrast. Or it seems that way to me, at least.

Ultra Contrast on its own is sort of like having a dirty UV filter or using a lens with light haze. It lifts the black levels like a controlled flare would when hit by light. This isn't so different from just using vintage lenses with older coatings (and internal haze and dust from age and lack of servicing), but for whatever reason I don't really like Ultra Contrast as much as I like vintage lenses. Ultra Contrast feels more all or nothing to me, a little unsubtle, or maybe I should have just used a weaker strength of it than I tried out.

Digital Diffusion FX looks to me exactly like it does in Tiffen's video series and is the closest look to whatever the Alexa has that smooths the image out. I was recently comparing Alexa and C100 footage and the Alexa has a bit of in-camera sharpening I think and also a strong, smooth OLPF. The Alexa footage looks softer when you zoom in, but maybe sharper from a distance I think? Fwiw Red Dragon also has a strong OLPF. Black Magic imo is technically great but the 6K is a little too sharp for my preferences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryPILshPAFI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIIg2opcab0

Download the sample files there if you're curious what I mean.

Another issue is that when you have diffusion behind the lens, the size of the rear element is usually pretty consistent so you can keep the same strength approximately. But in front of the lens you might want a stronger filter for wider lenses to get the same amount of diffusion or halation or smoothness as a weaker strength provides on longer lenses. 

I like the look of Classic Soft and black nets and you can sort of use them as a shortcut to get a good look. But they look like you're using diffusion. I think Soderbergh and Spielberg and Richardson use them as it allows them to light a bit more sloppily and impressionistically than say, Deakins might.

But if you can light for it, you can get a good look with anything. Anyway if I were shooting with a P4K or C100 or something I would probably use vintage lenses and Classic Soft, but I would shoot Classic Soft on film or Alexa, too, because I like it. Absent Classic Soft, if I were just going for a smoother look, I think Digital Diffusion FX and vintage lenses would do it. Not sure what strength. Almost all my lenses are single coated or have primitive multi-coatings. (On digital because I like it, on film, because I can't afford Ultra 16s. I do have one modern Canon zoom, but even it is a bit washed out at the long end I believe.)

Edit: even if you don't want to use the Scatter software, look at the chart of familiar filters. Very useful to get an idea of what each does.

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27 minutes ago, barefoot_dp said:

I can never understand these types of charts haha.

The Ultra contrast and Low contrast filters are right next to each other in the contrast corner, so what does that mean? Shouldn't the low contrast be mapped as far away from that corner as possible? And do the "resolution" and "contrast" corners mean "your image will remain sharp/contrasty with this filter" or do they mean "this filter will effect your resolution/contrast so it will be soft/milky"

Filters are confusing haha.

Contrast filters lift the black levels across the frame, resolution filters have a small-radius bloom or simply reduce the sharpness of the image without reducing the contrast, halation is a wider-radius bloom that reduces contrast locally but doesn't necessarily wash out the entire frame. Reference the chart on the Scatter webpage. I imagine Ultra Contrast would look like somewhat like a light gray solid if it were on that chart.

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4 hours ago, androidlad said:

Read what's in the the link, you missed everything.

Funny, I looked for the part where they increase the DR of your camera in post, and I couldn't find it.  I consulted the laws of physics, who seemed dubious but referred me to their friend AI.  

AI said they're working on it, but it would be easier just to buy a contrast reduction filter and use it while shooting.

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