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IR and ND filters for Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera

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I got in on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (bmpcc) fire sale and in preperation for receiving my new camera I have been researching neutral density filters.  What I would like to know is what are people's preferences between single ND filters and variable ND filters.  And also your thoughts on IR filtration for the bmpcc.

 

I already know if you go the "straight" variable ND route Tiffen seems to be a good trade off as far as quality and price.  Dave Dugdale did an incredible review of "straight" variable ND filters.  Honestly it is amazing it took an amateur like Dave to do such a test.  I see so many posts on the internet from people who could have either saved themselves money or used a higher quality product had someone simply done what Dave did and test them out.  These people are pros mind you!

 

 

So the choice was simply, right?  Wrong!  I then came across another video showing IR (near infrared) issues with the BMCC... and other cameras including Alexa products.

 

 

So there are numerous solutions.  One could say the near IR pollution thing is nonsense and just get a "straight" Tiffen variable ND.  Or you could go with a set of individual ND filters and skip the variable.  You could also get an IR cut filter and use either single NDs or variable ND.  Or you could get the Tiffen combined IRND variable filter.  Or you could get the single IR ND filter sets.  B&H has a strong three filter set for $164.50.  Okay, that is a lot of options.  The reason I posted is I want to know which one will give you the best results.  I know the variable NDs have the polarization "issue."  Sometimes I like using a polarizer on video so it isn't always an issue for me.  Also there is a hack where by you turn the whole filter assembly en bloc to reduce or get rid of the polarization effect.  I don't know how effective that is.

 

This guy shows the "hack" to optimize the use of a variable ND filter...

 

 

Here is a video showcasing the Tiffen IRND variable filter.

 

 

So what should I do?

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I got in on this too.  I can't tell you in terms of the Pocket yet because I haven't received it, but on the 2.5k, I used a Fader Digi-Pro HD variable ND filter and a Hoya IR/UV cut in front of it with fantastic results and zero color cast.  All other Variable Fader ND's sucked to me.  The Heliopan was fine, but the Fader I had was better.  Sad thing is, they discontinued it. 

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/849877-REG/Light_Craft_10060_77mm_FADER_ND_DIGITAL.html

 

I've heard that the Genus Eclipse is fantastic on the pocket though.  This is just in terms of "variable" ND..  If you are patient enough for single ND's, the Tiffens with Water White Schott glass are stellar. 

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Cool.  Good to know.  To be honest I may end up getting a variable ND to begin with and then some individual NDs if image quality is really that much better.  I am thinking with the rotation hack I may be able to avoid the flat waxy skin look.

 

Dave Dugdale didn't test the Light Craft Workshop 77mm Fader ND Digi Pro-HD Filter, so you're right.  I may beat out the Tiffen.  It really is odd to me Dave is the only person as far as I can tell that has done an indepth comparison of a lot of these filters.

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And also your thoughts on IR filtration for the bmpcc.

 

I then came across another video showing IR (near infrared) issues with the BMCC... and other cameras including Alexa products.

 

Maybe slightly off-topic, but for starters, I think it would be interesting to know (meaning I don't know it yet) what is the internal sensor stack inside the BMPCC to begin with. As we know, standard mFT sensors have a thick stack of glass in the front of the sensor, including an IR filter (glass does that, too), but the BMPCC is not exactly a standard mFT camera, it only happen to have a mFT mount. Given the fact that it has no AA filter, I wonder how thick an IR filter does it have internally, if at all? Does anyone happen to know?

 

Maybe knowing that would also help in knowing what kind of results to expect from the various ND filters. Well, just curious.

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Tiffen Water White ND filters all the way , they are the best , Shane Hurlbut just used them on the Film Need For Speed

I NEVER use Vari NDs they are awful , stack your NDs to get the exposure you want - thats how they do it in Hollywood!!

 

http://www.tiffen.com/press_release_hv_filter_kits.html

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Tiffen Water White ND filters all the way , they are the best , Shane Hurlbut just used them on the Film Need For Speed

I NEVER use Vari NDs they are awful , stack your NDs to get the exposure you want - thats how they do it in Hollywood!!

 

http://www.tiffen.com/press_release_hv_filter_kits.html

 

 

And the issues with IR?  Do you use a seperate cut filter to address that?

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Tiffen recomend for the BMPCC -  The TIFFEN Hot Mirror Infra-Red Neutral Density Combination Filter (or stacking a TIFFEN Hot Mirror and a TIFFEN IRND Filter).

 

Thanks for that info.  It looks like I am going to get some kind of Tiffen IRND filter to start and then stack the hot mirror later.

 

This post on the blackmagic forum was interesting.

 

In the end I think I will have everything.  I will get the variable IRND filter first.  Then the Hot Mirror IR filter when I have the cash and finally some single Water White IRND filters for when I have more time or need stronger filtration.

 

The variable IR ND 77mm filter is $239!

 

The hot mirror IR filter is $188.50!

 

So that is $427 worth of filters for a $495 camera... and that is before I get a $160+ set of individual IRND filters.  Expensive hobby.

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I have to revise my previous statement.  While I am still interested in the Tiffen variable IR ND filter I think I will pick up some Hoya PROND Cine-ND Filters when I opt for some single filters.  There is a thread on bmcuser regarding ND filters and the people on there are raving about the Hoya PROND filters.  They are using them in conjuction with a Hoya IR cut filter.  Unfortunately the Tiffen variable IR ND filter is too new and they are too obsessed with the Hoya product to have actually done some head to head tests.

 

I'm surprised more people on this forum didn't come out with more experiences and opinions regarding this IR issue.  Are people not experiencing it or just correcing it in post?

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Really great thread. Thank you for asking these questions (great original post) and for those offering their knowledge and experience.

 

With that said, can anyone answer this question? Do the lower .3-1.2 tiffen ND's not have the IR protection that the higher 1.5-2.1 ones do? If you look at the BH site it specifically mentions this feature for the higher ones, but not the lower. But when you buy them altogether in the kit the IR feature is listed as if they all have that feature. Does that make sense? Here are the links. See what I mean?

 

Lower 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/729107-REG/Tiffen_W77INDNDKT_77mm_Indie_Neutral_Density.html

 

Higher 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/729157-REG/Tiffen_W77INDUGKT_77mm_Indie_Upgrade_Infrared_Neutral.html

 

Kit 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/729154-REG/Tiffen_W77INDPROKT_77mm_Indie_Pro_Infrared_Neutral.html

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I read about the IR contamination issue, but wasn't aware of it before. I checked my BMPCC shots and found the contamination in shots with strong ND and low light tungsten shots, where all colors were off and could not completely be restored in post.

Bought the Tiffen IR-cut and leave it on always. It looks like a yellow color filter. It has the effect that most shots now have a greenish cast that can be easily fixed in post.

I'd say that if you don't ever shoot in bright sunlight or extreme low light, you won't need an IR-filter. Also that a cheap IR is better than none if you do.

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I went for the following combo & really impressed:

Hoya IR/UV cut filter - amazing, it really does the trick.

Genus Eclipse - really surprised me how good it was & saves me a lot of time changing filters.

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With that said, can anyone answer this question? Do the lower .3-1.2 tiffen ND's not have the IR protection that the higher 1.5-2.1 ones do? If you look at the BH site it specifically mentions this feature for the higher ones, but not the lower. But when you buy them altogether in the kit the IR feature is listed as if they all have that feature. Does that make sense?

 

Whoa!  Didn't notice that.  That seems fishy.  I think I am going to start off with the Tiffen variable IRND filter.  But I am leaning towards getting some Hoya ProND single filters as time goes on and money becomes available.  Like I said this thread was interesting.

 

 

 

I read about the IR contamination issue, but wasn't aware of it before. I checked my BMPCC shots and found the contamination in shots with strong ND and low light tungsten shots, where all colors were off and could not completely be restored in post.

Bought the Tiffen IR-cut and leave it on always. It looks like a yellow color filter. It has the effect that most shots now have a greenish cast that can be easily fixed in post.

I'd say that if you don't ever shoot in bright sunlight or extreme low light, you won't need an IR-filter. Also that a cheap IR is better than none if you do.

 

Cool.  Thanks for updating with your experience.  I really can't believe in all the bmpcc reviews I've watched no one picked up on the IR issue. Really, from now on this should be something that is tested for with all similar cameras.

 

Unfortunately I am a hobbyist so I am guilty of shooting a lot with uncontrolled lighting so I am regularly dealing with bright sunlight and also poorly lit scenarios.  I am definitely committed to spending a few hundred dollars for proper filtration.  I don't want to go through the trouble of learning how to use the bmpcc and resolve and still end up with an uncorrectable color cast.

 

 

I went for the following combo & really impressed:

Hoya IR/UV cut filter - amazing, it really does the trick.

Genus Eclipse - really surprised me how good it was & saves me a lot of time changing filters.

 

 

Yeah I've seen a bunch of solid endorsements of the Hoya IR/UV cut filter on the web.  I will probably get it at some stage.  I think I am going to give the Tiffen IRND variable filter a try and then build out a single ND filter set later.  I will use the single ND filters in combination with the Hoya IR/UV cut filter.  Apparently the Hoya ProND single filters have some IR reduction built in.  It's not advertised as such but people on the internet say it's there.  And they say in combination with the Hoya IR/UV cut filter they get good results.

 

I really wish someone would have tested all this out the way Dave Dugdale did.  With the flood of bmpccs entering the ecosystem it really would be invaluable.

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I went for the following combo & really impressed:

Hoya IR/UV cut filter - amazing, it really does the trick.

Genus Eclipse - really surprised me how good it was & saves me a lot of time changing filters.

 

Do you have the IR/UV cut in front or behind the ND Fader?

Is there any difference? (how it handles reflections/glares from lightsources etc.)

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Do you have the IR/UV cut in front or behind the ND Fader?

Is there any difference? (how it handles reflections/glares from lightsources etc.)

 

Makes sense only if you have the IR-filter screwed on permanently and snap on the ND only when needed. I have also Tiffen ND fader. Less reflexes in backlight than one would expect (with Sigma 18-35).

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Old post but an important thread I think... How are you guys going with your IR filtration?

I looked into this back in early 2014 and bought the Tiffen T1 and the Indie ND set, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, 1.2. Last weekend I had a shoot during the day and found a shady tree I used the 1.2ND to bring it down to between f2-f4. This is on my BMCC, YI Optics speedbooster and Zeiss CF.2 28mm. So I forgot to put the T1 on :-/ I didn't notice the IR contamination on my flanders, everything looked great. Back home in Davinci I noticed the IR. We were also running around with a Pocket Camera, Olympus 12mm and a 1.2ND and there's IR on that footage.

It's not completely lost I can salvage most of it, sort of, but it caused me to bring out both cameras today to retest.

BMCC: T1+ each ND individually; 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 all great, T1 + 1.2ND still ok, T1 + 1.5ND still ok, T1 + 2.1ND IR is back a little, T1+2.7ND IR is there.

The tiffen filters are 77mm and on the pocket the T1 seems to handle the IR up to 1.2/1.5ND so those filters will be dedicated to the Pocket.

The BMCC has a Mat Box so I'll be buying an IRND solution for that, can't keep swapping those 77mm all day and ignoring the mat box. :)

After much research I'm going to try the Skier 4 x 565 Hot Mirror 1.2 ND on BMCC and add extra ND if needed on the lens until I can afford more 4x565's.

 

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I ended up going with a Hoya UV IR cut filter and a plain Tiffen variable ND.  I will probably be adding a 10 stop Hoya ProND to the mix to use in bright daylight with a speedbooster.  I am not a pro but even with strong ND I'm not noticing significant IR pollution.  The separate UV IR cut filter is good to have if you start adding different ND filters to the mix.

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Looks like currently the best fixed NDs are Hoya PROND tested by CaptainHook http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?6403-New-Hoya-ProNDs-Rolling-Report-Thread&p=97497&viewfull=1#post97497

another nice one is SLRMagic Vari ND tested by Brawley: https://vimeo.com/johnbrawley/review/106381581/6ae5f7095b also SLRMagic rumored to release soon a new version of their filter with better specs, additional ring and few different sizes.

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