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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #1
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Soft FX filter on XL2

Hello.

Over the last couple days I've been looking into Tiffen's selection of filters. Basically, the look I want to achieve is just less sharp, more film like picture. The general consensus seems to point toward Tiffens Soft FX 3 filter... Has anyone tried this, and had good results? Or... with any other of their filters such the Pro Mist? Also, can the effect of the Tiffen Soft FX 3 be created in post? Any help, or suggestions of what type of filter to purchase would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
D.C. Joseph
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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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I used a soft 1 'polyester' filter by http://www.leefilters.com/CPEF1.asp?PageID=92 behind the lens the other week with very satisfactory results.

If you'd like to try it out I can post you a sheet, PM or e-mail please.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #3
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I suppose any 'look' be achieved in post, but realistically, the Soft FX/3 filter cannot be emulated practically in post. I have the Tiffen Soft FX/3 and use it as often as my polarizer (which are the only the only filters I really use anyways. What's unique to the filter is how it handles highlights, and how it softens the image while still retaining fine detail.

If I were to take my footage into After Effects, for example, and duplicate the footage layer, lowering the opacity to 25-33% and adding a gaussian blur, I could get the same effect as the Soft FX filters, however, highlights wouldn't be managed the same way, and detail would also be lost where detail is critical.

Personally, I'd rather save time in post by shooting as close to the look I want in-camera, then touching up the footage in post.

It all comes down to what your workflow, style, and desired outcome is.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen McLaughlin
behind the lens
Behind the lens? I'm curious.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 04:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarrod Whaley
Behind the lens? I'm curious.
These filters come in 100x100mm sheets. You simply cut out a piece big enough to fit over the sensor (trying not to apply finger prints of course) and put the lens back on. It's a technique we use at the BBC when we do certain shows, such as music or light entertainment. 'Soft 1' gives a very subtle but discernible effect, I used it with two XL-2's a couple of weeks ago to shoot a rock video, once edited I'll post a clip...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ot691small.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...nonXL-2004.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...nonXL-2002.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ot624small.jpg
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Old August 25th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #6
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behind lens filter.

Thanks Allen!
I've heard of the 'behind the lens' filters on higher quality cams, but was unaware that you could find them for the XL2's... Thanks!

I heard someone say something about using 'panty hose' as a behind the lens filter- i dont know if they were comparing or actually implying they used it...Anyone ever heard of that?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jeff Geissler
I heard someone say something about using 'panty hose' as a behind the lens filter- i dont know if they were comparing or actually implying they used it...Anyone ever heard of that?
I've used panty hose in front of the lens before. It's best to shoot with a long lens in the situation to minimize depth of field (so you're not focusing on the hose)... but it works really, really well.

Putting the hose behind the lens would make for fewer focus headaches for sure, but I'm not sure how to mount them without interfering with the lens' electronic connections, and I'm afraid of shorting something out or something... especially with the well-documented blown fuse issues on the XL2.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Geissler
Thanks Allen!
I've heard of the 'behind the lens' filters on higher quality cams, but was unaware that you could find them for the XL2's... Thanks!

I heard someone say something about using 'panty hose' as a behind the lens filter- i dont know if they were comparing or actually implying they used it...Anyone ever heard of that?
You can use panty-hose or 'tights' as we say over here, behind the lens to enhance contrast and highlights. You just stretch a piece over the sensor/lens mount. Having said that I only used them on broadcast mounts which handle all the electronic connections down a separate fly lead/connector.

I imagine you would have contact problems trying that with the XL system ?
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Old August 25th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen McLaughlin
You can use panty-hose or 'tights' as we say over here, behind the lens to enhance contrast and highlights. You just stretch a piece over the sensor/lens mount. Having said that I only used them on broadcast mounts which handle all the electronic connections down a separate fly lead/connector.

I imagine you would have contact problems trying that with the XL system ?
I prefer the term 'tights' I think... hahaha.

The time I saw this kind of filter used, it was a ring that fit the lens space- it was in a Betacam or something... regardless- it was just the right size as to keep it from preventing connection problems... I'd be curious if it would work on an Xl-2 or modified to...
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Geissler
I prefer the term 'tights' I think... hahaha.

The time I saw this kind of filter used, it was a ring that fit the lens space- it was in a Betacam or something... regardless- it was just the right size as to keep it from preventing connection problems... I'd be curious if it would work on an Xl-2 or modified to...
I think unless you could create some kind of taught, stretched piece of flat gauze/pantyhose/tights that just fits the sensor and doesn't interfere with the connection pins and or lens mount itself... you might experience connectivity problems ?

That said it may be worth trying, with care. The pins may just find their way through the fabric pores, but I sure as hell ain't trying it with mine ! (lol)
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