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Old March 19th, 2002, 04:47 AM   #1
ellett62
 
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Essential filters - what are the must-haves?

Hello everyone

I have bought a Canon XL-1 with a 3x lens, and want to know what are the essential filters that I should have. I know it depends on what look I want, where I'm shooting, etc, but what are the MUST-HAVEs that all DV directors should have in their camera bag?

B&H has a 3 lens kit (UV, ND, Polarizer) for $129? Sounds expensive to me. What do you think?

Thanks.
Phillip
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Old March 19th, 2002, 12:55 PM   #2
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Good question, Phillip.

Others will probably offer their suggestions, but here's my cut.

- UV filter: this is a basic protective filter that you should keep on your lens at all times. Good UV's remove bluish casts from atmospheric haze but do little else to modify your picture.

- Polarizer: certainly handy to control reflections and color saturation when shooting in sunlight.

- Since the 3x wide-angle lens already has a neutral density (ND) filter built-into it I'd be inclined to put an additional ND filter onto a later list, depending on your need to control extremely bright light.

- As a substitute, I'd be inclined to get a slight softening filter such as Tiffen's Black Pro-Mist 1/8. This will enable you to take some of the video-ish edge off of your shots, particularly handy when shooting close-ups and interviews.

Have fun with your XL-1!
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Old March 19th, 2002, 05:16 PM   #3
ellett62
 
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Thanks Ken.

Any advice on affordable but good quality brands of filters?

Also, what about shooting in florescent lighting? Should I have a special filter for that?

Phillip
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Old March 19th, 2002, 06:09 PM   #4
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Tiffen makes a good line of filters, most of which are very reasonably priced.

Re: flourescent lighting, the best way to compensate for that is to ensure you set your camera's white balance manually before you roll.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 06:05 PM   #5
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You can usually find Tiffen filters on eBay at pretty decent prices. I picked up a UV for less than 20 bucks. I agree that ND is probably not necessary so soon.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 09:34 PM   #6
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I keep a cir pol on at all times. When I don't want that I use a gradient ND which gives really nice dark skies (more dramatic than a polarizer alone). A pro mist filter is a must - like other fellas here have said, takes the edge off for a more film look. Really does work well! Aside from those, I always keep an skylight 1A filter even when using the others. Tiffen filters are good, B+W and Heliopan are the most costly.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 01:26 PM   #7
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Whether a polarizer or Skylight or UV, the thing to do is keep a filter on the lens at all times, merely for physical protection. A scratch in my $20 filter wouldn't ruin my day too much, but on a 3X Canon lens...!!!
Tiffen is the name I remember from way back in my (misspent?) youth when I discovered filters are a cool thing (!!!) for a young lad's 35mm camera. :-)
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Old March 24th, 2002, 07:02 AM   #8
hugosalinasv
 
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enhancer trick

i use to film in a 16 mm arrid, and maybe i am looking for the same look in my
xl1-s for that reason i make the the white balance an then i adapt a
enhancer filter of my 16 mm. in the xl1-s camera, an then in the final cut pro
push to the limit the contrast and the results are amaizing, people that
use to shut in cine (film) don't know exactly with what camera was used.

i recomend too, use for exteriors the enhancer and the polarizer at the
same time.

sorry for my eanglish, i know is very bad.
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Old March 24th, 2002, 09:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip, Hugo. I haven't used the polarizer and enhancer combination indoors yet. I'll give it a try.

[Gracia por el consejo, Hugo. Todavía no he usado de interior la combinación de los filtros polarizer y enhancer. Me voy probarlo!]
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Old March 24th, 2002, 01:13 PM   #10
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I'm amazed to hear you guys are managing polarizers on your interiors--with light loss of around 2 stops, I would think it would be difficult to get exposure! Are you boosting the gain to compensate?
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Old March 24th, 2002, 05:06 PM   #11
hugosalinasv
 
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sorry

when i type "exteriors" i try to say outdoors, i never use "pola... in indoors
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Old March 24th, 2002, 05:32 PM   #12
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No hay problema

You had me surprised! I was trying to think what exposure compensation would be necessary for using a polarizer indoors. But I was willing to give it a try anyway. Always try. ;)

I have used the enhancer and polarizer combo outdoors, but I haven't tried boosting the contrast afterward. I'll give that a go and see how it looks.

I've always tried for the elusive "cine" look which requires less contrast. I'm guessing the look you're getting is the vivid colors and sharpness that you see on the travel shows on Discovery Channel.
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Old March 24th, 2002, 06:25 PM   #13
hugosalinasv
 
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Re: No hay problema

<<<-- Originally posted by zchildress : You had me surprised! I was trying to think what exposure compensation would be necessary for using a polarizer indoors. But I was willing to give it a try anyway. Always try. ;)

I have used the enhancer and polarizer combo outdoors, but I haven't tried boosting the contrast afterward. I'll give that a go and see how it looks.

I've always tried for the elusive &quot;cine&quot; look which requires less contrast. I'm guessing the look you're getting is the vivid colors and sharpness that you see on the travel shows on Discovery Channel. -->>>

Hola amigo= hi friend:

like tree years ago i use to film 16 mm and video and the same time, and
i hate little beat the video style and i did averything possible to change
de video look, in the past i used avid media composser 8000 and i play
with colors, contrast, strobo, etc. and the final cut finally arrives and has
the cinelook inside, i think that the cinelook is like a good food dressing
enhance the flavor of the food, but i find beter results when i fix the
difertents shoots or "tomas en video" depends that what the takes needs
is like the food some times need more salt, or paper, and cine look is a pre-
set of many thinks that you can play diferent.

the rule is that is no rule.

but the most important think is enjoy this hobbie


thanks
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