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Old July 26th, 2002, 12:00 AM   #1
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Pro-mist filter

I would like to add a Pro-mist type of filter to my collection but I don't know what intensity to buy.

I want to add that soft glowing look that is so common in wedding photos. I don't want it to look to dream like, but I want the effect to be noticeable.

Tiffen offers various levels from fractions, all the way to five. I don't know which effect is stronger the fraction or whole numbers. I assume the whole numbers but I have made many inaccurate assumptions in my life.

Also, Tiffen offers warm pro-mist filters, black pro-mist filters and ordinary pro-mist filters. Does anyone know what the differences are?

Lastly, I have not checked to see if either FCP or Commotion can do a good job of simulating this type of effect. Even if either of them could, it might be worthwhile to shoot the footage this way anyway. That would save a lot of rendering time.

Greg Matty
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Old July 26th, 2002, 04:25 AM   #2
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Greg: The standard promist (just "Promist") will deliver that glowing look, but you will need a fairly heavy intensity, at least a 1 if I understand the kind of look you have in mind (i.e. not that subtle). That filter will soften, diffuse and place a glow around highlights. The Black Promist will do the first two things but minimize the glow. The Warm Promist is a standard Promist combined with an 812 filter which warms the overall tone, especially skin tones.

It's a bit tricky to just own one Promist, since as you zoom in the effect increases. However, for what you describe, I think a 1 and 2 should cover you, and if you can afford to get a 1/2 also it would be a solid collection. If you have any way to check them out before you buy (Cameraworld in Seattle?) you may be able to pick just one strength that you like the best.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 09:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I can't remember how to spell your handle so you'll have to forgive me for not addressing you directly.

I can afford three filters so I will probably go with 1/2, 1 and 2.

What do you think about the warm pro mist filter. I could always throw the white balance off to warm colors up or do something with color correction tools, but maybe a warm pro mist 1 would be much easier?


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Old July 26th, 2002, 10:15 AM   #4
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I think the warm pro-mist is very usefull for wedding and portrait type work. I've seen a lot of brides photographed in open shade and they look to blue. If you use a flash (film background) you exceede the contrast of the film, even with daylight balance fill. The warm promist, warms very nicely. But, if your not doing weddings, adjusting WB works fine.

Jeff
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Old July 26th, 2002, 01:06 PM   #5
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I tend to agree, Jeff. The thing that I find off-putting about the warm promists is that if your intention is to add the effect of the promist in the middle of a scene, you are also locked into the warming effect which makes the transition between shots more jarring. I too think that a cheated white balance is the way to go in this instance.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #6
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The only problem with a cheated white balance (I like that term) is that people forget to re white balance. Then they shoot the rest of the wedding way too orange (boy I'm glad I've never done weddings). I get a job every month or two that I need to fix the white blance.

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Old July 26th, 2002, 01:29 PM   #7
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Probably true. One of the best things about the XL1 is that it renders skin tones much nicer than the Sonys (all of them, including the broadcast models). Sonys are biased green and a bit blue, since the green channel appears to have the most impact on contrast and sharpness, so I've been told. When shooting Beta or Digi-Beta I would consistently hold a 1/4 minusgreen and a 1/4 blue in front of the lens and white-balance through it to get a more pleasing color cast overall.

I could certainly imagine a wedding scenario where if one cheated the white balance warm for a late afternoon exterior photo session and then maintained that setting to a dim incandescent interior party, the faces would go awfully ruddy (that being, say, an 8000K setting in a 2900K environment! Yikes!)

I must say that having just upgraded to an XL1s, the multiple white balance presets are a very welcome addition, just like I was used to from the Betacams.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 02:46 PM   #8
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i remember in the not to distant past ('95) when the wedding guys were using Panasonic CLE200 and F250 to shoot their weddings. Everything was manual WB and 1 or 2 presets. These guys would forget to re WB and everthing would be blue or orange. They couldn't see it because all the viewfinders were B&W. I had my post house in Cincinnati then and every Monday morning we'd get 2 or 3 panicked calls to fix blue footage. Then along came auto tracing white balance and color LCD viewfinders. Almost every wedding guy jumped on the early prosumer models with ATWB. Can you imagine explaining to a bride why she is blue? No thank you.

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Old July 26th, 2002, 09:37 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by steadichupap : Probably true. One of the best things about the XL1 is that it renders skin tones much nicer than the Sonys (all of them, including the broadcast models). Sonys are biased green and a bit blue, since the green channel appears to have the most impact on contrast and sharpness, so I've been told. When shooting Beta or Digi-Beta I would consistently hold a 1/4 minusgreen and a 1/4 blue in front of the lens and white-balance through it to get a more pleasing color cast overall.

I could certainly imagine a wedding scenario where if one cheated the white balance warm for a late afternoon exterior photo session and then maintained that setting to a dim incandescent interior party, the faces would go awfully ruddy (that being, say, an 8000K setting in a 2900K environment! Yikes!)

I must say that having just upgraded to an XL1s, the multiple white balance presets are a very welcome addition, just like I was used to from the Betacams. -->>>

Charles,

You and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to white balance. I started a thread here a couple of months ago about white balancing an XL-1 and it garnered a lot of response.

Using just white or 18% grey gives my XL-1 a very cool/blue white balance. I have used a 1/4 blue to warm things up and that helps quite a bit. Then, of course, the colors appear a little bit green. I have since ordered some minus green gels but I have not had the chance to try them out. I am hoping that a minus 1/8 green combined with either a minus 1/4 or minus 1/2 blue does the trick. If not I will get really irritated. I love my XL-1 but not being able to get a good white balance really chaps my hide.

The auto setting works pretty well for any one frame of video, but over a period of time, I can see it change settings. I think auto white balance is a little misleading. Continuosly variable is much more accurate.

I would swap to an XL-1s for no other reason than the three manual white balance settings. Too bad the GL-2 has such a nice picture and fits in a less expensive underwater housing.

Thanks for the tips.

Greg Matty
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Old July 30th, 2002, 01:12 PM   #10
 
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Those considering buying filters for the XL1(s) might want to read this article first. It was written by cinematographer Barry Braverman. Very interesting!

http://www.lafcpug.org/curseofdigital_feature.html
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Old July 31st, 2002, 10:55 AM   #11
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How?

How do you "cheat" the white balance on an XL1?
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Old July 31st, 2002, 11:13 AM   #12
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By the process described here, which is by giving the camera a non-white reference to balance on. The tried and true method is to hold a particular piece of lighting gel in front of the camera lens while you are performing a manual white balance (which is done by rotating the white balance selector to the 3 o'clock position and holding down the button to the right of the selector knob until the indicator in the viewfinder stops flashing). There are also cards available that have a color tint, streamlining the process.

Essentially, the camera will correct out the color cast and you will end up with a complementary color bias. Thus if you give a slightly cool "white" image to the camera, it will result in a slightly warm setting.

The best tool for carrying around to help with this is the Jungle Book from Rosco. It's the perfect size to cover the front surface of the lens, and has a selection of the most popular gels used for this sort of thing. And last I checked it was free.
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