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Old February 27th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #1
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Stacking Filters

I've been making movie shorts and videos for personal and club interests for about 4 years now with a "consumer" Sony DV camcorder, higher end, but not "prosumer" by any means. I picked up filters and lens adapters for the Sony to met my needs and I quickly found the limitations and "trade-offs" for using an add-on wide angle or telephoto lens.

Which leads me to my current situation and question. I recently purchased a used XL1s with the (common) 16x IIs zoom lens. The camera came with some nice after-market components as well and a Canon 14x manual lens. I also just purchased the Canon 3x wide angle zoom for my close proximity shots. I went with the XL1s for the interchangable lens feature and figured I would be rid of the worries of degrading my optics with add-ons.

I ordered UV filters for all the lens's for thier benefits as well as lens protection as is highly recommended by everyone. I accidentally ordered polorized filters instead of the UV's, so I will have to re-order. But this raised a question, when using filters to achieve certain conditions (e.g. Polorized, Pro Black Mist, Softners), do you use only one at a time or can you stack them and if you can is there a better order to stack them in?

Say I'm shooting an entire video through a Pro Black Mist filter to acheive more of a film look, should I keep the UV filter on? And if I come to a window or pond and want to remove the reflection and pull out the polarized filter can I stack that onto either or both previous filters?

Sorry for the extraneous info, just thought it would explain my level of cluelessness!

Thanks,
Greg
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Old February 27th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #2
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The more you stack filter, the greater that chance of introducing optical artifacts, stray refelctions, and vignetting on wide shots. In any case, no need for a UV to protect the lens if you have other filters installed. Some would argue that you should only use filters to obtain effects that you need and cannot obtain in post.
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Old March 2nd, 2006, 07:43 AM   #3
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Thanks

I assumed as much, but really wasn't sure how cautious I should be as there seems to be an overabundance of filters on the market. So then I assume the effects of a UV filter are typically present in most other filters anyway, or should I look for it specifiaclly mentioned in the specifications of future filters I may purchase?

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Old March 2nd, 2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Most people that use a UV filter on a camcorder do so to protect the front glass of the lens, not to filter out UV. I suspect that filtering UV is more of a film than video issue.

The depth of field is so large for typical video, and a filter ends up so far from the CCD plane that dust on the filter can be much more apparent in the image than dust on the actual lens, especially in bright light.

Obviously any filter can provide protection to the front element, but I can't say whether or not other filters just naturally provide useful UV blocking, one would have to check the filter specs (if they are available).

You pays your money and takes your chances.
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