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Old September 7th, 2003, 09:06 AM   #1
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Tiffen Filters and the HD10

Has anyone tried Tiffen Contrast Filters with the HD10 as a means of controlling “washed out whites?” Or the Black Pro-Mist to even out skin imperfections?

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Old September 7th, 2003, 03:01 PM   #2
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We just did a back-to-back test shot with one of these... Jay, how did the Ultra Contrast filter look on the HD1 when you projected it?
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Old September 7th, 2003, 06:07 PM   #3
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i don't how putiing a filter that adds or subtracts halation is going to unclip your whites. the camera has a very narrow dynamic range, and the upper end blows out easily. you have to either stop down, or work hard to control your environment (like putting nd on the windows, front-filling the shadows, shooting in the shade, run a fog machine, etc)

all low contrast filters are going to do is either fog the blacks or spread light 2-dimensionally from the hot areas into the darker areas. while it will certainly subtract some harshness from the dark-against-white edges, it's not going to unclip your whites.

also, an added drawback to low contrast and pro-mist type filters (particularly with video) is that they can soften up your image something awful, which defeats the purpose of using this badboy.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #4
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That's right, I don't know of any filter that can pull down the whites but not the darks. A polarizer can do this, but only if the conditions are right. The Ultra Low Contrast filter was similar to flashing the negative, except there were now flares around bright objects. It may have it's uses in certain shots, but in the last 3 days of shooting this short, I never used it. It made the picture milky and washed out in the test. Maybe a Low Contrast versus the "Ultra" would work better.

It does have a distinctive look, and deserves some more testing.

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Old September 11th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #5
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my instinct would be to just underexpose, and then monkey with the curves in post. -- in fact even the halation of the whites can be added in post with no real trouble.
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Old September 11th, 2003, 06:31 PM   #6
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As I have posted before, the Ultra Cons are tricky and need to be used carefully. You have to guard against flare religiously, i.e. check the front of the lens and bring the eyebrow and side flaps of the mattebox in as much as possible, to make sure that ambient and direct light is kept off the filter.

Yes, the raw footage as seen with the Ultra Con may appear milky, this is because the blacks have been lifted while the highlights have been slightly reduced in an effort to reduce contrast. As a result, one can stop down the aperture without crushing the blacks, thus capturing as much as a full stop more latitude in the highlights. Then you can stretch the blacks back down in post.

The Ultra Cons, unlike the Soft Cons and Low Cons, do not flare out around highlights substantially, unless the contrast is extraordinary. The flaring visible in the frame is a function of the lifting of the shadows as described above.

They really require a lot of experimentation and practice to implement, in determining which strength of filter (I own a set of 1 through 5) to use for a given situation, based on the contrast in the scene. However, they can be powerful tools.
Charles Papert
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Old September 12th, 2003, 07:59 AM   #7
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I use a Century matte box with Schneider 4x4 .6 nd to keep in the mid range. And I practice.

Anything you put in front of a lens you should NEVER save money on. In total it isn't that much, but the whole image goes through it. Dont save money on filters.
Ken Freed
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(201) 637-7706
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