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Old November 24th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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4x4 versus 82mm filters

For interviews, which do you prefer, a 4x4 filter or 82mm filter? I have come into a good collection of both and once I get a matte box, will have the option of using either. Any ideas?
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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #2
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Well, as long as they're high quality optical glass the only difference is what you need to stack and ease of use.

A strong filter holder is essential, particularly with the thicker 4x4 or 4x6 glass filters. one idea is to use Coken z- Pro holders and adapter rings, you can pack these slots out to accept Tiffen glass. This ring system has the added benefit of adding strength to the rather flimsy stock Fujinon front filter ring. Then you can add a Lee lens hood, which fits the Coken system and the whole thing becomes a decent, low cost filter holder, expandable hood system.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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So, other than the ability to quickly change filters, there really is no point to buying the more expensive 4x4's?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason McCormy View Post
So, other than the ability to quickly change filters, there really is no point to buying the more expensive 4x4's?

Well... it's what you need really Jason. Beautifully made optical glass filters are best, ND graduated filters are very important, you may need to use more than one, and each angled differently. for those you need really the 4x6 format as you slide them up or down until you get the correction just right. it would be difficult to impossible to manage this with screw in filters. On the other hand optical resin filters from Lee are good and much lighter. You may find that a combination of a Cokin P series filter holder and Lee Filters P series filters and a Lee lens hood will do what you want. Having a 16X9 lens hood looks the dog's whatsits, but providing you are not cropping the sides or vignetting, an older 4x3 may well do. The idea with lens hoods is that you don't see them in shot, so that and successfully avoiding flare are really all that matters, with bellows you can flatten them for your widest angle shots. A simple black Cinefoil French flag fixed to the camera on a light, flexible arm is very useful. 4x4 and 4x6 filters offer a lot of glass to be protected from flare. You mustn't forget the filter's edges or the filter holder slots either. Keeping filters clean and scratch free is vital too, a ding on any filter renders it useless, and they can be very costly.

Finally, I strongly suspect that there are a lot of fake 'key' Lee,Tiffen and Schneider filters out there, expensive ones like warm/ soft 1, ND Grads and so on, so do be careful what you buy.
In a way you don't need very many filters now, as so much can be successfully achieved in post. Many available FX, (and transitions too) are cliched anyway and to be frank are often only there to tart-up a duff shot or sequence..... as if we didn't notice ....
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:47 AM   #5
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Well, there is of course this:
* easier rotating of 4x4 filters in a mattebox (quite handy for a polariser and grad filters)
* the ability to use 2 or 3 filters and being able to rotate them individually
* a mattebox that holds your filters can also easily and effectively deal with flare and reflections
* the ability to decide how far you want to slide in your 4x4 filters (to allign a grad filter with a horizon e.g.)

I'm one of those guys that tend to use e.g. a polariser + a grad ND + solid ND for some shots, and I couldn't allign them all without a mattebox - needless to say it might be impossible to stack 3 82mm filters without seeing the edges in full wide... So even apart from the other benefits of using a mattebox and square or rectangular filters - there is a real benefit in using the filterholders of a mattebox.
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