What is the difference between a Tiffen UltraContrast and Lowlight UltraContrast? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:24 PM   #1
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What is the difference between a Tiffen UltraContrast and Lowlight UltraContrast?

The lowlight works in lower light, but when would you use it? Does it handle bright areas differently (say sunny windows behind a dark room)? When does a regular Ultra Contrast not handle low light? Are their any adverse effects? Are there any examples online? How do the different grades work?

Lots of questions!!!

Thanks,

David

P.S.
Should there be a separate filter forum?
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Old August 10th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #2
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The UltraCon filter reacts to the amount of soft ambient light hitting the glass, so you have to watch over-shading the mattebox. Conversely, because of this very design, you also have to avoid direct light striking the filter because then it washes out the image.

The heaviest filter is a #5, which is pretty strong (hazy) in day exterior shooting. Most people opt for a #2 or so.

However, at night where there is a minimal amount of ambient light hitting the lens, even a #5 can look like it's not doing anything, so they made the Low-Light UltraCon, which is basically just much heavier than a #5. It would look horribly milky in a day exterior shoot.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #3
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#2…that strong? Not 1/4 or 1/2?

Why would you use an Ultra Contrast at night? To balance street lights with shadows? Are the lowlight Ultra Contrast then just like a #6 to #10?

On the HDTV/FX, a #2 would also mean a #2 Digital Diffusion/FX. Isn't that strong for a Digital Diffusion/FX?

Thanks,

David
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Old August 11th, 2006, 01:02 AM   #4
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I haven't used the Digital Diffusion-FX to know the effect of each number. There isn't any standard -- for example, a #1 Tiffen GlimmerGlass is about as strong as a #1/8 ProMist.

Often a filter company makes the #1 filter the lightest, then ends up making fractions later when people start asking for even lighter effects. The #1 Soft-FX was the lightest until people kept asking Tiffen for something lighter and they made the #1/2 Soft-FX, but that's the lightest they make.

As for why someone would want to use an UltraCon at night, you'd have to ask them. I know that "Point Break" was shot that way. Maybe they hope that some low level of detail will be brought out.

The #1 UltraCon is pretty subtle, but I suppose someone has found a use for a 1/4 and 1/2, which is why Tiffen now makes them. You're just going to have to test to figure out which ones to use.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #5
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Ordered the #2 Ultra Contrast.
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