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Old July 14th, 2003, 04:02 PM   #1
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who ALWAYS uses a filter when shooting

who always has some kind of filter when shooting, ie: uv/nd/etc.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 04:11 PM   #2
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Always used a UV filter on every lens and every camera, motion and still, I've ever had. Come in handy on several occasion when I would have lost the front element.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 04:24 PM   #3
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I always use a filter, whether on a camcorder or still cam.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 05:28 PM   #4
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Any photographer that doesn't hate his lens uses at least UV filter--except in the case of very stingy light allowance, where the filter might cut too much light.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 09:30 PM   #5
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A different perspective

Go without a filter whenever it is practical/possible/reasonable to do so. If you're shooting in reasonably controlled conditions (ex: a staged drama) and indoors or in good weather, go naked. Otherwise use a protective filter.

Anything you put in front of the lens is going to degrade the image and/or introduce a problem. The lenses of good cameras are closely engineered and coated to deliver optimum performance. They're also not quite as delicate as many people may assume.

If you must use a protective "do-nothing" filter make sure it's of the highest grade, multi-coated glass available. Good uv filters from B+W and Heliopan will run approximately $100 and, in my opinion, are the only such filters worth considering. A cheap $30-50 UV can turn your wonderful camera to crap, for all practical purposes.

If you watch a feature film being shot with a big ol' Panavision lens you'll rarely see anything in front of that lens, unless the weather is bad.
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Old July 14th, 2003, 09:57 PM   #6
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I agree with using a high quality filter, but unless you have lots of production insurance like feature film guys, it's better to use one, in my view.

They do a lot of things on major productions because of insurance, spares, money and time that indies can't afford to do.

Scratched lens is not an item covered under warranty :)
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Old July 14th, 2003, 11:25 PM   #7
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On top of the UV filter I always use a Polarizer when shooting outdoors. It helps to keep the lens as open as possible as well as controlling glare and difficult light.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 12:07 AM   #8
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I always use a UV filter on my camcorder.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 01:55 AM   #9
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A Heliopan UV slim-line costs $43 Canadian in these parts (multi-coated/43mm thread size).
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Old July 15th, 2003, 02:17 AM   #10
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Dang, Frank. Maybe I should come up your way to buy filters. I just paid US$110 for a B+W slim multi-coated UV filter for a photo camera lens last week.

Since Frank mentioned slims, note that since slim filters generally do not have a front thread, your camera's lens cap may not fit onto the filter if it relies on gripping front threads. You'll need to buy a 3rd party cap that fits over, rather than into, the filter. B+W provides a cap with the filter (as they should for $110 <g>).
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Old July 15th, 2003, 02:33 AM   #11
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The Heliopan slim-line UV, I have, does have filter threads on the front, plus I can put my Panasonic lens cap on it. However, I use the Cokin UV filter instead because I get no flaring with it, but I do with the Heliopan. (The Cokin UV was really cheap---I also have other Cokin filters in the 43mm thread size---some I got from France. The UV and polarizers are sold locally: http://www.leoscamera.com)

I have some B&W filters for my FM2T, but not the slims. I also have 2 Zeiss Softars (52mm). There, nice. :-)
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Old July 15th, 2003, 12:42 PM   #12
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I use a UV filter and have a mattebox for 4x4 Promist and Graduated filter and blurring.

I have also cut some 4x4 filters for specific looks, i.e. the lights of Times Square through a shower door. Quite nice. Experimenting alot. You can make a filter out of a lot of things. I am working with mirrors too.

The feature that I am working on now, I have been using ND filters and a UV filter because most of it is shot during the day I want to open the iris of the camera all the way.

I am also experimenting designing gobos using Photoshop and Aftereffects. A digital filter.

Cheers!

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Old July 15th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #13
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A filter only goes on the lens if the scene calls for it. I have never used protective filters and in 20+ years of shooting (still and video) I have never scratched a front element. Lenses are very durable, as Ken pointed out. A few types of environments call for protection, dusty or oily, loose gravel etc. Use common sense and your lens will be fine. People are discussing resolution lost by this method or that, rendering, software etc. Nobody talks about resolution lost by cheap filters left on the front of the lens or stacking filters. You want the most performance out of your system, take that protection filter off the front of your lens.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 11:46 PM   #14
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Yes Jeff, and yes Ken. I'm with you. If one is serious about achieving the best photographic quality from their lenses, going naked is the way to go. The assumption is that one takes care of their gear if they have high expectations of the final product.

In a documentary situation where unpredictability is present, a clear or UV filter is a sensible tradeoff.

Stephen wrote:

<<I agree with using a high quality filter, but unless you have lots of production insurance like feature film guys, it's better to use one, in my view.

They do a lot of things on major productions because of insurance, spares, money and time that indies can't afford to do>>

It is extremely rare that a lens gets seriously scratched in a feature production environment. Unless there is a potential and specific risk to the lens, we shoot clean (otherwise adding an optically clear flat for protection). If filters are called for for creative or exposure reasons, then they are used for that alone. The assumption is never, in my experience, "oh, we're such a big movie, we can afford to scratch lenses"--lenses are handled with utmost care. Finally, I have many times seen the results of being forced to use filtration (for the creative reasons) and the side effects of flare, ghost images and the like be a thorn in the side.

Incidentally,the Panavision system tackles this issue in an ingenious way that does not compromise their excellent glass: a slot in the camera body accepts wratten gels in holders, in different strengths (85, 85N3, N6 etc). The advantage, as well as preserving the integrity of the lens, is that the filtration goes AFTER the optical viewing system (spinning mirror). This means that the operator always looks at the brightest possible image.
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Old July 15th, 2003, 11:59 PM   #15
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Charles:

Your point is well taken, but my point was more about indie shooter not having insurance (a lost lens is huge loss to most of us) and indie shooters not haaving careful control - much more like a documentary than a hollywood feature film set.

I'm very sure big budget productions don't scratch lenses because they can. But if it does happen, production rolls right along.

Me, if I lose my lens, I might lose my whole project and livelihood.
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