Starter set of filters at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 30th, 2006, 02:09 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Starter set of filters

Hello all,

I am about to buy a matte box as the collected wisdom tells me this is a sure fire way of improving my footage with a Canon XM2 (GL2).

Can anyone recommend a choice of, say, three filters that would make a good starter set (not including a polariser).

I'm typically shooting for corporate training, interviews, promotional etc, interior, exterior, day, night but I want to try my hand at something more creative in the future.

If you could only have three matte box filters, what would they be?

Cheers!

Ian . . .
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
The graduated variety are good if you don't have this facility in post production. Note you need grads that 'fade out' over different distances depending on whether you're shooting wide or tele, wide aperture or stopped down, so with ND and tobacco, say, that takes care of your three filters.

I would post a warning though. The XM2 has small 1/4" chips, so unless the filters are spotless, well coated and efficiently hooded you could well be introducing more problems that they resolve.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 02:19 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: France
Posts: 578
Hi Ian

I got the Schneider three filter set which included a polarizer, ND and Black mist.... the first two are what I'll no doubt use the most(when we get some sun..LOL)...the third is nice for close up headshots, interviews where I might want to flatter the subject.

But if I had to add to this I'd add perhaps a second ND and a Graduated ND or two.. which are useful for darkening skies without darkening the whole image.

These I'll build up slowly as the quality filters aren't cheap.

In short my three would be other than the polarizer:

ND 0.3
ND 0.9
Graduated ND

Check out this link for diffusion filters... scroll down to Tiffen Filters
http://dvestore.com/theatre/index.html#

Cheers
Gareth
Gareth Watkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 649
If you are shooting mostly people, you may want to get some diffusion. Tiffen Black Pro Mists are good, an 812 warming filter will help warm up your subject's skin tones. Tiffen's new Glimmer Glass series are nice. I haven't used them, but I've heard good things about them.

If you get BPM's you may want to get the 1/8, 1/4, or possibly 1/2. These will help take the video edge off the picture and soften any wrinkles and imperfections on faces.
__________________
Mark Sasahara
Director of Photography
Mark Sasahara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Interesting and useful replies, thank you!

FYI I spoke to my supplier and asked his advice on a good general purpose set that would serve my immediate corporate and future wider needs. I have now elected for the following:

1. Graduated 0.9 ND
2. Skin Tone Enhancer
3. Low Contrast 1

We talked through my options for a good 45 minutes (which seems like a sign of a helpful vendor, eh?) and I mentioned what you guys had suggested and he was most impressed by the speed of responses and the level of expertise.

Still, that's my final three (in addition to the circular polariser) . . . for now. I can see this filter thing becoming a bit of an obsession!! Guess what's on my next Christmas list?!

Just so you know, my supplier of choice was Formatt for both matte box and filters. I went direct to the manufacturers and spoke to the extremely helpful Paul Stephens on 01685 870 979 (UK number). I have read mostly positive reports about their economical entry level matte box and their high quality filters. Not everyone seems 100% enamoured with the matte box (only a few detractors) but I could find no complaints about the filters. In point of fact, theirs was the only matte box available in the UK that was within my budget (that I could find, anyway. If there are others they're hiding!).

They have a matte box kit (which is what I bought) which comprises the matte box, flag, adaptor ring or clamp to fit your cammie and four filters from (almost) their full range (one of which is a polariser) at £495 plus VAT. That stacks up against buying the individual elements at £175 for the matte box and french flag, £25 for the adaptor and a total of £505 for my selection of filters (total £705 plus VAT). I also bought an 80mm adaptor clamp (£25) so I could use the matte box with my wide angle adaptor (which has no outside edge thread) and I paid an extra £5 for a circular polariser instead of the standard linear one that comes with the kit.

Formatt acknowledges that their web site is a tad outdated and contains a few factual errors. My advice is to ask for their data and price sheets in pdf format (they also contain a couple of errors but I didn't want them to think I was TOO anal so I didn't point those out!) and to contact them directly. They also have a number of agents in the UK, one of who, mvsvideo.co.uk, only lost out because they didn't have the item in stock bacause they had done so well through eBay!

Formatt can be found at www.formatt.co.uk.
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2006, 01:46 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Good post Ian. But why pay more for the circular over the linea polarisor£ I know a fiver's not much of a premium, but unless you plan to use the polarisor on a camera with a beam splitter (Canon 1014E, Pellix, etc) you won't see any difference between the two.

Your ND grad labeled 0.9 - that from zero to three stops? A soft or hard fade?

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2006, 02:20 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Hi Tom,

Re the circ polariser over linear, I was under the impression (from written sources, not from Paul at Formatt, in case this is wrong) that a linear polariser can interfere with some auto focus and auto exposure systems. Now, I almost always make the time to go fully manual and not rely on autofocus, but there are occasional time-pressed situations where auto is forced upon me! I figured that if a linear was going to (potentially) cause me an issue that I may as well spend the fiver!

Having said that, I have just read elsewhere that a linear polariser is more effective than circular. And from what you're saying, I wouldn't have a problem on my XM2 anyway!

I am SO sad now because that's two pints less I'll be enjoying at my hostelry of choice this evening! (This is, of course, a lie).

Re the ND grad, it's a soft fade. I'm not sure about the 0 to 3 stops question. I'm guessing that you're asking if it starts at 0, ie clear, or whether the whole filter has a degree of, er, ND-ness (!?). Forgive my naivety! I believe it starts at 0.

BTW, thanks for the pointer about the possibility of introducing problems. I'll keep an eye on that and do some test shooting for comparisons. I have a very busy few weeks coming up but I'll try to post my findings if that's of interest to anyone.

Cheers.

Ian . . .
Ian Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2006, 03:26 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Thanks for the feedback Ian. Yes, I'm guessing that the ND grad goes from completely clear to 3 stops ND over the 'transition'. Very useful, but as I say. you'll find the transition is aperture and focal length dependent.

Lots of people buy the circular over the linear - it's dearer, so has to be better, right? But now you know it's not - it was designed for a specific case whereby prisms feeding v'finders caused the light to be polarised on the way to the finder, so adding another on the front of the lens made the v'finder black out. Not entirely helpful for composition.

I'm guessing your filters will be completely uncoated, so beware of *any* stray light hitting them. They need to be kept spotless because of the massive dof of 1/4" chipped camcorders, and they need to be used right up close to your lens. Remember, if you were filming from the car you'd instinctively roll down the window, and for very good reason. Use filters when you absolutely must.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2006, 03:35 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Wise advice, Tom, thanks.

If nothing else, my camera is going to look V. COOL. Not sure that's worth £500 but hey, I'm frivolous like that!

Have a great weekend.

Ian . . .
Ian Stark is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network