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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:27 AM   #1
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Location: Louisville, CO
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4x4 and 4x5.65 Filters for Matte Box

I will be purchasing a matte box to help with shooting outdoor scenes on a feature this summer. I would like to get feedback from everyone here about which filters are the most useful in which outdoor situations, as well as which filters are best suited for the 4x5.65 fixed filter vs the 4x4 filter frames.

I know I'll need several ND filters so I can open the iris as much as possible outdoors to get better DOF. But which combinations of strength (if that's the right word)?

I'd also like to get a polarizing filter, I assume this should be a 4x4 since it will need to be rotating... but is there anything special I need to consider for 4x4 filters?

What gradient filters have filmmakers had good real-world experence with? ND gradient? Color gradients?

Whatever advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks.
Webb Pickersgill
Bassline Digital, LLC
Webb Pickersgill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #2
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Atlanta GA
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An enhancing filter is pretty cool for outdoor nature scenes but could be a bad choice if there is talent in the shot as it will bring out any red in there face. There are an asortment of polarizers, depending on the mattebox it might not be a bad idea to go with a 138mm drop in pola which is significantly wider then a 4x4 and thus will be more useful in more situations. If you're going to buy a grad I suggest a set (.3 .6 .9) of horizontel (if you're using 4x5.65) nd grads to keep the sky from being blown out. Colored gradiant filters are cool but you can do most of what they do in post.

the one thing to consider of 4x4 vs 4x5.65 is whether you'll be shooting 16:9 or not as a 4x4 may not be wide enough to cover the whole frame.
I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
Nick Hiltgen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2006, 06:37 AM   #3
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Webb - On top of what Nick said, we use a 4x4 pola at 16:9 with out problems as long as the lens is not set wide. This of course makes a useful ND filter aswell. We have used gradient filters of all types in stills and video work... sometimes with 5 or 6 layered at various angles to get a particular effect - often we would use a filter that tinted the whole scene then apply a graduate colour/clear so the effect is not as prominant. However as Nick says, so much can be done in post these days. But whatever you do... don't make the mistake that is being seen all to often today where the filter is the star of your picture... saw some really BAD graduated filter work on a Doc a few weeks back... If budget is an issue you might consider Tiffen filters for you NDs, Pola and so on and Cokin P series filters for some of the special effects stuff... they are a bit smaller but if your not shooting wide they work very well and you can pick them up cheap on ebay... this would at least give you a chance to try out filter effects cheaply... then if something works for you, look for a Tiffen/Formatt equivilant? One thing to be careful of is if you use a diffusion filter of any kind (Black Pro Mist/Soft FX/Fog etc) - the chances of flare is much higher from Front/Side lighting - so do make sure your flagging is sufficient.
We use to use all kinds of custom made filters such as Netting, Plastic bottle materials and so on... all the best with your project.

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