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Old September 18th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #1
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Hands on with Tiffen IR cut filter.

Carey Duffy of Tiffen (and formerly South London Filter Ltd) was kind enough to lend me the new Tiffen IR cut filter which is currently 4x5.65 but apparently will be available in different sizes including a screw on for the EX1/3.

I used it for a shoot at the National Theatre which is a short documentary that will be streamed into cinemas all around the world on 1st October. I was shooting on an EX3.

This will be THE MUST HAVE filter for EVERY EX1/3 owner. IMHO the IR contamination without this filter is unacceptable and has caught me out in the past. This filter corrects what I see as the biggest fault with the EX line. It requires about a one stop compensation, maybe a little less. It has a green tinge, which seemed to remain after white balancing to some degree but could probably be corrected in camera if I had the time to play with the settings. For this shoot I'll just do it in post.

I have uploaded a video to Vimeo to demo the filter. It was shot very quickly between interviews, so sorry for the messy frame and terrible lighting, I just pointed a rifa straight towards the frame as I was lighting the interviews with kinos and wanted a tungsten source. The material in the background and draped over the chairs is black cloth of different types but all look black to the eye - Not to a bare EX3!! Carey's jacket is also far better rendered with the filter in.

The video starts with the filter in. Ignore the dialogue, it was just for our reference:

Tiffen IR Filter Test on Sony EX3 on Vimeo
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Old September 18th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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...and no color vignetting?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 05:15 PM   #3
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I didn't notice any and feel free to correct me but I don't think that will be an issue with this filter as it is a standard "dye" filter.

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Old September 18th, 2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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Art Adams did some more testing with the filter here: ProVideo Coalition.com: Stunning Good Looks by Art Adams | Cinematography

One thing that's unclear is how well it compares to the 486 that many EX1/3 owners have been using...
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Old September 18th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #5
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Art Adams did some more testing with the filter here: ProVideo Coalition.com: Stunning Good Looks by Art Adams | Cinematography

One thing that's unclear is how well it compares to the 486 that many EX1/3 owners have been using...
Based on Art's tests and the OP's report this is the kind of filter Sony chose not to use in the EX cameras. It produces a green caste (which can be balanced out) because it's filtering out red. It's a broad spectrum filter and totally different to the 486 which is a sharp cut dichroic filter that mostly leaves the visible reds intact.

It'll be nice to have the option of this Tiffen filter alongside the 486. They're two quite different filters and there's a price to pay for using either.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #6
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What's the price for using the Tiffen - a slight white balance ? Better to me than dealing with vignetting.

By the way - Tiffen has announced their going into production on this and it will be available very soon.

Incidently - technically its a Far Red Cut not an IR Cut.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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I saw an IR absorption filter from Schneider optics at HD Expo. This filter promises to reduced the IR problem on the EX without the color fringing problem on the wide end. Haven't seen it working but it sounds pretty good.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 05:56 PM   #8
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Do we know when this filter will be out and if there will be a UK stockist?

Shot an interview on Wednesday with the MD of a company. She had a black jacket on and was sitting in a black leather chair with a clip on mic.

You are all probably ahead of me here, but of course her expensive jacket is now dark red/brown while the chair and mic are black. Whatever Sony may claim, this is no more a "feature" than the turquoise skies you used to see from the 1970's tube cameras used on series like Tales Of The Unexpected.

I can't get one of those filters soon enough. Looking at some footage I shot of a seminar last week, about half of the people wearing black in the room on wide shots are exhibiting the problem. Not so critical or evident there but when someone is sitting against a black background it looks pretty awful.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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but of course her expensive jacket is now dark red/brown while the chair and mic are black
She must have been ripped off and sold a synthetic jacket :) I don't think I've ever seen natural fibres exhibit this?
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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She must have been ripped off and sold a synthetic jacket :) I don't think I've ever seen natural fibres exhibit this?
I'm assuming it was expensive, but who knows? Probably was synthetic if it was going red.

But you can't really tell the client that her jacket has changed colour because its the wrong material!
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 02:56 AM   #11
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This should be out in days. I just got an email from Tiffen that they are sending me one from their production run so the long wait is over. By the way, re: this changing color values, Art did a very careful test using color charts and is very convincing that it will be transparent after white balancing.

Congrats to Tiffen.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 12:05 PM   #12
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Carey did a presentation about this at one of the EXperience workshops I did. Certainly looks like it will do the job. He did say that you would need to white balance with the filter in place due to a slight overall green/blue tint. If the filter gives an overall tint then white balancing through it will remove the tint, which is a lot better than having to deal with near infra-red pollution. As it is a dye filter it should not vignette in the way that a hot mirror or dichroic can. Tiffen are also incorporating the near infra-red filtration into a new range of ND filters.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 01:20 PM   #13
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I shot some more footage during a theatre scene change with and without this filter and the results are incredible. All the stage crew are wearing black but appear to be wearing pink without the filter! This filter can't come soon enough as unfortunately I had to give the prototype back. I'm going to get a screw on and leave it on the camera.
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 02:32 PM   #14
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Does anyone know what sort of price the filter will be ?

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Old October 3rd, 2009, 02:38 PM   #15
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Does anyone know what sort of price the filter will be ?

Paul.
I'm betting "expensive". But we'll all take the hit on it as frankly it's astonishing anyone can shoot on an EX1 in situations where black synthetic materials are prominent.

Do we know which retailers will be stocking it?
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