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Old February 2nd, 2003, 07:09 AM   #1
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DV Film Look Filters

I have read some of the stuff here on the post and production filters.

I am getting ready to pop with some bucks for filters for my Chrosiel 4X4 Shades.

Are the 4X4 filters that much better than post Avid Express DV filters?

I am getting ready to start shooting veterans interviews using 3 XL1S's w/16XMF Lenes. I also shoot the make with a XL-1 w/16X AF or 3XWA.

Most of the video will be shot indoors but I want to make sure that I will be getting the right stuff for outdoors to. I shoot in the Arizona sun and there isn't many cloudy days.

Or I have been told that it would be cheaper to put a 72mm on the lens and that does as well as the 4X4 filter set from ZGC. I'm not interested in "cheaper" stuff.

Tif also makes the 4X4 DV Special Effects filters. So for th "film look" which is best, the standard DV Film Look Filters or the FX.

Any ideas?
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 08:25 AM   #2
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Some filters that I think are good for getting film type looks are:

Cokin's
Sunsoft
Softwarm
81B

Tiffen's
Black Pro Mist 3

and Zeiss Softars, made by Heliopan/B&W
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 09:07 AM   #3
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I'm with Frank, the Zeiss Softars are the absolute best soft focus filters in the business, bar none. Tiffen's mist filters are also highly regarded. The Softars don't effect color values the way the black mists do. The Softar will lessen the wrinkles and effects of aging on your veterans. If you add a slight warming filter your veterans might look 10 years younger.

The Black Mist filters, Pro Mist etc effect the overall scene more. Tiffen has some examples on their site. Sometimes the highlights can be washed out, others lower the contrast. The Tiffen filters are great, but require a more careful analysis of the scene to insure proper filter selection.

This could be a very expensive proposition for you, Bob. I would try a single Softar and see if it provides the look your after. If it does, good, you can add the Tiffens for your outdoor work as the need arises. Otherwise, you may be looking at a complete set of the Pro Mist filters.
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 11:00 AM   #4
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I have $600 to spend on filters per camera; total $1,800.

I also use the FU-1000 EVF's on each camera. I like these because of their ability to focus.

So I think it would be a good idea to use the best filters.

If ya think about it, I have a nice chunk of money into this project just for the XL-1S's.

So if you are up to it, tell me what you would spend that money on. If I have to spend $800 on each camera, it's okay.

I have about $25K to spend right now.

Wish someone was here in Tucson to look at my list of goodies that I have and that I plan on buying.

Thanks
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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Jumping in head first into unknown waters isn't the recommended procedure. I think you should buy a filter or two and try them. Personally, I like the look of the Zeiss Softar filters.

Carl Zeiss is the only manufacture of Softars. They can be purchased in mounts made by Contax, B + W, Heliopan, (screw thread) and Hasselblad and Rollie (bayonet mount). The respective companies send their mounts to Carl Zeiss and Zeiss mounts the softars and returns them.

Nothing comes close to duplicating the effect of the Zeiss softars. Many companies try to get the same effect but all fail. The look is smooth, but the image is still sharp. The surface of the filter is covered with little dimples, similar to a golf ball. The look is not duplicated.

B & H has the B + W filters in 72mm size. They come in two strengths, 1 and 2, the effect being stronger with the later. I would invest the money in one and try it. It might give you the look you desire, it might not. But they will definitely smooth, not really soften, the facial features of your subjects. If the look isn't what your after, you'll be able to sell it for little loss as they are highly prized filters.
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 11:47 AM   #6
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Sounds good!

I will grab some of the filters from Andy Pollack at BH and play.

I guess when I get to post I will have to give some credits to this site and some of the guys for the technical assistance provided.

Gotta go fix that code below in my previous post.

Thanks

"Never make a decision on your own unless you are willing to accept the responsibility".
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 01:42 PM   #7
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Another filter that has a similar effect to the Softars is the Tiffen Diffusion F/X filter.
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 02:29 PM   #8
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Thanks,

I will take a look at that filter too!

I can always use it on the XL-1 and try the others. If I can't get the effect I desire.

It doesn't hurt to have extra filters.
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Old February 2nd, 2003, 10:34 PM   #9
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Filter holders?

Hi I am considering a 4x4 filter system, bu t need an economic solution. the matte box with lens hood and barn-door type shed looks nice, but a tab bit expensive. I've seen other solution that just holds the filters infront of the lens. (nikon, and cokin) Has anyone tried these? i guess it will work for now, but any suggestions?
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 12:11 PM   #10
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I've seen the Cokin one, which is very reasonably priced, but I don't think it holds 4x4 filters.
Do a search for one made by Lee as well. It might work for you.

In regards to the original question, why don't you just rent the filters first, instead of buying them outright. Then you won't be stuck with $1000 worth of filters you will never use.
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 12:47 PM   #11
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This may be stupid: but if I add a warm filter, I gues I do the White Balance before adding it, right? Can't you just fool the W/B by giving it a slightly cyan surface to W/B on?
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Old February 3rd, 2003, 04:13 PM   #12
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Depending on the filter(s) used you may get different results. WB will always be a global setting effecting all the colors in the scene. Filters can be designed to effect just certain colors and or emphasize some colors and not others. Some polarizers and warming filters just effect reds, (or yellow, or blues etc.) for example. The cost of these highly specialized filters preclude many photographers from using them. However, they can be very effective at creating certain warm looks.
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Old February 4th, 2003, 06:46 AM   #13
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Thanks Dylan,
I guess I'll try renting them first see how it works. I do use these Fuji gelatin filters (nice and affordable!), (ND, Color Temperature, and red enhacers etc.) They don't have half graduate filters nor Pro-mist, low contrast filters . So I am curious of the 4x4s. Anyway, to try them out I guess renting them would be best I guess.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 12:57 PM   #14
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Softar

Well,

I got'm. One each of the Zeiss I and II. We are playing with them now.

Perfect so far. We mounted the XL-1S on the tripod and focused w/o the Softar I and then added the filter.

I like the look of both. Back to back and shooting wildlife is cool at slooooow speeds.

I shot some stuff of the birds that eat outside my studio window. All I can say about these filters is that they are "cool" and well worth the first $425 per camera.

We are going to shoot an mock interview today or tomorrow. I will use the Softar I on the & 1 and & 2 cameras and the Softar II on the #3 camera (center).

I call my left camera #1 and my right camera #2 and the center (WA) #3. Don't know how the industry does it but I know which camara shot what tape. I lable the tape #1, 2 etc. to match the camera. Also, all cords tripods, grips, etc are labled #1, 2 or #3.

When I monitor the Softars I know which camera has which lens/filter.

It will be interesting to see what I get when I post and mix the two filters plus add some effects from Avid DV.

Oh well, Thanks for the straight shooting and assistance.

Regards,
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Old February 6th, 2003, 03:04 PM   #15
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I'm glad they are working out. I thought you would like them. Now, time for a story.

Many years ago, a friend asked me about filters to use for an upcoming wedding. My friend was not a photographer, but rather a Dentist, with a serious interest in photography. It seems that one of his assistants was getting married and he volunteered to photograph the event. However, the assistant had a very, very bad complexion caused by acne in her youth.

I told my friend about the softars, but he decided to go with a less expensive filter. But after examining some test shots he just didn't like the results. He tried several other makes and styles, but still no luck in helping the look of her complexion. As a last resort he tried a softar. Upon examining the test shots, he remarked that the softar did more for her complexion than $10,000 dollars (this was the early 80's) of plastic surgery would have done.

That kind of sums up my experience with softars.
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