Filter techniques for newcomers

8 replies [Last post]
Matt Jackson
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Joined: Jul 7 1999

Is there someone out there who could give us new comers some information about what sorts of filters to use to achieve best results for different light level conditions.

For instance filming outside in bright conditions using a normal camcorder (Sony Digital8 TRV-110E), what filter would I use?

What books would you suggest which would give good hints & tips for beginners?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

------------------
Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Filters, Matt. You ready for this? Filters add nothing, they only take away. They take away sharpness, they absorb light, they add flare, they collect dust. On my TRV900E they even stop me using the supplied (and expensive) 4:3 aspect ratio hood.

So if you can live without them, so much the better. But in this real world, let's have a rundown of what's available, and more to the point, what you should buy and use.

First, get yourself a UV. It'll look like clear glass and is. It should be multicoated to cut down on flare, and you should leave it screwed to your camera from the day you buy it till the day you sell it, when you'll unscrew it to show the new owner how pristine and pure your front element is.

This UV is simply mechanical insurance protection for your front element. Easy to clean, easy to replace if things go against you.

Next I'd advise you to get an ND4 or ND8. These are simply "dark glasses" for the video camera, and in any sort of bright sunlight they'll stop the camera's automation from choosing high shutter speeds/frame in an attempt to cut down the amount of light reaching the CCD. If you don't know why this is a Good Thing, please ask.

Then there's filters that aren't really filters. Things such as cross screens to add sparkle to highlights, and soft focus screens to flare the highlights into the shadows.

Then polarizers will absorb a stop and a half and allow you to cut reflections from glass and water, deepen blue skies at times, and give you unsurmountable continuity headaches on the editing bench.

Then there are graduated filters that vary their absorbtion across the frame. Usefull at times. Colour correction filters can add subtle colour correction if you understand manual white balance techniques.

So I'd say get 2 to start with: the UV and the ND8 (which will absorb 3 stops of light).

tom.

Matt Jackson
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Joined: Jul 7 1999

Thanks Tom, all info taken in!

Don't Sony charge for their filters!
£46 for a polarizer, I'll ask about the UV & ND8.

Does anyone have a good supplier for odds & sods like filters and 1hr long tapes??

I live in the UK!

------------------
Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

KVJ Fairdeal's selling chipped Mini DV Sony 60 tapes (DVM-60 EXME) for #6,99 each if you buy 10 and pay some postage. For some reason the non-chipped variety @ #5,50 are in short supply. But you want Hi8 tapes for the 110E, don't you? Call them on 0171 247 6029.

I bought my filters at Jessops. Huge markup on filters I reckon, but at least I could see them first and confirm the supermulticoating.

Otherwise get a copy of CU and look thru the small ads - there are filter suppliers that charge a lot less. But remember, as all filters loose info, cheaper filters loose more!

tom.

tuan
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Joined: Sep 10 1999

You can check the 'Tiffen' lense/filter web
page:

tiffen.com

Tuan

bcrabtree
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Joined: Mar 7 1999

Tom,

Classic posting!

Thanks

Bob C

Matt Jackson
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Joined: Jul 7 1999

Was that a Personal joke Bob?

------------------
Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

Regards...
Matt Jackson
mnjacks23@barclays.net

gethinc
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Joined: Sep 3 1999

Check out SRB in luton. They have loads of cheap resin filters for all sizes, (cokin,cokin p,100mm etc, they stock lee filters for the higher end stuff, their own, and B&W glass filters etc... they manufacter step-rings and lens mounts...
01582 572471

Geth

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Thankyou, Bob, for your "Classic posting" comment, it's appreciated. My time is precious, too.

No personal jokes involved, Matt.

tom.