Decodes camera filter test was carried out to compare the effects of popular Tiffen digital camera filtration: Black Pro Mist, Glimmer Glass and HDTV FX. We shot using the Arri Amira, Zeiss CP.2 lenses, and the following settings:
ProRes 4444HQ, 1920 x 1080, ARRI Rec 709, 3200 Kelvin, ISO 800, 25fps and 180 degree shutter angle.
Tiffen filters tested:
– Black Pro-Mist 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2
– Glimmerglass 1, 3, 4, 5 (2 was unavailable)
– HD TV/FX 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2
In regards to lighting, key and fill were balanced to a 2:1 ratio. Lit by a 2K Blonde open face book light through 216 diffusion, with a three quarter backlight from a 650w Fresnel bounced into a poly-board.
Black Pro-Mist filters offer a unique layering of contrast combined with a gauzy paint like halation. Even at its lowest density it delivers an effective increase in the halation which adds a pleasing depth of warmth, but is not visible to the skin tone values. These characteristics will become more apparent when you use densities of 1/4 and above. In the heavier densities, the spill is quite aggressive from the practical light, with the warm tone becoming more apparent.
Glimmerglass is a range of diffusion filters that produces a soft clean halation around practical and specular light sources, while keeping an apparent sharpness in the overall image. On close ups, the apparent sharpness and fine detail is kept as the effect of the filter lowers contrast while softly rolling into the shadow area. This low contrast effect moderately mutes bright colours. This makes the lower end of the glimmer glass diffusion range produce a non-destructive or invasive look. Even at heavier densities the filter never becomes overly powerful in its spread of halation.
The HDTV / FX filters produce a very inconspicuous effect on the images as it works on reducing both contrast and resolution. The contrast reduction constituent withholds flaring from practical or specular highlights. While the resolution element of the filter does not over glare the image keeping an apparent sharpness in all the important places. A good option for emulating slightly older style lenses when in fact using today’s super sharp optics.
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