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ND filters

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Ali Quintana
ND filters
on Apr 9, 2014 at 5:28:26 pm

Hi Every one,

I live on the sunny island of Curacao in the south caribbean.

As this is lovely for sure, it does mean we have full sunlight and hardly any clouds. While this is great and there are really great locations to shoot. The SUNLIGHT is very hard. So shooting without ND filter is almost always a downer. (unless late afternoon)

Any suggestions to what brand of ND filters I should get. A not too expensive set.

I am planning to get the Red Star Mattebox (has w/ 2 universal 360 degree rotating filter stages + 2 filter trays that support both 4x4" and 4x5.65" filter sizes)

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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: ND filters
on Apr 16, 2014 at 1:43:38 pm

Schneider ND/IR combo filters are excellent as are Tiffen ND. Schneider and Tiffen are really the standards for 4x4/4x6 motion picture filters. Not cheap but a worthy investment that will outlast any camera in the same way that good lenses are the investment, not the body.

If you are really trying to save money, I would recommend looking at your lenses and deciding what the most common filter thread is between them. If you use Canon lenses, this is probably 77mm. Then look into getting a variable ND filter that can just screw in to the front of your lens.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
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Richard Martz
Re: ND filters
on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:46:49 pm

YEP. Tiffen and Schneider to be sure. The only ones I own. And be sure that you only get glass filters. There are some really cheap plastic ones out there that last like 5 minutes.

Richard Martz

MagicMartz Media
Atlanta, GA

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Marco Solorio
Re: ND filters
on Apr 16, 2014 at 8:03:59 pm

I agree with everything Matthew and Richard already said. Just to add, the Schneider filters are the best IMO, with Tiffen a close second (some Tiffen filters seems to have a very slight green shift, almost unrecognizable). The Schneider filters use some of the best glass manufacturing methods available and are thus extremely clean and transparent with very little shift. And yeah, as Matthew said, if these filters are out of your budget (namely the Schneider filters) then look into a variable ND filter that screws onto your largest lens and use step-up rings for your smaller lenses (we've enjoyed the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo over the years as it's both a circular polarizer and variable ND in one).


If you use heavy ND filtration, you'll need to accompany it with an IR CUT filter as well or you well get major brown/magenta shift in the blacks. Every CMOS camera is susceptible to this and depending on the camera/sensor (even the ARRI Alexa), you need the right IR CUT. For the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, the Schneider IR CUT 680 is the best.

Get ready to pay some coin!

Marco Solorio | CreativeCow Host | OneRiver Media | ORM Blog | Facebook | Twitter | BMCC Newsletter

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Ali Quintana
Re: ND filters
on Apr 20, 2014 at 1:01:49 am

Thanks for all the tips.

Will the ND filters work good combined with Circular Polorising filters?

Using both together in the Mattbox (so not the vari Duo?

Also can with the heavy ND the color of the blacks being brown can that be fixed in post color correction instead of buying an aditional
Schneider IR CUT 680.

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