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Ideas to reduce lens flare.

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Jerry Krantz
Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 3:48:03 pm

Does anyone know of any sort of filter or whatnot that will reduce or eliminate lens flare with a wide angle lens?

I am filming BMX using primarily .25x and .5x wide angle lenses. Outdoor shooting is not much of an issue to avoid the sun, and the occasional flare looks nice with outdoor shooting. But indoors, with numerous lights it becomes too noisy.

Example, click to enlarge:




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john sharaf
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 4:56:31 pm

Flare is reduced by using a matt box and french flag and side wings to eliminate the sources from spilling onto the surface of the lens. When those sources are included in the frame (as in your picture) this is not possible.

The other effect that's noticeable in your picture is the verticle artifacts from the light sources themselves. Again this is unavoidable because it's a function of your IT CCD imager overflowing. More expensive cameras that have FIT imagers can minimize this effect somewhat, but at certain angles even they will not.

Like you say, sometimes you like the flare effect. You'll have to learn to love it all the time if you insist on shooting "into" the lights.

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 5:40:29 pm

Hi Jerry...

Just in case you need a second opinion, Dr. John is absolutely right (as he always is).

I first read your post via email rather than here on the board, so I didn't see the picture. Of course I thought "All he needs is a matte box with French flags, eyebrows and sides." But after seeing the picture, nope. As John said, as long as the troublesome light sources are visible within the frame there's really nothing that can be done about the flares.

Depending on the capability of your equipment, shooting with prime lenses rather than your video zoom lens could reduce the complexity of the flares (because primes have many fewer elements in them than a zoom) but they would still be there, just different. Using the wide-angle adapter (which I imagine is a screw-on front-of-the-lens adapter) actualy adds to the complexity of the flares because it is adding lens elements.

The vertical smears?... yes, as John said, a higher-end camera will eliminate some (maybe most, sometimes all) of that, but with your present equipment that just "comes with the territory," unfortunately.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jerry Krantz
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 7:07:14 pm

Todd and John, Thank you for your comments.

I was hoping there would be like a specially polarized filter or something that could work miracles. I had not really taken much notice of the vertical smearing in the video until you pointed it out. But I am of course more concerned with the hallway of lights in the subject.

And again thanks for the thorough and prompt response!

Jerry



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john sharaf
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 7:11:20 pm

Of course a "star filter" will make them stars instead of lines.

JS





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Alan Lloyd
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 9:13:56 pm

Elevate your camera so you are not shooting up into the lights.


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Jerry Krantz
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 3, 2009 at 11:00:01 pm

The gist was to correct the lights at the camera for freedom in angle.

In one situation I may be following a person shooting while riding my bike on the ramps. Another they may be 8+ feet in the air. Lastly top down angles are very undramatic in most clips. The angle can make a simple stunt look huge, or a huge stunt look easy.



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Fernando Mol
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 4, 2009 at 7:45:27 am

Make the lights part of your composition. It seems they create an interesting pattern.

Seeing your shot, I think it maybe will help your to put some light close to your camera. Your subject is kind of dark. But this will be up to you.



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Jerry Krantz
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 5, 2009 at 3:08:10 pm

Hey Thanks for the great ideas to shift focus from the refracted lights and clean up the scene.



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Alan Lloyd
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 5, 2009 at 9:41:57 pm

If you're not going to elevate to avoid the lights, you're going to have flare. As others said, make it part of the overall image. And the poster who suggested some front light on your subject was bang-on. Right now the cyclist is very dark.

Oh, and it's the spiking (vertical smear) that really mucks up the picture, not the flare. Flares I can live with as a compositional element. Spikes, not so much.



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Jerry Krantz
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 6, 2009 at 7:44:47 pm

So would a 4 or 6 point star filter refract the light enough before it hits the CCD that it would prevent over saturation and subsequently the creation of the vertical lines?

In the image as a whole will bright stars direct focus away from the subject? Thankfully the subject matter is strong.

I found some 37mm mount 4 and 6 star filters for somewhere around 20 bucks a pop. Think I will have to play around and see how it looks playing through Vegas at 1 fps. Time for a new computer.



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Todd Terry
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 6, 2009 at 7:54:20 pm

Well just remember that star filters are typically used to create a specific effect... not to much as to distract from a different effect, although that might incidentally happen as well.

There are many people (me included) who would find that star filters, unless verrrrry judiciously used, would really be just more cheesy than helpful... sort of equivalent in the editing world to page turns and spinning video cubes and such.

If you want star-shaped flares that's one thing, but to use them just in an attempt to distract the viewer from another problem is probably not their best usage... imho.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jerry Krantz
Re: Ideas to reduce lens flare.
on Jan 6, 2009 at 8:45:57 pm

Thankfully the filters are not crazy expensive. But it does sound worth trying out. That example is the worst I could find. And the comments in this post have been really helpful in giving me other things to watch out for. Most of the clips I took at that skatepark, the subjects are not as back lit.

Most places are not as brightly lit as that place. So something somewhat cheesy, like a star filter, will only make up a small portion of a larger project. My biggest battle, overall, is poor lighting and trying to even up outdoor and indoor shots. And good shots from this skatepark should make nice segue's between darker indoor shots and brighter outdoor shots.

I've made a few shorts before, but on old low end equipment. Moving up to a camera that is decent. That is really bringing in a lot more clarity, and obstacles of its own regard.

I am so glad I started this thread, you people have been a great help and inspiration.



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