ND filters choosing

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Tomek Pawlowicz

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ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 6:26 pm

Hi guys.

I need 2-3 ND filters for my BMCC.
I was considering Tiffen ND filters but I read that those are ok for BMCC but only up to 0.9 (3 stops cut).

Is that true and if yes, why is it so?
What kind of filters do you use with your BMCC?

I do understand that there is problem when using hard half ND filters that cut more than 3 stops, but what is the issue to use full ND filters bigger than .9

Thanks a lot.
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Mark Wyatt

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 6:32 pm

Anything over .9 you need IR reduction as well. I use the Tiffen 1.8 IR ND and it seems to work great.
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Tomek Pawlowicz

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Great to hear Wyatt.

Could you please tell me do you stuck up filters (use two or more at once) and do they work ok.
Are those round or rectangle filters?

And what kind of Matte Box are you using?

Is there a way to offset rectangle half ND filter to achieve best result.

Thanks.

wyatt wrote:Anything over .9 you need IR reduction as well. I use the Tiffen 1.8 IR ND and it seems to work great.
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sean mclennan

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:02 pm

I would recommend a Tiffen Vari-ND. If you plan to use it at the high end, buy an IF filter to go with it. That's what I use on my BMCC.
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thebicyclecafe

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Dumarrus wrote:Great to hear Wyatt.

Could you please tell me do you stuck up filters (use two or more at once) and do they work ok.
Are those round or rectangle filters?

And what kind of Matte Box are you using?

Is there a way to offset rectangle half ND filter to achieve best result.

Thanks.

wyatt wrote:Anything over .9 you need IR reduction as well. I use the Tiffen 1.8 IR ND and it seems to work great.

Dumarrus wrote:Great to hear Wyatt.

Could you please tell me do you stuck up filters (use two or more at once) and do they work ok.
Are those round or rectangle filters?

And what kind of Matte Box are you using?

Is there a way to offset rectangle half ND filter to achieve best result.

Thanks.

wyatt wrote:Anything over .9 you need IR reduction as well. I use the Tiffen 1.8 IR ND and it seems to work great.

Apparently the BMCC works pretty well even without IR filtering... of course it can't hurt.
Check the link out below

nofilmschool.com/2012/12/choosing-neutral-density-filters-infrared

Why not get a variable ND instead, then you don't have to deal with the hassle of stacking and switching, and doing all the math on the fly. A variable ND makes ETTR on the BMC cams really easy- set your f-stop and then just stop down on the ND until the zebras disappear.
Sheen Yen
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Tomek Pawlowicz

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:22 pm

Thanks Sean. Thanks TheBIcycleCafe

I have 4 lenses in 3 different diameters. so I would need at least 3 such a filters.
Additionally I would like to can stack them up, so I will go with Matte Box and rectangle filters.

Maybe I'm missing something and there is a way to stack round filters too but I would need 3x each filter to get all jobs done.

Even though thanks for suggestion :-)

sean mclennan wrote:I would recommend a Tiffen Vari-ND. If you plan to use it at the high end, buy an IF filter to go with it. That's what I use on my BMCC.
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:29 pm

I would pick up a 4x4 mattebox, something set up for 15mm liteweight rods (and look into the wooden camera baseplate systems therefor) and then go with some tiffen filters. If you'd like, you could just get the ND and then a separate IR, but I never saw the need therefor. Also I don't normally worry about .3 nds. My personal nd set is .6 .9 1.2 and 1.5 For the 1.2 and 1.5 I use Schneider NDIRs and the .6 and .9s I have are Tiffens. There is a slight color cast difference between the two (the tiffens seem to get a little bit greenish) but in truth it's not really all that big of a problem.

The variNDs can cause problems as they are a pola filter basically, and I don't trust pola filters for the most part. I want to be able to really control what the camera is seeing and I find 4x4s plain jane nds are better for that.
Hell i hardly ever use the ultrapol i actually have.
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Tomek Pawlowicz

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:40 pm

Thanks Adrian

I will end up with Matte for sure. Tiffen as well.

Is there any way to control hard edge nd filter placement on any Matte box?
Some Lee filters are taller than wider and can be adjusted to fit canvas exactly.

Is it posiible with rectangle filters?

AdrianSierkowski wrote:I would pick up a 4x4 mattebox, something set up for 15mm liteweight rods (and look into the wooden camera baseplate systems therefor) and then go with some tiffen filters. If you'd like, you could just get the ND and then a separate IR, but I never saw the need therefor. Also I don't normally worry about .3 nds. My personal nd set is .6 .9 1.2 and 1.5 For the 1.2 and 1.5 I use Schneider NDIRs and the .6 and .9s I have are Tiffens. There is a slight color cast difference between the two (the tiffens seem to get a little bit greenish) but in truth it's not really all that big of a problem.

The variNDs can cause problems as they are a pola filter basically, and I don't trust pola filters for the most part. I want to be able to really control what the camera is seeing and I find 4x4s plain jane nds are better for that.
Hell i hardly ever use the ultrapol i actually have.
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Nicolas Belokurov

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 7:45 pm

AdrianSierkowski wrote:I would pick up a 4x4 mattebox, something set up for 15mm liteweight rods


I'm looking for a first matte box and already have quite a few 85mm ND and ND grad filters from my photo kit. All the manual lenses I'm using are zuikos and contax. Is it possible to use a 85mm resin ND filter in a 4x4 mattebox with a mask of some kind?
Or is a 3x3 matte box a more viable option given the size of the lenses?
Thanks!

P.S. To the topick starter- sorry if it's OT, didn't want to open a whole new thread for such a small question :)
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 8:35 pm

depending on your MB you can rotate the filter stages to control the edge of hard edge filters. You want to get just the normal glass 4x4 filtes. I forget the exact thickness.
on my mattebox, which is an Arri, I have 2 4x4 filter stages, one of which is geared so i can put a whip in and move a filter up and down as i tilt, as well as a 138mm screw stage at the back of the MB which also rotates independantly. Then this all goes to a 90mm, i think, doughnut to cover the front of the lenses to prevent light leaks.
Your mattebox will vary; but you'd want to get one where you can rotate the filter stages.
it may seem like a huge expense, the mattebox, and the filters, but what it pretty fantastic is that if you go with a 15mm liteweight system, you can then adapt it to any rods system (15mm studio or 19mm studio) and the 4x4 filter and mattebox will work on pretty much any camera.
I've used my arri MB on everything from 435s, to Epics, to 5Ds, all the way down to some crab HV20s. it's sometimes a bit of an adaptation to get it to work on there, but never too much trouble.
I personally do not recommend resin filters for film work. They are prone to scratches and jut don't last ery long. a Good glass filter will last you many many many years.

I also highly recommend everyone pick up a white-water clear filter. it's just clear glass, but when you start putting expensive filters and lenses in dangerous situations it's important to have some kind of shield. Also you can do a lot of tricks with a clear filter and some household items to get interesting looks.


I would keep all the filters you may have which screw on for when you need to go lite. Some times for this will be on steadycam, or in tight situations. Sadly I don't have any screw on filters for my cine lenses as they don't have screw mounts, that I know of, so there are situations where i'd love to have a cheapo screw on which I can not worry about (imagine trying to throw sound, actors, camera, and director into a civic and you'll see how sometimes smaller is much better).

The Lee filters, btw, I don't think are made for film mbs, they were designed for some kind of holder system on stills cameras. i've never used them or seen them on a cine set.

Also, it's very important not to cheap out on filters. I tried that once with some off-brands. I was very very very sorry and very quickly out of a job when the client saw the dailies (film shoot), because they just suck. With a lot of film stuff, you really get what you pay for (and with some of it it's way overpriced and stupid to get..)
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sean mclennan

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostWed Sep 25, 2013 9:35 pm

Dumarrus wrote:Thanks Sean. Thanks TheBIcycleCafe

I have 4 lenses in 3 different diameters. so I would need at least 3 such a filters.
Additionally I would like to can stack them up, so I will go with Matte Box and rectangle filters.

Maybe I'm missing something and there is a way to stack round filters too but I would need 3x each filter to get all jobs done.

Even though thanks for suggestion :-)

sean mclennan wrote:I would recommend a Tiffen Vari-ND. If you plan to use it at the high end, buy an IF filter to go with it. That's what I use on my BMCC.


Buy the largest diameter Vari-ND and then buy 2 step up rings for your smaller lenses. Done. If you go with a mattebox, put your IR filter on that.
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Re: ND filters choosing

PostThu Sep 26, 2013 12:03 am

I am using the Lee "Seven 5" system on the Pocket camera, and so far it's works fine. It is smaller than a Cine Matt box system, and has all the NDs plus a few grads available for it. Adapters go up to 72mm, which covers most MFT lenses. It's smaller size is in keeping with Pocket Camera size, keeping it light and simple.
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Vince Gaffney

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostThu Sep 26, 2013 1:18 am

Dumarrus wrote:Hi guys.

I need 2-3 ND filters for my BMCC.
I was considering Tiffen ND filters but I read that those are ok for BMCC but only up to 0.9 (3 stops cut).

Is that true and if yes, why is it so?
What kind of filters do you use with your BMCC?

I do understand that there is problem when using hard half ND filters that cut more than 3 stops, but what is the issue to use full ND filters bigger than .9

Thanks a lot.

Stick with IR ND's. Stack. Read about these vari ND's. Not a great solution.
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Re: ND filters choosing

PostThu Sep 26, 2013 2:19 am

Vince Gaffney wrote:
Dumarrus wrote:Hi guys.

I need 2-3 ND filters for my BMCC.
I was considering Tiffen ND filters but I read that those are ok for BMCC but only up to 0.9 (3 stops cut).

Is that true and if yes, why is it so?
What kind of filters do you use with your BMCC?

I do understand that there is problem when using hard half ND filters that cut more than 3 stops, but what is the issue to use full ND filters bigger than .9

Thanks a lot.

Stick with IR ND's. Stack. Read about these vari ND's. Not a great solution.


You can stack screw on filters if their the same diameter and I've never been unhappy with my tiffen vari-nd. It's worked beautifully for me.
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Vince Gaffney

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostThu Sep 26, 2013 7:21 pm

David wrote:
Vince Gaffney wrote:
Dumarrus wrote:Hi guys.

I need 2-3 ND filters for my BMCC.
I was considering Tiffen ND filters but I read that those are ok for BMCC but only up to 0.9 (3 stops cut).

Is that true and if yes, why is it so?
What kind of filters do you use with your BMCC?

I do understand that there is problem when using hard half ND filters that cut more than 3 stops, but what is the issue to use full ND filters bigger than .9

Thanks a lot.

Stick with IR ND's. Stack. Read about these vari ND's. Not a great solution.


You can stack screw on filters if their the same diameter and I've never been unhappy with my tiffen vari-nd. It's worked beautifully for me.


At some point all Vari ND's introduce a cross pattern when the polarizers align. It's a matter of what's acceptable to each user.
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostFri Sep 27, 2013 3:56 am

^^ exactly.

Also I have had issues with varis polarizing stuff I don't necessarily want polarized.

However, there is a time and place for them, though that is not a world i particularly find myself shooting in.
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Tomek Pawlowicz

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostSat Sep 28, 2013 5:11 am

AdrianSierkowski wrote:^^ exactly.

Also I have had issues with varis polarizing stuff I don't necessarily want polarized.

However, there is a time and place for them, though that is not a world i particularly find myself shooting in.



Hi Adrian.

Could you please tell me which of those filters do you use most?

As I can see you use 4 filters. Assuming that I would like to buy 2 NDIR and one ND half what do you recommend to get at first?

Should I pick hard or soft half ND at first.

Thanks to all of you.
Tom
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AdrianSierkowski

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Re: ND filters choosing

PostSat Sep 28, 2013 10:50 pm

woops, sorry, 2 eh?

Well for 2 NDs and a SE I'd look at an ND.9 and an NDIR 1.5

I haven't needed IR below ND1.2 personally and on this whole pocket short i've been only really using an NDIR1.5 and rating @ 25 asa.

As for a grad, I normally go for a Soft Edge (SE) .9 though some prefer a .6
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