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Thread: Between Subject and Lens-Light Filters?

  1. #1

    Default Between Subject and Lens-Light Filters?

    As a one time 35mm photographer I used to use a plethora of light altering filters screwed to the front of my SLR camera, then came the DSLR and Photoshop, but even then I still use a few filters, namely the more or less standard UV haze front element protector, a circular polariser when the need arises, and a selection of neutral density filters, I even have the intriguing visible light blocking filter, the IR pass filter for experimental fun, with my DSLR being pretty sensitive to IR light, (Nikon D70), but now I am wondering about the mini DV, aside from the UV protector, what filters are off use, or in fact no use with digital video ?

    A UV or skylight filter( though I don't particularly like the red/pink tinge this filter gives to the image, hence my desire for UV filters), I see as pretty important due to the fact I tend to go out in any conditions in pursuit of my quest, and I did a few years ago watch an insect walk inside my camera, from the lens inwards, the thought of it dying or taking up residence on something important kind of shocked me, the CCD or even the rear element of the lens, so am hoping it decided my camera was not a good place to live and has come out, but no problems yet, so fingers crossed on that, but there is a lens and there internal camera protector in place now.

    A polariser could be interesting for use with saturation and reflections, maybe improve the light quality on bright days. Similarly I am wondering about neutral density filters for bright reflective conditions and enabling the use of slow shutter speeds for visual effects and then the IR pass filter, I already know my mini DV camera picks up IR, this discovered by taking a self photo using the IR remote, the signal was picked up in white light, but invisible to the human eye.

    But seeing as my JVC DVX 507 EK and now the 707 EK pick up IR light, I know IR light can degrade the recorded visual light, hence the use of IR blocks of varying strengths put in front of the CCD sensor during camera production so how about an IR blocking or at least controlling filter in front of the lens, as I sometimes use a B+W 486 UV-IR CUT to gain sharper and clearer images, avoid the so called ghosting that IR light does to CCD sensors and with my Nikon D70, enhance the blue sky representation in digital.

    But with a 27mm filter thread in front of my lens, I am kind of limited in what is available, although I can use step up rings to increase the possibilities due to minimum manufacturer filter ring sizes, but when I use filters, I always use a lens hood to minimise glare off the glass despite multi coated glass designed to reduce flare

    So optical filters in front of the video camera lens, does anyone use them, recommend any, or can see no use for them with the use of digital video editing programs in computers ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Exactly the same as stills cameras. A Skylight will take out even more UV than a UV filter. If your camera hasn't got built-in ND filters then it's worth investing in a couple (I would suggest a .6 and 1.2 to start) and a polarizer.

    It can work out expensive getting a range of round filters every time you change your camcorder or add an adapter, so I would think about a matte box. The Cokin system can give you a large range of value filters and you don't have to worry about thread sizes. If you've got a bigger budget, then have a look at a 4x4 filter box from Genus or Formatt. If you're loaded, get a Crosziel mattebox.

  3. #3


    I already use the Cokin P system withmy DSLR, primarily for use with graduated ND filters, so know the Cokin system's worth. I also know the Cokin A system is recommended for compact cameras and consumer camcorders due to the lens filter ring size and minimum wide angle capability of the lens, but alas Cokin do not appear to do an adaptor for 27mm, so it will be step up rings to the nearest filter ring option, which I believe is 48mm.

    So for me it seems I will go the screw in filter route and select the correct filter for the situation as it occurs, but stacking screw in filters, no, that won't do as it is sure to lead to vignetting and seriously degraded light transit, the more so depending on the quality of the optical glass and it's coatings if any.

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