Film effect XL-1 : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

Would like to know if utlizing Tiffen Black Pro Mist #1, which will reduce hilite areas in combo with Tiffen Soft Contrast filter which will desaturate colors to more film look. Further this one step with using 1/30th sec shutter for some blur. Due to use of combo filtration reducing the f stop for less depth of field or using neutral density to reduce depth of field. Has anyone out there tried any of these principals and got success

-- Jesse Nemerofsky (, June 09, 1999


Actually, using ND filters is what allows you to use a lower T-Stop. I shot a feature where, because of our small lighting package, I was constantly at the open end of the lens (T 1.8 or T 2) for most of it. To be honest, I am amazed at how much depth of field the DV format offers. Two other things that may help: move the camera back as far as you can and use a longer focal length as this automatically decreases depth of field. Also, I believe that you can set the gain to -3 on the XL-1 (thought I am not positive) which I believe is about one stop less light forcing you to open up the lens a stop. This would help but remember that you can't get less depth of field than the what you got at the widest T-stop.

-- David Oulashian (, June 11, 1999.

The last answer to your questions was incorrect. There is a way to reduce your depth of field even further. Use a .6 or .65 wide angle lens adapter. This will give minimal distortion, but will definitely squeeze you d-o-f especially when zoomed in close. As for the filter combination, forget it. The great value of video vs. film is that you can modify all attributes of a video signal in post production with a proc-amp. You can de saturate to your heart's content. I hope this helps.

-- J.D. Wilcox (, June 16, 1999.

I have found what JD says above to be mostly true, except the Black ProMist is a good filter to use. YES, you can create most of "filmic" effects in post, but that ProMist gives such an "Organic" softening of skintones and truly takes the edge off the video look when shooting people.

-- michelle mccabe (, September 07, 2000.

If you'd like to invest in a great filter to get a more "film" like look to your video. I would recommend Tiffin's 1/2 Black Diffusion FX filter. There was an independent cinematogrpaher who did an independent study of DV cameras and filters and published a chart of which filters worked best with each camera. This was his recommendation for the XL1 series. I purchased one of these and leave it screwed onto the stock lens and it looks fantastic...but there is one catch. You can't pull back full wide on the zoom or you'll see the diffusion markings on the filter. To compensate, I just move the camera back and zoom in about 20% and that solves the problem. The filter that screws onto the XL1 runs around $50, or you can invest $250 for the 4x4 if you have a matte box.

-- Greg Steiner (, July 28, 2003.

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