101 Guide to Video Filters

On this video Lauren Haroutunian from the RocketJump film school takes a look at several filters for video and films, how they are used and what benefits they bring.

Filters in general can effect the way our image looks – in the film days they were much more useful since many effects were very hard to produce in post production (remember, there were no computers and no video editing software and no digital effects). However even with all the digital and post processing available to us today – there are still advantages to using filters and even if you can get a similar effect in post processing – it is always a better practice to get as close to the end result as possible in camera.

Haroutunian talks about circular and rectangular filters (the second type allows you to work with different sizes lenses without step up/down rings although they do require a mattebox). Next she covers diffusion filters such as a soft filter which soften the edges/lights. Next there is a black frost which brings the exposure in dark parts of the image. And you also have a filter which combines both which is called Hollywood black magic filter. Each of these filters comes in different strengths. A different filter designed by Schneider specifically for digital video is called Digicon it is quite similar to the Hollywood black magic filter.

Next we look at how a polarizer filter effect what we see through a car window and how the skies looks (and trees). Following the polarizer we look at a ND and ND gad filers which brings down the exposure of the image (ND) or only on part of the image (ND grad). This is good when you shoot at a very bright day or when you want to reduce the exposure in part of the image.

We have looked extensively at filters for video work – last year we published Canon’s video on the subject entitled: “Canon Talks Filters for Shooting Video” which also provides a very decent background for beginners. We have also covered different types of filters including HD Variable Neutral Density Filter by Fader,using filters for shooting waterfallsFotodiox WonderPana FreeArc filters for Wide-Angle LensesHow to Use ND Grads: a Step by Step Guide and Filters for Video: Matte Boxes and Lens Filtration Accessories.

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid. Also be sure to check out our guides on photography gear guides – here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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