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  • Hi,

    I'm trying to figure out how to get a "dreamy" look for some shoots of my project. I want the image to be a bit softer (not extremly soft) and all highlights should have some halo/glow effect. The best professional filters I have found are the Tiffen Pro Mist (not Black Pro Mist), but they are expensive (and hardly sold used on ebay).

    1. Does someone want to sell used Tiffen Pro Mist 1/2 or 1 filters (4x4 or 77/82mm)?

    2. How about the stocking + clear filter trick? Can anybody with experience chime in please.

    As I know exactly what I want in every shot, there is no point in doing it in post, as digital effects are not on the same level as real in camera effects.

  • 4 Replies sorted by
  • If you can, you should test out a variety of filters before you commit. They each have their own certain "feel" to them. For example, I usually associate the ProMist look with studio films of the 80s since they were heavily used then and they just give it that look. I don't really use ProMist anymore unless I want to evoke that retro feeling because they're so identifiable (even if civilians don't know it's a ProMist, they know the look.)

    Tiffen's Soft/FX is good for that dreamy look. Stockings can be good too, but they're harder to replicate shot-to-shot.* With both of these you are risking creating a shopping mall boudoir look or a Cybil Shepard look. A very thin coat of oil or Vaseline on a clear glass (or UV) filter gives a dreamy "not-quite-in-focus" look that could work for you without all the halation. You could also use a tilt-shift lens, or just lens-whack your lens to get that effect. (You can put black cloth around the back of the lens to keep out stray light if you just want the weird focus elements of lens whacking and not the light leaks.

    • As for stockings, they often look better behind the lens. But a good way to get more reproducible results is to use snot tape on the outside of a step up adapter (no glass necessary or beneficial) and stretch the stocking across it till you get the level of stretch you like. Experiment. You can also screw the stocking material between the threads of two adapter rings for a semi-permanent filter.

    Good luck. Hope this helps.

  • I would look at the cokin range of filters too - not anywhere near the optical quality of tiffen, but they do some great blur and glow filters at a much reduced cost

  • @DouglasHorn thanks for all the infos.

    I would like to get strong halos arround light sources, with only minor softening. Thats quite the opposit of what all those new filters try to achive. Those few scenes are an actual dream of the main character and should be distinct different to the "real life". Some shots will be directly into the setting sun - I have no idea how problematic this could be with all those filters.

    I will also try the stocking-trick. I have a spare 4x4 clear filter or will make a thin 4x4 frame and tape the stocking to it.

    I think the oil/vaseline is something I want to avoid, as it will not be repetable from shot to shot.

  • @mrbill thanks, I will have a look at the cokin filters.