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Black Pro Mist Filters
  • Can someone explain what is the difference between them in terms of 1/8, 1/4, 1/2... Do they significantly cut light, and which is best for cutting down the clinical looking sharpness of Lumix lenses on GH2/3?

  • 17 Replies sorted by
  • 1/8 is lighter, then going up to 1/4, 1/2 the effect become stronger. I have just bought a 1/2 to use with Panny glass, and it does the job well, actually it looks like it's pulling shadows areas when you look through it (it's just lowering contrast). But the stronger it is, the more it blooms highlight so you get dreamy halos around lights. The 1/2 looks good but I tried it in sunny daylight and I realized the bloom is massive in that situation, really too much (unless you don't want a dream sequence). I would have liked to send it back to Amazon for a 1/4, but they didn't have the 77mm size for that, so I kept it. It is good anyway. But maybe I'd suggest the 1/4. It is more subtle but it shouldn't limit you so much with daylight. Anyway give it a try if you can

  • Any one tried them on Lumix 12-35 would this help on reducing a lens sharpness ?

  • @feha that's what im thinking. i ordered a 12-35 and soon will order a 1/4 black pro mist. i'll let you know

  • I would never go above a 1/4. I haven't tried them on the Lumix, but have used them extensively on SDX/HDX cams, as well as, film.

  • You might want to look into Tiffen Black Diffusion filters (rather than Pro Mist), as they're a bit less noticeable and more neutral. The higher numbers will, however, also "bloom" in sunlight.

  • @jrd now i am torn haha. i do enjoy the misty look, but a more subtle solution is probably wiser... what grade of the black diffusion would be appropriate for the gh3/panasonic lens combo's sharpness?

  • To me, Black Promist is a very specific look that evokes a retro feel like early-80s exploitation films. I wouldn't use them unless I wanted that look. More modern black diffusion like glimmer glass or schneider looks better to my eye. Promist filters use black dots that obscure the image and severely reduce sharpness.

  • @DouglasHorn - That depends upon how heavy you go with them(1/2 or above). It also depends upon lighting. If you're using the basic 3 light rule, yeah, it's going to look 80's. White pro mist lends itself to more of an 80's look right off the bat.

  • @theconformist

    The lowest one I tested was a "1" on a GH2 -- which was fine for some shots, but I would look at a 1/2 or 1/4, if your only purpose is to reduce the high frequency sharpening associated with "digital". Tiffen also makes a large set of software filters, if you want to try it that way.

  • @jrd Looks like they are listed as 1-5 strength, do you happen to know which number is 1/2?

  • After "1" they descend into fractions: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, i.e., one-half, one-fourth, one-eight.

  • @theconformist I have a set of Tiffen filters, from 2004-2005 I believe. I tested both the Black Pro-Mist 1/2 and Black Diffusion FX 1/2. The full post with pictures and side by side comparisons can be seen on my blog.

    Overall I'd say that the 1/2 versions were strong enough to notice the effect but not so strong that they ruined the image or looked "obvious." Side by side you can definitely tell a difference but without the non-filter version as a reference, I don't think most people would notice.

    They definitely work well for adding a "feel" to the image, whether you like the feel or not that's up to you. I personally don't use the filters that often but they are nice to have around if the subject matter calls for a specific look.

    http://www.stronzvanderploeg.net/shooting-with-optical-filters/

  • @xenocide38 Thanks, I actually came across your blog in my google search - very helpful!

    @jrd perhaps I am confused, on Amazon the black diffusion filters are listed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. but so then 1 is the strongest?

  • @theconformist

    No. The higher the number, the stronger the filter. The weakest one would be one-eighth (1/8), the strongest is 5.

  • @theconformist Awesome, glad it was helpful!

    • Black Pro-Mist
    • Warm Pro-Mist
    • Ultra Contrast 1
    • Low Contrast 1/2

    • Ultra contrast

    • Low contrast

  • I have used a 1/2 black promist on the GH1 in the past and it produced nice results. Softens the image slightly (so helps get rid of the oversharpening from Lumix lenses) and blooms out bright colours / whites ever so slightly. Just enough to give you a film rather than video look. Wouldn't recommend going above a strength 1 though as it effect really becomes noticable then and will start to detract from your image. A similar effect can be had by using old "legacy" lenses (minus the "blooming") which is what I am doing at the moment.