Definition April 2021 - Web


With the increasing sensitivity of today’s digital sensors, controlling the light that passes through your lens is crucial. We ask industry experts for their pick of the NDs that put you in charge LIGHTBRINGERS



candidly on films or television shows, but one that leads to greater innovation and industry collaboration,” says Musgrave. Their most recent development, the Firecrest ND Kit, went through this process with great success. Rather than dyed resin, these filters are coated with a rare-earth material, creating a hyper-neutral ND across all spectrums. The filters come in a set of three, covering seven to ten stops, and are made from 4mm Schott Superwhite glass, with a multi-coating that’s bonded in the middle to increase scratch resistance. DOP Alex Metcalfe, known for his work on The Lighthouse , is a fan. “When you’re putting a piece of glass between the lens and your subject,

Formatt-Hitech has been designing and manufacturing cinema lens filters in the UK for over 20 years. The brand serves filmmakers internationally, and values the feedback from professionals. The company’s marketing executive, Louise Musgrave, explains: “We have an open- door policy for operators and cinematographers to visit and discuss the development and creation of their projects, especially when a production intends to do more in-camera than in post.” Formatt-Hitech refines its products multiple times before releasing them, relying on industry insight to figure out what filmmakers want. “It’s a slow process, lending products to filmmakers to test out


A variable ND filter serves the same purpose as a normal ND filter: it reduces the amount of light entering your lens by a given amount of stops. However, instead of just limiting you to stops, variable ND filters have a rotating element. If shooting outside in changeable lighting conditions, a variable ND filter can be an absolute life-saver. Hoya’s Variable Density filters can be rotated infinitely, thanks to a built-in, double-ring design. This enables the outer ring to rotate and control the ND effect anywhere between 1.5 and nine stops. This includes the ability to control depth-of-field by using a wider aperture, and to create and control motion blur by choosing slower shutter speeds. The design of the double-ring is also thin, reducing the chance of vignetting with wider-angle lenses. Intro 2020 general manager, Keith Ruffell, explains: “This is an especially useful tool when creating motion blur in moving water, and capturing moving vehicles or congested city traffic to create a blurred panning effect. The subject – a runner, cyclist or car – is clear, but the background is blurred from the camera following its movement.” He adds: “It saves money and time – on location or on set – by reducing the need to change filters to switch-up the effect. You just turn the filter.” Perhaps the only downside is the range of sizes, which starts at 52mm and stops at 82mm.

quality and consistency are everything. The Firecrest ND range is particularly

fabulous, with no noticeable colour shift across all densities. They’re a really great tool.”

LEFT Formatt-Hitech Firecrest ND filters are coated with a rare- earth material, making them hyper-neutral

18 DEF I N I T ION | APR I L 202 1

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