The politics of behind the lens filters
Some DPs have said they want the ability to change filters quickly — with front filters.
Other DPs want the ability to bake in a look with filters to which you commit.
When the director on a big budget feature asks whether you can have more halation around the highlight, you could insist (in vain), “But sir, this is the look we agreed upon during prep and scouting.” Don’t say that. The director will be annoyed. Instead, say, “But sir, the sun is setting, and it will take five minutes or more to swap rear filters, and we will surely lose the light and miss the shot.” Hopefully, said director doesn’t know how fast your crew can change filters and will instead be impressed by your sense of fiscal responsibility. And of course, nothing prevents you from stacking additional filters in front.
Tiffen Magnetic Rear Filters for ARRI Signature Lenses
Offering new looks and additional style, rear effect filters from Tiffen complement ARRI Impression Diopter-Filters for Signature Primes and Zooms.
Tiffen Magnetic Rear Filters for ARRI Signature Prime Lenses are now approved, tested and authorized by ARRI. They come in a large choice of Tiffen looks and in grades: Black Fog, Night Fog, Black Pro-Mist, Antique Black Pearlescent, Antique Pearlescent, Antique Satin, Smoque, the ever-popular Glimmerglass and more. As with front-of-the-lens filters, Tiffen rear filters come in a choice of grades from 1/8 to 2.
Why is this so good?
When mounted on the rear, you can use one strength, for example 1/4, on the entire range of focal lengths. You do not have to change strengths depending on how wide or tight you are.
This is different from when you add a filter to the front of the lens. Hopefully you use a heavier grade for wide angles (maybe 1⁄2 or 1) and a lighter grade for tighter angles (maybe 1/8 or 1/4).
The reason for the uniform grade is telecentric design. On the Signature Primes, the rays that emerge from the rear of the lens are parallel, no matter whether you are wide, medium or tight. Also, none of the Signature Primes have rear elements that protrude through the rear of the LPL mount.
There are 12 magnets at the rear of ARRI Signature Prime Lenses. You probably already have ARRI net holders that attach the same way. Now, you can swap rear magnetic filters quickly and creatively.
Have we seen this before?
ARRI recently introduced eight Impression V filters—essentially plus and minus diopters for the rear. Now, Tiffen Rear Filters complement your selection of choices to define new looks.
Tiffen also makes rear filters for Angénieux Optimo Primes.
But why have we mostly used gels and nets in the past — and not glass filters — behind the lens?
As they say in Shakespeare in Love, “It’s a mystery.” Jon Ercole, AC Extraordinaire, used to call them “BLT” (Behind Lens, The) nets. Nets were lightweight, mysterious, drove rental houses mad when you used nail polish to attach them (3M “snot tape” a wiser choice), and stockings for nets were fun to shop for at Fredericks of Hollywood (Fogal Noir a favorite).
But now, Tiffen magnetic glass Rear Filters provide even more, and more repeatable, ways to define eras, distress, distort, augment, vintagize, glow, streak, flare, halate or deconstruct the image that the original lens designers spent years perfecting :) But now, Tiffen magnetic glass Rear Filters provide even more, and more repeatable, ways to define eras, distress, distort, augment, vintagize, glow, streak, flare, halate or deconstruct the image that the original lens designers spent years perfecting :)
Remember that flange focal depth changes by about 1⁄3 the thickness of a filter at the rear of the lens. Tiffen glass rear filters are approximately 2mm thick. So, you can add an approximately 0.6mm shim for a Signature Prime with rear filter — effect or clear. Tiffen is working on these shims.
If you just want a quick try-out without shims during prep, just mark your own focus scale with chart tape. That’s how FDTimes did the tests on the next page.
Tiffen Rear Glass Filters for ARRI Signature Prime lenses are available from The Tiffen Company and their dealers.