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Lens Filters for the Live Video Shooter

December 16, 2015 by Chuck Baker

When you shoot to record your footage for later editing, it’s easy to think about fixing any color issues in post production - but Noam Kroll makes the fair point in the blog at Premium Beat that you shouldn’t, because post processes really cannot duplicate the same look and color effects of a real lens filter on the footage at the time you shoot.

We would add  a couple of points of our own:

  • When you use a lens filter to get your color and effects in-camera, the output is first-generation signal as clean as you are going to get.  Color correcting video in post can amplify the sensor noise, at minimum degrading the image slightly, sometimes muddying the colors and in some cases producing banding.
  • When you shoot for a live show, there is no post.  If you have specific looks you want to achieve, you need to have the right lens filter on the camera at the shoot.  Nothing else will do. Kroll covers the five lens filters he recommends as essential for a range of effects that any video shooter should have at their command.  His emphasis is on gaining a more film-like appearance, which is something that can be more appealing to viewers than the sometimes overly sharp, starkly detailed look in the images from many modern digital video cameras.

Read the complete article at Premiumbeat.com: The Five Lens Filters Every Video Shooter Should Own

Worth noting: the information in the article applies as well for still photography.  Also, if you happen to be using DSLRs to shoot your video, then you can easily produce high-resolution stills for publicity that match the look of your video shoot.

Read more NewTek Camera Tips

See our training video: How to Make Video Like a Professional

Some additional sample images with and without lens filters (includes some commonly used filter types not covered in the article):

Polaroid_LensFiltersChart_Comp001Samples with and without CPL filter, from Canon:


Sample images with and without lens filters, from Vivitar:


Samples of neutral density filters with color gradients (filter is half clear, half color gradient; mfg: Green):


Some of the filters used in the preceding image:



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