August 16, 2022

The evolution of soft filters is amazing! What is a black mist that immerses you in the atmosphere of a movie?

3 min read

Black mist filter used in movies and TV
Cameras have been digitized and equipped with a digital filter function, and more and more images after shooting are processed on the camera side rather than lens filters. In line with this, camera manufacturers have developed unique effects one after another, and they are now a standard function. Apart from that trend, the “Black Mist Filter” was created to suppress the contrast between highlights and shadows for high-resolution and over-sharp camera depictions.

Originally, it was a video filter used in movies and TV shooting, but due to its popularity, it was released for cameras. Mainly for people, it has the effect of softening the light source, and the point light source such as night view light, backlight, and sunlight through the trees also creates a fluffy and fantastic atmosphere. This time, in addition to the black mist, KANI’s CDF filter, which has the same effect, and Kenko Tokina’s MC Prosoften, which has been used for comparison, were added, and a total of 5 types of filters were used for comparison.

Comparison with LED lanterns
First, I put in the light source of the LED lantern and tested it by shooting from a short distance. The focal length of the lens is equivalent to 120mm and the aperture is wide open F4.
MC Prosofton (A)
When I used “MC Prosofton (A)”, flare appeared around the light source and it became soft focus.
MC Prosofton (B)
“MC Prosofton (B)” has the same effect, and there seems to be almost no difference in the effect during close-up photography.
Comparison in portrait photography
Next, I tested the effect of each filter in portrait photography. When shooting without a filter, the background is beautifully blurred because it is equivalent to 120 mm. She is modeled by Akiko.
Cinema Diffusion Filter No.0.5
When “Cinema Diffusion Filter No.0.5” is used for portrait photography, the effect is close to that of “Black Mist No.05”, but when compared strictly, it can be said that this is a weaker effect.
Comparison with ultra wide-angle lens
Finally, I attached “Cinema Diffusion Filter No.0.5” to the ultra-wide-angle zoom and took a picture.┬áIt can be seen that the area around the person’s face is slightly soft.
The new generation soft filter is a bit different
When shooting in this way, there is a clear difference between the conventional soft filter, black mist, and Cinema Diffusion Filter. The effect is natural and slightly softens the depiction of the person. This time, we have not verified it in the landscape, but it is easy to use because it works weakly in the case of the landscape. Until now, Photoshop corrected the image after shooting, but with these filters, the same effect can be obtained at the time of shooting.

The point of using these filters is not to be too effective, so No. 05 for black mist and No. 0.5 for Cinema Diffusion Filter are just right. If you use a filter with a stronger effect than this, a soft effect will appear on the entire screen, and the effect will be too clear. As for the shooting conditions, the lens tends to show the effect in telephoto, backlight, or semi-backlight. In addition, evening and night views with point light sources are also effective. If you want to shoot with Pecan’s forward light, it may be better to use No.1.

I used to think that the filters used in the digital age were PL (polarized) or ND filters, but I was able to reconfirm that Black Mist is a very attractive filter. It seems to be a powerful ally that you want to keep in your camera bag when shooting people.

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