Filtration: Beware Of The Reaper Of Cheap Glass



Making HD look like film has a cocktail and one of the essential ingredients to this flavorful recipe is Neutral Density.  You have to keep your exposure on a 5D around a 5.6 to get that beautiful shallow depth of field.  The 7D should be around a 2.8, and the 1D around a 4.0.  This gives the focus puller a chance and still keep a beautiful fall off of focus.

The Canon cameras allow what has never been achieved before with most of the HD platform cameras.  They never had a vista-vision sensor in them.  It was always a 2/3 chip sensor or a 35mm sensor size with more depth of field than anyone would want or know what to do with.

I recently did a slew of tests for the Bandito Brothers Production Company and we discovered how cheap ND (Neutral Density) limited our color correction options.  Green is one of my favorite colors but not what bad green filtration does to a beautiful image with depth and color.

Hoya ND

Hoya ND


We had a test where I was shooting five 5D’s side by side with different ND filtration from a variety of manufacturers.  The color difference was astounding.  Muddy, green and flat was the feeling I was getting from an $11.00 HOYA filter.

Schneider ND

Schneider ND

Schneider logo

When I moved to the next camera it had a Schneider that seemed somewhat clean, but not perfect.

B + W 77mm

B + W Filter

Then onto the B+W, which has a color that was very close to the

Cameras 4 and 5 had Tiffen Water White  1.2ND’s which looked the cleanest of all of them.  This filter was specifically designed for the HD world.  When you ND so much to get the exposure that you love it increases the IR levels that your sensor is taking in.  This filter counteracts that. BUT what I have found is that the Canon DSLR’s have very powerful IR filters on their sensors so the standard IR filtration in the HD world is not needed.  Testing has shown that when you go into the 1.5 to 2.1 range you do need a little IR compensation but no where near what the filter manufacturer’s have laid in there.  So my go to is the HV Tiffen Water White 77mm ND’s Indie: 3,6,9,1.2, Indie Plus:1.5,1.8,2.1 pola, or the HV Tiffen Water White 4 x 5 Pro: 3,6,9,1.2 and Pro Plus: 1.5, 1.8, 2.1 with 138mm Pola Kits.  For detailed information, please contact Jill Conrad at NYC Tiffen at 1-631-609-3215 or email [email protected] or Robert Oralndo in LA at [email protected], they both will be able to direct you to a dealer to get you all set-up. The kits come with belt pouches that hold the 77mm or the 4×5 filters.  They are sweet and very user friendly.    Tiffen has also up their ND levels to 5, 6, and 7 stops.  These are now available in WW IR ND and WW Straight ND  1.5, 1.8, and a 2.1.  This is essential for getting that amazing shallow depth of field out of your Canon 5D, 7D, and 1D cameras.

HV Indie and Indie Plus Kits are 77mm Water White Straight ND’s

HV Pro and Pro Plus Kits are 4 x 5 Water White Straight ND’s

When we compared all the cameras in the color correction bay, the Tiffen Water White  ND quickly moved to the top. The Water White filtration is expensive, but you get what you pay for. What a difference!  So, my recipe for filming is to use the Tiffen Water Whites ND’s across the board.

What types of ND filtration do you use?  What gives you the best results?  What problems have you dealt with?

  1. baffa 6 years ago

    shane –
    thanks so much for sharing – i’ve met mouse a few times through my friend wes brown & love what you are doing at bandito.

    i just got back from shooting surfing and dust traveling lifestyle in baja with my 7d. i’ve been stacking my Tiffen 77mm ND8s & 9s to stay at 1/40th f2.8 in the hot desert sun.

    i’m been super happy with the results – keeping my neutral setting very flat – i don’t see a big color shift but i have been warming up my white balance for that “desert feel”

    i have had some issues with the “over heating warning” – not sure if others are experiencing this in challenging conditions. but for the most part – i am extremely happy with this system.

    i can’t wait to check out your recommended tiffen water white IRs – sounds like another gem of info from you.

    your generosity to other filmmakers embarking down this new HDSLR world of production is unprecedented. i truly do thank you for sharing in a world that often hordes. you rock. best. jb

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      baffa, you are very welcome. Sounds like you are doing the right thing putting all that ND in there. You will love the results with the WW IR ND. The overheating issue is a pain in the rear. It is the dual digi processor. It overheats so much more frequently than the 5D. Watch your blacks when the camera overheats. They tend to deliver this weird banding issue, where you see vertical and horizontal lines. Thank you so much for your kind words and support.

  2. Paul Reuter 6 years ago


    How are you? It been a long time. Glad you are doing all this work. The info here is really helpful

    Was wondering if your tested any Polas? I did not see mention of them

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Paul Reuter, Hi Paul, yes we did, the Schneider True-pola and the Tiffen Pola looked great. I tend to not use a pola that much for sky’s with this camera, because the blues seems to be saturated enough to my liking.

  3. Paul Reuter 6 years ago

    Yeah, I’ve been going with out a Pola, Something I feel the True-pola make the image look muddy. Most of the time I am happy wit out. Can’t wait to try the WW IR ND.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Paul Reuter, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Muddy is right.

  4. ivan 6 years ago

    i have received an email for jill conrad from tiffen about 82mm size WW IRND filters.
    this is what he wrote:

    “..We have been busy meeting the demand for the 77mm. Shane uses a step ring when shooting lenses requiring an 82mm. This is another option for you. I honestly don’t expect to have 82mm in stock for a few weeks. We have not have a real demand for it”

    for me is strange that peopleS prefers a 77mm over 82mm size .
    if i want to be sure to use the filters in all photographics lenses’ range i think that 82mm size is the best solution.
    the maximum lens size of a photographic lenses is 82mm.
    don’t you think so?
    if yes why you don’t suggest to all peoples and Tiffen the 82mm size?

  5. Steve K 6 years ago

    Hello again, Shane,

    Sincere apologies for still being stuck on this ND issue (you’re living in the past, man!!), but …

    You said:
    ” … you can double stack filtration and not be double stacking IR.”

    Does that mean that if I require 4 stops of reduction, for example (and assuming, of course, that I don’t have a 1.2), that I should stack a .9 IR ND and a .3 standard ND, as opposed to stacking two IR NDs?

    What will happen if you double-stack the IR?
    … I’m scared. :-S

    Thanks again for your time.

    As always, keep up the great work.


    P.S. I have lots to say (and questions to ask) about “The making of the Janitor Sequence” … still organizing my thoughts. Please, stay tuned.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Steve K, You are o.k. to stack, but I just received word that Tiffen has made the INDIE filter kits and you can buy them in different varieties. They have expanded the WW IR ND line to 1.5, 1.8, 2.1 so they are doing 5 stops to 7 stops. Very exciting for a person like me that loves taking it way down. It was mainly not liking 2 pieces of glass in front of the lens.

  6. Steve K 6 years ago


    Yes, it’s still me. :-)

    Here’s an apropos question (concerning the Janitor Sequence):
    What degree of ND filtration might you have used for those shots, if any?

    Also, does IR filtration apply to both interior and exterior photography?

    Thanks again.


    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Steve K, yes where ever you use ND, you will have IR pollution. I did not want to use ND on the Janitor sequence because I wanted to shoot with the lowest ISO possible.

  7. Steve K 6 years ago


    As to the first question (double-stacking IR filtration), thank you.
    Not that I have much real experience with this, but I can understand the logic in NOT wanting any unnecessary glass in front of the lens.

    As to the INDIE filter kits, am I reading you that they are now available?
    Having still not seen them in Tiffen’s catalog, I was just about to place an order for individual filters with B&H.


    All the best.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Steve K, hold off, they are coming out. This is what Jill Conrad sent me:
      Indie Standard IR Neutral Density Kit (W77INDSTDKT)
      IR Neutral Density 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2

      Indie Upgrade IR Neutral Density Kit (W77INDUGKT)
      IR Neutral Density 1.5, 1.8 or 2.1

      Indie Pro IR Neutral Density Kit (W77INDPROKT)
      IR Neutral Density 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.1

      Indie Neutral Density Kit (W77INDNDKT)
      Neutral Density 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2

  8. Ken Andrews 6 years ago

    HI Shane,

    Enjoy and use your blog as a reference. Thanks for all this effort you are putting in this. I’m about to load up on NDs and started wondering if this scenario would be valid: Getting one clear IR filter (no ND) and then putting standard ND in front of that, as needed. Seems like the IR pollution happens when you don’t need or want ND (interiors). I see redish noise in the shadows when shooting in interiors. Is this IR pollution?

    Another quick question I had was what your ratio has been in terms of using a mattebox versus screw-on ND on your 5D shoots. Having looked through all the stills and BTS footage here, I rarely see a mattebox on the cameras.

    Thanks again.


  9. Steve K 6 years ago


    Awesome! Thank you so much for the skinny on the Indie ND (say that 10 times, fast) kits and for clarifying that IR pollution issue.
    No word of a lie, I learn something new every time I visit the blog. Cheers!

    On an unrelated note, have you experienced any stuck frames with the 5D? I shot some footage this evening (perhaps, 60 shots), and wound up with a stuck frame (each one lasting four frames) on 3-4 of those. I’d read that this was a common problem but had yet to see it for myself.

    Other than that, I’m still very pleased with what the 5D can do: it’s one mean machine, and I thank you, once again, for teaching me how to use it. :-)

    Have a great one.


    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Steve K, Never heard of a stuck frame, very bizarre. You are very welcome.

  10. Steve K 6 years ago

    Ok, “very pleased” was an abysmal choice of words — I’m delirious, ecstatic.


  11. Steve 6 years ago


    I might have a budget for a RED EPIC and Lenses. I would like to buy the Carl Zeiss Compact Primes (18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm) with the RED EPIC Set-up. Would this be a good combination I would like to have your opinion on this set-up?

    I have a 5D already and investing on another 5D for 2nd and 3rd camera….

  12. Joe B. 6 years ago


    Thanks again for the wealth of information and experience you share, much obliged. I have a question that may be more worthy of a separate post; apologies if I get longwinded:

    It seems one of the main advantages of DSLR shooting is its low-profile nature–both in its diminutive size (can be rigged anywhere) and its not being an attention monger (you can gather doc. footage on the sly, or shoot permit-free, not that you or I would condone such behavior…). Acknowledging this strength, are screw-in filters a great way to go, assuming you can adapt your lens kit to all take the same size, over a mattebox? Do lens hoods provide similar stray light shade, when necessary, as french flags?

    Of course a mattebox often helps to protect the lens and camera–Cinevate’s, for example, even provides an overhead handle and a rails block for building a cage. They also lend an air of professionalism, and are adaptable to any lens, once on the rails…but what about when you want to go low profile, handheld: you still absolutely need the NDs to get your shot, so wouldn’t a screw-in set, if you had to choose, be the best choice?

    I ask because I own a mattebox, but feel conflicted about trying to use it regularly with my dslr for how it grabs attention, and for the difficulty in changing out filters on the move . Right now I’m working with Fader ND for handheld dslr work, knowing that for color critical shots I should likely be using my water white glass (Schneider 4x4s). But today I read this post that even the Schneider’s contaminate on the 5D…should I fully invest in screw-ins? Do they have front threads for adding polarizers, or pro mist or black frost? Should I scrap my mattebox for DSLR use (maybe sell it for money for screw-in filters, or even baseball cards?), or try to adapt it as an option into my kit? Help, o wise sage of feature film experience…

    (my gut says go for the Tiffen Indie Pro kit and don’t look back, assuming I can screw on a polarizer or slap on that mattebox for pola if absolutely necessary.)

    By the way, I didn’t know until recently that you shot “The Greatest Game Ever Played”–I love that story, one of the greatest moments in American sport. And now I will certainly check out the film.

    All Best, Gracias, JB

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Joe B. you are very welcome and thank you for your kind words and continued support. Screw-ins are my go to. I do not use a mattebox unless I am in a backlight scenario. I don’t like any mattebox that goes on the rails. It only slows you down. Looks good on a website and a trade show floor but is sucks in the field. Schneider do not preform well, you have to go with Tiffen WWIR ND filtration. Keep the mattebox for those backlight scenarios but keep it lean man. Thanks for the props for Greatest Game. That was and extraordinary experience and I felt I knocked it out visually. I would love to see what you think.

  13. Joe B. 6 years ago

    Apologies, just noticed the “older comments” replies–apparently you use B&S Clamp-On Mattebox and/or screw-in 77mm filters with 82mm step down rings when necessary. ‘Nuff said, but feel free to add more thoughts if and when you have the time. Thanks again, Joe

  14. Will 6 years ago

    Hi Shane,

    Thank you so much for your generosity with your knowledge and inspiring spirit. I’d be interested to know how you typically handle white balance variations during hectic productions on these cameras, and especially when you’re using high levels of ND.

    On occasion I use a TON of ND (8+ stops). Even great glass can have a slight color cast at those levels. I haven’t tried the new WW IRNDs yet (certainly planning to), but I know that Tiffen previously recommended white balancing out the yellow-green cast of its 2.1 IRND when using cameras like the Genesis and F23.

    Do you shoot a grey card and use the auto white balance feature, or can you just set the Kelvin temperature and be fine? Do you approach white balance differently if you’ve got a lot of filtration?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Will, You are welcome! Thank-you for your kind words. I love the slight yellow green that the ND filters add. The reason is that it being HD loves pink, magenta, and red. I hate pink and I hate magenta, so the WWIRND’s take that out. I never white balance. I use the color temp on the camera.

  15. Bill Walsh 6 years ago


    Thanks for this info. Did you run a similar test with Polarizers? I’m looking for something to compliment my new Zeiss ZE 50mm 1.4.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Bill Walsh, You are welcome, yes the WW Ultra Polarizer from Tiffen was very clean, it did not have all that green that you commonly see.

  16. Sam Phibbs 6 years ago

    Hi Shane,

    I am looking to invest in some wwirnds but can only really afford 3, which strengths would you recommend? Also can you stack them? One other question do you have UV filters on your lenses for protection and if so what brand would you recommend? I bought a fader variable ND what a piece a junk the sharpness loss is a joke! Thanks for all your help you give us through your blog and newsletters, you are the man!

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Sam Phibbs, I would go for a 6,9,1.2, stacking is not advised because it makes your image softer with the two layers of glass. I do not use the UV filters, they flare the lens to easy. I only use those when I am doing a crash housing or an explosion. If so, I would use the Tiffen Ultra Clears. Those ND faders are shit. You are very welcome. Thank you for those kind words.

  17. Rod Cole 6 years ago


    Thanks for your willingness to share your insight and your craft.

    I had already decided to purchase the Tiffen IndyPro kit based upon your excellent article, but a friend (he is still photographer only) attempted to convince me to purchase a Singh Ray VariND ($350) instead. This is only $100 less than the Filmtools price for the IndyPro kit and I had seriously considered them for no reason other than convenience of use until I read your response to Sam Phibbs about ND Faders.

    Even so, before making my decision, I had wanted to check with you as I was still concerned about color shift issues even with the Singh Ray, but the softness issue is a cause for great concern. Thanks for helping me to make the right decision.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Rod Cole,You are so welcome and thank you for your kind words and support, but it is very simple, go with the indy kit from Tiffen, the fader ND suck. If you want soft images and lifeless skin tones, have at it and save $100.00.

  18. Rod Cole 6 years ago

    Shane, thanks for confirming my gut-level sense that the Tiffen Indy Kit is the only way to go. I was not so much concerned about saving $100 but the siren song of having one convenient solution instead of having to change filters was quite compelling.

    I had previously tried the Coken filters left over from still photography years ago, but the magenta shift was intolerable thus I began looking for a better solution when I discovered your timely article.

    All the best and I am looking forward to your continued posts.

    • Author
      Shane 6 years ago

      Rod Cole, you are very welcome, I am selling Hurlbut Visuals Indie kits at the bootcamp for discounted prices. Are you coming? This is going to kick ass, never before has there been a course like this. Would love to see you.

  19. Patrick Jaeger 5 years ago

    Hi Shane,

    I have been looking for the IRND indie filter kit on Tiffen’s website but cannot find it? The only place I can find it on is B&H. This makes me a bit concerned, has the filter kit been released?

  20. Aviv Vana 5 years ago

    Shane, my Hero!
    I have a million questions but for now I’m just dropping a hello and expressing my gratitude as I continue to visit your site and continue to find answers to so many of my questions as I learn to master my 7D.
    Thanks, you are making me look good out here as I’m hired out to film in my neck of the woods . . . Israel – the hold land. :-)

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Aviv Vana, you are very welcome and thank you for those kind words. Keep on fueling the revolution from the Holy Land.

  21. Jim Weise 5 years ago

    I have been planning out my ND purchase over a few weeks, and been drifting along on the siren song of the “variable” ND options from various sources. After looking at some demo footage I was not impressed but unable to make sense of the pros/cons of such a route.

    I finally saw the light (yuck yuck) upon finding your great post. I will definitely grab one of the WWIR sets, having found that the science of the optics engineered by Tiffen makes good sense. Why degrade an image at the sake of convenience, since you gain back so much in time during post (and possibly overall).

    I know it is in part due to the demand of professionals like you, Shane, that we are lucky enough to have these tools available. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Jim Weise, the variable ND will bury you. We have designed a wonderful little pouch that you can velcro to your belt and have all the necessary tools to take ordinary footage and make it look extraordinary with the use of Tiffen WW IR ND or just straight WW ND.

  22. Tosh Xiong 5 years ago

    It’s great to get such a valued education from your blog, keep it up! I’m looking at the Tiffen Indie Upgrade Kit which includes (1.5, 1.8, 2.1 IR/ND Filters) Would these strengths be too much for outdoor shooting and some indoors? I assume the benefits of these ND’s apply to other camera’s (GH2) besides Canon only? Also, is there a difference between Water White Glass and ColorCore Glass? Thanks so much!

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Tosh Xiong, thank you so much for your kind words. The Tiffen Water Whites are the purest Neutral Density filters out there. I use the Indie Plus kit for all of my day exterior shooting, using ND to take the Canon 5D down 6-7 stops is where you turn an image from ordinary to extraordinary.

      • Menno 4 years ago

        Hi Shane,
        love reading your articles, please don’t ever stop :-)
        After all the good words about the Tiffen Waterwhite IRND filters I bought a Indie Pro kit. They come in two nice pouches, but the first thing I noticed is the huge green color shift between the various filters on my 5D. Do you know if this is normal? Or you have to white balance everytime another filter is put in front of the lens?

        • Author
          Shane 4 years ago

          The Water White non-IRs have the least amount of color shift, and the IR’s have a green color shift.

  23. John Tucker 5 years ago

    Hey Shane. I just got my IRND kit but there seems to be a slight colour shift towards green/blue. Is this normal? I thought they were meant to be completely clean?

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      John Tucker, here is my comment on this. I have shot with both WW IR ND’s as well as WW ND’s. Both I have in my arsenal. The IR to use when I want a slightly golder feel and if I want more of a white quality I go with the straight ND’s without the IR. I love a slightly yellow feel overall. This is why I shoot with Panavision Primo primes, and Leica Still glass, they deliver this.

      • John Tucker 5 years ago

        But my WW IR ND’s have a slight cool colour cast, not a warm one like you describe.

        • Author
          Shane 5 years ago

          John Tucker, what type of lenses are you using? Let’s get to the bottom of this. Thanks

          • John tucker 5 years ago

            Shane, I noticed these effects on the Canon EF 50mm f1.4.

          • Author
            Shane 5 years ago

            John Tucker, that is very weird. I will call Tiffen to see what they think. Thanks for giving us a heads up

  24. John Novotny 5 years ago

    What do you think of the Fader ND’s?

    Schneider recently had one at NAB 2011 with a 10 stop range.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      John Novotny, fader ND’s suck. They are double polarizers. This takes reflection off of everything. Which is great if you are shooting through a window of a car, or you want to shoot fish in a lake, but in general polarization is a bad thing, in my book. On skin it removes all of the reflection, which leaves a face lifeless.

      • John Novotny 5 years ago

        I see, only good for ENG, docs and maybe event coverage. Thanks!

  25. John Novotny 5 years ago

    Currently I’m using a Kenko ND filter.

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      John Novotny, I would try the Tiffen WW ND’s, they will not disappoint.

  26. John Novotny 5 years ago

    Picked up a set of the Tiffen 77mm Indie Plus HV Kit at Filmtools for over $100 off for anyone who’s interested.

  27. Greg Greenhaw 5 years ago

    Hey shane the Tiffen water white IR ND filters cause a major green cast.

    When I talked to you in person you said avoid the IR ND filters and only use the ND filters but you have a image above showing the Full spectrum IR ND filters. Also BH has the IR ND in their Tiffen Inde ND packs.

    This is super confusing now I’m stuck changing the white balance color offset in my 5d’s control panel per filter

    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Greg Greenhaw, I am very sorry about any confusion. I have both and use both. I find sometimes I love the golden feel, like on Case IH that was all WWIRND’s When I did the AM Resorts job I found that I needed the IR in the pools and the straights in the rooms and the beach. On Marines I used IR’s for the morning and afternoon light. If you are buying and investing in one set then I would make it the WW Straight ND filters. These will be your best bet. If I can help in any other way please email me. If you are looking for these specific kits they are HV Tiffen Indie and Indie Plus Kits.

  28. Draganche 5 years ago

    Hi Shane,
    First of, I wish you all the best in life.
    I think you are an exceptional person and I am delighted with the enthusiasm that you answer all the questions and of course your amazing work.
    This is my first post here, although I read you blog every morning with a couple of tea.
    To the point …
    I live in Serbia, where these things are Exotic :-)) as for the money, because of our closeness, unfortunately.
    I bought a 24-70 and mark 2 barely,do not ask me how, but I am more than satisfied, it was my dream ….
    Now, I need this filter, badly ..
    I have no money to buy something expensive, so I thought I buy LCV fader nd mark II,only through some friends in Europe if they are willing to help.
    My question is, what do you think of Light Craft Workshop?
    Once again a big greeting to you and your family and do not mind if I was a bit boring :-))

  29. Draganche 5 years ago

    Someone seems to have a good joke with me…
    A few days ago I received a very nice mail from Mr. Shane.
    Sorry if you got the mail from me that said something you did not have a clue :-)
    But hey,thanks to someone there,It was one of that day for which you think that is not happening.
    However,if anyone still recommended LCV fader?


    • Author
      Shane 5 years ago

      Draganche, your package will be on its way very soon. Thank you so much for your kind email. Enjoy, be inspired and follow your passion.

  30. Draganche 5 years ago


  31. Draganche 4 years ago

    Shane,my Man!
    Just to tell you that the filters arrived today!
    I immediately went to the testing and I have to tell you and everyone here,this is a serious thing…
    For now I am very satisfied and I found no flaws like people who use other filters.
    So far for the first day of testing. I can not wait for some larger projects to feel the full potential of these filters.
    I will continue to follow your blog and to collect your knowledge.

    Greatings from Serbia,where you are always welcome!

    • Author
      Shane 4 years ago

      Draganche, yes, they arrived. WHew, I was sweating whether they would get through customs. I am glad they are working out for you. The Tiffen HV sets are unique in that they are designed for DSLR’s. I look forward to seeing your video’s soon. All the best.

      • Draganche 4 years ago

        Trust me, it was densely :-))
        Sorry I’m late with the answer…
        I have a deal for a music video,just waiting for the weather conditions.
        As soon as I have something in hand,I will be glad to hear your feedback!

        • Author
          Shane 4 years ago

          Draganche, sounds great, would love that. Happy shooting.

  32. Robertt 4 years ago

    Hi Shane,

    Did you test the Heliopan Vario ND filter praised by Philip Bloom?

    • Author
      Shane 4 years ago

      Robertt, no I haven’t but if it uses dueling Pola technology and I know it does I am not having it. Thanks

  33. RyanB 4 years ago

    Hi Shane, Thank you so much for your testing and working out this much needed system…. One question… you had wrote in a previous response…
    ‘stacking is not advised because it makes your image softer with the two layers of glass’
    Will stacking the circ polarizer with an ND cause a softer image and is not advised? Or were you referring to stacking multiple Nd’s?

    • Author
      Shane 4 years ago

      RyanB, I was referring to multiple ND’s. I know that you have to polarize and having one ND that gets you to your desired stop and then add the pola is what I was talking about. This is why Tiffen and I engineered the 7 stops of ND range so that one or possibly 2 filters with a pola would be all you would need to put in front of your lens.

  34. Damien 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am certainly going to pick up the Tiffen ND Indie Plus kit. What are your thoughts about UV filters being used primarily as lens protection? I have the Hoya UV(o) and UV(c). Will I compromise my sharpness or have any other issues combining them with the Tiffen NDs? Thanks!

    • Author
      Shane 4 years ago

      Damien, I never use a UV filter unless I am going to take some dirt or rocks in the face. They definitely soften the image if you are layering on top of a WWND. Just use the WW.

  35. kai 4 years ago
    • Author
      Shane 4 years ago

      kai, yes this is correct.

  36. Paul Abrahams 3 years ago

    I picked up a Tiffen HV Indie set off amazon on special for a little over $200…. nice.

    • Author
      Shane 3 years ago

      Paul Abrahams. Yeah baby! Those are gold with new digital sensors.

      • Paul Abrahams 3 years ago

        Also got the Tiffen T1 to go with the indie set on my BMCC. Learning a ton here Shane, thanks.

  37. Hur 3 years ago

    I’ve noticed some color shift with the 77mm Tiffen Water White IRND’s on my 7d. This only becomes a problem for scenes where at some point there is no ND on the camera… i.e. a scene where there are a bunch of shots at .6 or .3 IRND but a few with no IRND. I’ve found that the filter-less shots are warmer than the others. Is this your experience?

  38. Artiom 3 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article and best regards from Germany.
    The Tiffen HV Indie is unfortunately not available in Europe. At least I was not able to find it after my long search. I was considering getting the fader ND, but the previous comments made me realize that it is not a good idea at all.

    Here comes my question: Is there any other possibility of getting the HV Indie kit in Europe/Germany or is my only possibility of ordering the kit over and paying the international shipping plus additional taxes? I am really thankful for any advice.

    • Author
      Shane 3 years ago

      Artiom, you are very welcome and thank you for your support. I think Amazon is your best bet, so sorry for the inconvenience. I have mentioned this to Tiffen before.

  39. Artiom 3 years ago

    I have another question: Can you give any advice which would be the most appropriate exposure on the Canon T3i to gain that beautiful shallow depth of field you were speaking of with the Canon 5d and 7d? I recently bought a Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 II in order to obtain a shallow depth of field. However, setting the exposure at 1.8 makes it really difficult to focus on the talent, so I guess there must be a nice trade-off between shallow depth of field and proper focusing. Thank you for your advice.

    • Author
      Shane 3 years ago

      Artiom, yes. I would set your lens around a 2.8 f-stop and try that. Yes that 1.8 is very shallow and hard to find anything in focus. Remember, when shooting a face is is very distracting for their nose and ears to be out of focus. Looks great on a still photo but not when its moving. You need to be able to grab that emotional contact with your character.

  40. Jeremy 2 years ago

    Hi Shane, wonderful site. Thanks so much for all the help you give to filmmakers and DP’s.

    I have two questions. I’m going to be shooting a project soon with the 5DmIII with the Magic Lantern upgrade and the Zeiss CP.2 Primes. I’m very aware of how important filters are for the cinematic look. However, the CP.2’s have a 114mm front lens diameter. There doesn’t seem to be any alternatives for screw-in filters at that diameter and the plate filters aren’t reasonable on a budget. Is it best to ditch the CP.2’s or is the image quality worth going the plate filter route?

    And the last question: For this project there are scenes that require a bright, white light shooting toward the lens from behind an actor to create a silhouette with little to no detail. ND is an absolute must but I’m also afraid of blowing out the image so that it looks very digital. Is this look possible with the 5DmIII? Is it just about stopping the camera down to control that bright white light and letting everything else go into the shadows?

    Thanks again for your time!

    • Author
      Shane 2 years ago

      Jeremy, thank you very much for the kind words. The 5D MK III hack is very good. Keep those CP2’s, they will be great. Get some 4.5R filters and there is a 114mm clamp on that receives the 4.5R filters if you do not want to go with a matte box. Yes stop the 5D MK III down so that it feels hot but not that clippy video look. The 5D blows window out very cinematically so you should be fine.

  41. Brahm 2 years ago

    Hey Shane, I made the call that there is no shelf life or “necro-posting” rule on blog articles that are so “living” and pertinent.

    I understand everything you are saying and am ready to pull the trigger except I am shooting almost exclusively with the Canon 35mm L which is a “72mm” filter size.

    How do you feel about the following products from Tiffen – and will the IR portion of them really affect me that much? (Shooting a western in the Mojave dessert)?

    Thanks for your time!

  42. CHRISTIAN M 1 year ago


    Amazing website, learn sooo much. I appreciate your giving spirit.

    Not sure if you answer to old posts, but if you do, the in question is: Have you used the Singh-Ray filters? specifically their Mor-slo 10 or 15? what’s your take?

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