Good lens filters can empty your wallet pretty quickly, but the effects they produce are beautiful (and oftentimes needed). If your name isn't Rich Uncle Pennybags, or if you're a DIY enthusiast like most of us here, Film Riot has put a couple of ladies' unmentionables to the test: traditional black stockings and fishnet stockings to see which replicates the effects of a $100 black pro-mist filter best. And as an added bonus, we've shared a few extra DIY filter ideas, from plastic soda bottles to plastic Pringles lids.
If you're a veteran, chances are you've got a nice collection of filters already in your gear bag, but if you're just starting out, you might want to see if these DIY tricks will do the trick. Using stockings and pantyhose over your lens as a filter is no new practice -- you won't be thrown for much of a loop when Connolly slaps on those standard issue block stockings (on his lens, guys!). However, I honestly haven't even considered using fishnets for anything outside of Halloween costumes and Lady Gaga-themed dance parties, but you can tell the difference between the fishnets and the traditional stockings.
The traditional ones certainly bloom the highlights, but they also make you lose a lot of contrast, while the fishnets manage to mimic the desired effect of a black pro-mist filter (bloomed highlights without losing contrast). Also, the fishnets allow you a little bit more control over how much of the effect you want, thanks to its netting. By stretching or loosening them over the lens, the effect will become less/more intense.
Check out the Film Riot video below for more information on how to utilize stockings as filters. They also have a bit at the end about dirt cheap lights that you can use in your next project: those LED headlamps (which are usually $15 to $30) and the $25 folding Energizer LED lantern.
Stockings are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DIY filters, though. The possibilities are virtually endless! Different kinds of fabrics provide different diffusion effects: lace, silk, sports jerseys, mesh, lingerie (I don't know if you want to be walking around with a sheer black teddy on set, but -- do you, Boo Boo). Don't want to buy gels? (Why not? They're cheap!) Try coloring a clear, plastic sandwich bag with sharpies (a plastic Pringles can lid also works). Try shooting through plastic soda bottles -- even old film negatives. Mashable has shared a bunch of filter ideas that work for still photography. Give them a shot and see if they work just as well in motion.
What DIY filters have you used?
[via Film Riot]