KipperTie has just released some new behind-the-lens ND filters for the RED Raven. While behind-the-lens filtration is most famous for image manipulation (rear-element nets and silks being a signature of Janusz Kaminski’s work for many years, for instance), rear element ND is also very useful. In fact, back in the film days, one of the few perks of a Panavision film camera was that it had two behind-the-lens filter slots, frequently filled with ND filters.
Of course, the Raven doesn't come with a filter slot, so KipperTie has engineered the filter to mount securely inside the lens mount. They even include an installation tool to avoid users having to touch the filter directly, which might lead to smudging.
You might ask why these are available for the Raven and not the Epic. The Raven is the lighter and less expensive body, which makes it more likely to be the body that gets put on a gimbal, mounted to a MoCo rig, flown on a helicopter, or otherwise get rigged up. When you are flying a camera, weight and balance matter, and if behind-the-lens filtration helps keep the camera lightweight, you’ll be better off.
It also comes with a handy ring you can attach to the lens mount to compensate for the back-focus change that comes with rear element filtration, so your lens markings remain accurate. This might be useful for a long day in the sun while using a single zoom lens, but I would be worried about the ring falling off or being damaged from frequent prime lens changes and would be unlikely to use it in that case. For any situation where you are flying the camera and thus using remote focus, I’d be more likely to recalibrate my remote focus manually than to use the ring on the mount.
KipperTie OLPF filter kit. Note the leather and stitching.Credit: KipperTie
Currently available for pre-order from the KipperTie site with a discount through September 16th, hopefully they'll show up for purchasers and at rental houses this fall. Enough pre-orders have been placed at this point that they have already begun production, which is a good sign, and considering KipperTies' track record I wouldn't be worried about delivery. KipperTie is perhaps most famous for their series of OLPF filters, which we covered in our 2016 NAB video. Also, KipperTie is perhaps the most English name that could possibly be created for a gear rental house, and their leather-lined case for OLPF filters reaches near imperial levels of Englishness. Well done.
- ND .6-2.1 included in kit
- Insertion Tool
- 6x back focus shims
- Custom-foam hard case
- Nano-coating resists dirt, dust and moisture