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Diffusion filter for the HF200

anindya49's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 01/15/2010 - 10:26am

I am looking for a diffusion filter to use with my Canon HF200. The Tiffen Soft F/X 3 is suggested on some websites. Is this is a good one to use? I want something that takes away the over-sharp video look, but is not too over-the-top.


anindya49's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 01/15/2010 - 10:26am

Well, I tried the Soft F/X 3. DON'T BUY THIS FOR HD CAMERAS!!!

The filter pattern is almost always visible, and the effect is a little over-the-top. Try one of the HD diffusion filters, maybe. I am using the following custom image settings with no diffusion filter:

Brightness: -1

Contrast: -1

Sharpness: -1

Colour: -1

with xv colour off and PF30 mode (since I am using FCE 4 which does not support 24p). The image looks amazing after these adjustments: less blown highlights, better colour and not too much sharpening.

I also try to keep WB, focus, exposure and audio gain in manual mode while shooting. Hope this is useful to someone!

Any suggestions for a diffusion filter for this camera? Anyone?


anindya49's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 01/15/2010 - 10:26am

Well, I am replying to my own thread, but I just wanted to report some corrections and add a bit to the last post.

After further experiments, I withdraw my suggestion about not getting the Soft F/X 3. It seems to work fine on the HF200. It seems the visible pattern I was referring to was an iMovie issue; the footage looked beautiful and smooth after I restarted iMovie. Here are a few observations:

  • You want to keep the aperture wide open, as the filter pattern willshow at small apertures, such as when shooting outdoors on a bright day. Use ND filters if you want to use diffusion.
  • It is wonderful on people, just like it says in the adverts. However, try to avoid specular highlights in the frame as they tend to bloom in an obvious way (unless you want that effect, of course). Also avoid using it in silhouette shots.
  • I found that it helps to dial down the exposure a little bit (about 1-3 dB). This makes the blooming effect more subtle.
  • There seems to be some chromatic aberration near the edges of the frame while using this filter, throughout the zoom range. I need to run more tests on this. Most people won't notice this, however.