The reason I test is because I have come to the conclusion that you can never let your guard down. You can never just say this will be good enough. You have to push, challenge yourself and not just go with what others have done.
On my latest project with New Line, the rules of engagement would not change. Test, test and test. We did all the normal tests that you do. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, lens and lighting. One test that you usually do not do is OLPF testing. WHY??? Because most cameras other than the RED do not have interchangeable OLPF filters.
The RED is a very unique camera that requires love. Once you love it, you get the best out of this creation. You have to understand it. You have to develop an etiquette to set yourself up for success and one of the items on your checklist is OLPF filters.
The Standard OLPF Filter
RED has released a Standard OLPF filter that was designed specifically for the Weapon but you can use it on your Dragon or Epic and the results are shockingly great. I have to say this just changed the game for all RED users and RED haters across the globe, in my opinion. The Standard OLPF filter enables the RED color space to fall in like the Alexa, which has become the benchmark of our industry. Think about it. Canon built a color matrix LUT to match the Alexa with their C300 MK II so people could feel confident matching skin tones and use it as a cheaper B Camera. This is RED’s answer.
The Color Bay
When I sat in the color bay at Fotokem, we queued up the footage shot with the Standard OLPF on a 25’ screen. The first thing out of Illya’s mouth was that this footage “pulled into the color space like an Alexa.” If Arri has cracked the DI color correction code, then the Dragon with a Standard OLPF filter is RED’s answer and it comes with so many wonderful benefits.
1. A Sensor That Delivers Skin Dimension
The Standard OLPF filter is much sharper, delivers better skin tones and delivers skin dimension. What the heck is skin dimension? Skin dimension is seeing different tonal values within a face. Seeing subtle details that give a face character, beauty, and vitality. Once I saw the side by sides with the Skin Tone OLPF, which I had been a huge supporter of when using it on Into the Badlands, and the Standard OLPF, there was no comparison. The standard blew it out of the water. Our model felt sharper and had great skin dimension. She also felt alive and vibrant. The Skin Tone OLPF had a ton of green, which was always needed in the past with the EPIC because of its magenta ridden color space.
RED Dragon LUTs used shooting Into the Badlands available in Shane’s Store
Take a look at this test with the side by sides with Skin Tone OLPF vs Standard OLPF as well as Low Light OLPF vs Standard OLPF and you will hopefully come to the same conclusion that I did.
Skin Tone OLPF vs Standard OLPF
Low Light OLPF vs Standard OLPF
Low Light OLPF vs Standard OLPF vs Skin Tone OLPF
2. No Need for IR filters anymore
Think about how much users have invested in combatting the IR pollution that is inherent with the RED. IR filters, Hot mirrors, and True NDs have all been created to solve this problem. With just the click of a mouse, you can order your Standard OLPF and never have to rent or buy an IR filter other than a Straight ND set that goes for way less than any of the others I just mentioned above.
HOLY COW!!!!! is what I said. Well I said something a little less appropriate, but I have to be PC, ha ha, when I viewed this test in the color bay.
I always say the proof is in the pudding. Here is the test that I shot with my assistant Cooper James standing in for us. The RED sensor could usually handle IR pollution up to about ND .9 but then after this, the wheels would start to come off. What I see here is no IR pollution all the way up to 2.1 and that the True ND filters actually hurts your image. This is when I knew that RED had figured it out. Slam Dunk!!!! Team RED. Thank you!
IR Pollution: Standard OLPF Filter Test – Tiffen Straight NDs (Non-IR) Compared to True NDs
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