Thursday, July 31, 2008

Redrock 3 piece Filterset

Redrock Circular Polarizer, .6 ND and Soft edge horizontal grad (perfect for landscape). All filters come with their own pouches, however I am disappointed that I have to spend more money to get microfiber cloth for the filters.

Yes, finally an affordable filter set for the starving indie crowd. $495 gets you three piece of 4 x 5.65 glass filter directly from RedRock Micro. You get a Circular polarizer (not the cheap linear ones), a horizontal Graduated .6 Soft edge and a .6 ND. Individually other manufactures are charging anywhere from $250 - $850 per filter in the 4 x 5.65 size.
Tiffen 4 x 4 filter next to Redrock 4 x 5.65 filter.

In theory, 4x4 size filters are only really suitable for standard 16mm and non-widescreen electronic cameras. 4x5.65 filters are very suitable for Super 16 or 16x9 HD or other 2/3" cameras. 4x5.65 is also the smallest practical size for 35mm cinematography. The 4x5.65 size is also referred to as "Panavision" size and was originally developed by Panavision as the most compact size that would cover their widescreen anamorphic lenses. 5x6 filters are not very common, and will only fit the ARRI MB-14 and MB-15 Matte Boxes. 6.6x6.6 Is the largest size commonly produced. Choose 6.6x6.6 for 35mm format shooting with graduated filters (grads) and for covering extremely wide angle lenses, or for those lens with very large front element.

The edge finishing on the Redrock filter (upper left), a newer Tiffen filter with its signature green finishing (upper right) and an old Tiffen filter with its smooth side finishing (lower right). Quality wised, the finishing on the Tiffen filters are way smoother and more polished than the Redrock. Only time will tell how durable the glass and the finishing will last and how well it resist cracks and chips being clamped unto the filter trays.

According to Redrock, their filters were made from shott glass material. I wonder who made these filters for them ... hmmm. Let see... another big filter compay that uses the same glass is Formatt. And hmmmm... if you click on the first picture you can see Polarizer being spelled as 'Polariser' which is U.K/British English ... and Formatt is a U.K company........ hmmmm. Formatt used to be known of using 3mm glass instead of the standard 4mm glass thickness for their cheaper end filters. Luckily, all the Redrock filters are made of 4mm glass. phew ...

Overall the Redrock filter feels hefty indicating they were made from solid good quality glass. my 4x4 Tiffen weights 3.8 oz, my retro 4 x 5.65 weights 4.9 oz and the Redrock weights 4.8 oz. Unfortunately, I do not have a mattebox to actually test the filters. I will do some tests once my Redrock mattebox ships (one advice, don't hold you breath for this one though).

I love my old retro Tiffen genuine leather pouches the best. It has this soft almost microfiber like material inside. Both the Redrock and the newer 4x4 Tiffen filter pouches are you standard run of the mill nylon material.
The Redrock filters came wrapped in this very thin baking paper material. If you know of any cheap place to get a big microfiber cloth for filters, please shoot me an email or a comment please.

If you want the highest quality filter, then you should shop for Schneider but their 4 x 5.65 circular polarizer alone is $415. If you use 35mm still lenses or the stock 1/3" camera lens, you might be able to get away with Schneider's lower end 'century 4 x 4 (5 piece) filterset' for only $ 499.00

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