Pro Optical Filter Packs for Video Shooters


Help the videographer in your life get just the look they want, or round out your own kit with the gift of a pro filter pack from B&H Photo. Enhance your exposure control to create sharp focus drop-off, subtly take the edge off wrinkles and blemishes, darken overexposed skies, lower contrast in high-exposure locations, and generally create a more “filmic” look with the use of optical filters. The links provided below are to the popular pro-cine 4 x 5.65" filter size but most are also available in 4 x 4", 138mm round, and other cine-style sizes. In addition to bundling together frequently used filters, many of these kits offer savings when compared to purchasing the filters individually.

Many of these professional filters are constructed from “water white” glass or proprietary glass, like Tiffen’s Color Core, to provide accurate, consistent color reproduction. Some also include an IR-cut filter layer to provide true neutrality, shepherding light rays to your camera’s sensor sans infrared pollution. IR-cut filters are also available as single filters and IR/polarizer or 85 combo filters for greater flexibility when stacking filters.

Tiffen 4 x 5.65" T1 IR Filter

For an expert’s opinion on the advantages of using optical (glass) filters as opposed to adding a filter effect in post, read my colleague Steve Gladstone’s interview with Ira Tiffen on this subject.

Schneider offers several essential filter kits composed of NDs (neutral densities), ND grads, and IR cut options. Its moniker notwithstanding, the Essential Filter Kit for RED is primed for use with any HD video camera. This four-filter pack includes 3, 4, and 5-stop ND filters and a True-Cut IR 750 filter, all constructed with Schott water-white glass. Tame overblown landscapes and horizons with the Schneider Exposure ND Kit, comprising two solid and two soft-edged ND grad filters.

Schneider 4 x 5.65" Essential Filter Kit for RED

Get that coveted film look without opening a single can with Tiffen’s Film Look DV Filter Kits. Tiffen's filter kits include various ND, polarizer, and twilight/sunset bundles. Their Digital Video Essentials 3 Kit is a good starter kit with a polarizer, an 812 warming filter to improve skin tones, and an optical flat (clear) filter to protect your valuable lens from dust, debris, and splashes.

Tiffen Pro100 Skyline Filter Kit with 4 x 4" Graduated Sunset and Graduated Twilight Filters

Originally only available as behind-the-lens filtration, ARRI offers its premium full spectrum ND filters in three-filter Basic and eight-filter Pro sets.

ARRI 4 x 5.65" Full Spectrum Neutral Density Filter Pro Set

If you’re familiar with LEE gels, you may want to check out this manufacturer’s ProGlass CINE IRND Filter Kit.

Formatt Hitech offers several Quick Start kits, including a three-filter HD/HDV Warming and Softening Kit for optimal skin tones, and an HD/HDV Depth of Field & Outdoor Kit for maximizing exterior locations.

Formatt Hitech 4 x 5.65" Quick Start 1 HD/HDV Warming and Softening Filter Kit

Budget-conscious shooters may want to explore Cavision’s range of filter kits. Various kits include polarizers, NDs, graduated NDs, Soft Mist Blacks, and Day for Night and Evening Blues for simulating moonlight.

Cavision 4 x 5.65" Day for Night 0.9 Filter

Explore the wide selection of optical cine-style filters on the B&H Photo website, and share your comments below on choosing glass over digital filtration. Bonus points to the first reader who can name (without Googling) the film-industry company who popularized the 4 x 5.65" filter size!