RED’s Game Changing OLPF Filter: the Standard OLPF
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
Follow RED Digital Cinema:
All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.
what are you rating the camera iso with this OLPF?
800 ISO. It seemed to let about 2/3rd’s of a stop more light in compared to the Skin Tone.
Hey Shane ,
First let me say that the inner circle is a wealth of information that has made me a much better shooter after signing up .. thank you so very much..
I am now in the market for a red dragon and i was looking at the red Ti Motion Mount with built in ND filters and IR filtration vs the conventional Ti Mount and using Tiffen Straight , IR or TRU ND
Would love to have an answer to this as the motion mount costs 4,000 USD
Thank you so much for those kind words and support of the Inner Circle. Do not invest in that motion mount. It is horrible and the NDs are hot mirror NDs and they destroy skin. Stay away. Buy the Standard OLPF. Load that baby in and use just cheap ND filters and you do not need IR anymore.
First, thank you for the wealth of information you lend us here and on the paid version. I see that you are talking about the RED, on twitter one year, I remember asking you if you would shoot with a Red and you replied “no comment” clearly your opinion on the Red camera changed. I’ll be ordering the Weapon soon, glad to see it is a tool you now cosign.
Here is the deal. I did not care for the Epic. Then they made the Dragon sensor and it came alive. It delivered skin tones for the first time. So I moved right over into using this incredible tool. It was always a genius camera. The sensor technology was just not there. Now with the standard OLPF, it makes it even better.
A little note on the IR test… IR pollution is always related to the ambient temperature of the scene. IR = heat. So when you make a IR test, it’s important that you note down the ambient temperature. There are long shadows in the test scene, which makes me assume that it was shot in the morning or just before dusk – aka not the hottest part of the day. It’s a beautiful shot, but it doesn’t provide the ultimate test for IR. Ideally an IR test should be shot at noon on a hot day.
I’m only writing this because I respect all the testing you’re doing. And since I use these as a reference for my own work, I want to make sure that they are conducted correctly. Hopefully the new OLPF solves all the IR issues; my fingers are crossed.
Wow really useful thank you for this in depth test, however I am not really seeing the sharpness difference, maybe because I am watching this on my full HD screen.