Can someone tell me what exactly the difference between nets
and scrims as far as the quality of the light passing through
it? I know that nets give you more flexibility regarding what
part of the light's throw you're choosing to knock down, but
I'm more interested in knowing how they effect the light itself.
Thomas wrote :
>Can someone tell me what exactly
the difference between nets and >scrims as far as the quality
of the light passing through it?
Golly, that's an unusual question which I feel unprepared
to answer with authority. That said, I'll put in my two cents
worth and say that barring some kind of scientific measurement,
the difference between the two is so minimal as to be practically
If you start the net less than a few inches from the object
being shot, then further approach the net to the object being
shot, there will eventually be a point when you begin to perceive
the shadows of the individual strands of the net. But you
would have to be very close. Using a scrim in the light itself
this would not happen, assuming the light always stays the
same distance from the object being shot.
Both the net and the scrim would "break up" the
light, even to the smallest degree, resulting in a slightly
softer light. I wouldn't have a clue which of the two would
Gaffer / New York City
Nets and scrims do alter the light's characteristics ever
so slightly, and like Piotr said the difference between the
two is practically imperceptible. I know a certain DP who
refuses to let his electricians use scrims, only ND gels on
the lights because if he wants a hard light he doesn't want
*anything* altering the light's quality. Overkill and impractical
in my opinion.
Los Angeles,CA and Vilnius, Lithuania
The scrim, a round frame with a wire screen of differing densities,
inserted into a holder directly attached to the lamp, is used
to control the overall intensity of particular lamp. The net,
a wire frame with a cloth net of various densities stretched
over it, is used to control the intensity of light on a specific
area of the set.
Nets are held in stands and there is much finer control possible
with the placement of the net, ie : To flag the light off
a particular piece of the wall or a set piece, to reduce the
brightness of a shirt while leaving the face of an actor in
the clear, by varying the distance of the net from the light
and the set one can make a harder or softer delineation etc.
As for the quality of the light, neither is designed to diffuse
the light specifically, (the difference between the two is
negligible), rather to reduce the brightness. To control the
quality of the light use the many different types of 'diffusion'
... but that is another post.
I think nets diffuse hard Fresnel light ever so slightly,
while keeping it hard. I know a certain DP who uses lavenders
(1/4 stop net) on all hard frontal talent lights to take the
hard edge off. He came up as a gaffer in a time when hard
light was de rigeur.