Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

Reducing Filter Size

Published : 30th September 2003


I currently have a slew of 6 x 6 filters that are sitting idle on the shelf while I continually keep renting 4 x 4 's for my jobs.

Does anyone have any knowledge of cutting 6 x 6 filters down to 4 X 4? Is this something that could be done locally at a specialty glass company? Is this difficult...expensive?

Thanks,

Ted Wiegand
Director/D.P.
Pittsburgh, Pa.



I remember this came up before - I think it was earlier this year. Try a search in the archives - if I remember correctly - some names were brought up of places that can do this for you.

Roderick
Az. D.P.
www.restevens.com
12 On / 12 Off



Ted Wiegand wrote :

>I currently have a slew of 6 x 6 filters that are sitting idle on the shelf >while I continually keep renting 4 x 4 's for my jobs.

Call Stan Wallace @ The Filter Gallery. He can cut, polish, coat and engrave if you ask him nicely (and pay him accordingly).

Best,

Anders Uhl
Cinematographer
NY

The DoP Shop
http://www.thedopshop.com



Any glazier worth its name can cut and sand the edges of a glass filter. I had some 6'x6' cut into 4'x4' with success, but...Harrison & Harrison filters are too thick and can easily shatter or have its sandwiched components uncemented. I tried with those too...a disaster.

Arturo Briones-Carcaré
Filmmaker
Madrid (Imperial Spain)



Arturo Briones Carcaré wrote :

>Any glazier worth its name can cut and sand the edges of a glass filter. I >had some 6'x6' cut into 4'x4' with success, but..."

Solid glass panes, or filters, can more readily be cut with a typical carbide glass cutter wheel than can the laminated or cemented filters made of two clear pieces bonded with the color layer in between. That is because the two pieces of glass are still acting as separate pieces, i.e. when one can crack while the other may not. That's what adds to the safety of laminated car windshields, for instance.

To cut such glass, while it is possible to score and break the glass on both sides in suitable alignment so that it can be sanded to form one clean edge, it isn't easy or dependable. Better to use a diamond wet saw and cut through both sides at once. While we of course have the ability to do that for people, and sometimes do in a pinch, Anders' suggestion of using Stan Wallace's cut-down service is a good one.

Disclaimer : I have no connection to Stan other than the following: he has worked for both us and our competition in the past; he is a dealer of ours (and others).

Ira Tiffen
The Tiffen Company
Hauppauge, NY 11788



Arturo Briones writes :

>Harrison & Harrison filters are too thick and can easily shatter or have its >sandwiched components uncemented. I tried with those too...a disaster.

I've seen heavy laminated (sandwiched) safety glass cut this way :

1) Both sides are scored with a glass cutter.

2) The glass is gently snapped, leaving the plastic layer still intact, holding the two pieces together.

3) Lighter Fluid (benzene) is squirted into the gap, and ignited. The heat melts the middle plastic layer along that line, and the two pieces separate cleanly.

4) The edges are sanded, etc.

Disclaimer : DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME...Let a professional do it.

Caveat: This may work with industrial laminated glass, but filters are probably a lot more delicate.

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Here is an update regarding my attempts to reduce the size of filters.

Based on Anders Uhl's recommendation I ended up sending seven (3 Harrison, 4 Tiffen) 6.6 x 6.6 filters to be cut down to 4 x 4 size to Stan Wallace at the Filter Gallery.

Let me say the work was incredible.

First he found the best part of the filter to cut down, second he coats the filter edges with a baked on epoxy (Nice).The next step is very cool, a laser etching of the filter description onto the filter, much easier to read than the standard black printing. Add a filter pouch and a reasonable price and you have a great deal.

I highly recommend sending any filters in need of a cut down to Stan. Thanks Anders and to all CML’ers who responded with advice.

Ted Wiegand
Director/D.P
Pittsburgh, Pa.



>Based on Anders Uhl's recommendation I ended up sending seven (3 >Harrison, 4 Tiffen) 6.6 x 6.6 filters to be cut down to 4 x 4 size.

Out of interest... why not cut them down to 4 x 5.65 for 16:9 use?

Jacques Nortier
Wildlife Cameraman



Jacques,

I rarely shoot anything 16 x 9, currently most of my work is shot 4 x 3 for NTSC television. In hind sight that would probably have been a more versatile size!

Where were you when I sent my original post? Good idea.

Don't most 4 x 4 filters work for 16 x 9 except on the super wide angle end?

Thanks,

Ted Wiegand
D.P
Pittsburgh, pa



Hi Ted, thanks for the reply.

I do environmental doco’s and that tends to take me out of town for long periods, I only caught on to the discussion when everybody seemed to have signed off already.

Unfortunately you'll hit the edges off a 4x4 filter from 6.8mm and wider in 16:9. If I were to put a Century wide angle adaptor on an average lens such as the 7.8 x 22 - Fujinon (6.2mm with adaptor) the 4x4 will be of no use to me.

Keep well

Jacques Nortier - Environmental/Wildlife Cameraman,

South Africa