Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Gauge Of Nets Behind The Lens


I'm making up 3 degrees of net diffusion for a doc series where several cameramen will be shooting different segments. Trying to keep consistent look for producer and also provide flex for us cameramen.

I've ordered 3 sets of I- Rings so that each shooter will have 3 softening options - a 1,2,3.

(I-Rings come in differing colors- how cool is that?)

I've only used Fogal Blacks behind the lens. I recently collected a pile of Millenary and fabrics from the NY "Garment district" (talk about a hard place to find!)

Just wondered if anyone had an idea for something more empirical - maybe differing weaves of Fogals?

Can we talk _fishnets_ here?

I'm trying to get 2 lesser degrees of diffusion/halation than the black no. 10 I've used before. do they make an 8? a 6? anyone?

mmmm 8's...


Caleb Crosby, s.o.c.

> Can we talk _fishnets_ here?

For 100% silk stockings (at a reasonable price) try here :

For 5 denier(sp?) try here;

Tom Townend,


A while back, I made the rounds of fabric shops on 37/38st in NYC too. The stuff I liked the most was a black tulle. I discovered that these veil fabrics were not only made of varying gauge fibres, but they were also woven in different ways. If you look closely at the intersections you will find that they will involve from 2 to 5 different strands these intersections cause a lot of light scattering and can become visible clumps at higher stops. Unlike stockings they don't stretch easily, so it's not so hard to standardize the look of each net. I did find that the stretch on a stocking could significantly alter its effect. To maintain consistency, I recommend that you assign exposure compensation to each net you choose/mount.

Someone once explained that US regulations require clothing to be treated with fire retardants and that this coating actually increase the thickness of the threads -- particularly thinner varieties. Not sure if that's the explanation. Can't imagine that French women (or men) care less about their legs...At any rate, I found that there were no stockings available in the States with thread as fine as the Diors from France -- even the Fogals.

If it's any help my notes list favourites in order of decreasing effect :

Fogal Noblesse #110 or 109
Tulle (3 thread intersections) from Guide Fabrics 262 W 38
Diorissimo Noir 4-10 801 Bas 9221 100%polyamide 12 dtex (France)

I was able to buy several square yards of tulle for the price of a left calf of Dior. If I were back East I'd be happy to avail you of a veil's worth. These different materials also cause different effects depending on the circumstances. Check to see how they handle flair and if they reveal themselves at higher f-stops.

If this is a doc I assume you're shooting 16mm. I will take this opportunity to mention to you what I have on several occasions wished that someone reminded me. "It's 16, maybe it's best to leave it alone." 16 is an amazing format, but even with such incredible new stocks it requires a lot of care to get the most out of it. And as always, test all the way through to your presentation medium.

Best of luck,

Fortunato Procopio

>These different materials also cause different effects depending on the >circumstances. Check to see how they handle flair and if they reveal >themselves at higher f-stops.

Hi Fortunato,

Great post on the nets. Also check to see at what wide lensing the nets appear noticeable.

>I have on several occasions wished that someone reminded me. "It's >16, maybe it's best to leave it alone."

A very good point to make. I find that diffusion on 16mm (and video) needs to be handled very carefully. It is also important to know where the project is going to be distributed. Is it for blow up, video projection or strictly for video transfer? Those factors greatly determine the amount of diffusion I chose these days.

Best Regards,

Jim Sofranko

My own e experience with nets is confined to supplying thousands of them to leading DP´s to use and then listening to and then taking in their comments afterwards is that there is a vast difference between 'nets' (which have octagonal or more-pr-less round, holes as are much used for curtaining and ladies leg coverings, and 'voiles' which are very fine woven silk nets with square holes as used by milliners to decorate hats (so that ladies wrinkles don't show so much.)

We used to supply set of five Samcine nets of which four were voiles and the other a simple net. They were numbered 1 to 5 in no particular order but DP´s used to know that a say number 4, 4" square Samcine net they were using this week was the same as the no.4 6.6" square they used last week.

Other things about voiles is that you can get them in white and in various colors, as well as black, if you shop around. And that they have a very slight polarizing effect (Some crews would test them before a shoot and mark the filter frame accordingly)

Walter Lasserly first taught us about them when he brought in to us a small piece of voile he had found on an old aunt's hat that he had found in an attic and for which he wanted us to make a filter frame.

Old silent camera men used to use them a lot and a favourite trick was to burn out the centre with a lit cigarette to make the foreground clear and to diffuse just the background.


David Samuelson

Personally, I don't like voiles because the square weave creates crosses in highlights too easily. They can also create a halo around bright objects that I find disturbing. Nets, with octagonal holes, are much more to my liking as the highlights tend to glow more evenly instead of only on two axis.

My experience using nets, however, has only been in video. I've never used them in film. In video I've found a finer version of the net used to create grip doubles and singles to be exactly what I want to use 90% of the time.

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
AIM: ArtAtoms

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