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Header image for article At the Bench: ARRI FSND Filters

At the Bench: ARRI FSND Filters

ARRI now has a line of FSND filters, which stands for Full Spectrum Neutral Density. You might be thinking: there are many choices for ND filters, so what makes these filters unique? Typically, filters are composed of two pieces of optical glass with filtration sandwiched between them. For these filters, ARRI applies the filtration directly to the surface of high-quality optical glass. They are then coated with a protective surface that helps prevent scratching and makes for quick cleaning.

The ARRI FSND filters repel moisture, and the surface coating eliminates astigmatism and distortion. ARRI has also composed the chemistry of these filters to address the phenomena of the far red spectrum balance for digital sensors – something that traditional ND filters, made for film, do not address. In general, ND filters made for film allow too much of the red spectrum to pass. FSND filters, on other hand, address the far red requirements of digital sensors and produce natural skin tones.

The filters have a few other nice features. The edges are smoothed to a C-cut, which helps to resist chipping and cracking, and a black edging wraps around the filters to absorb and block light from being transmitted out of a filter. Each filter has a laser etched barcode for scanning by rental facilities.

In this blog, I take the filters on location to compare and contrast with some of the most popular ND filters.

Ian McCausland
Camera Technology Specialist, AbelCine LA

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