Originally Posted by trbarry
The funny thing is, if they are always going to filter and reduce the effective resolution then they might as well send a lower resolution picture at higher quality without the other artifacts.
Filters don't exactly "reduce" the resolution or only make it look softer. They just use the resolution in different ways. This is how they rationalize it anyway. Every soft filter has a distinctive look that some directors and D.P.'s prefer over other filters. They would all look more similiar at lower resolutions.
In Barry Salt's "Film Style and Technology" book
, he said this in the "General Trends in Cinematography" section on the Seventies showing that "throwing away" improvements in resolution is nothing new:
In film photography, the major trend was the destruction of the ever-higher image definition and colour reporoduction made possible by the improvements in film stocks and lenses. The use of heavy lens diffusion throughout whole films, on Long Shots as well as closer shots, continued to increase, and the use of artificial smoke on film sets, without much regard for plausibility, intensified the result...as far as reducing image sharpness by putting things in front of the lens other than the standard diffusion filters and nets was concerned, there was now frequent use throughout whole films of the heaviest kind of glass diffusion filters, called 'fog filters'... by the beginning of the decade even the heavist kind of fog filter (No. 4) was being used on action movies shot outdoors in sunlight, and on scenes indoors under fairly ordinary lighting as well.
I saw that scene on CSI. It seemed weird because Jorja Fox doesn't have a perfect complexion, it's completely obvious 99% of the time on the show, and we're all cool with it. And why didn't they fog the guy she was talking to if they just wanted that scene to have a surreal apperance?