Blue Streak Filter Test

blue 1 inside There are a number of options to adding cool streaky flares to your shots. I have discussed  one of these before with a previous post called Poor Man’s Anamorphic.  A more effective way to achieve this look is with an actual blue streak filter.  Blue for that matter is just the popular option. Schneider, for example, makes a full range of streak colour options like orange, pink, green, clear…. The filter works by a series of blue lines across a glass filter. as a bright light source hits the line, it flares the light out sideways to cast a line of light across the image.  A vertical line will cast light along the horizon.

Today we tested two options. The Classic blue streak glass filter in 1mm, 2mm, and 3mm. ( the measurement refers to the spacing between the lines, thus 1mm has the most effect.) We then tested this against Clairmont’s in camera behind the lens blue streak filter. That filter clips into the body of their Alexa Cameras with a custom magnetic mount. It is a more sophisticated version of gluing a fishing line into the camera body.

(image borrowed from Film and Digital Times)

The issue has always been with any kind of streak filter, that there is a chance that the lines in the filter will start to resolve as you close the iris or work in close focus. The in camera filter offered a different dilemma, The lines didn’t resolve, but under certain lighting conditions, the lines cast shadows on the sensor. This was again an issue only at one end of the iris. That said if you plan to shoot with either of these options, test to see how far you can push it before the lines become apparent.  In general the glass in front of lens filter had more washed soft edged streaks with a hard center line, while the in camera filter had a more subtle sharp streak.  The glued mono-filament in camera behaves very closely to the in camera option, however because it is only one line, lights will only streak in the center of the image. Please look at the frame grabs we took and feel free to ask questions or suggest other tests you would like to see. Due to space limitations, the file sizes are smaller than ideal for evaluation.

Blue Streak 1mm glass filter

blue 1 outside

Blue Streak 2mm glass filter

blue 2 outside

Blue Streak 3mm glass filter

blue 3 outside

In Camera Blue Streak filter

incamera outside

Blue Streak 1mm glass filter

blue 1 inside

Blue Streak 2mm glass filter

blue 2 inside

Blue Streak 3mm glass filter

blue 3 inside

In Camera Blue Streak filter

in cam inside


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