25 red or polarizer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by f/16, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    For B&W I usually use a polarizer to darken the blue sky. Will a red darken it more? But will red darken green leaves and grass too much?
     
  2. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    25 red will darken it more. Google "25 red filter" and click on "images" to see some examples (although some are made with IR film, you're able to say which ones 'cause the foliage will be whitish).

    It will darken the green stuff, too.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    When you use 25 red and polarizer together you might use a tripod.

    Jeff
     
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  4. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Red will darken all of the sky; a polarizer will only darken part of it (and to varying degrees).

    Orange and yellow are useful in B&W photography too. Yellow darkens sky a little, and makes for more natural images than filterless photography in some cases. Orange gives you a dark sky, but not super dramatic. Sometimes orange gives a more reasonable darkening than red. I use all three fairly routinely.
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Can you use an amber 85B in place of an orange filter? Will it have similar effects? Obviously not exact but similar?


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  6. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Depends on the angle of the light.

    Yes it will, more than likely wiping out important mid tones. B/W filtration with panchromatic films works by lightening like colors (e.g., red) and darkening complementary colors (e.g., green). Much better to preserve as much information as the light gives you with as little filtration as you need, addressing darkening skies during printing.

    I am a really at a loss to understand why this desire for overly strong filtration, of late, keeps coming up. I can only think that there are a lot of posters who have come here from digital or have never learned proper usage of filters.:sad:
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    A polariser will have a varying degree of non-uniform darkening because the effect is not constant over a large angle relative to the position of the Sun. A red filter will have a uniform whole-image contrast-enhancing effect irrespective of anything else. POL is useful any time you have water in the image with perhaps a dramatic sky: the polariser can substantially enhance the reflections in e.g. still water more than a red filter. I don't fancy one filter over another (Red or POL) unless I have a specific need in mind of the image — both filters are extremely useful used competently.

    Whether one wants a light or dramatic effect from either POL over a less impactful image with a red, yellow or green filter is an entirely personal preference. I fail to see how or why it should have anything to do with digital; a polariser will have the same effect in digital as it will in analogue.
     
  8. DF

    DF Member

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    Which Filter is Better : Red or Polarizer ?

    O.K., so you're at or near 90 degrees to the sun and you want to darken the sky but keep the clouds standing out. Will the red or polarizer (not stacked, by themselves) render the best sky? which will do best in the final print?
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Threads merged.
     
  11. Paul Glover

    Paul Glover Member

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    My understanding is that this won't work with B&W film the way an orange filter would. The color correction filters (80*, 81*, 85* and so on) alter the color temperature, but pass all wavelengths. Contrast control filters like #8, #25A and such are cut off filters, so some wavelengths are greatly diminished or blocked altogether.
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    If it doesn't block wavelengths then why does it have a filter factor? It must lock some light? Or am I confused, I don't recall but I want to say 1.5 stops, it takes 500T film to 320 speed for daylight use.


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  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    The correction filters have a small amount of density, so a warming filter will take (say) 20% of the blue light out; that's a probably-imperceptible change on B&W but enough of a change to get the hue right on colour film. The filter-factor on those is really small, like 1/3 stop.

    A strong yellow filter though, might take 95% of the blue light out. It will cause a bigger sky/cloud contrast, but it will also cause the destruction of any details that are visible only in blue. The filter factor is much larger (2 or 3 stops), reflecting the much greater attenuation.
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks Polyglot, guess its time to order an orange filter... Ugh...


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  16. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    The effect of a polarizer varies with the angle of light.

    Deep red filters produce (for my taste) overly dark skies and too much exaggerated contrast.

    My suggestion would be to use a Wratten 12 (minus Blue) filter. This has a strong effect on skies and only has a nominal filter factor of +1. If you look at some of Ansel Adams' books you will find that he used this filter a lot because of its relatively low effect on other colours.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  17. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks, I've seen a lot of good orange filter images, I haven't seen any recent written 12 images.

    We'll see, I have other priorities to pay for so it will be a whole, more time to research...


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  18. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The uneven sky when using a polarizing filter is more conspicuous with wide angle lenses, and sometimes insignificant with long lenses.
     
  19. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    That's the great thing with the Wratten 12 (Minus Blue) filter - it does the job that you want it to do without screaming out 'this photograph was taken using a strong filter'. It is probably one of the most unknown and underused filters available to the B&W photographer.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  20. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Wratten 12 is not exactly unknown. It has long been one of the most common yellow filters used by serious practitioners, particularly for snow.

    What is missing in this discussion is the type of light, the colours in the scene, and particularly the saturation of those colours. This is especially true when trying to darken skies. The colour and saturation of the sky is everything, and goes a long way in determining which filter to use, if any. So without the particulars of any scene, it is meaningless to say an orange filter is too strong, or a yellow #12 would be better or #8 or #15 or a red #25 or #29 etc.
     
  21. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    With respect, I wasn't suggesting that the Wratten 12 (Minus Blue) was unknown but rather that I have met many people who have not heard of it and do not appreciate what a useful filter it is and how, in many instances, would actually give them a better mor natural effect than the more common Red, Orange and yellow filters.

    Whilst I appreciate that prevailing colours are an important consideration, my experience (when I used to do landscape photography) was that the effect of the Wratten 12 (Minus Blue) was highly predictable, consistent and required far less exposure compensation than any of the oranges and reds.

    For people who are unfamiliar with using the Wratten 12 (Minus Blue) filter the key point to understand is that, whilst it looks like many other yellow filters, it is specifically designed to effect blue light. As such it will alwys produce relatively consistent results which include darkening skies (even if they appear grey because there is still a great deal of blue light present), reducing both general and shadow-specific haze and deal very nicely with the high levels of blue light in both snow and high altitude photography.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  22. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I think by calling it a Wratten 12 and saying (minus blue) I wasn't thinking YELLOW, I own a yellow filter already, I don't find it strong enough in all situations, but I use it relatively often. So, that's why I was inquiring about the orange...


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  23. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    Why do you use a yellow filter?
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I too own a yellow filter. Unfortunately not every filter seems to use the Wratten codification. I have a Jessops yellow which has a filter factor of 1 which is the same factor as the Wratten 12 Minus Blue but I have no idea if a Wratten 12 is the equivalent of a light Yellow or Deep Yellow nor whether my Jessops Yellow which has the notation of Y2 is the same as a Light Yellow or Deep Yellow or whether either of these are the same as a Y2 or whether the Minus Blue is a special filter that has properties that neither the Light yellow or deep yellow possess.

    Maybe David Allen can help out here. I am mystified.

    pentaxuser
     
  25. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Which yellow do you have? The deeper it is, the more pronounced the effect on blues (and other tones). Generally in the yellows to oranges to reds, the higher the Wratten # the deeper the filter colour. The most common yellow is probably the #8 (K2). #12 is a popular one. #15 (G) is deeper. Not all companies use Wratten designations. B+W, for example, doesn't, although it is pretty easy to go back and forth. So maybe a #12 would be good for you. Or a light orange / yellow-orange.

    Adams's The Negative has a pretty good section on filters and their effects.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Use yellow, orange, or red filters or use a polarizer.