4x5 View Camera filters

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Atari1977, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    So as I'm looking to get into 4x5, I'm looking to get a filter set. I'm only really going to be doing black and white photography, so just a basic contrast control set. I've seen that Kodak Wratten filters are a little expensive, so is there any brand I should be looking at? Do any of you shooters find square filters or screw in filters to be better? If I go with square filters, of any type, what holder is best for them?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I use the screw-ons, and not many. Yellow, orange, red, and polarizer, though only the yellow lives in my pack. If you have more than one lens, get the biggest diameter filter you need and use step-up filter rings for the other lenses.

    UV filters live on the lenses until I start composing -- or if there is rain, mist, etc, then the UV stays on until I am about to click the shutter.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.
     
  4. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

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    Yellow-green is nice, I find I use it more than yellow. The effect on the sky is similar to yellow, but it lightens foliage a little, and attenuates red a bit.
     
  5. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I use the screw ons. I own a polarizer, yellow, orange and red like Vaughn and Serius. I find yellow the most useful for black and white. I have not used the red yet.

    The yellow-green sounds interesting, Steve.
     
  6. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I use ordinary screw in filters for LF. In fact, i use the same ones i bought years ago for use with the Pentax Spotmatic. I really only use the polarizer and the occasional orange or yellow-green filters anymore. I bought a set of 67 mm filters for use with the larger lenses....210mm Sironar and 90mm Grandagon but, I don't remember ever using them....
     
  7. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    Well I guess my trouble was deciding between screw ins, and square filters. Assuming I go screw in route, what brands would be best?
     
  8. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    I too use screw-in, and found after some time that one does not need too many. Therefore I'm using B+W (somewhat expensive, but very good) filters.

    I still have a Cokin set, that I'm using when the lens I want to use is bigger than my usual size.
     
  9. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    I use screw on filters as well. My main two lenses take either 58mm or 67mm filters, and I already had a set of good 67mm filters for MF, so standarised on that size and use a step up ring from the 58mm to 67mm. Like the others, I only take a couple, maybe a yellow and orange and a polarising filter. I also have a couple of graduated neutral density filters, but only take these out when I expect some extreme light, otherwise I prefer to adjust the exposure and then developing times.

    Steve
     
  10. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    I have two sets of screw-in filters, one 52mm for a number of smaller lenses and one 67mm set for the larger lenses (I intentionally have no lenses that take larger than a 67mm filter). I use step-up rings to match filter size to the lens accessory thread.

    The only real differences between filters from quality makers are 1) coating and 2) brass rings. Coated filters (Heliopan, B+W and Hoya HMC, etc.) perform markedly better in flarey situations. Brass rings don't ever get stuck like aluminum rings can. B+W and Heliopan, as well as some older Nikkor filters have brass rings (not sure about Hoya, but I think not). I got most of my filters used on eBay for very little.

    I carry six filters in each kit; yellow, orange, green, red, blue and a polarizer. This latter is by far my most used, followed by orange. Filters are light; it's easy to carry them around and a pain when you don't have one you would like to use.

    I also have gels, but they are a pain to use in the field and filter holders are bulky; for field work I prefer screw-ins.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  11. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    In addition to what everybody else said, a Cokin holder and a 1 and 2 stop gradient filter are good for sunsets.
    When you have money to spare.
     
  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    The basic colors have been mentioned and I agree with the screw-in brass such as B+W or Heliopan. The square filters require a filter holder and are frequently resin (I'm not sure anyone is making glass ones now) or gel so extra care not to scratch them and more bulk because of the holder could be an issue.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I use the same filters for my MF Mamiya 645's and my LF lenses and these are predominatly Cokin P series, makes life much simpler, I could use them with my 35mm cameras as well if I wanted.

    Ian
     
  14. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have an old set of Kodak gels that I use with my 210, I have both Cokin and SVII VI oadpators for screw in filters for my other lens for the 135, 152. My gels are really old. Does Kodak even make gel fiters?
     
  15. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    Kodak gel filters are still being manufactured, for now, but are surprisingly expensive. On the B&H web site they go from thirty to over one hundred dollars, depending on the filter. This will date me, but I remember when they were alot cheaper than glass and could be had for three or four dollars. My advise is to invest in some B&W or Heliopan filters, multicoated if you can afford them. It just doesn't make sense to put inferior glass in front of your fine optics.
     
  16. rhcgn

    rhcgn Member

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    Especially if you see yourself using graduated filters in the future, I would recommend using square (rectangular) ones. 4x4 inch the most common industry standard. Somehow Lee managed to get it into still photographers' heads that they make the best filters, but 4x4 filters are also standard in the movie industry, where Tiffen and Schneideroptics are well regarded. In Germany, for example, there are countless professional production rental companies that put filters up for sale with just micro scratches on the sides, nothing you would see in photographs, for 30-50 USD a piece. I would assume that similar deals can be had in the U.S. Well worth a look! Also the filter holders (matte boxes) from arri, and schneider come up for cheap on ebay from time to time, quality on these is phenomenal, compared with the Cokin and Lee plastic mounts.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    I'd recommend multicoated screw-in glass filters for field use. Hoya is probably the best value out there, but for a little more money you can get heavier brass-mounted B&W or Heliopan. About all I
    ever seem to need is a 25 Red and either a yellow-green or a true green. Color photography is a more involved subject. I never use filters just to protect the lens, except on small cameras I might
    be using in the rain. With a view camera I protect the lens with some kind of compendium or other
    lens shade. Filters almost always have a slight negative effect on image sharpness, though that fact
    is often offset by helping cut thru haze. UV and skylight filters can be helpful in color photog, esp
    at high altitudes, but I never use them for black and white. I think most people get carried away and
    buy more filters than they actually need. I'd experiment just with the basics first.
     
  18. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I'd have to agree. I sure dd....buy way more filters than I really needed that is. They're fun to play with but...that soon wears off and then you just want to make good photos.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My LF camera lenses require slip on Series filters: Series , Series 7, Series 8.

    This gets Sirius, Seriesously!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2012
  20. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    My largest lens takes a 77mm filter so I use step-up rings for my other lenses. Quality large filters are not cheap so I patiently bought all mine used off Ebay and saved a ton of money.
     
  21. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    My most-used filter is the medium or #8 filter. If I want more contrast or separation, a #12 yellow is useful. Orange filters darken foliage and water too much in many cases for my taste. A light yellow-green is good on occasion, and, yes, I have a red filter, which doesn't get a lot of use any more. Polarizing is a must for color and black-and-white. I have a set of 55mm for my 35mm kit, a set of 67mm for my MF kit, and a set of 77mm for my LF kit. The 35mm and LF set are Tiffen, the MF kit is B&W. I figured my Hasselblad lenses deserved them. I would have bought one large size to fit all with adapters, but I acquired each setup at different times, starting small and moving up.

    Peter Gomena
     
  22. PanaDP

    PanaDP Member

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    I pretty much use the same filters as everybody else. I use a pola, a #25 red, and a medium yellow. I'd like to get a yellow green and an orange, but it's no hurry. I standardized on 82mm filters and have step rings for all of my lens sizes.

    Another helpful thing I've learned to do is put the stop correction right on the filter. I print tiny labels with a p-touch label printer and stick it to the edge of the filter ring. The more I do things like that the less I have to interrupt my creative thinking with technical thinking while I'm working.
     
  23. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I have old Kodak 4" glass filters - actually a gel with glass on both sides. I mount them inside the camera, behind the lens, with a modified Cokin filter holder. If I mount these things in front, the glass sometimes causes flair. They are K1, K2, and K3 - I think that's the same as the modern numbers 6, 8 and 12. I. too, have a lot of trouble with orange filters, but Clyde Butcher told me he uses orange almost exclusively.
     
  24. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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  25. snay1345

    snay1345 Member

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    I have a 58mm filter set and a 67mm filter set. Yellow, Red, Orage, Deep Red, PL, and then I have two ND Grads which are used on all lenses with different size adapters. One other thing I have is a series 6 yellow filter and push on adapter for an old Voightlander folder that I use.