B+W photography: 23A vs 25A red filters

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by sienarot, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. sienarot

    sienarot Member

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    I'd like to get a red filter to give my black and white photos an extra bit of "umph" and was wondering what the differences between these two filters were. The 23A seems to be recommended more, but the 25A looks like it's more readily available. Suggestions?
     
  2. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    It seems to me that the 25A filter is the most common red filter. It gives very strong results - as in, it is easy to really over-do it with one. Having said that, I would not be without mine - but only along with a yellow and an orange filter. They all have their place, and have to be used with some "control", especially the reds. This is the reason why you may have seen the 23 recommended over the 25 - its lighter, therefore has more subtle results on your pictures. My personal take on it is to look for a decent set of filters that fit your lenses and get a 25 red, an orange and a yellow - that should give you all the choices you will need at first. I also enjoy a polarizer, and sometimes combine a red and a polarizer to get even more dramatic results - but again, its easy to get very corny, overdone results that way.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    #25s seem to be one of the most widely available used filters out there. I think it's because everybody thinks they need a 25 but few ever end up keeping them.

    Buy one used if you want. Should be able to get one for a fraction of the new price.

    OTOH get yourself a #21 also. Try both and see which you like better.
     
  4. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Don't forget about processing! Take the time to do development tests around you filter of choice. It is the best way to deal with the benefits of filtration. Just as you will have to compensate around the filter when taking the shot, don't forget the other end. Best, tim
     
  5. Kino

    Kino Member

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    A K2 (yellow aero) is also a good one to have in the bag for a subtle darkening of the blue sky; sometimes its just the right touch...
     
  6. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I agree, many buy a 25 and then find that it is over kill and the results look too theatric. A yellow or an orange may be a better choice. Also, don't overlook a green filter which will emphasize clouds while also lightening foliage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2006
  7. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    It depends on where you are shooting. If you are in NJ and it is humid out even a red filter will hardly get you a sky. I am pretty happy with a yellow filter most of the time in NM.
     
  8. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Agree with avandesande about a yellow filter in the southwest. Usually plenty for most things. The red tends to be too much of a good thing, unless atmospheric haze, humidity, dust is really too strong. tim
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    the 23A was the filter Ansel used.
     
  10. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    In twenty five years I have used a 25 Red about twice...and that was about twenty four years and six months ago.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I also keep one in the bag but don't take it out much. Usually the effect is too dramatic, but occasionally it works. I use medium yellow and orange much more often.
     
  12. John Z.

    John Z. Member

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    I have to add that I had a red #29 red filter for many years, and probably never found any reason to use it. I got it originally after reading Ansel talk about his famous photo of half dome using the #29. The red #29 required three stops of compensation, while the red #25 requires two stops-much more practical. My favorite filter is an orange filter, but I do have a red #25 now also.
    I agree with most posters that the red filter tends to be a little exreme in many situations (but not all).
     
  13. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Well, it could stand to be said that like with many equipment related questions, there has to be a disclaimer made about the applications of said bit of kit. Fretting too much over a 23 or a 25 or what have you is kind of like spending too much time trying to decide on a given lens or a camera body - I think the best apporach is to realize that a) there is no clear cut right or wrong and b) especially in this case, the difference is subtle and probably can't be definitively judged one way or another and finally c) you should try one for yourself with a specific result in mind and see how it fits your needs and expectations.
    The last thing I would suggest is doing what I did as a beginner - I went out and bought a bunch of filters and started sticking them on my cameras with no particular end in mind hoping to get "something interesting". Having done it, I can tell you that at least in my case, it introduced a whole bunch of variables, and I ended up learning next to nothing, and getting pretty random results, since I didn't know what I was doing to get a particular result, etc. I know that what I did sounds pretty stupid - but, it is easy to get cought up in the excitement of it all and end up with a whole bunch of shots which only leave you with a "well... I got this, but don't ask me how" wehter the "this" is a bad thing or a good thing.
    I guess what I am trying to say in my own, long winded way:wink:, is that I would recommend asking yourself "what do I want to accomplish", apply that to some research and your budget, and in the end you will have learned more and spent less. Whatever you do, have fun and best of luck,

    Peter.
     
  14. sienarot

    sienarot Member

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    Wow, I really didn't expect this sort of feedback! I never get this sort of help on any of the digital photography forums! I think I'm going to like it here :smile:

    Thanks for the tips everyone! Maybe I will hold off on the filter for a bit. I'm still getting the hang of black and white film.
     
  15. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    I agree with most of the others, an orange is more useful.
     
  16. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    Did he say digital forums?!! Well if you are undecided about which tone of contrast filter to choose, have a look at the B+W site.

    B+W filters

    Most people choose between red, orange and yellow, but B+W seem to have the market sussed for those who like to tweak! Personally I've have gone off my 25 red as it turns the greens in landscapes a mucky grey colour.

    So I've recenty purchased a red orange filter (041) which shouldn't be so severe, plus it was going cheap on feeBay.