Does anyone use Kodak Wratten gelatin filters?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nikanon, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Just thought id start a discussion about these things, theyre some of the only filters ill use and trust my exposed emulsions ( technically dispersions) to, does anyone have anything good or bad to say about them?
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I only use them in ND filters for stacking. I normally find them too fragile to use for every day use. And in the large sizes I need to fit my lenses, they cost as much as a good glass filter, so I go with glass.
     
  3. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    I own much literature on filter transmissions down to the nanometer and im very picky about my transmissions, the addition of glass to any of these somewhat off sets its characteristics, using the cheap cokin filter holders and their gelatin filter holder i can easily take these in and out and i just mount them on the back of my lenses so the elements dont get them and using them comparatively and purely i wouldnt use anything else!
     
  4. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    If you're going to be that anal, then get your shutters and meter calibrated to T-stops and find what transmission you get from your lenses. I doubt very much your photographs will change in any appreciable way, though, by checking the transmission properties of your filter material. I would be more concerned with optical quality from resin filters and cheap glass before I would care about whether my filter blocks 1 stop of light vs. 1.01 stops.
     
  5. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    well also i get them for the quality, even the used ones i have are fantastic, how are they in ND? i have yet to buy one of them , i think i saw that they make one even as high as 3.00 , but ill bet it sure is expensive!
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Yes, they are expensive. I have a 3.00, they make a 4.00, at least they did. Gel filters are fragile, which is my main complaint for the price. Optically they are excellent, but in 4 inch or larger, which is what I need, the price is equal to an excellent quality glass filter in 4.5 inch size, which I use. The 4 inch gels won't even cover some of my lenses, so they are useless. My ND filters are older 2 inch size and are very limiting to which lens they will fit.
     
  7. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    Oh man the prices kill me, which is why i only buy them used, ebay is good for that, they sell certain 3x3 gels new which are 60-70 some dollars just because of the dye! that kills me too! i refuse to buy any new, all the used ones are in EXCELLENT condition, for much less, but yea i see your point , it really does get unfairly expensive
     
  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Gelatin filters were a lot cheaper several decades ago, even with inflation added in. They were commonly used in studios, and inside of view cameras on the backs of lenses, where they were well protected. You had to color balance each reversal emulsion with a few CC of (usually) magenta or yellow to match the E6 line you were using.

    With the shift to digital, that stuff is done in software, and Kodak has contracted out their gel filter business to Tiffen. It's a much smaller market, and the economies of scale are no longer there, so they have become almost prohibitively expensive. You can now get a sturdier glass filter of excellent quality for the same or less than the gels. But they still don't stack as well as gels in a holder.

    Lee
     
  9. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    I'd be grateful if someone could tell me where Lee polyester 75mmx75mm fit in all this. I haven't bought any for a while but I don't remember them being costly. They fit well into the Mamiya RB bellows lens shade, and at the focus/compose, choose a filter and add it procedure and perhaps then try an alternate for the next shot they are more convenient than screwing in glass filters.

    I hold no brief for either type and use both.

    Regards - Ross
     
  10. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    i dont prefer the quality of lee filters, the polyester build is somewhat sketchy to me. I have had spotless results with the kodaks, there is always some sort of trace from the Lee's plus they seem to attract scratches and dust very easily where my wrattens do not
     
  11. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Yes, I still do. I have an old 89 IR filter from back when Wratten was affordable, as well as the three separation filters (25,47 and 68 I think) as well as a y15, y15 and orange.

    I carry them around in in the original envelope and foil in my monorail kit, because here the cost of dedicated filters for the different lenses is a killer. Plus even if to economise, and filter with glass for the largest size lens would need about 3 or more stacked step rings to get down to the smallest size of lens.

    I have a little holder that has a spring action to hold it on the lens, a holder for the gel, and a couple of small barn doors that can be handy to shade the lens to boot.

    Rosco makes a 'designer' sized swatch book of about 3"x5". I have from time to time snipped a 3" square off of that book for a special project ot two, because the whole book costs under $30. The base of the Rosco is similiar to the Lee, and not always perfect. Oh well.
     
  12. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    I picked up some replacement filters for welding helmets. They are made of glass and available in different densities. Size is about 4 1/2 x 5 3/8. Okay for black and white as they have a green tint to them. I have no issues with the glass quality. IIRC they are available in at least 5 densities, the darkest of which has to be over 3..
     
  13. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I have a set of glass Wrattens that fit my series VI press on adapter, which fit most of the lenses that I use on the 4x5. They are very nice (and cheap, too!) First quality stuff!The Wratten gels are something I know nothing about other than Ansel Adams used them. The closest I've got would be Lee polyesters which fit the 8x10 lenses using a rubber band thingy. I haven't been able to find press on adapters that fit my larger lenses :sad:
     
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  15. Nikanon

    Nikanon Member

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    I love the wrattens, I'm always looking to buy them from whoever is selling ( as long as they are not new) There isn't much to say about then other than high optical quality and their diversity of many different kinds of filters for black and white, they also set the standard for filter numbers, I know a filters characteristics by it's number so when I'm forced to use some off brand I find either it's kodak wratten number or compare it's transmission to the wrattens in nanometers , if such information is given anymore...
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I still use Kodak gel filters, too. They get handled with kid gloves and stored in a hard-shell case (an old floppy disk holder - 8" size for anyone who remembers them).
     
  17. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The Rosco filters swatch books, even the 'give away' small 1" x 3" all have a paper separator that includes the filter number, the 'name' - commonly used by some theatrical lighting designers, and a graph of the % transmittancy vs wavelength in nm.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've accumulated quite a lot of these, usually with purchases of other large format equipment. When I want to travel light, I can bring a set of 3x3" gels that I keep in one of these--

    http://www.moleskine.com/catalogue/classic/hard_black_cover/memo_pockets__pocket.php

    And a little Voss 3x3" gel holder with barn doors, and it takes good deal deal of weight and bulk out of the bag compared to a wallet or two of glass filters, and for many of my older odd-sized lenses, the clip on filter holder is the most convenient method of attaching filters.

    Lee thin polyester filters are also pretty good and generally more durable than gelatin filters.
     
  19. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I still use a Voss 3x3 inch gel holder as well, and a few decades old gels. I can't find the Voss for sale anymore, but the larger retailers have reasonable equivalents.

    Lee
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I use the 3" and a 3 1/4" disk holder. It holds an easy eight or slightly squeezed 10 in the original envelopes.
     
  21. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Gel filters are absolutely the best. Period. I used them all the time before the prices went out of sight. Even then they were painful to buy.

    Try using them in the field for a while in any other than calm, dry conditions. In Oregon, when shooting in the rain, mist, fog, or on the coast, glass just makes more sense, especially to the wallet. I switched to all glass about 5 or 6 years ago. No, you can't stack a bunch of them. I don't often stack filters, and if I do need to add a yellow to a polarizer, I just do it and move on. No one has ever looked at one of my prints and said "Oh, you must have stacked two glass filters on this one."

    I have a filter wallet originally intended for gel filters. My nice B&W glass filters tended to slide out of it whenever I was shooting on rocks. I now screw them all together and put screw-on lens caps on the ends of the stacks. Bulky, maybe, but not that inconvenient.

    Peter Gomena
     
  22. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    For what it's worth, my post about stacking was related almost solely to stacking color correction filters for E6 studio work, where you might have two or three filters stacked to equal say 5Y and 7.5M (5.0M+2.5M). It's not common to need to stack a large number of filters outside that kind of use, although a lot of landscape photographers have gotten into the habit of doing 2 grads + polarizers, etc.

    Lee
     
  23. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Yes, Lee, studio is a different ballgame, and you can stack more gels. I cut my teeth as an assistant in a studio that shot big rig trucks on location for the manufacturers. Those guys would stack all kinds of filters, and the shots were gorgeous and perfect. They had to be. I think that you can get away with quite a bit as long as you don't shoot in a high flare situation. I can't afford gels any more, and I'll never wear the glass out.

    Peter Gomena
     
  24. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    In my Bolex 16mm cameras - behind the lens yes often - CTO and ND mostly ...
     
  25. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    I have dozens of 2, 3, and 4 inch Wrattens I want to SELL because I'm going strictly color neg for which I don't use filters. All are in good condition (no damage what-so-ever) and many still factory sealed. A few of these are rare. I'll probably keep a couple of ND's but that's all I'll really need. I also have many Kodak 4x4 frames and at least one of the 4x4 frame holders complete with Series 9 retaining ring.
     
  26. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    what do you have? i might be interested in some 3 inchers if you have what i'm looking for. i'm mostly looking for 80a/b/c/d and 81a/b/c/d in addition to f-d(flourescent--> daylight). all in 3x3(75x75)


    it might be a bit before i could get them from you though (kinda out in the money dept right now, with class registration just over :sad:)

    please PM me with what you have available though.

    I've been finding that even though I've been shooting color negative films mostly, personally I have found it better for my workflow to gel the lens before I take the picture.

    please let me know as to what you have available though.

    are they all kodak wrattens? or lees?

    thanks

    Dan