Filters?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jaime Marin, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Jaime Marin

    Jaime Marin Member

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    Ok so some of my images from black and white film come out way to gray. Its missing the blacks and contrast that I want. I bought a yellow filter thinking it might solve the problem but although it helped I feel that it didnt quite solve it. I tried a deep yellow filter from tiffen (basically look orange to me) and it did the trick but didnt look all that natural. Any suggestions or comments to my dilema?
     
  2. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    A fillter passes it's own colour but suppresses others. Yellow tends to suppress blue, so white clouds stand out better in a blue sky. Orange more so - and red even more, to the point it may start to look very un-natural, or even like it is dusk when it is full sunlight.

    These are the effects on sky... is your problem with skies? Or with the overall picture?
    Contrast control is ideally achieved by adjusting film developing time or at the printing stage.

    Are you developing your own film, or sending it away?
    If you are getting film processed by a lab, what film are you sending them?
     
  3. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wratten_number

    For general landscapes, you may require #8 or #12. Rest of the filters depends on the subject or dramatization of the scene.

    Try to develop at home, you will see considerable differences
     
  4. Dan Grisez

    Dan Grisez Member

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    In bright sunlight (mid-day), I use an orange filter. Not so bright (early-mid morning or late afternoon)...yellow #8. Anything other than that (evening or indoors)...no filter. Figure about 1 stop loss for yellow, 2 for orange, and 3-4 for red.

    From our most recent vacation...these shots were mid-day, so I used an orange filter with Kodak BW400CN film.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    perhaps it has to do with exposure and development, not necessarily filters.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    If you are using multigrade paper then select a higher contrast setting. Otherwise increase film development by 20% and/or select a higher contrast graded printing paper.
     
  7. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    What kind of film are you using?

    I agree with many of the others here. Orange for broad daylight, yellow for dusk / dawn. Sometimes if I am shooting a person of darker complexion I use a light green filter.

    Off-topic (sort of) but I've been using a blue #80 filter for long night exposures to drop my color temperature a bit. All the lights here are that hideous orange lighting and the #80 helps to neutralize it a tad.
     
  8. Jaime Marin

    Jaime Marin Member

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    Yeah it may be because im not developing my own film. I just started a photography class and im learning all that but before then I would just send it to a photolab to have it developed. I am also using tmax 400 most of the time
     
  9. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    T-Max is a great film, but a 'modern technology' one. It appreciates careful development in a suitable developer for the best results.

    Most photolabs tend to chuck films in deep tanks of D76 - where T-Max won't show it's best. You could try Tri-X or HP5plus, they might be a bit happier with the photolab type treatment. Alternatively you could give the chromogenic films a go. Ilford XP2 or Kodak BW400CN. Photolabs, if they are not Black and White specialists, usually handle these films better than true black and white.

    Photolabs usually print using an automatic exposure type system which tends to average out every scene. They are good for churning out thousands of prints of 'Mom and Dad on the beach' with reasonable consistency, but tend to be totally thrown by very dark or very high key scenes.

    Chances are, there isn't much wrong with your negatives that wouldn't be fixed by manually printing onto paper that is a little harder contrast. One way of working is to use the photolab to give you your 'proof prints' - and then take the best negatives into the darkroom and use those to make your prints. I did this for a while when I 'restarted' photography about 20 years ago. It doesn't last long, you soon get irritated by the dust, fingerprints and drying marks on the photolabs negatives and want to take over that part of the process yourself - but when starting out it allows you to concentrate on the printing aspect rather than get swamped by too many variables.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2011