skylight filters

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by edwardkaraa, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    Hi,

    Just came back to film after 4 years of digital. Maybe I have been spoiled by the color temperature control I had with my DSLRs, but I am noticing most of my film shot outdoors has a slight bluish cast. Maybe I'll get used to it again, but I was thinking of replacing all the UV filters I have currently on my lenses (7 in total) with skylight filters. Before spending 400$ on the filters I thought to ask here first whether you think this would help or not. I shoot almost exclusively fujichrome velvia, and provia 100 and 400.

    Thanks for your replies.
     
  2. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    You just need some warming filters. Get a holder and adapters for your various lens sizes. Based on your shooting subjects, you may consider anything from medium warm 81B to EF for situations where the light is very bluish.

    The old Velvia 50 stock had a kelvin rating for neutral of 5700 deg I believe. Provia's temp is much lower at around 5300-5400. Any temp above the rating such as shooting in the forest (blue conditions) with a film such as Provia will cause your pictures to go blue. Velvia's higher temp was a reason why the pictures were somewhat warm depending on subject and time of day.
     
  3. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Edward,

    I went the other way some years ago. The UV filters tend to remove UV light and a bit of the blue. The Skylight filters will warm up the subject somewhat adding a bit of magenta. It is a matter of choice if you wish to use either of these filters as a lens protector. Now there are protecting filters that can be gotten that are basically clear.

    As Wayne has indicated there are warming filters that are available that you may wish to use at times. As Wayne indicates there is the 81 Series of filters that go from about 81A to 81EF in glass (and their German equivalents). Additionally, Singh-Ray has a proprietary warming filter available in many sizes including the Cokin P size and is called an A-13 filter (I often use these). Tiffen also offers the 812 filter (basically in the 81 series of color) but proprietary and is offered by no other maker. I used to use the Tiffen 812 often.

    Rich
     
  4. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Edward,

    You haven't told us much about where you live and shoot, that makes a difference. When photographing at home (Hawaii) I don't notice much of an increase of blue in my transparencies, but when I was shooting in the mountains of New Zealand last year, it was quite noticeable. So, the answer is, it depends. You might try getting a: UV, Skylight and 81A for one of your lenses and run a quick test against Velvia 100.

    FWIW, I don't use either filter - Skylight or UV. When I use filters, it is usually an 81A or Tiffen Warm Polarizer (Polarizing filter + 812).
     
  5. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    Thanks guys for your replies. Back in film days, I used to shoot velvia 50 almost exclusively, which could explain why I practically didn't encounter the bluishness, well maybe I did but was used to it that time. As for the location, I am living currently in Bangkok, Thailand. I have never measured the color temperature scientifically, but to my eyes at least, the atmosphere looks quite bluish here even on sunny days, maybe something to do with humidity or tropical weather. I do have the 81A along so many Cokin P filters lying around in my storage room, I have to dig them out and make a few tries. I don't like Cokin however, because the filters are low quality organic material and they tend to flare a lot. Any "warm" chrome film still available nowadays?
     
  6. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Edward,

    I would tend to stay away from Cokin filters; the Cokin holders are OK. High quality resin filters are available by both Lee and Singh-Ray as well as other makers to fit the Cokin P holder. You will tend to have to be aware of the sun reflecting off any filter surface and may wish to either get a hood as in a Cokin P hood or just shield the filter/lens from sunlight when it is an issue.

    As the sun goes higher in the sky soon after sunrise to the hour or so prior to sunset, the sky is blue. Shadow areas also will take on a bluish cast and certain transparencies will react heavily to this.

    Fuji has come out with Velvia 100. Robert can fill you in on the performance of the film, I still have to try it. Additionally, Kodak has come out with some warm transparency material, but I have to defer to others for recommendations.

    Rich
     
  7. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Please disregard this if you have ruled this out, but I have noticed that a by-product of the digital epidemic is a rash of horrible quality photo developing. In my area, even outfits who fancy themselves as pro-oriented (Vistek comes to mind, don't even get me started!) return sub par proofs that have little to do with what you have actually captured on your film.
    Of course, if you are talking exclusively transparency (and now that I look at the thread again, I think this may the case), just ignore my ramblings entirely aside from a warm (wamer than a 81A!) "Welcome Back!"

    Peter.
     
  8. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    I don't think the answer here is to screw something on your lenses and leave it there in perpetuity. The answer is I'm afraid to assess the colour of light on a shot by shot. place by place basis and decide how best to deal with it in the context of what film you're using. The solution in some cases may be the tiny warming effect of a skylight, or the stronger warming effect of an 81c or KR3.

    Either of the Provias in shade or dull weather may well need a 81c or stronger, whereas the same film in strong direct sun will need no correction at all excpt perhaps in mountains or at the seaside. Velvia 50 is notorious for picking up every little nuance of colour in the light and exaggerating it, most strongly when the angle of the light is low. I have dawn and sunset shots with Velvia 50 made in relatively unspectacular light that have really noticeable casts from blue to pink via magenta. Its not just the characteristics of the film itself,it's how the film interacts with the ambient light that you're trying to see or predict. Whilst the lottery can be interesting, on balance I'm finding the new Velvia 100 more predictable and to me, that's an advantage.
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Try another lab first.

    When I was working in advertising in London, many years ago, we had to change labs, so we shot six identical rolls and sent them to six of the top pro labs in London. Variations of CC05 or even CC10 and +/- 1/3 stop were visible. One of the things you pay for in a pro lab is consistency, but you lab might be consistently blue...

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  10. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Member

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    AP has done a number of tests of high street processors on a yearly basis. Same film, shot under the same circumstances, at the same time, by the same photographer. One can clearly see, even in a magazine reprint, that there are huge differences in reproduction. I can only assume the situation is the same everywhere.
     
  11. bob01721

    bob01721 Member

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    Are these differences only among the prints... or are there differences in the film processing as well? In other words, how do the negs compare?
     
  12. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I'm a bit surprised by the initial query in that I always thought that both UV and skylight filters are color-neutral. Previously, I almost always used skylight 1A filters. Recently, during an intense "affair" getting into RF's I got a lot of Nikkor lenses and mounted UV's on them as the on-line store I deal with only had UVs in the size I wanted.

    To be honest, I've always thought of UV and skylight filters as m/l protective glass "covers" to save the lens if you have an "oops" and always figured them to have no effect on color rendition.
     
  13. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Skylight filters have a small amount of warming rendition to them, if you hold one up side by side with a UV you will see a small amount of pink cast to the filter which does render on film.

    R.
     
  14. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    As I mentioned in my starting post, I do believe that the bluish tinge is just natural. Probably it is my eyes which have been trained on seeing digital photos for 4 years that are the problem. Most digital cameras have a weak blue channel for the obvious reason that it contains the most noise. Also I believe humans prefer warmer colors in general. When I shot film, I used warming filters quite often. I lost this habit with digital. I will probably have to gain the habit again. Judging from the above posts, I don't think the skylight filters will make any discernible difference. So I will keep my UVs on and use warming filters whenever necessary. Thank you all for your kind replies. :smile:
     
  15. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Edward,

    I am almost sure if you shot the same image with the same lighting, lens and film and exposure and compared the results taken with UV and Skylight Filters and kept excellent records of the the exposures, that you would find a difference in the results.

    Rich
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Wiggy,

    Yes, it's far worse with amateur labs. My only point really was that even with the best pro labs, the variation can be surprising.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I wonder if you either have a lot of haze or air pollution as well. The 81A is a good choice for your situation. You may also want to try a Tiffen Warm Polarizing filter - it does wonderful things with greens, especially when used with Velvia.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You might pick up the difference with transparency directly but with all the variables in printing negs I really doubt it.
     
  19. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    John,

    That is true especially if the printer or machine is correcting for filtration, but in Edward's first post he mentioned transparencies, including Velvia. That is the reason that I made the comments. In addition, most or all of this thread has been referring to transparencies.

    Rich
     
  20. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    Yes, that is correct. Now I'm only using Fujichrome film.
     
  21. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    Thanks for the advice. 81A seems to be the most logical choice. The warm polarizer might be difficult to find in Bangkok, but I will certainly look for one. And regarding the air pollution and haze, well, it wouldn't be an overstatement to say Bangkok is one of the most polluted cities worldwide, especially with bikes and buses releasing their white fumes in the streets :smile: Cheers,
    Edward
     
  22. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    Hi Rich,

    Yes, I'm also sure there would be a difference. But according to B+W website, the skylight filters lower the temperature by just 200K. This is very negligible in real life, though one should be able to spot the difference in side by side comparisons.

     
  23. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Forgive the "I once heard something somewhere" nature of my post, perhaps someone can recall this and chime in with more concrete facts - but:
    I remember hearing somewhere that in a side by side test of various consumer and pro films, most people picked photos which were judged to have an improper, unrealistic colour rendition by experts. Just from personal experience, I know that the average person likes slightly Disney-ish photos. I think your observation is very accurate, and even though these findings were from a sample of people in no way involved in serious photography... well, we are all human:smile:

    Peter.
     
  24. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    You can see the results of using either filter by taking a look at the slides on a light box and laying the filter on the slide. You will be able to see the difference in color rendition quite plainly.