Which Filter for Cloudbursts

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Inayat Noor, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

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    It's summer here in Florida and I am constantly seeing cloudbursts in the distance. I am seeking advice on which filter to use with B & W film to make the image pop with contrast and detail. I will use HP5 with my Hasselblad & 40mm lens.

    Thank you
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    In my bag I carry a variety of filters, what I find is that there isn't just one that works in a given situation.

    The various colors just highlight different things.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I keep a yellow filter on nearly all the time and thats usually sufficient. At times I change out to other colors, depending on what I want to achieve. You are going to have to make your own test shots to determine what works for your style. Run a series of shots using yellow, orange, red, and see which is to your liking. I also stack a polarizer with yellow or orange for extra drama, but the results are dependant on the actual atmospheric conditions.
     
  4. tlitody

    tlitody Member

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    a deep yellow is often enough. Using orange or red (even worse) can make the print really gritty looking. But it depends on the sky colour and how much humidity is in the air. The less humid the better and if the sky is a really deep blue then a yellow or deep yello will be enough. But if the sky is a pale blue then you need more filter (orange or red) to darken it.
    Expose for the clouds and not the shadows. Set cloud highlight on zone 7 to 8 which gives you some room to increase contrast a tad of room in the printing stage if you need to up contrast without losing detail.
    Don't forget to apply filter factor.
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Sometimes, you can use a polarizing filter. But generally a medium- or deep-yellow filter will do it.
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    While you are running your tests, be sure to make very good friends with a sturdy tripod and cable release. Slow speed film, darkening skies and slow shutter speed coupled with small apertures, makes for awesome panoramas.
     
  7. tlitody

    tlitody Member

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    Try using some Ilford SFX too with a deep yellow filter!
     
  8. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

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    Thank you all for the excellent advice. Expecially putting the clouds in Zone 7. I spot meter thru my filters and will experiment with various filters.

    Again, many thanks.
     
  9. tlitody

    tlitody Member

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    metering through a 25 red which is a tri colour filter will give you a false reading. With yellow filters you should be OK cos the filter factor is much less but as a rule I use the filter factor rather than metering through filter which can throw off the reading depending on which filter it is.
     
  10. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I was under the impression meters don't see color, just light intensity. Can you explain the above a bit more?
     
  11. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Meters dont read color, merely the amount of light. A red filter generally needs 3 stops extra light to give the same exposure as no filter, so meter without, then with to see if it gives the proper reading. I recommend you do this with all your filters, and check against the filter factor for that color. Yellow needs one extra stop, and is the easiest to allow for. I meter with my L-398 and add one stop for yellow. On my OM-1, I just trust my on-camera meter, I've already run tests and know ahead its correct. For orange or red, I meter, then add the filter, adjust exposure and shoot.
     
  12. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    The color sensitivity depends on the light sensor in the meter. Is it selenium. silicon, ?
     
  13. tlitody

    tlitody Member

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    light meters work in wavelengths not colour. Colour is a human perception. So its the response of the meter to a range of wavelengths that is important. They may be more reactive to some wavelengths than others. Use a tri colour filter which passes only a narrow band of wavelengths and you can get a distorted reading. Difficult to nail down because you use perception to judge the result so what works out fine for one person may not work out fine for another person or for another subject in different lighting. The answer is, you just have to get to know your filters and how they alter your subjects.