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  1. #1
    David Brown's Avatar
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    B & W viewing filter

    Anybody use a B & W viewing filter? Worth the cost and trouble? Isn't there a Wratten equivelent to what Zone VI sells for big bucks?

    Inquiring monochrome minds want to know?

    Cheers, y'all.

    David

    PS: Anybody want to sell me one cheap ...

  2. #2

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    I have used the Zone VI viewing filter for over fifteen years. I have found it to be useful in depicting tonal representations by stripping the color influence out of the equation. The Wratten 90 is supposed to be the filter material used. Regarding the Zone VI filter, the other factor in addition to the monochrome aspect is the format aspect as an aid to composition.

  3. #3
    chiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    Anybody use a B & W viewing filter? Worth the cost and trouble? Isn't there a Wratten equivelent to what Zone VI sells for big bucks?

    Inquiring monochrome minds want to know?

    Cheers, y'all.

    David

    PS: Anybody want to sell me one cheap ...
    Quoted from a google search --"Kodak Wratten Gelatin Filter 100mm/4x4" Dark Grayish Amber #90, ... Monochrome viewing filter. Visually approximates the relative tones of gray produced in a scene."


    Hi David,

    I have had one for years and rarely use it. I cut a card with a hole proportional to 5x4 and pasted the filter to the card. It provides arepresentation of the scene in mono and aids as a composition tool at the same time.

    To use it effectively you look through it briefly so your eye doesn't adapt to the "colour" of the filter.

    Steve.
    Steve

  4. #4
    ann
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    years ago, when i first started doing LF work i got one and used it regularly.

    Now, i don't need to do that, it was helpful at the time.

  5. #5

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    I have used a Wratten in the past. I agree that using it "quickly", not allowing the eye to adjust, gives a good approximation of the tonal range of the scene in b&w, and is a good initial guide to exposure and zone development. Perhaps I found it more useful than Steve, but agree with his methodology.

    Earl
    Honey, I promise no more searching eBay for cameras.

  6. #6
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    I have used one for a long time, probably 25+ years now. I don't really like the #90 or the zone vi. The one I use is a darker amber made by Peak of Japan. I don't think it is imported any longer. Tiffen makes one that is good and available. Harrison makes several, different colors: grey, blue, amber. Seems amber is traditional. Grey is for color ( I have a spare one of these. ) Blue is the theoretically correct viewing filter for BW. Since your eye sees best in the greens and films see most in the blues, you need a color that shifts your eye more towards film. Then there is an overall density to allow you eyes to see into the highlights (like sunglasses) and to see what is going to go dark This helps so much for contrast evaluation.

    On the one I use, I mask off the filter to match my format size and evaluate the scene with the filter, both for contrast and cropping, and also depending on how far the filter is from my eye, I can guess the proper lens.

    A great tool.
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  7. #7
    Eric Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    Anybody use a B & W viewing filter? Worth the cost and trouble? Isn't there a Wratten equivelent to what Zone VI sells for big bucks?

    Inquiring monochrome minds want to know?

    Cheers, y'all.

    David

    PS: Anybody want to sell me one cheap ...

    The Zone vi filters seem to be at a premium on that auction site lately. I bought a 90 wratten filter and took over to the Office big box store and had them laminate it. It is a little wrinkled and I probably should of devised some sort of framing for it, but a total cost a little over 20 bucks and works like a champ.

    Eric
    Dad, is the lens cap suppose to be on?.

  8. #8
    chiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl Dunbar
    I have used a Wratten in the past. I agree that using it "quickly", not allowing the eye to adjust, gives a good approximation of the tonal range of the scene in b&w, and is a good initial guide to exposure and zone development. Perhaps I found it more useful than Steve, but agree with his methodology.

    Earl
    Thanks Earl,

    I will revisit mine and follow your excellent tip regarding contrast evaluation. Now where did I put it


    Steve
    Steve

  9. #9
    BarrieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    Anybody use a B & W viewing filter? Worth the cost and trouble? Isn't there a Wratten equivelent to what Zone VI sells for big bucks?

    Inquiring monochrome minds want to know?

    Cheers, y'all. David PS: Anybody want to sell me one cheap ...
    Many years ago I purchased a 'Square' framed one from Fred Picker, I only had a H`blad at the time, I still use it and find it good for framing my Images as well. Yes ,do not leave up to your eye for too long or you loose the ' Filter Effect'. Now I alsop have a 4 X 5 Field Camera I also have a Black Card with 4 X 5 cut out AND a fine string with Knots @ the length of each lens I own; eg, with the 90mm Knot against my forehead I can view the ' field of view I will get for that lens, works well for me. ......... Cheers BarrieB

  10. #10
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarrieB
    ... AND a fine string with Knots @ the length of each lens I own; eg, with the 90mm Knot against my forehead I can view the ' field of view I will get for that lens, ...
    Thanks everyone for the comments on the filters - confirms what I thought I knew. (As I get older I need more confirmation ... )

    Several of you mentioned using a frame to fit your format - with or without a filter - to preview a shot. Is there a formula for the length of the string as Barrie mentioned? Is it the focal length of the lens if your frame is actual size?

    Cheers

    David

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