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  1. #1
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Hand-Holdable Black and White Filters

    I finally realized that I need filters for my black and white photography.

    I suppose I have three choices. A Red #25A (+3 stops), a Yellow #K2 (+1 stop), or an Orange G (+1.3 stops).

    So my question is, are the above hand-holdable? If the red filter isn't hand-holdable (which I doubt it is), is its effect worth it so much so that it should be bought in addition to one of the two above? Is the Orange filter so much better than the Yellow that it is worth the extra third of a stop?

    Thanks.

    Edit: I use a lens with an aperature of f/3.5-5.6 and film ranging from 100ISO to 25ISO.

  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    First, starting out I would suggest rather than a 25 red a 23. You get the same effect but it's not as pronounced. Seen a lot of great shots cheesed with too much filtration of light. For my bag I have the Cokin filters, the square ones and more often than not I don't feel like fiddling with the filter holder so I just compose the image, hold the filter to the front of the lens and fire away.

    Oh, and consider getting a blue like an 81A to drop reds and to block golden hour atmospheric haze.

    Oh, and a Circular Polarizer is good for blocking glare and reflections form non-metallic surfaces.
    Thank you.
    -CW

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  3. #3

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    When I first started shooting LF I bought a B&W filter set from Lee Filters IIRC. They were polyester 3x3 inches, a red 23, a yellow (equal to a K2) a green and orange. I did not have any kind of a holder, just held them up to the lens barrel. With the camera on a tripod it did not really matter if the exposure was a few seconds since I could hold the filter with one hand and trip the shutter release cable with the other.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  4. #4
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Not good for skin tones? I love street photography. I suppose I would be better off with a yellow or orange filter, then?

  5. #5
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    I suspect with "hand-holdable" you mean not the simple act of holding them in front of the lens (which I find impractical, one should use the threads) but "will they prolong exposure so much that I need a tripod". That depnds on the light levels, doesnt it?

  6. #6
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    AJ, my suggestion is to use the orange for general street photography, it's what I use 90% of the time.

    I also use a yellow for general work and sometimes a yellow/green for portraits.

    The orange filter with FP4+ / HP5+ / Neopan 400 and Tmax100 gives me more or less all of the contrast enhancements required to make nice prints.

    I have the red filter as well but only use it on a tripod, 3 stops is just too much.

    With small clouds interspersed with clear sky, the difference between the orange and red filters, is there, but the orange wins hands down as being the far easier to use and see through.

    I use Nikkor glass filters, any reputable brand should be alright.

    Consider a screw in lens hood to lessen any flare with direct sunlight on your glass.

    Mick.

  7. #7
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    What are your typical speeds now? Old-time rule of thumb is that you can hand-hold to approximately the reciprocal of the lens focal length using a 35mm SLR. For example, the theory is that you should be able to hand-hold a 50mm lens at 1/60th, a 28mm lens at 1/25th and a 200mm lens at 1/250th etc.

    Assuming a sunny day and using Sunny-16, shooting film rated at 100ASA @ f/4 you have 1/1600th of a second; take off 2.5 - 3 stops for red #25 and we are back down to around 1/200th second. This assumes it's sunny and your lens is open at f/4; in overcast conditions and/or when you want more DoF, you are likely to find yourself down to 1/25th or less. Slower film of course adds to the situation.

    The usual reason for red is in landscape shots to darken the blue sky against the clouds which prompts two immediate thoughts: (a) if you are using red it is probably sunny so that works in your favour, and (b) if you are shooting landscapes, you can use a tripod in any case which is even better!...

    As with all things, YMMV...

    Good luck, Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 05-18-2008 at 01:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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    If you are using a camera with a built in light meter, the meter will provide you with the "correct" exposure setting with the filter in place. With a hand held meter you need to compute the change as Bob F states in his post.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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  9. #9
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phaedrus View Post
    I suspect with "hand-holdable" you mean not the simple act of holding them in front of the lens (which I find impractical, one should use the threads) but "will they prolong exposure so much that I need a tripod". That depnds on the light levels, doesnt it?
    That's exactly what I meant.

    My camera meters through the lens, so I don't need to worry about correcting exposure myself.

    I suppose I'll pick up an orange filter now, then. Maybe a red one when I get a tripod this summer.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn View Post
    If you are using a camera with a built in light meter, the meter will provide you with the "correct" exposure setting with the filter in place. ...
    Maybe. Probably.

    Some older camera meters were "color-blind", so the ttl meter might not give an accurate reading through a colored filter. Simple to test. Take two readings of the same scene with and without the filter. If the difference matches the filter factor, you're good to go.

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