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  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Filter exposure guidelines for B&W film.

    I normally shoot color film but decided to try B&W. I just picked up filters and Tmax 100 film to use with my landscape pictures.

    What are the recommended stop adjustments for each filter below? Here are the factors given by the manufacturer. All filters are B+W MRC F-Pro's.

    Yellow 022M filter factor is 2. f/stop ______?
    Orange 040M filter factor is 4. f/stop _______?
    Light Red 090M filter factor is 5. f/stop ______?

    There's another darker red that has a factor of 8. What's its f/stop? ________? Is this one overkill? ___________?

    If I add a polarizing lens, are the f/stop adjustments additive or do you multiply them? ____________?

    Beside the recommended f/stops, any other recommendations you'd like to pass on that would help me? ______________?

    Thanks Alan.

  2. #2
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Yellow 022M filter factor is 2. f/stop ___1___?
    Orange 040M filter factor is 4. f/stop ___2____?

    There's another darker red that has a factor of 8. What's its f/stop? ___3_____?

    This is after metering outside the camera. If you meter with the filter on the camera, you open a whole ball of wax.

    There's a set of factors called "Hutching's Filter Factors" that you apply after metering throught the filter... The gist of it is ... a meter will tell you that red filter only needs 2 stops... but in reality you need 3 stops because the shadows ... which are mostly lit by reflected light from the blue sky... are metered wrong and will be really underexposed if you don't give it extra exposure.

  3. #3

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    It is not recommended to use more than a single filter since each one degrades the image. If you must use a filter then buy the very best that you can afford. Remember you are putting something in the optical path. You want to hold any degradation of the image to a minimum.

    Usually filters are not needed except in certain circumstances. A yellow, orange or red filter will emphasize clouds since they darken the rendition of the sky. A green filter will help open up shadows outdoors.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #4
    BradS's Avatar
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    filter factor 5 equates to 2.3 stops (2 1/3 stops)

  5. #5
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Like Bill says this is for external meters.

    The math is easy, just use the filter factor as the denominator and the film's box speed as the numerator. The result is the ISO number you use to set your meter.

    So for Tmax 100; film speed of 100 over a factor of 2 means you set the meter at ISO 50 (100/2=50). For filter factor 5; 100/5=20.

    For Tmax 400 and an orange filter; 400/4=100.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #6
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Or to use the more complicated maths: 2^stops=factor. ie:
    2^1 stop = factor 2
    2^2 stops = factor 4
    2^3 stops = factor 8
    etc.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

    f/64 and be there.

  7. #7
    David Allen's Avatar
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    Filter factors are simply guides as to how much exposure compensation they MAY require. The actual compensation will be dependent upon the prevailing colours in any given scene and the prevailing colour of the light (dependent upon time of day / sun's position / time of year). The best way of working with filters is to use a hand-held meter that responds to light in a similar manner to film (selenium cell meters are the best and you need to be aware that some early CDS cell meters from the 1960s do not respond to light in a predictable manner).

    You simply meter the scene, note the exposure, and meter again with the filter in front of the metering cell and note the difference in exposure. You will then find that any given filter will require an exposure compensation that rarely matches it's filter factor. For example, a yellow filter with filter factor 2 may require anything from 1/2 to 2 stops compensation.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de

  8. #8

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    Taking an iso 100 film as an example, with a yellow filter set the meter for 50 iso, for an orange filter set it to 25 iso, and for a red filter set the meter at 12, that is, a yellow filter needs 1 stop more, a orange 2 stops and a red or green needs 3 stops more, this is a quick and simple method of taking filter factors into account, but it has served me well for as long as I have been taking photographs

  9. #9
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I simply meter through filters with my Pentax digital spot. Been doing it this way for years with great results. I very often will stack an orange and polarizer. That's my favorite combo. If I'm shooting using in camera metering (rangefinder, not TTL metering) I just dial in +3 stops and go. A lot of this comes from experience. You will learn as you go. I find filter factors mess up my way of thinking. I just memorized over the years how many stops each of my filters eat up, but meter through them most of the time just to be sure, as was said above, in different light filters respond differently.

  10. #10
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Thnaks for the input. Now I know why I was getting different stop answers from the web. A lot of it "depends".

    Just one note. The red filter I bought was a light red filter factor 5. B+W has a dark red with factor 8. Do people use the dark red filter more than the light red I got and should I replace the light with the dark before I open the box and can't return it?

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