Question about metering when using filters
When using filters on my non-metered RB67 can I simply hold the filter in front of the meter in order to determine correct exposure? If not should I just stop down based on filter factors? If I recall correctly one can find a filter factor chart on the Ilford site.
Graham from St. Augustine, FL
I tend to add the filter factor after metering the scene. however, this is one of those questions that will create opposite answers.
Sort of like ford vs chevy.
Each filter should have the filter factor listed on the container it came in.
I found that the built-in meters in my Nikons “see” color-filtered light differently than film.
For this reason, I meter the scene without a filter and use the filter maker’s specification for the number of stops held back by the filter when setting exposure.
Reckoning the adjustment in stops is more logical than using filter time factors. For example, if the factor was 2.5, there is no shutter speed that we can use to get that correction.
A filter with a time factor of 2.5 holds back 1 1/3 stops. That’s easily set with a 1 1/3-stop aperture change or 1 stop of extra time plus opening the aperture by 1/3 stop.
Black and White Filtering Notes ( Nikon EL2 + 55/1.2 AI Nikkor, ASA 100 sunlight, gray card)
This is in the form: Filter, Δf, Δf meter
Hoya K2 (8) yellow, 1, 0
Hoya O(G) orange, 2, 0.6
Vivitar 25A red, 3, 1.6
Hoya X(0) yellow-green, 1.5, 0.5
Hoya X(1), 2, 1.6
The through-the-filter readings are too high in each case. The error varies with the filter color.
Of couse, this problem doesn't affect handheld meters (unless you place a filter between the light and the meter's photocell).
It does indeed. There are many methods and none are wrong. I compensate for the filter by adjusting the ISO on the meter. i.e. with ISO 100 film and an orange filter, I set the ISO on the meter to 25.
Originally Posted by ann
I am surprised at the differences. Appreciable in every case. I have always relied on my Pentax in-camera meter getting it right or nearly right and most books seem to suggest that in-camera meters record the filters' affect accurately or reasonably so.
Originally Posted by Ian C
I wonder if some cameras are better than others? I must check both my Pentax and see what happens.
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I too was surprised by the difference. This experiment convinced me that I had to meter the scene without the filters or use an incident meter when using colored filters on my Nikon. This camera produces "spot on" transparencies with the built-in meter with UV, Skylight, or polarizing filters.
If the meter cell has any colour sensitivity (or insensitivity) it will bias the reading. If the subject has a dominant colour that matches the filter it will inflate the reading, possibly leading to an underexposure (or vice versa). And this assumes that the film sensitivity is normal panchromatic. Filter factors should give a consistent exposure correction. Ideally you should compare the results of a filter factor exposure with a through the filter measurement and make your own corrections for the meter behaviour if needed.
If you hold a filter in front of a meter you may be adding flare to the equation as well.
I feel, therefore I photograph.
What he said!
Originally Posted by grahamp
I have mild colour blindness, too. Fortunately I can tell orange/red from yellow/green!
I feel, therefore I photograph.
The biggest thing with color filters is that, unless you are shooting a monotone scene, you will have varying local results in your negative. Let's assume a general landscape. Green grass and trees, blue skies with sparse clouds and maybe some darkish red or purple flowers to throw opposites into the scene. The temptation is to break out a yellow filter to accentuate the sky. This would darken the blue somewhat to make the clouds pop. This might also lighten the flowers a smidge in relation to the whole. But it will definitely brighten your greens. So you have one filter having varying effects of either transmitting or blocking the light. The filter factor is a general recommendation for adjustment and most times will not lead you wrong. But it does not hurt to take into account all changes to your subject area so you will better know what to expect of the result.