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  1. #1
    darinwc's Avatar
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    Questions about B&W filters

    My last roll of B+W film was taken at a concert in a park. Shooting up onto the stage forced the inclusion of large amounts of sky that were way, way brighter than the subjects. The exposures were fine due to spot metering. But the pure white sky in the background was dissapointing.

    So, i'd like to try some black and white filters, most notablty either yello or red. One thing that I noticed though is that looking through the filters it doesnt seem to have much of an effect. I guess my question is more about 'visualization' than use. Why is it that looking through the filter doesnt seem to have much of an effect?

  2. #2
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Because your eye doesn't have the same response as B&W panchromatic film.

    (I'll leave the more accurate technical answers to the next posters...)
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  3. #3

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    What film are you going to use?

  4. #4

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    If the the filter has an effect, you will indeed see it when looking through it.

    Yellow, orange or red filters can make a blue (!) sky darker.

    Hazy skies however are hardly effected at all.

    So the sky must be a nice saturated blue, or else, no fun using any of these filters.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Hazy skies however are hardly effected at all.
    Red will tend to cut the haze (because the longer wavelengths scatter less), infrared still more so. So I wouldn't go as far as you have, though it's certainly true that the sky-darkening effect of filters is stronger in the absence of haze.

    A red filter is generally considered kind of extreme for natural-looking landscapes, but in the sort of application the OP describes it might be about right to make the sky an appealing, darker background, IMHO.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
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    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
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  6. #6
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    O.k., seeing the lack of "more accurate technical answers", a polariser will "give you what you see" though completely dependant on where the light source(s) are (what you see through the viewfinder is what you'll get).

    Yellow, Yellow-Green, Orange and Red (in that order) will darken a blue sky with B&W (the effect is not visible through the viewfinder).

    Exposures can vary greatly according to what kind of lightmeter your camera has.. You'll need to investigate that to get accurate exposures with coloured filters.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Consider using a polarizer which will darken the sky, saturate the colors depending on the location of the Sun relative to the camera, and cut back on reflections and glare.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    O.k., seeing the lack of "more accurate technical answers",
    What, what, what?
    "If the the filter has an effect, you will indeed see it when looking through it." is an acurate as-technical-as-it-can-be answer.
    (It really is)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    Yellow, Yellow-Green, Orange and Red (in that order) will darken a blue sky with B&W (the effect is not visible through the viewfinder).
    Why yes, it is! Very much so.
    Skies will be blue tomorrow in your part of the world. So take the opportunity to have a go with filters and see!

  9. #9

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    A polarizer may work, and it may not. Even when skies are deep blue.
    When you're shooting B&W anyway, better use a yellow or orange filter. They always work ... when skies are blue.

    Personally, i dislike polarizers because they produce dull images (as in: without sparkle. Not as in: boring. Or ... ? ).

  10. #10
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    What, what, what?
    "If the the filter has an effect, you will indeed see it when looking through it." is an acurate as-technical-as-it-can-be answer.
    (It really is)

    I really hope that you don't have B&W vision... Though dogs often seem quite happy with it...
    :-)
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

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