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Off-topic: Color filters for BW photography
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Off-topic: Color filters for BW photography Reply with quote

Hi,
is there anybody in this forum still using color filters on modern digital cameras for BW photography? if yes, please share your thoughts.

All the articles I have read so far claim there is no need anymore for such filters in the digital era, but somehow I am not quite convinced.

Thanks.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no point in using coloured filters for digital photography except for polarising filter.
All other filter effects can be replicated in post processing.
Film is a different matter of course
Tom


PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolan wrote:
Hi,
is there anybody in this forum still using color filters on modern digital cameras for BW photography? if yes, please share your thoughts.

Yes I do, mostly on my Monochrom though, where filters cannot be added in post.

On very bright days, e.g. an orange filter can help against blown highlights on the sky in the background, and/or to get a more balanced exposure. Other filters can help improve certain contrast, or the opposite - smooth out skin structure. And of course red filters for drawing clouds Smile

There's other situations where certain filters can help, but it takes some experimentation to quickly act.

On camera's with a colour filter array (or Foveon-sensor), it's more a matter of fun, but filters do have a similar effect. The pics will be more difficult to use as colour-pics, but that shouldn't be a problem if you intend to make B&W images anyway.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Sjak"]
wolan wrote:
...
On very bright days, e.g. an orange filter can help against blown highlights on the sky in the background, and/or to get a more balanced exposure..


Point


PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use old film colored filters quite a bit for infra red shooting with a full spectrum camera. Practically all of the transmit IR so they give me odd combinations of Blue & IR, Green & IR etc as well as the more normal red +IR (a normal red '25A' filter is a 560nm).
Such combinations are not possible in post as IR shows in all three Bayer channels.
For digital B&W I shoot in color & use Silver FX for the filters. To be honest I often don't realize it will be a B&W shot when taking it.

Colored filters should work just the same for normal digital B&W as they do for film, but with the exception of dynamic range issues there's no real advantage to using them.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Off-topic: Color filters for BW photography Reply with quote

wolan wrote:
Hi,
is there anybody in this forum still using color filters on modern digital cameras for BW photography? if yes, please share your thoughts.

All the articles I have read so far claim there is no need anymore for such filters in the digital era, but somehow I am not quite convinced.

Thanks.


I wasn't "quite convinced" either, so I went out with a handful of filters a couple of years ago and took a bunch of comparison shots using red, green, orange and yellow filters, grey-scaled the results and compared those to a full-colour shot that had been post-processed, both in the camera and with software on the computer.

For all practical purposes I couldn't achieve anything with the colour filters that I couldn't achieve with selective channel filtering in software. My chosen subject was a stretch of inland water, surrounded by trees in full leaf, with a blue sky and some fluffy clouds - good old-fashioned generic scenery shot, with shadows and highlights.

As always, YMMV Wink


PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In some cases, colored filters can be useful in digital. For example, to reduce a particular channel to prevent it from getting blown out, or to help even the level between the different channels (like when you are shooting under a strongly colored artificial light). See this page for example: https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/586/are-there-reasons-to-use-colour-filters-with-digital-cameras.

Cheers,

Abbazz


PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Sjak says
Quote:
Yes I do, mostly on my Monochrom though, where filters cannot be added in post.


And it's also mostly orange, occasionally red filters (on wide lengths) to control highlights in the clouds. And yellows for street (largely on 50mm lens). Not sure why I feel yellow is better on 50s, maybe because I'm so close to the scene that the dynamic range is narrower and there's less risk of blown highlights.

That said I always use -0.3 to -0.7 exposure comp.

More recently I've been trying too use polarizers (instead) on the monochrome (with live view) for landscape.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbazz wrote:
In some cases, colored filters can be useful in digital. For example, to reduce a particular channel to prevent it from getting blown out, or to help even the level between the different channels (like when you are shooting under a strongly colored artificial light). See this page for example: https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/586/are-there-reasons-to-use-colour-filters-with-digital-cameras.

Cheers,

Abbazz


You've just reminded me of another sort of filter that still has occasional use for digital photography.
There are a few like the 'red enhancer' (using didyminium glass) that reduce narrow bands of light. This particular one happens to block sodium light fairly well while having minimal affect on the remainder of the colours. It can help deal with light pollution when photographing night skies, and (more rarely) reduce the glare when photographing glass blowing...