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07-14-2011, 05:48 AM   #1
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filter to increase contrast?

besides a polarizing filter, are there any filter that would increase contrast and protect the lens without a loss of quality?

my old lens is sharp but lacks contrast (nice to not have to use photoshop just to boost the contrast)

thanks

07-14-2011, 05:53 AM   #2
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To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a filter without loss of image quality.
IMO. the best way to adjust contrast would be to process the images. And likely the best approach(less hassle) would be to automate an action in LR or ACR to do it.
07-14-2011, 08:07 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
besides a polarizing filter, are there any filter that would increase contrast and protect the lens without a loss of quality?

my old lens is sharp but lacks contrast (nice to not have to use photoshop just to boost the contrast)

thanks
Try Picasa's "I'm feeling lucky" button.
07-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Are you using a hood? If so, then never mind. But if not, consider using one -- it should help.

07-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
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to increase contrast, avoid using any filters. use a deep hood instead. afterwards, you can increase the contrast further during post-processing.
07-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
besides a polarizing filter, are there any filter that would increase contrast and protect the lens without a loss of quality?

my old lens is sharp but lacks contrast (nice to not have to use photoshop just to boost the contrast)

thanks
Is it one particular ((old) lens only? If so: Is your hood - if any - long enough? My own, unscientific experience is that digital sensors are more sensitive to flare in certain instances than film

Alternatively, you might try to change the standard settings for contrast and/or saturation in your camera - or in your raw converter for that matter. This assumes of course that your problem is of reasonably consistent and constant nature.
07-15-2011, 12:37 AM   #7
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The above answers are all correct but not quite complete. Yes, use a hood, and a polarizer or no filter, and/or adjust your capture / development settings. BUT... if you are shooting B&W, a Red filter will increase dynamic range by about a stop, and Red or IR-pass filters will increase contrast.

Increased contrast is not always good. I normally shoot at elevations below 1800m / 6000ft, and I normally keep contrast boosted. But I recently spent a couple weeks shooting near or above 3000m / 10000ft. The atmosphere was extremely clear. Contrast was through the roof! To recover image detail, I had to knock-down the contrast in RAW development of thousands of shots. Argh!

So, my advice: Use a hood and maybe a CPL. Shoot with contrast neutral or slightly low. Adjust as needed in RAW development. And shoot some B&W with a Red filter -- it's NOT the same as just applying digital filtration! Hay, for a real kick, shoot B&W with a light blue or violet CC (correction) filter. This replicates what early photo emulsions saw, before panchromatic film. Hint: You may want to boost the contrast setting a little.
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