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03-14-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Colour filter recommendations?

Hello everyone, can someone recommend me some coloured filters for black and white picture taking? I will be using a Pentax-A 50mm f2 and Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 (possibly a 28mm f2.8 in the future).

A bit of a noob question...yes, but I have no idea what would be a well known model/brand.

03-14-2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
Hello everyone, can someone recommend me some coloured filters for black and white picture taking? I will be using a Pentax-A 50mm f2 and Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 (possibly a 28mm f2.8 in the future).

A bit of a noob question...yes, but I have no idea what would be a well known model/brand.
Yellow, orange, red and a Polarizer are all worth investing in. Also use a UV as a base filter. If you are using your K1000 film camera for B&W, then you can get a Linear (top) polarizer instead of a CPL and save a lot of money.

Brand wise any major filter manufacture is good; B+W, Hoya, Tiffen and also Pentax.
Multicoated filters are better, but will also cost more.

Phil.
03-14-2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yellow, orange, red and a Polarizer are all worth investing in. Also use a UV as a base filter. If you are using your K1000 film camera for B&W, then you can get a Linear (top) polarizer instead of a CPL and save a lot of money.

Brand wise any major filter manufacture is good; B+W, Hoya, Tiffen and also Pentax.
Multicoated filters are better, but will also cost more.

Phil.
Okay, thanks, sounds good.
03-14-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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On my K20D, I can hit the Fn button, then Custom Image, then B&W, and select from digital filters that replicate green, yellow, orange, red, magenta, blue, cyan, infrared.

The digital infrared is a fake -- to shoot IR, you need actual IR-pass filtration. You can approximate IR (and still see what you're shooting) with an actual R25 (red) filter. 680nm semi-IR filters are popular, as there's still enough visible light to see. Deeper IR like the 780nm and especially 900nm, 930nm and 1000nm filters I use are totally opaque to visible light, so you get the best effects, but with the most difficulty.

I like playing with actinic (UV-violet-blue) light to replicate early (pre-1880) film emulsions. I'll use a light blue or blue violet filter (like 80C) -- those old color-correction filters are pretty cheap now, no demand -- and use blue or cyan filtration in RAW processing. I've tried deep-blue and -violet filters (like 47B) but like deep-IR filters, they block most visible light and require a tripod and hope. I disagree about using UV filters (and they make actinic work impossible) -- your camera's sensor is already insensitive to UV radiation.

Standard yellow, orange, red, green (and sometimes blue) filters have been B&W workhorses for decades. I'll leave it to you to decide whether an actual filter works better than in-camera or RAW-lab B&W filtration. (Or as with my actinic work, do both.) These standard color filters also give interesting effects on film (and probably digital, but I haven't tried'em yet) when shooting colored-light scenes in color. Especially a light yellow filter shooting a brightly-lit city street, lots of garish neon etc rendered differently.

As mentioned above, polarizing and ND (neutral-density) filters are useful. Polarizers reduce glare and reflections; ND let you shoot with a slower shutter in bright light. For a real thrill, get some welder's glass (real cheap at big hardware / tool stores), cut it to size, and use it as a ND-1000 filter. Set your camera on a tripod on a busy street. Take a 10- or 20-minute exposure. Everything movable disappears. There are also graduated ND's, where half the filter is clear and half is darkened. These are useful to shoot a bright sky and a darker foreground,

On eBay you'll often find CAMERA LOTS that contain misc. bodies, lenses, and filter sets, CHEAP. Some of these lots also contain soft-mist and multi-image and starburst and other cheezy effects glass, all of which can be emulated (or better) by shooping. And if you have extra filters, you can break out the glass and put in that welder's glass or any strange non-opaque plastic you'd like to try. Diffraction grids? Fresnal lenses? There's lots of weird optical stuff out there.

03-14-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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Thank you there Rico Rico! Some of that I already know... but some I never knew before ;D quite interesting stuff there... I think I know what I need now...
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