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08-09-2014, 05:16 PM   #1
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Tiffen Ultra Contrast Filters: Results With

In another thread ( a member mentioned using a dslr and lens w/o hood led to more usable photo's--which in turn led to discussion about Tiffen Ultra Contrast Filters. (Presumably) in both case the idea is to introduce some veiling flare, and thus reduce the DR/increase the apparent light in the darker areas.

I think user results may be of interest--and thus mine follow--for digital Raw using the Tiffen (No.) 3 filter (this a relatively strong affect--although I have no idea what the numbers [1/2, 1, 3 ,5, etc. mean]). And I would be interested in others results--especially where both "with filter" and "without filter" results are shown. Presumably the filter was intended for film, and both film and digital categories are of interest.

--- My conclusion is (for me) working w/ raw there is a loss of the "velvety" dark feeling that I look for (as the veiling flare should do) w/o any compensating increase in detail--actually there is some loss of detail in the darker areas.
--- Presumably w/ film, and possibly if I used digital capture w/o raw, it could be more useful. Actually it is pretty amazing what the filter does. If I was trying it w/ film I suspect the next weaker filter (#1) may be better.

Photo's w/ Filter
3384 nocrop........................ACR Curve=moderate contrast
3384.....................................(as above)

"Best Results" for Photo's w/o Filter
3385 copy nocrop_mts.......ACR Curve=linear plus mid tone sharpening**
3385 copy_mts................... (as above )

Other Photo's w/o Filter
3385 nocrop......................ACR Curve=moderate contrast
3385....................................(as above)
**mid tone sharpening is unsharp mask at 12%, 60 pixels, 0 levels. Adobe Camera Raw Curve (ACR/Bridge)set to linear and this unsharp mask are my usual working settings (i.e., above 3385 copy_mts and 3385 copy no crop_mts).
-- I adjusted the exposure slightly (-0.2 e.v., in the photo's w/o the filter [3385...] ) in ACR to have the blue sky at same exposure levels. It was slightly darker w/ the filter--presumably because some light was used in the veiling flare--to raise the exposure everywhere.
-- My details for the photos included a high contrast scene (a convenient and uninteresting one); Tiffen Ultra Contrast 3 filter; K-5, iso 100, daylight WB, Raw; Vivitar (T4) 21 mm f/3.8 at f/11 plus hood

Attached Images
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PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5  Photo 

Last edited by dms; 09-18-2014 at 07:06 PM. Reason: Typos. Had 3384 (should be 3385) after table--in notes.
08-09-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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Veddy interesting & now I have to find that old discussion~
Thank you for this.
08-12-2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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Now that I think about it, I think it makes sense there is no additional detail in darker areas on the photos taken using a filter.

I wish there was a store nearby where such filters could be bought, so I could give it a try myself. I'm wondering how this lower contrast would affect low light/high ISO shots. In my experience, I often get too much contrast using wider angles and under low light and brightening the darks in post can introduce ugly noise.
08-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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With film there is a threshold below which the light does not affect the film. Supplying that threshold by a uniform light (pre-exposure, or with this filter) allows the additional light (detail) to register--thus in film the technique allows one to capture more (low level/darker) detail.

With digital (and doing the best one can with the resulting image) I think it just becomes more and more noise, and applying a low level of uniform light means the added light (detail) is a small addition and tends to be is lost in the noise.

A friend of mine is very interested in this filter because for digital movies as the ability to use/advantage of raw/extensive pp apparently is not there. And I think the same may be true in still (digital) photos if one only uses jpg output. But neither of these are of interest to me, so my testing did not look at it.


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