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04-18-2019, 05:34 AM   #1
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Blue haze on landscape shots - help?

Hi all,

Complete newbie to the world of photography. Recently bought my first camera (Spotmatic F) and started shooting. I noticed that on quite a few of my photos (see below for examples), that there is a haze on distant landscapes. I've shot these shots on a SMC Takumar 55mm f1.8 lens, with lens hood and skylight filter attached.

I was under the impression the skylight filter would reduce this effect. Is there something else I can do to reduce it further, or do I just need to replace the filter with a different one? Alternatively, is there something I'm doing or not doing with my photos themselves that has them coming out like this?


Thanks!

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04-18-2019, 05:48 AM   #2
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First thought is, what's causing the haze? I.e., what is it in the atmosphere that is reflecting the light that way? Dust from nearby construction? Drizzle? A filter will help with some things but not all.

A skylight filter is something we used to use with film (and no processing in the camera) in order to change the color of the image slightly. Probably not a good idea with a digital camera (which can do the same thing with "scene selection" and white balance adjustments). I'd suggest getting a good quality UV filter, which is what I mainly use to cut the haze, because what it does is actually screen and eliminate part of the color spectrum at and beyond the blue end. Alternatively a circular polarizing filter would be useful because you can rotate the effect until the light coming in the camera is out of phase with the reflected light off the humidity in the atmosphere. A CP filter will cut down on light transmission a good bit more than a UV filter which you can get that will transmit 98% of the light or more. A CP filter can thus take the place of a neutral density filter as well.
04-18-2019, 06:00 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
First thought is, what's causing the haze? I.e., what is it in the atmosphere that is reflecting the light that way? Dust from nearby construction? Drizzle? A filter will help with some things but not all.

A skylight filter is something we used to use with film (and no processing in the camera) in order to change the color of the image slightly. Probably not a good idea with a digital camera (which can do the same thing with "scene selection" and white balance adjustments). I'd suggest getting a good quality UV filter, which is what I mainly use to cut the haze, because what it does is actually screen and eliminate part of the color spectrum at and beyond the blue end. Alternatively a circular polarizing filter would be useful because you can rotate the effect until the light coming in the camera is out of phase with the reflected light off the humidity in the atmosphere. A CP filter will cut down on light transmission a good bit more than a UV filter which you can get that will transmit 98% of the light or more. A CP filter can thus take the place of a neutral density filter as well.
Thanks dlh,

just to be clear, I am using a 35mm film camera to take these shots. Would a UV filter still be advisable or should I go for a CP filter? thanks
04-18-2019, 06:25 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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The shots look pretty normal for many film types and older lenses. There is some light scattering in the atmosphere which reduces contrast - so this effect increases with distance. In one way it separates the foreground. Some films are more sensitive to UV, and older lenses don’t use UV absorbing glues between cemented elements like modern lenses do, so using a UVa filter instead of Skylight might help. When working with scanned images increasing the contrast a bit can help also.
What film were you using? Kodak Ektar is a higher contrast film that is good for landscapes.

04-18-2019, 06:42 AM - 1 Like   #5
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That looks like atmospheric haze to me. While a UV filter will help, it probably wonít get all of it.

Does Ektar have high UV sensitivity? Iíve never looked into it. If it does, you may get better results with a different film...

-Eric
04-18-2019, 06:59 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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Yep atmospheric haze it is! A polarizing filter will help more than a skylight and you can get the cheaper Linear version (LPL) instead of a CPL. Old manual focus film cameras like the Spotmatic F do not need to use a CPL.

You will have a bit more control shooting b&w film, using coloured filters to reduce this haze than with colour film.

Phil.
04-18-2019, 07:07 AM - 1 Like   #7
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You may want to consider a polarizing filter. As others have mentioned, UV and Skylight filters will handle some haze and "too blue" conditions, but they're not panaceas. A polarizing filter, used at the correct angle, will improve contrast, and darken the blue of the sky.

As others have noted, you're also at a great distance between the camera and the mountains. That distance enhances whatever haze, dust, etc., is in the atmosphere. The haze effect can also be amplified depending on the time of day.
04-18-2019, 07:16 AM   #8
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Thanks all,

This was shot with Fuji Superia. I was a bit too new to all and yet to experiment with different types of film. I have read that Ektar is great for landscape shots so will be trying that next chance I get!

Will also be getting my hands on a polarizing filter (LPL)
Thanks for the advice all.

04-18-2019, 07:41 AM   #9
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An UV filter will not reduce the haze more then the skylight filter, as every skylight filter does filter UV as well.

You will only lose the light pink tint in your pictures, which comes from the toning of the skylight filter.

A polarizing filter will probably help, but not in every direction you are looking. As gofour3 wrote, you can get a used linear one quite cheap.

Search the web (polarizing filter) for some more explanations and nice examples


The main point is you shot under the best conditions for having atmospheric haze. The pictures where taken around mitday in a presumable hot and dusty enviroment. You will allways have visible haze then. Shooting in the morning or after rain, when there is less dust in the atmosphere will give better picures.

Just out of curiosity, where did you take the pictures?
04-18-2019, 08:26 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Be glad that far-away mountains look blue... that means you can breathe and not suffocate

Far-away object look that way, and there's no way around it... I often like to say that the single most important factor in long-lens performance is the conditions of the atmosphere... because it trumps everything else, even lens quality (price bracket).

The ways around it are playing around in the HSL panel, and a graduated WB filter in post - never tried a physical one, but it could be an idea.
More yellow at the top, of course.
04-18-2019, 08:32 AM   #11
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If you are seeing white haze it is likely dust or moisture in the air. Blue haze is just the air itself scattering light. It happens when you are looking a long distance so have a large thickness of clean air between you and your subject. It is just blue sky getting in the way.
04-18-2019, 08:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
An UV filter will not reduce the haze more then the skylight filter, as every skylight filter does filter UV as well.

You will only lose the light pink tint in your pictures, which comes from the toning of the skylight filter.

A polarizing filter will probably help, but not in every direction you are looking. As gofour3 wrote, you can get a used linear one quite cheap.

Search the web (polarizing filter) for some more explanations and nice examples


The main point is you shot under the best conditions for having atmospheric haze. The pictures where taken around mitday in a presumable hot and dusty enviroment. You will allways have visible haze then. Shooting in the morning or after rain, when there is less dust in the atmosphere will give better picures.

Just out of curiosity, where did you take the pictures?
These photos were taken in Malawi - indeed it was hot and quite bright at the time the photos were taken.
04-18-2019, 08:41 AM   #13
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If you have Lightroom try the de-haze filter option.
04-18-2019, 08:48 AM   #14
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On my monitor, you have excessive red in your whites. It's more of a pink haze to me.
04-18-2019, 09:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
On my monitor, you have excessive red in your whites. It's more of a pink haze to me.
I also see it as too pink/too warm. The skylight filter is /should be used to adjust for too much skylight, and on a sunny day it would make the temperature too low (too red). But the operator doing the scanning could have done a better job of adjusting the color balance.

The atmospheric haze is there, and as noted above is due to UV light--the higher the elevation the more UV is present. Atmospheric haze nevertheless is generally there, and the good thing is it suggests what things are very far away, and thus we know the mountains are mountains and not close by hills. A stronger IUV filter or a polarizing filter may help--try them (next time do a test w/ weaker UV, stronger UV, and polarizer). (Used UV and linear polarizing filters are often inexpensive as less used with digital.)
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