View Full Version : Filters for High-Altitudes
This summer, I am heading to really high altitudes (we're talking 15,000 - 17,000 ft -- or 4500-5000m for our metric friends) doing the Manali-to-Leh road here in India on a bus, and I was wondering if I need any filters for either color slides or B&W film? I'm guessing a UV filter may not be a bad idea, but for my old Bessa II, I don't have any filters -- should I worry???
My experience is that UV filters are marginally helpful, but that's about all you can use with color. For B&W, the redder the better to cut through haze. Best is infrared with opaque or dark red filter. These images were with a digital camera, but you can get the idea. They are from the Zugspitze in the Bavarian Alps, above 9,700 feet. The color image used no filter. The B&W uses a B+W 093 opaque filter. It all depends on how hard you want to work to cut through haze.
I was shooting some stuff in the 4000-5000 meter area a few months ago, if your subjects are not more then a couple of miles away a uv filter will help, if they are father and you are shooting bw, take mike's advice with the red, I shot some photos with a red (for some reason when I do my skies never go black, I must be doing something wrong) and it was great.
First shot with my yashica gsn an a run of the mill hoya uv filter, the second was with my modified kodak 3a pocket camera and a red filter held in front of the lens.
81a or 81c are the classic filters for colour at altitude, I have one somewhere but can’t actually recall using it, blocks the blue end light I imagine
Mike - I've been to Ladakh a couple of times and if I get my visa today am heading back a week Monday. My experience is that a skylight filter helps, and a polariser with colour film can turn skies a dramatic or terrible (depending on your tastes) black-blue. I never used a red filter on B&W but assume it might have an extra darkening effect - so take along a yellow as well.
Beware of dust with your films especially - as you know it's a high altitude cold desert.
Hope you have a great trip - if you've never been there before you'r in for a fantastic time
Thanks everyone -- I guess I'll have some filter shopping to do before I leave :D
I'll also have to experiment with the red filter a bit. Usually with ASA100 film, the filter factor is too much for hand-holding, but maybe I need faster film for this trip...
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.