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Old 08-08-2019   #41
rob.nyc1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Valdenebro View Post
Hi Akiva,
The main reason for using a yellow filter is/was making a b&w scene closer to reality than it was recorded on film if the filter was not used... This was relevant only when the scene was shot on a blue sky day (no need for yellow filter on overcast), and it was true for older films, and IMO for current Tri-X too. To my eye, TMax400 looks like a yellow filtered film, so I don't use a yellow filter for it.
Apart from the improved, cleaner overall balance, the yellow filter is used to make the blue sky look a little bit darker, and the orange one to do the same with a bit more strength, so clouds, by contrast, have more punch in the sky. That, for all b&w films.
Keeping a yellow filter always on, makes sense with Tri-X, because:
If the day has blue sky, images will look more real and clean.
If blue sky is included in the shot, it will look better, and clouds too.
On overcast days, it doesn't hurt images in any way.
The lens is protected.
With most films blue sky is horribly pale without yellow or orange filter. I don't like to abuse darkroom or digital dodging and burning, so I prefer getting all I can on negative.
I find this useful for nature and landscape photography, but for street shooting I don't care.
Cheers,
Juan
Sound explanation. The increase in contrast could also hurt shadow details, so that's something to think about as well.
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Old 08-08-2019   #42
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Regarding modern films: I have found that the Ilford Delta film, having less blue sensitivity than older films, will render the blue sky dark enough to appear, not dramatically dark, but dark enough to look natural without the use of a yellow filter. So that might be a useful idea for those who don't care to bother with filters.
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Old 08-08-2019   #43
Greg Maslak
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Don't forget that yellow, orange and red filters affect the grey tones of colours other than blue. Yellow is especially useful in separating red and green in landscapes by lightening the foliage or distinguishing a red rose from its leaves. Red can white out summer scorched yellow grass against a darkened blue horizon, giving a kind of infrared effect. Where I live in British Columbia, my summer is just green, yellow and blue everywhere you look (except, of course, when it's on fire). I use the yellow and red filters I have even on clear days without a cloud in the sky.
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Old 08-09-2019   #44
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I try to use a yellow filter for street shooting as I hate photos with that bland solid white sky.
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Old 08-09-2019   #45
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Try it and see. There's no other way to do it, because all you'll get on a forum is personal opinions. It does a good job of giving more contrast to clouds if that's what you're after. I prefer a red one, usually, and a yellow one is glued to the lens of my Retina 1A camera.

You mentioned that you only shot Tri-X in that camera. I must have missed something....there are other B&W films? Who knew. Why?.....
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Old 08-09-2019   #46
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Rarely. The pre-war uncoated lenses seem to give plenty of sky detail in black and white and the developer/film choice can have as much effect as a light filter. That being said, all the lenses I shoot regularly have UV filters on them and that's just to protect the lens. [I know, I'm being overly fussy, but I am the photographer for a volunteer fire company and when I shoot close in, I really don't want debris, water, and the occasional ember on the lens. And when I get on location, I don't have time to sit in the truck and put filters on.]
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Old 08-09-2019   #47
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I almost always use a yellow #8 (K2) when I shoot B&W outdoors, which is most of the time for me. If I’m looking for more contrast or a strong sky effect I’ll use a darker yellow, orange or red. K2 yellow delivers tones that look more realistic to me than a UV does in natural light regardless of which B&W emulsion or lens I’m using. Indoors I usually use a UV for protection or no filter at all.

As others here already stated, it’s pretty subjective.
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Old 08-09-2019   #48
rob.nyc1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
You mentioned that you only shot Tri-X in that camera. I must have missed something....there are other B&W films? Who knew. Why?.....
couldn't vibe with any of the ilford films, or tmax. I'm committed to one lens one camera one film for one year (Nikon SP, 50mm, Tri-X)
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Old 08-09-2019   #49
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For B&W work, I tend to keep an orange my lenses these days. It helps with the sky with out over dramitizing it and helps with skin tones and contrast.
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Old 08-09-2019   #50
Erik van Straten
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In my life I've never used any filters.


Erik.
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Old 08-09-2019   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
Regarding modern films: I have found that the Ilford Delta film, having less blue sensitivity than older films, will render the blue sky dark enough to appear, not dramatically dark, but dark enough to look natural without the use of a yellow filter. So that might be a useful idea for those who don't care to bother with filters.
I knew Acros and TMY have a lowered ble response. I got asked about the skies and fikters on some Acros frames which are actually unfiltered.
I have a stash of Delta 100 which I feel has natural skies without filtration, but as I didn't know how to read the response chart I assumed they behaved like most Panchromatic films (overly blue sensitive). My though was that one did not lose speed by filtering with these films vs a cubic grain with higher blue response.

In my case I began to seriously shoot BW this year and during late winter and spring used HP5 with a Yellow #12 for sunny outdoors. Have an orange sitting around that I only used twice, and once for Aerochrome. Actually EIR was the reason I have the specific filters 12 & 21, knowing they'd carry over being useful for BW.

It might sound very silly, but years ago prior to shooting BW I spent too much time reading Ken Rockwell and he had a stark stance of Yellow filters being a must. Somehow that stuck in my mind and I seek to use it often.
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Old 08-09-2019   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFujicaman View Post
I try to use a yellow filter for street shooting as I hate photos with that bland solid white sky.
I'm in the "with filter" camp for street/outdoors as well. This is Seattle, our skies are pretty gray most of the time. Without a filter, buildings sort of blend into the sky, and there's not much definition to things on the ground. A yellow gives enough pop to just discern some texture.

Lately I've been using a Tiffen #15 "deep yellow" (more of an orange) for architecture and landscape work. Gives a lot more separation without the transmission loss, or over-the-top drama of a red.

For those of you adjusting during development, what are you doing? I've tried restricted development, but that doesn't seem to do the trick other than muddy up the mid/lower tones. Using a filter at least gets me some tonal separation among objects of similar reflectance value. Case in point: I was out shooting yesterday, and my light meter was telling me that brick, dark blue glass, and pavement all had the same values. Gave a bit more development time, and there was still very little separation among them.
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Old 08-09-2019   #53
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I think we may need a quick refresher course. You don't use a filter like it was a religion, or some other fervently held belief. Filters freely pass their own colors, and tend to block the color that is complementary to their own color. So a yellow filter passes yellow, and blocks blue. (Remember "blue-blocker sunglasses? they blocked blue light. They were yellow.) So let's say we have a yellow sign against a blue sky. We use a yellow filter. The sign comes out lighter in the picture. The sky comes out darker. That's good. It's what we wanted.

Now say we take a black and white sign against a gray sky. We use a yellow filter. We take a second shot without the filter, to see what the difference is. Well, the only difference is that the filter has cost us one f-stop. Filters discriminate colors, not shades of gray. So we didn't need the filter in this case. It does nothing.

A green filter will lighten foliage. Why? because foliage is green (except for Japanese maples.) And it will darken the sky a bit, because green and blue are split-complements. So that's good, at least if you feel foliage should be lightened. It would increase the contrast of the foliage against the sky.

So the idea is that filters do increase contrast, but only by discriminating colors, privileging one color while holding back another. An awareness of this is very useful to the black and white photographer! No color in the subject, no need for a filter.
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Old 08-09-2019   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssmc View Post

Here are a few examples I shot a while back, comparing unfiltered Tri-X to yellow (Hoya G) and orange (B+W 040):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Hoya G is an orange filter, not yellow.
Yellow and orange are indeed two different colors. They have different wavelengths, and are distinct colors of the rainbow. A prism splits white light according to a rule my dad taught me: "VIBGYOR." That's Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red. So yellow and orange are next to each other--close in wavelength--but they are not the same.

But then, help me figure this out: A bottle of concentrated Kodak stop bath is an orange color. But when we dilute it for use, it turns yellow. That would imply that orange is nothing but concentrated yellow, and not a separate color at all.

What's up with that?
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Old 08-09-2019   #55
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Quite the Time Machine here.
For landscapes I usually used an orange. Depended on where, when and what.


In fact. traveling Interstate 40 East into New Mexico there is a sign which states:
"Welcome to New Mexico - attach your Orange filter now.
Fans of visual drama, employ your Red 25 A"


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Old 08-09-2019   #56
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Arista EDU ultra 400 (and 100) for me are oversensitive to blue (look at their color spectrum graph). So I use an Orange filter unless it is indoors or flat grey outside (which it hardly ever is in California). It brings sunlight areas back to 'normal' but you lose a little of shadow as they are from blue light.

Arista EDU ultra 400 Rodinal 1+100 by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 08-09-2019   #57
Emile de Leon
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Never really got on w/filters..
Tested a bit back in the day..
Some worked ok..others not..
Tend to degrade the image..more flare etc..
And then you have to get the same filter for different lens diameters..
I just get the contrast right in printing..and dodge and burn like crazy..
Only use polarizers these days rarely..for water..and reflections..and put up with the flare..
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Old 08-09-2019   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyongazer View Post


In fact. traveling Interstate 40 East into New Mexico there is a sign which states:
"Welcome to New Mexico - attach your Orange filter now.
Fans of visual drama, employ your Red 25 A"

Really? How cool! Do you have a picture of that?
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Old 08-10-2019   #59
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I do Rob, but the sign was red, the lettering blue - they both recorded as the same shade of grey so it's unreadable.
Shooda used a filter. ;-)
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Old 08-10-2019   #60
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Yes. Always.
Yellow (light and dark) and orange mostly. On occasion red.
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Old 08-10-2019   #61
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I have a light yellow filter as protection on one of my lenses. Light yellow has such a tiny effect on contrast that it isn't wort thinking about it much.
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Old 08-10-2019   #62
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I used a lot of different filters when I was shooting B&W film but only on occasions to get a contrast effect. You can turn daylight shots into nighttime shots with a deep red filter plus polarizer. It was sometimes impressive to do that. But, no, I never used any filter as a normal procedure...except UV filters. I've always used them as an optical condom.
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Old 08-10-2019   #63
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I live in New Mexico and the light is just incredible. It's truly a photographer's/painter's paradise. The clouds often look like they were painted onto the sky. Yes, of course a yellow filter can be used for everything, just be aware that your yellow flower will be white.

I went on a filter test back in Florida using 3 shots for each image and a yellow, orange and red filter each time. Real PITA, but the only way to know, w/ a caveat. If you wet print like me, you might want to fine tune things for each filter a little bit. Like the op, all I shoot is Tri-X (so no worries on exact exposure), and lately develop it in Rodinal. The grain is just gorgeous. For what I do, that film and developer, shot in the Retina, looks really good on fiber paper. I tried it w/ my Nikon SLR that had a more modern lens, and the shots looked quite different. Didn't like them. So there's some variables to be aware of. One thing for sure, out here pics w/ an unfiltered shot, and one w/ a Y or R filter, look like night and day.

Never got on w/ the orange filter though. My wife at the time was black (light complected black, but black none the less), and the portraits AND the street shots looked flat, especially compared to the Y and R filters. I liked the red the best, but my Retina is shutter speed challenged, so the extra exposure for the red means you have to be careful on the slower speeds.

The Y filter is glued on mine only because I'm cheap. Or more accurately, because I have a brain. They want more for the "correct" Retina Y filter than I paid for the entire camera! So I used some removable glue to put a series filter on the snout.
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Old 08-10-2019   #64
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I use a med. Y filter as standard. I have orange, red, green and others for some lenses, but mainly use med. Y. When light starts dropping, I take it off if I want to get some shots (especially with the Voigtlander SC Skopar 21mm f4 lens and FP4+, where the extra stop helps).
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Old 08-10-2019   #65
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A yellow green (X0) filter will give you nicer skies, foliage and skin tones, so it's my choice as general use filter for BW.

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