Do optical WB filters improve RAW color latititude?

Started Aug 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Mako2011
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Re: Do optical WB filters improve raw color latititude?
In reply to Olaf Ulrich, Aug 27, 2012

Olaf Ulrich wrote:

Vitruvius wrote:

I am wondering if an optical color correction filter can enhance a digital raw file.

Yes, they can.

Enhance compared to what? The same "enhancement" is now better done in PP. May note have been the case 4 years ago, but is now.

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Vitruvius wrote:

I am thinking that digital raw files would have more color latitude if they were pre-white-balanced during exposure by a color correction filter. Not sure though.

Yes, that's correct. Using colour-correction filters to pre-balance the light colour in ligthing situations that are far off from daylight does increase dynamic range indeed. In typical tungsten light you will gain approx. one f-stop worth of dynamic range, or even more depending on the light, the filter, and the camera. Of course, this will come at the expense of a considerable loss of light, as these blue colour-correction filters are pretty dense. You'll lose about two or three stops of light. When shooting hand-held, this usually will force you to crank up the ISO setting in order to avoid camera shake. And the higher ISO setting then will offset the gain in dynamic range from the pre-balancing.

So using these 80A or KB12 or KB15 filters in dim tungsten light is useful only when you can shoot from a tripod at a low ISO setting and use slow shutter speeds without problems ... i. e. no hand-held shooting and no fast-moving subjects. When you need faster shutter speeds (and hence, higher ISO settings) then using those colour-correction filters will do more harm than good.

Well said

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