The Filters We Need With Digital...

Started Oct 5, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,130
Filters That Didn’t Make The “Big Six”

And, of course, there are filters that us really "off the wall" folk use, but they're not really "big six" filters...

Seven - The "Strong UV" Filter.

Modern lenses (especially complex zooms with 15-25 coated elements) and modern sensors (with built in filters) stop as much UV as the traditional "UV(0)" or "haze" filter. And sensors aren’t as sensitive to UV as film was. So, you don't need them to eliminate "haze" in photographs, even when you're shooting at high altitudes. The “traditional” use has passed away...

But there are situations where a stronger UV filter is useful. If you shoot where there are blacklights (nightclubs, concerts, or my own work with body painting) the strong UV filter keeps the blacklight from casting a purple glow on things that aren’t supposed to be glowing, increasing the dramatic look on the things that should be glowing. It really does help. The stronger UV filter is typically called a “UV(1)”, “Haze 2”, or “B+W 415”.

Eight - The “IR Blocking Filter”

Back when I shot primarily with the Nikon D100, the “IR blocking filter” or “hot mirror” was a “must have” filter. Early cameras let invisible infrared “contaminate” the visible colors.

· Blacks, browns, and dark grays tended to get magenta tints. This was most visible in dyed cloth, but also frequently visible in human hair and animal fur.

· IR penetrates the surface layers of human skin, so an IR sensitive camera emphasizes veins. The IR penetrates to reveal blood “pooled” under the surface of the skin, resulting in a “blotchy” skin appearance.

· And IR contamination also makes green plants look a less healthy “brownish” green, makes clouds look pink, etc. and in general increases the amount of work you have to do in post processing to get colors “right”.

But these days, all modern cameras (with one notable exception) have IR blocking filters good enough to eliminate all these problems. So, unless you own a Leica M-8, or you love an older camera like a Nikon D100 or D2H, you do not need to worry about the IR blocking filter.

Nine - The IR and UV Filters

These are not IR and UV “blocking”, they are filters that appear to be solid black because they block all the visible light and only let through invisible infrared or ultraviolet. The effects can be spectacular, the amount of work required surprising, and they require careful attention to choice of camera and lens to get the best results. Only mentioned here because what they do can only be done through real filters, not post processing.

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph

 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D90 Nikon D2X Nikon D3 Nikon D100 +43 more
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