The Filters We Need With Digital...

Started Oct 5, 2008 | Discussions thread
OP Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,136
Yes, Howard was just the first to use it photographically..

stephenmelvin wrote:

Hi Joseph,
Actually, the Neodymium filters go back way longer than 25 years. I'm
an avid reader of history, particularly that of u-boats. I was
surprised to read the the Germans used neodymium filters with their
binoculars to enhance their ability to see signals from Morse lamps
from other boats.

That, and narrow band filters. I remember some obscure bit of history about this: telegraphers using ultraviolet lights and people receiving them who had had lens replacement surgery. Our lenses block UV, without them, you can see a pretty good way into the UV.

Howard talks about some of the other uses of neodymium glass. He was inspired by neodymium sunglasses to try it for photography. He believes he was the first to do so, and trademarked the name "enhancing filter" for it. Tiffen licensed his trademark, but ticked Howard off by making the filter weaker than Howard liked.

Some other common uses of neodymium included glasses worn by scientific glassblowers, the kind who do "torchwork" or "lampwork". They work by putting glass rods or tubes into the flame of a very hot torch. This is typically done with borocilicate glass. When you do this, the sodium in the glass "flares" bright yellow, making it hard to see what you're working on. The neodymium yellow-orange blocking allows you to see the glass under the "sodium flare".

(I'm a different kind of glassblower, an "off hand" blower, I use a big steel pipe to pull "gobs" of glass from a crucible. That kind of glass has no sodium flare, so we don't use neodymium glasses).

I wish I had that book with me, so I could find the passage.

BTW, I was in a building yesterday that made me think of Detroit,
only it's much, much closer to home. It was a fun day!


I am very ticked off about the increased levels of vandalism and looting at the train station here. It's suffered more this year than any other time that I've ever seen.

-- hide signature --

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
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow