MARCH 2021:
PART 2 OF A MONTHLY SERIES – GETTING THE BEST PHOTO:
Camera lens filters are elements added onto the lens to protect the lens, or to enhance/alter the light, as it passes through the lens to expose the film or digital film. By using a filter you are able to utilize a vast array of effects, lens protection, eventuate necessities, take better closeup object shots. Nothing, and I mean nothing– is worse than losing an expensive lens due to scratches, etching, weather related damage, etc. It can happen in a second! A filter can be easily replaced. There is much choice when it comes to purchasing a filter, and sometimes the right combination of using filters can make or break that perfect photo. The use of filters can be for several reasons, sometimes more than one can be used at a time. Here is an article for the proper use of camera lens filters.

  • Protection for your lens
  • Control, correct and enhance color
  • Render Accurate Exposure
  • Maximize impact on your photo

Formats of Filters

  • Screw-On Filters
  • Drop-in Filters
  • Square Filters, drop or snap on
  • Rectangular Filters, drop or snap on

Formats of filters are totally a personal preference. All formats whether they be screw on, drop in don’t exactly cause a difference in effect, but may impede speed between shots, making the choice a factor when it comes to action.

Popular Filter Types

  • Ultraviolet and Skylight Filters
  • Polarization Filters
  • Neutral Density Filters
  • Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  • Color Correction Filters
  • Close-Up Filters
  • Special-Effect+ Filters
Lens
Filter
Effects Photography
Type
UV/Skylight Filter
  • Protect lens glass from scratches, etching, fingerprints, and excess wear & tear
  • Keep UV rays out of camera
  • Shield analog film from UV rays
All Type
Polarizing Filter
  • Reduce reflections
  • Blocking unwanted results of glare
  • Enhance colors and contrast
  • Strengthen, enhance subject
All Type
ND Filter
(Neutral Density)
  • Reduce amount of light entering
    lens
  • Slower shutter speeds/wider
    apertures
  • Help create motion or blur
Landscapes
 &
Flash Photography
Hard Graduated ND
Filters
  • Reduce amount of
    light entering lens through upper half of filter
  • Provide sharp transition between
    dark and clear for flat horizons
  • Balance exposure/high contrast on
    bright midday skies with dark foreground
Landscapes
Soft Graduated ND
Filter
  • Reduce amount of light entering
    lens through upper half of filter
  • Provide smooth transition between
    dark and clear so filter doesn’t show
  • Balance exposure/high contrast on
    bright midday skies with dark foreground without line
    effect
Landscapes
 &
Sunsets
Reverse Graduated ND
Filter
  • Reduce amount of light entering
    lens form the upper middle instead of top
  • Provide smooth transition from dark
    to less dark starting middle to the top edge
  • More proper exposure of the sun for
    more clear sunsets and sunrises
Landscapes
 &
Flash Photography
Colored Filter
  • Correction of colors for more
    accurate white balance
  • Enhancing or blocking of one type
    of color
  • Fluorescent correction *
  • Tungsten/Incandescent correction *
All Type
 &
B & W
 &
* = Color Correction
Close-Up Filter
  • Allowance for closer focusing on
    subjects
  • Sharper capture shooting close-ups
Macro Photography
Special Effects Filters
  • Produce multi-point star, effects
    and sparkles
  • Softening/diffusion of edges for
    bubble effect/sharp center
  • Creation of multiple copies of a
    subject, effect or scene
  • Blocking of infrared light and
    passes visible light
  • Customize the shape and style of
    lighting
All Type

Exponential Value of Using Filters
The type(s) of filters desired or necessary to make a perfect shot can vary, and multiple filters can make for the best shot. A lot of filters have different densities. The table will show the factor of your filter, and the f/stops reduction involved with using the filter. Using more than one filter always tacks on both filters, and the involved f/stop reduction. Sometimes, more light is not a good thing, so the neutral density filter collection can assist in obtaining the perfect shot.

ND Filters

Optical
Density

Filter
Factor

f stop
Reduction

0,3 2 -1
0,6 4 -2
0,9 8 -3
1,2 16 -4
1,5 32 -5
1,8 64 -6
2,1 128 -7
2,4 256 -8
2,7 512 -9
3 1024 -10

Neutral Density Notation Factor

ND-1
Number
Notation
ND-1
Decimal
Notation
ND
Number
Notation
f stop
Reduction
Transmit
Percent
Example
Shutter
Speed
NONE NONE NONE 0 100% 1/1000
ND 101 ND 0.3 ND2 1 50% 1/500
ND 102 ND 0.6 ND4 2 25%
1/250
ND 103 ND 0.9 ND8 3 12.5% 1/125
ND 104 ND 1.2 ND16 4 6.25% 1/60
ND 105 ND 1.5 ND32 5 3.125% 1/30
ND 106 ND 1.8 ND64 6 1.562% 1/15
ND 107 ND 2.1 ND128 7 0.781% 1/8
ND 108 ND 2.4 ND256 8 0.391% 1/4
ND 109 ND 2.7 ND512 9 0.195% 1/2
ND 110 ND 3.0 ND1024 10 0.01% 1
ND 111 ND 3.3 ND2048 11 0.049% 2
ND 112 ND 3.6 ND4096 12 0.024% 4
ND 113 ND 3.9 ND8192 13 0.012% 8

Color Correction to Balance the White Light
Use of different types of film or digital Pseudo-film necessitates a special type of color correction to get the spectrum to balance to render the correct white balance. In other words, using a daylight film, without a flash with incandescent lighting will render yellowed out photos, and using tungsten film outdoors in daylight will render blue photos. Also taking photos in florescent lighting is always a tricky lighting situation. A filter is made to meet the need of any situation. Color balancing can also improve your astronomical photos as well, as the light that twinkles through Earth’s atmosphere can be corrected to yield really stunning photos with the use of the right filter.

White Balancing Filters

Physical
Lighting
Film
Type
Filter
Need
f stop
Reduction
Noon Daylight Tungsten Yellow 12 or 85 ⅓ or 0.33
Daylight
Tungsten Yellow 85B ½ or 0.5
Astronomy & Tungsten Daylight Blue 80A
½ or 0.5
Incandescent Daylight Blue 82A ⅓ or 0.33
Fluorescent to Daylight
Daylight FL-D ⅓ or 0.33
Fluorescent to Tungsten Tungsten FL-T ½ or 0.5

The Light Spectrum in Photographer’s Terms

WB Settings
Color Degree
Light Source
10,000°- 15,000°K 🔵 The Blue Sky
6,500°- 8,000°K
☁️ Cloudy or Shaded
6,000°- 7,000°K ☀️ Noon Sunlight
5,500°- 6,500°K Average Daylight
6,000°- 5,500°K ⚡✨ Electronic Flash
4,000°- 5,000°K Fluorescent Lighting
3,000°- 4,000°K 🌇 🌅 Objects at Sunset-rise
2,500°-3,500°K 💡 Incandescent Lighting
1,500°-2,500°K 🔦 Tungsten Lighting
1,000°- 2,000°K 🎂🔥🌅 Candle-Flame-Sunset

Photos taken at the 1982 Chicago Photo Show at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

Effects of a Polarizer
Polarizers can make a dramatic effect in the quality of your photos. It can be utitlized for so many types of photos, but is inherently used for outdoor photography including landscapes. The effects as dialed into the filter as you turn the dial on the filter to a different degree gives you minimized and maximized effects. It also doubles up to cause effect on reflection as well, but the factor effect can be off that of glare, due to the same effect light has on lineage as it passes through the water, except it has the mirror effect, so it is actually reverse to the direction of going through the water when it reflects. Dialing in to get the effect you want is a must, when it comes to getting your desired effect with a polarizer. The points in between can give you a more or less desired effect, and I don’t always attest that using maximum effect is always best policy. Sometimes, a polarizer is not a good choice, as in the example below of the Theodore Roosevelt Fountain at Brookfield Zoo, because the polarizer did affect the rainbow, as in omitting it completely from the photo.

Polarizer

Degree of Rotation
Desired Effect
Outcome
0° & 360° NO EFFECT
Lose 1 f stop
90°
Maximum
Minimal reflection/Glare & -1 f
180°
NO EFFECT Lose 1 f stop
270°
Maximum Minimal reflection/Glare & -1 f

Black and White
Black and white photography has a whole avenue of filtering unseen to the color world, and desired effects can be dramatically enhanced by use of them. Remember complimentary colors match, conflicting colors contrast. You can see by the example below that the red rose is affected completely by the color of the filter used. Also original color matters, so yellow will never be a dark shade of grey, no matter how hard you try. . .

Black & White Filters

Filter Color Declination f  Stop
Effect  Red Object
Effect Yellow Object
Effect Green Object Effect Blue Object
Effect Purple
Object
Red-25
or 25A
-3.0 f stops
>☼<
Light or
White
L/M
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Medium
Grey

Orange-G
or “O”
-2.0 f stops
>☼<
Light
Grey
L/M
Grey
Dark
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Dark
Grey
Orange-
Yellow
-1.5 f stops
>☼<
L/M
Grey
Light or
White
Medium
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Yellow-K2
or 12
-1.0 f stop
>☼<
Medium
Grey
Light or
White
Light
Grey
Medium
Grey
Midnight
Grey
Green
X1
-2.0 f stops
>☼<
Midnight
Grey
Light or
White
Light or
White
L/M
Grey
Dark
Grey
Blue
82A
-1.2 f stops
>☼<
Midnight
Grey
Light
Grey
Light or
White
Light or
White
Medium
Grey
Blue
80A
-1.33 f stops
>☼<
Midnight
Grey
L/M
Grey
Light
Grey
Light or
White
L/M
Grey
Purple
FL-D
-1.33 f stops
>☼<
Dark
Grey
L/M
Grey
L/M
Grey
Light
Grey
Light or
White
Purple
FL-T
-1.66 f stops
>☼<
Medium
Grey
L/M
Grey
Medium
Grey
L/M
Grey
Light or
White

Infrared
Infrared photography can be both color and black and white. They both have sharp effects and can be used in industry for definite assets. Infrared photography requires the use of colored filters, no matter which you choose. In the film days, the black and white variety was so high speed, a red filter was always required no matter what! The film was so high speed that infrared and shooting at noon with high ISO black and white films were the only time you really did not need a tripod using a red #25 filter or Wratten filter. It also needed to be transported in a black lid container, and needed to be developed within hours of shooting. The color variety was not as drastic, but still needed a yellow filter. Use of any other color with black and white yielded overexposed rolls of film. Use of other colored filters, other than yellow filters for infrared color film looked like the shots were taken on another planet, and were not properly color balanced, as in the skies being too purple. Also, a polarizer was a definite plus while shooting infrared. So the final table covers shooting infrared.

Infrared Filters

Filter
Color
Declination
f Stop

Exposure
Effect

Infrared
Type
Red 25
or 25A
-3.0 f stops
>☼<
Great
Shots
B&W
(FILM=HIE)
Yellow K2
or 12
-1.0 f stop
>☼<
Great
Shots
COLOR
(FILM=SLIDE)
Polarizer
-1.0 f
stop
>☼<
Refer to
Polarizer
Chart
ALL

More on the The Spectrum of Light
The wonderful organization PublicLab.org has a photo that I am sharing with you and I offer you the opportunity to donate to PublicLab.org to the great cause they are. They have assisted photographers for many years, and do a lot in the way of assisting those starting out in the field of photography and professionals as well. The graph shows the cause and effect of both the special ultra-violet filter used in labs and the red Wratten #25A (infrared complimentary).

BG3_W25A_curve2k.jpg

Photo courtesy of PublicLab.org

The Spectrum of Light

Don’t forget that the PublicLab.org can be a very, very useful organization for tips and pointers on photography, and offers seminars and other outlets of fine information. Please JOIN today!

Join me back next month with another subject of photography, to assistance in getting a better photograph.

Another monthly aspect of photography next month: A monthly series

Easy Control of Your Camera

Content © 2021 Versatileer

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