filters for digital black and white

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by talltexan, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. talltexan

    talltexan TPF Noob!

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    If I were going to buy 3 to 4 filter's for digital black and white. What should they be.

    Thanks in advance , Brent
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For digital B&W, you don't really need any filters - you can do the same thing in Photoshop or any other photo editing software.

    The 3 main filters that you can't replicate in PS are:
    Polarizer
    Neutral density
    Infrared

    Those aren't B&W specific though...
     
  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Red, green, yellow ... PL, but that is not particular for B+W.

    Red darkens green ... leaves
    Green darkens red
    Yellow darkens blue ... sky

    < I am thinking in the B+W film mentality >
     
  4. talltexan

    talltexan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much. I am very new to this whole digital thing. Yes I used to use the red , green , and yellow when I was shooting film. I almost always had a polarizer on. My thinking is that if I do more in camera then maybe I have les to do with the computer. That is my weak spot right now.
    Thanks again. Brent
     
  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, I have that same mentality also ... I actually avoid post-processing.

    If I didn't shoot it right the first time ... it wasn't done right ... well, I try to think that.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Don't fear the computer...embrace it.

    Look at it this way. When using a physical filter, you have two options. Filter on or filter off. Maybe you want to try a yellow one, then a red one...so have to change the filter, put the old one away etc.

    With digital, you just take the photo, allowing yourself to concentrate on the composition and the decisive moment. Then when you take the photo into a post processing program, you can apply all the same filter effects, but you have infinite flexibility as to what color effect, how much of that effect and even which parts of the photo you want to apply it to.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A few yeas ago, Dirk Vermiere did an experiment using traditional B&W filters on the lens,and compared the results to monochrome conversions done later in post processing. There is actually a **substantial** difference in the color relationships in the final conversions of RGB full-color captures which are then converted to monochrome in Photoshop.

    The difference is not slight, but substantial. Some things simply can NOT be done by rearranging pixels after the fact at the computer, like in-camera diffusion, in-camera soft-focus, and in-camera polarization. Any time there is an alteration of the actual *LIGHT* that comes into the camera lens and an alteration of the light that is used to create the "original" image data, there will be a different result between in-camera and pixel-rearranging methods. Far too much emphasis is placed on post-shot pixel-re-arranging in Photoshop these days. Many people have never even shot B&W film with any filters,and even fewer have ever attempted to conduct any experiments on the empirical results that will result if a filter is used over the lens when shooting digital captures. This would be a really good situation for some experimentation, I think.

    Red, orange, green,yellow are the traditional B&W filters of most common use with panchromatic films, along with polarizing filters. If one really wants to see the difference using filtration makes, it is probably best to conduct one's own experiments. B&W imaging is far,far different from color imaging. In B&W, the old axiom is, "A filter tends to lighten its own color."
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shot a lot of B&W over the years and leveraged filters to do so. Different B&W film are sensitive in different ways...

    The same is true for digital and thus the B&W filters do not always behave as you might expect. It is far easier and more effective to do B&W conversion post production in PS or lightroom.
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis TPF Noob!

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    Like others have said, colored glass filters are very easy to mimic, but polarizers and effect filters like derrel mentioned are close to impossible, if not impossible. I wouldn't bother spending the money on anything besides a polarizer and ND filters, but thats just me.
     
  10. talltexan

    talltexan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to you all. Definitely food for thought. I guess my next question would be. What is the best version of photoshop for a beginner? Without having to take out a loan:mrgreen:
    Thanks again ,Brent
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you considered Photoshop elements?

    I don't have the latest version but even my old version was pretty effective.
     
  12. talltexan

    talltexan TPF Noob!

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    Actually at this point I would consider anything since I don't have a program at all. Maybe I will start a new thread after I read up on the photoshop programs.
    Thanks everyone. Brent
     

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