Any point in using filters when shooting in RAW?


TPF Noob!
Sep 12, 2004
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Durham, UK
I was wondering if there is any point in using filters on my SLR camera when I take pictures in RAW format. I heard from someone that I can do exactly what filters do in photoshop by editing the RAW files.

Does Photoshop Elements 3 support editing raw files or do I have to upgrade to photoshop elements 4?
People view it in different ways. Some are of the opinion that the closer you can get to your goal in the camera, then the less time you have to spend with Photoshop later. Others who like to spend more time with PS, will refuse to spend the cash on a filter b/c they may effectively be able to simulate the filter.

I have PS CS2 as well as filters. I regularly use my circular Polarizing filter and at times still use my b/w filters. Now I can pretty well simulate b/w film in PS, but using a filter eliminates some PS steps and also gives it more depth I think when I use them.

As for ability to use elements with RAW, I'm not sure. You can go to adobe's site to check for plug-ins and whatnot. I'm pretty sure the 4th version will let you do this, dunno about 3.
It depends what kind of filter you mean..... if you mean colour filters, it wont matter so much..... if you mean polarizers or ND grad filters it matters alot for the actual exposure of the raw capture.
Like Archangel said - if your image isn't polarized at the time of capture then no amount of post processing can polarize it.

ND filters can lengthen exposure without adjusting the colour balance. A longer exposure cannot be added to the image afterwards either. You can try to simulate the effect but you'll never achieve something that's truly convincing.

Colours and warm ups are easy to add in post processing but some filters cannot be mimicked.

So in answer to your question...yes!!

As for Photoshop Elements question I'm not sure....hopefully someone will be along who can help.
Yes filters are still necessary. Like said above the Polarizers, and ND filters. If you already have the filters and know your going to need them. Why add a post processing step?

I would suspect that processing programs have hurt speciality filters. But I would think the "basics" are still going strong as you can't work with something thats not there.
DYK: Most filter only work when shooting in RAW mode because the auto white balance will try to adjust to for the filter
Jeff Canes said:
DYK: Most filter only work when shooting in RAW mode because the auto white balance will try to adjust to for the filter
You don't have to AWB

IMO if given the option, it's always better to use filters. You save PP time and more importatly:

All of the hollywood and classical photograhy was shot using optical filters. They give a special look to the medium and the difference might be very subtle, but the audience is trained to respond to the "real" filters because the masters use it.

If you're sure that the effect is going to be exactly the same - sure. But it's always better to at least try the proven way for yourself once.

Just like you can't add bokeh to a PS shoot, you can't replicate the effect of certain filters.

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