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TPF Noob!
Jan 8, 2009
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Are they really necessary? And what kinds are they. Can someone please school me on this or let me know where to get information.

Thank you
Basically a good circular polarizer and maybe some ND filters are about all you need if you're shooting digitally. The effects of most all other filters can be replicated in photoshop or another graphics program.

If you are shooting film then let us know what effect you are trying to achieve.
Basically a good circular polarizer and maybe some ND filters are about all you need if you're shooting digitally.

Me too. The only filters I've used other than CP and ND since switching to digital have been infrared filters.

Some folks like to use a UV filter to protect their lenses. Not me.
If you really want to use a filter to protect your front glass don't bother with a UV since modern lenses are made with UV filter coatings already - instead get a cheaper (but make sure its a good quality like B+W) clear glass filter.

There are times when it is advisable to protect your front element - such as on beaches with sand and salt spray or if you are shooting some sport close up where mud if flying near you (like rally car racing). In these cases you might get material on your lens and need to wipe it off to keep shooting - you can't quickwipe the front element of a lens without the risk of scratching - so you fit the filter and then it takes any possible scratches. Scratches don't always show up in shots ,but one should always aim to keep their kit undamaged
But... tell us more about the infrared filters. Do you mean the ones that appear black? I've not yet put one on a digital camera. Is it the same as film photography, with the same results?

Well I know that many folks are using screw on filters, but I had Lifepixel.com remove the ir blocking filter from the sensor of an old 20D, and replace it with a visible light blocking filter. It's the equivalent of a Hoya R72 or Wratten 89b. I've never actually laid eyes on it (since it's in the body), but I assume it looks black.

From what I've read of the folks using the screw on filters it's very similar to shooting IR film. Long exposures are necessary because of the ir blocking filter built into most digital cameras.

I've used Konica and Kodak IR films in the past. With a #29 (deep red) filter I metered for ISO 12 with the Konica, and ISO 100 or 200 with the Kodak (I can't remember which). Obviously ISO 12 requires a tripod in most situations, and the Kodak was way too grainy for my taste (also not available in 120 size, which the Konica was).

My converted 20D is nothing like shooting IR film. The BW results are similar, although super clean looking even compared to 120 size Konica IR (which was supposed to be the finest grain ir film ever when I was shooting it). Also some false color options are available in processing. With the ir blocking filter removed it's very, very ir sensitive. Hand held shooting is no problem.

It is possible to have the ir blocking filter removed, and no new filter installed. This allows switching back and forth between ir and visible light by using different screw on filters on the lens.

This is handheld at ISO 200, converted to BW, contrast adjusted, and toned.


This is handheld at ISO 1600 with a flash (with a DIY visible light blocking filter made of a double layer of unexposed but developed E6), I adjusted the wb, then upped the saturation to get the color.


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