red filter for b/w


TPF Noob!
Jun 13, 2003
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When using a red filter, to make a nice blue sky look very dark with b/w film, do I set the light meter before or after I put on the filter? Or does it matter?

In my experience it doesn't matter a whole lot. But the thing with red filters is that it makes blacks look blacker and whites look whiter. I don't know that i'd necessarily make any sky look dark.
If you are using a SLR or a digital you'd put the filter on and meter through it. No idea what you'd do for a hand-held light meter & something like a rangefinder camera though.

thanks guys. I have seen pictures where they do this, and the red filter makes the blue in the sky turn very dark, and the clouds brighter. It will not wok on an over cast day, the sky needs to be fairly blue.

thanks again
If you use an incident light meter, you will need to open the lens 3 fstops. If using the camera meter, it will meter through the filter.
3 Stops! :shock:

Wow, I had no idea it would be so much. Good to know info dlc, thanks for passing that along.

Another great thing the 25 red filter is good for is portraits or glamour shots. It sucks all redness out of the skin leaving it blemish free and very nice to look at and the prints are wonderful. It does require a faster film as you need to open up 3 stops but worth it.
...if the loss of 3 stops restricts your shutter speed options and the extra grain of faster film is undesirable, use a yellow filter (maybe a -0.5 stop loss):

Nice affect on skin (portraits), separates the tones -- and gives a similar affect as red filter when used for landscapes



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