What color filter to get for b/w film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by mattcantsk8, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. mattcantsk8

    mattcantsk8 TPF Noob!

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    Looking to get a color filter for shooting black and white film this summer I want to push hp5 to 800 and my camera only goes to 1/500 so a filter with 2 stops would be good also I Am mainly going to be shooting people and street photography


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If you're hamstrung by a 1/500 second top shutter speed, it doesn't make much sense to be pushing to 800 E.I. for outdoor work...

    I liked yellow, red, and orange filters the most, at times green.

    A polarizing filter can take off a decent amount of light for you, and will work okay on a rangefinder camera. I am wondering if you might have a rangefinder like a Canonet or something that tops out at 1/500 second.
     
  3. mattcantsk8

    mattcantsk8 TPF Noob!

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    I know it doesn't make sense to push it but I love the contrast it gives and yeah I am using a canonet! I really want the added contrast of color filters would a polarizer do that as well?
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A polarizer used on a rangefinder is a sort of tricky thing, but what it does is to remove the large amounts of glare that exist on many things in the world: leaves, lakes, ponds, the ocean, rivers, metal, glass. I'm not a fan of adding contrast in the summer by pushing film in the developer, and deliberately eliminating shadow detail, which is basically what pushing a film does.

    Photography that begins as film shot in-camera is very different now, in the Photoshop and Lightroom era, than in the way I did most all of my film work; today we often scan images, and then manipulate the data to arrive at the image character we want, and then send that digital file to a printer of one type of another. I do not think the hybrid film/digital workflow that I am envisioning you using needs a lot of contrast from HOP5 pushed, in contrasty summertime lighting.

    But se, that's the rub...maybe you're printing the negatives on a low-contrast, old diffusion enlarger? I have no idea what your overall working method includes. Just that in the summer, there's a lot of contrast between shadow and highlight in North America, so pushing doesn't seem like what *I* would do; but then, *** would print high-contrast, snappy images on a high-contrast-producing Leitz Focomat enlarger, on grade 4 fiber-based paper and develop for 3 minutes.

    I would follow the old adage, to get my highlights in the camera, and my density in the developer. I look at a pushed developed high-speed film as being sub-optimal: I would try to get my contrast AFTER having made a good, wide tonal range scan. In a minute or two in PS, I could adjust my black point and my tone curve to get my contrast, and would have many different options--none of them involving clear film-based in a pushed negative. If you're going to be over-exposing your frames, and a 1/500 top speed will do that unless you're at f/16 all summer long during the day, then what pushing will do is just leave you with OVER-exposed film most of the time, with higher grain and an inferior image...

    I'd prefer to shoot a 400-speed B&W neg film at 400, or less, and develop it less, so the negative is thinner, less salt-and-pepper, scan that, and then go to town on it at the END of the process. But there is no one, single way to please everybody. If you have a method you like,that is what matters. But definitely, get a yellow, red, and orange filters, and give those some good experimentation. Take some notes on which was which, see what they do for yourself, or find some old photography books that SHOW different filter effects.
     
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  5. mattcantsk8

    mattcantsk8 TPF Noob!

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    I've never used fiber always been an rc man my self never really wanted to deal with the curling of it! I never knew fiber gave more contrast. What your saying makes sense now that I think about it that would be a tad bit rediculous to have it that contrasty! Would you say a polarizer is superior over the color filters? Also wouldn't it be pretty hard to know what effect your getting when using a rangefinder?
     
  6. snowbear

    snowbear . Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends on what effect you want and the subject. A red filter will give you darker blues and greens while lightening reds.
    Pick up red, yellow and green filters and take shots of a bowl of mixed bell peppers (red, green, orange & yellow) with each, then compare them. You could just look through the filter instead of sheeting, to get an idea..
     

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