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Thread: Using Behind the Lens Filters

  1. #41
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Well, I don't think the web is very good at illustrating such distinctions, and if I ever did save behind-filter examples, it would be somewhere on the bottom of a reject pile of negatives. The tests were done with top-notch G-Claron and Fuji A lenses. The difference wouldn't be objectionable on an 11X14 print from 4x5, but would be obvious in a bigger print or certainly under a loupe. I take very good care of my Wratten gels as well as glass filters.

  2. #42

    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Drew, all I'm trying to convey is I've used like-new single gels behind the lens and in front. I couldn't tell the difference. However, like you, I've no existing examples to prove my point.

  3. #43
    Drew Wiley
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Other than such testing, I have no use for gels except for specialized lab applications where there are no other options. In the field, multicoated glass is not only far more durable, but much more resistant to moisture. I'm in the weather quite a bit. I also keep a large set of Lee polyester filters for testing purposes, but would never use them for high-quality purposes. A nice thing about Wratten gels is that there are published spectrograms and other pertinent data for each one of them, quite helpful for scientific or technical applications. But there are all kinds of sources for glass filters for general shooting. Some of the common Wrattens for black and white work can now be obtained cheap; but most of them are so old I'd ask questions about storage conditions first. I gave up on them almost instantly for outdoor work due to wind issues. But recently I did take one of my sandwich-style gel holders and put some diffusion sheets along with a warming gel in it, in order to make a flashing attachment for Ektar color film. I don't use it very often - but that's just about the only way to handle mixed lighting where the highlights are warm, but shadows in deep shade bluish, a circumstance Ektar does not handle elegantly at all. And no, this can't be post-corrected without a penalty to hue accuracy because it's due to underexposure in one particular dye peak. Other specialized Wrattens are employed in my lab to generate very precise exposure light for making color contact internegs, internegs, and separation negatives.

  4. #44

    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Only three times have I shot in conditions which could harm a gel filter. Each time, it was a mistake to have my equipment exposed to those conditions at all. One time was during a dust storm... sand got into the lens. A second time was in very light rain... the bellows was never quite the same. A third time, was in high wind and the camera blew over... only a ding and a scratch but didn't get the image. So I think most conditions which would damage a gel filter wouldn't be good for the other equipment either.

  5. #45
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    11,386

    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Guess you wouldn't like Death Valley in March. Neither do I. It takes only seconds to get salty clay dust into everything. But I've routinely been in extreme conditions with view camera gear. More than once even my 8x10 along with its heavy Ries wooden tripod got picked up just like a kite and tossed over twenty feet - luckily landing on soft foliage. But once a Sinar 4x5 was not so lucky during a mountain storm. I'm just grateful it wasn't me. The only time I've been busted up was indeed ironic - I was 16 and had just finished free-climbing 22 running waterfalls in a single day, about 2000 vertical feet overall. But that evening I met my friends at the rural high school gym to play basketball. During the game I tripped over one of them and went headlong into an old style fire hose box with a projecting handle, broke my wrist and needed stitches above my eye. Guess the Fates caught up with me that day!

  6. #46

    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Hey Drew, remind me never to buy your used gear. Kidding!!

  7. #47
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    SF Bay area, CA
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    11,386

    Re: Using Behind the Lens Filters

    Most of my gear is immaculate. Certain lenses have never been used except for testing; I retain them as eventual replacements for the ones that do get tortured. But when it comes to buying used gear, I myself gravitate to single owner-operator indoor studio sources. Got a lovely Sinar Norma that way. The original tapered bellows looks brand new - over forty years old! How often do those turn up? (Well, I did bag a "spare" original Norma bellows that was totally unused a short time later!) But big studio assistants can be brutal on gear. Japanese dealers can also be excellent for selling cameras and lenses that had been essentially hoarded rather than actually used much. But buying used filters is riskier because they're not generally inspected well, and one doesn't save much anyway.

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