View Full Version : Warming/daylight filter with color negative film

21-Jun-2017, 18:49
While this is a natural, and not artificial, lighting question, it doesn't seem to fit in other forums.

Is it common to use a warming (daylight, e.g. Tiffen 85 or Wratten 81) filter with color negative film, on an indoor subject, illuminated by strong north window light? I'm postprocessing such a subject, and it seems that if I had used a warming filter the color adjustments would be less extensive. Film is Portra 400. Thanks for any/all comments.

Mark Sampson
21-Jun-2017, 19:31
Well, I never did, but then when I shot 4x5 Portra I was making optical enlargements rather than correcting a scan. North window light will be fairly blue so an 81-series might help. An 85-series would almost certainly be overkill. My experience also suggests that generous exposure made color corrections easier (optically), so if your exposure is at the minimum, you might have more trouble making corrections. I haven't used color neg film for seven or eight years, after 25 years of practice, so take my ideas with a grain of salt.

21-Jun-2017, 19:37
Thanks Mark. Exposure looks OK in the negative. I exposed at box speed and metered with a Sekonic L-758DR, which I trust. Just thinking to myself that a bit less blue in the scene, accomplished in camera, would have been nice.

22-Jun-2017, 06:00
There's no reason not to consider a filter. Northlight (not direct sun) is blue so it makes perfect sense to warm it up. Obviously very late in the day, near sunset, the light would naturally be warmer. If the window light is primarily lit by blue sky guess what color is predominant. How warm you want is is a matter of personal preference.

22-Jun-2017, 06:46
Thanks Mr, the comments make sense and I agree.

22-Jun-2017, 08:40
I usually carry an 80A and an 85B with me backpacking. I've used both with color negative film -- to my satisfaction -- outdoors. The 85B allows me to create warmer, "sunset" light when the ambient light is way too blue for the subject. The 80A allows me to create much cooler, wintry light when the ambient light is way too much warm, "sunset" for the subject.

David Lobato
22-Jun-2017, 11:12
With daylight transparency film I'd use an 81A or 81B warming filter in that type of light to get the result closer to a neutral color balance. With color negative daylight film I'd see no reason not to use those same filters.

22-Jun-2017, 13:38
Most CN films tend to be a little warm, but for type C printing, just cutting back on M & Y warms it up without major balance changes (or when scanning)... CN materials tend to have greater latitude then chrome films (where filters are really needed) so a little more fudge factor, unless there is a major change in overall color temp or source...

Mainly, if you are working in the deep shade, a little warming can help, but it seems CN films are more sensitive to red/yellow, so excessive warming filtering can make it peak out, maybe to excess... I'd keep warming down to a filter like an 81EF (way max in a blue world!!!) 81 A or B as David suggested, or one of those warm skylight filters (I think it was B&W) if there was excessive blue around you... (Warming has a way of looking unnatural quickly, like on a forest floor...)

Steve K

Henry Ambrose
22-Jun-2017, 19:14
Don't bother with the filter and generally give it a bit more exposure than the number on the box. Maybe try 250-320 - that will help clean up the shadows whatever color temp light you are shooting in and make it easier to scan and post process.

Daniel Stone
29-Jun-2017, 20:13
Use the filters. 81A at least. Helps with neutralizing the extra blue light in the shadows first

30-Jun-2017, 06:06
Thanks Daniel, makes sense.