View Full Version : view filters

1-Jul-2005, 11:07
Hi, I would like to know if the B&W shooters that visit here make use of a view filter for tonal separation. If so what kind? thanks

CP Goerz
1-Jul-2005, 11:53
I used to use one but found that I almost always used a yellow/orange/red filter so just looked at the scene through the filter instead, saved time in the end.

Kevin M Bourque
1-Jul-2005, 12:09
The point of using one of these filter is that its supposed to make the image look monochrome. Unfortunately, they also alter the tonal balance (any colored filter would do this).

Looking through the shooting filter can help sometimes, but it can be confusing, too. I usually don't bother.

The only viewing aid I use is a piece of cardboard with a rectangular hole in it. It makes composition much easier.

1-Jul-2005, 12:37
I only know of two B&W viewing filters. The Tiffen and the Calumet. I own both...

I like the Tiffes for two reasons, maybe three ;-) It's packaged better. Got a handle and a nice case, and it's cheaper.

What I don't like about the Tiffen: It's small and round. It's also mounted in a funnel shaped tube. I suppose you're supposed to put the wide partr of the funnel to your eye, the filter is at the small end. But wearing glasses, this doesn't work as well...

What I like about the Calumet. It's flat and shaped proportionately to 4x5 (or 8x10, or a 6x6 model). It works fine with my glasses and also helps to frame an image. It does come with a neck cord, but no case, and it's a glass filter! I worry about it and have found a box to store it in when not in use...

These have to be used right or they don't work. To use right, you look at a scene, then flip the filter in front of your eye. You only have a second or two before your eye will become accostomed to the difference and make up for it.

It does help when I see a scene that I'm not sure will work in B&W or may need another filter. It takes a second for a quick glance through the viewing filter. After all, not all color scenes work well in B&W...

If I had to have only one, it would deffinitely be the Calumet! I like the idea of it being also a 4x5 framing device.

Even though some people don't like them, I always recommend them. If used right, they will help in certain situations and be quicker than sitting there thingking about it and trying verious color filters...

Bob Salomon
1-Jul-2005, 12:51
At least 3. Heliopan makes one also.

Brian Ellis
1-Jul-2005, 16:08
A viewing filter of the kind that used to be sold by Zone VI studios isn't "supposed to make the scene look monochrome." What it is supposed to do, and does fairly well when properly used, is show you how well colors will separate, or how badly they'll blend, in b&w. The mistake many people make is to simply hold them up to their eye and peer at the scene through them. That isn't how they're supposed to be used. You're supposed to quickly flick them back and forth several times in front of your eyes. If you simply hold it in front of your eyes and look through it then everything starts to blend together and the purpose of the filter is defeated.

I have one of the ones made by Zone VI Studios but I haven't used it for years. With a little experience you can pretty well know what colors will separate and what will blend in a b&w photograph and how to correct, if necessary, for unwanted blending. I did notice on ebay a few weeks ago that one of the old Zone VI Studios viewing filters sold for something like $65 so I figure I'll put mine up one of these days.

Dan Dozer
1-Jul-2005, 17:16
I use a Kodak Wrattan No. 90 that I got many many years ago. I have it sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard (like a 35mm slide mount). I did a search and found that they are still readily available from suppliers like B&H. However, yikes!!! Has the cost for the wratten's gone up through the years. It's been quite a while since I last purchased any. I used to buy them for less than $10 and now they are up to somewhere between $30 and $80. That is a lot of money for "jello".

Anyway - I use mine occasionally and it is somewhat effective.