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View Full Version : Deciding between Hitech resign filters or small glass colored filters for backpacking



m00dawg
4-Mar-2018, 11:33
I'm on maybe an over the top quest to save weight for a 4x5 backpacking load-out.

I know the typical adage is buy the biggest filters for your largest size needed and use step downs but that does seem to add weight and overall fuss. Right now I'll need multiple step-ups to do that and am trying to find the best options.

For this trip I'll be bringing just my Fujinon 150mm 5.6 which has a 52mm ring. It's annoyingly the only lens I have that uses that size (others are 49, 58, 62, 77 if memory serves, across multiple camera systems). And it looks like most wide and tele 4x5 lenses use other sizes. But it looks like filters in that size are pretty cheap, relatively speaking. A Hoya HD CP is $38 which feels worth it in knowing I then only need a single step-up ring for my Hitech filter holder and I use CPs fairly often.

So I was thinking of buying colored resin filters since they seem to be around 15g (based on ND filters I have in the same size). Certainly lighter weight than the larger colored filters, though it looks like the Tiffen 52mm colored filters are a hard to believe 9 grams according to Amazon. I plan on taking 2, maybe 3, colored filters (YEL-8, RED-25 and maybe a YEL-15 or an Orange-21). So that shakes out to be:

30-45g for the resin
18-27g for Tiffen (assuming they are actually 9g each)
52g-76g using my current larger yel-8 and red-25 filters (and buying a larger YEL-15)

I also thought about using gel filters but have had trouble finding them, figuring out how they could be used with my Hitech 85mm filter setup, and have no idea their weight.

So I think the best option given the above is probably the resin though curious what other folks might think?

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2018, 10:46
Resin is electrostic, easily scratched, and not coated for flare. Get coated real glass. I like Hoya multi-coated ones in the field. Gels will get trashed too. Less is more. Carry only filters and step rings you really need.

Bernice Loui
5-Mar-2018, 11:11
Not sure gel filters are easily available new anymore. They are fragile, do not like water, work OK and better as behind the lens filter.

Resin is a trade-off, work ok, light weight, does scratch, often not coated and can cause unwanted reflections if considerations for this is not done, also works good behind the lens. This might be the better set of trade offs for back-packing.

Dye in mass glass is GOOD optically , specially if the filter is multi coated. They tend to be heavy, fragile if dropped, and still subject to optical defects if abused.


Topic was previously discussed, still Sinar made a 103mm round optical glass filter system. IMO, it is very good. The cinema folks use big square filters in a mat box. Filters are made by Tiffen, Schneider, Harrison & Harrison and others. A good working set of these filters easily run four figures of $. Alternatives is to use Kodak series# filters (made by Tiffen and others once upon a time) with adapters. The current set up is a group of TIffen series 9 with a Sinar series 9 rotating holder. If the large front element lenses are used, the Sinar 103mm glass filters are used with the same Sinar rotating holder. This set up is likely too heavy, too bulky for back packing folks.




Bernice

tgtaylor
5-Mar-2018, 12:35
Roscoe gel Filters are sold by the sheet at retailers such as B&H and here locally at Looking Glass in Berkeley. They are also available in a pack; https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/292680-REG/LEE_Filters_CEP_Color_Effects_Filter_Lighting.html/pageID/accessory but only a few of the several hundred are in the pack. To use them you would have to make a holder out of cardboard, or better, mat board, or look for a suitable gel frame on the B&H site.

Thomas

LabRat
5-Mar-2018, 12:39
If you are not using grads, a round threaded filter is fine... Getting the size for the largest lens and step-up rings for the other lenses is good, as you will only carry one set...

Also re-evaluate what filters you REALLY use out, as many filters just hide in the bottom of the bag, waiting for the day you use them (if ever)...

I tend to use B/W filters less now than I ever did in the past, as I learned that the two-edged sword with them is for every effect they provide, you pay somewhere else... :-) (I now tend to consider atmosphere as a element in a shot, and allow it to do it's own thing...)

Steve K

Bob Salomon
5-Mar-2018, 13:26
Roscoe gel Filters are sold by the sheet at retailers such as B&H and here locally at Looking Glass in Berkeley. They are also available in a pack; https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/292680-REG/LEE_Filters_CEP_Color_Effects_Filter_Lighting.html/pageID/accessory but only a few of the several hundred are in the pack. To use them you would have to make a holder out of cardboard, or better, mat board, or look for a suitable gel frame on the B&H site.

Thomas
Those are lighting filters, they really arenít made for lenses!

Eric Woodbury
5-Mar-2018, 13:34
I'm with Thomas on this. I buy 24" square lighting gels at Samys. Tri-colors plus yellow and orange. I have some old Calumet filter frames. They are lightweight, small. I've been using the same ones for years. I do have a holder, but usually just hold filter in front of lens or tape in on there. Material is only 0.004" thick, so no distortion, even with widest-angles. They don't seem to get scratched or damaged. Don't break or roll when you drop them. YMMV.

Happy snapping.
-EW

tgtaylor
5-Mar-2018, 13:48
Bob - You're right in that they are not made specifically with the camera in mind but they will work. Recently I made a 5" 3-stop (.9) ND for the Toyo Compendium hood to use with my 610mm apo-nikkor using a 3-stop Roscoe ND sheet. Here's what Roscoe says:

Roscoe E-Colour - This is Rosco's more than comprehensive system of European color filters for film and video production. E-Colour consists of every possible color and and material for color effects, alteration, diffusion and reflection. Whether you are in film or TV - video or digital - E-Colour has something for you.

If you can't find the ready-made gel filter you need, you can probably make one with Roscoe Gels.

BTW, for B&W still photography Cokin Resins (yellow, green red, etc) are the best deal out there if you are using a rectangular filter system like the Cokin or Lee. For ND and polarizers I use either a HiTek resin or now a Schneider glass.

Thomas

Bob Salomon
5-Mar-2018, 14:00
Bob - You're right in that they are not made specifically with the camera in mind but they will work. Recently I made a 5" 3-stop (.9) ND for the Toyo Compendium hood to use with my 610mm apo-nikkor using a 3-stop Roscoe ND sheet. Here's what Roscoe says:

Roscoe E-Colour - This is Rosco's more than comprehensive system of European color filters for film and video production. E-Colour consists of every possible color and and material for color effects, alteration, diffusion and reflection. Whether you are in film or TV - video or digital - E-Colour has something for you.

If you can't find the ready-made gel filter you need, you can probably make one with Roscoe Gels.

BTW, for B&W still photography Cokin Resins (yellow, green red, etc) are the best deal out there if you are using a rectangular filter system like the Cokin or Lee. For ND and polarizers I use either a HiTek resin or now a Schneider glass.

Thomas

Some resin filters will create colors that are not found in nature. Specifically with ND filters you can get a magenta shift. This was most common with filters made in France.

m00dawg
5-Mar-2018, 16:34
All good thoughts, thanks everyone! Didn't think of just making a gel holder. That's kinda clever! I thought also about just holding one in front of the lens but I'd need to be real careful (thinking reflections there). I had thought about not taking my resin ND grad filters to save weight but then I know I'll run into some amazing shot where I might want to use Velvia and be stuck. Likewise I love CPs (almost to a fault, hence why I don't mind as much buying a CP for this lens specifically).

Other than that though, I most commonly use YEL8 and occasionally RED25 - currently neither are multi-coated circular glass in various sizes (partly why the step-ups are annoying). I'm already dealing with potential reflections though it hasn't (yet) been a problem. I'd expect resin filters to be worse though (partly due to stacking if I also use an ND grad and also because they're further from the lens?)

When I use the red right, it's pretty awesome. YEL8 has worked off and on. For BW I was thinking of bringing Delta 100 (or maybe FP4 although I recall that it doesn't work great with a red filter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjpArJP4PYU&t=881s) so I might save a filter there) and perhaps HP5. I kinda wanted to bring some ridiculously slow film like RPX 25 but will save those experiments for another time. I also thought about Fomapan 200 (Artista EDU) since it's cheap enough I can worry less though given all the gear I'm carrying, my thought was may as well get films I better know how to use.

I'm thinking I can probably do ok with a CP where I might want to use a YEL8 if it's to help make the clouds come out. That Red, oh man, could be really nice though. So if I had to bring one...hmm not sure which one I'd bring :P

Drew Wiley
5-Mar-2018, 17:53
Hope you don't mind unsharp negs.

LabRat
5-Mar-2018, 21:25
I remember from astrophotography that shorter wavelengths are affected more by bad filters, but longer (like red) are not affected... Master astrophotographer Alan McClure would make red filters from red acrylic or cellophane for his large filters, and would work perfectly...

The one thing to be careful of is how well these fit on the lens, as misalignment from synthetic filters is less of an issue, as the material refracts less, but if any wave in the filter while shooting a point light source, and it can set-up multiple reflection/highlights (like streetlights at night, etc)...

And the filter holder should seal well from stray light around it's mounting, or mysterious streaking/fogging can be seen on film...

Steve K

Bernice Loui
5-Mar-2018, 22:50
Edmund Optics also sells a variety of filters:
https://www.edmundoptics.com/products/


Bernice

Jim Jones
6-Mar-2018, 08:48
I prefer a small stack of the largest size of glass filters my lenses need, well protected by front and rear caps. A few step-up rings are bulky, but light They can be stored on the rear of the filters. A filter wallet is convenient, but wastes space.

m00dawg
6-Mar-2018, 10:09
The Hitech holder seems to be pretty good in the times I've used it, although I haven't used it all that much (mostly sunrise/sunset times). Does seem like it blocks light around the adapter ring. The resign ND grad filters seem decent - as I recall they are middle of the road quality-wise.

I'm leaning a bit towards glass filters though given the optics and they also might be lighter weight than the resin filters if I opt to get ones for the lens thread. I have a crappy UV filter I weighed anyway that's quite light.

Actually I almost wonder if I should just take a CP, YEL8 and RED25 and not bring my ND grads....but then I'll end up with some amazing sunrise or sunset where I might want some detail in the landscape... Not bringing the grads would save quite a bit of weight though.

Drew Wiley
6-Mar-2018, 10:36
The best way to learn is too keep things simple. Maybe I'm a bit jaded because every single shot I've ever seen done with a ND grad looked fishy or contrived. But in any event, the more complicated gear gets, the more likely you invite a mishap, or miss the key moment. If you keep things simple, you will learn to respond intuitively rather than waste time fussing around with non-essentials.

Bernice Loui
6-Mar-2018, 11:47
Difficulty with "graduated" ND filters, they are made with essentially a straight line across which tends to produce a manufactured look that is more often than not quite different than the way Nature presents an environment.


Bernice

Jim Jones
6-Mar-2018, 14:26
If a graduated filter improves a shot, the effect can be duplicated with more control in post processing.

m00dawg
6-Mar-2018, 18:12
If a graduated filter improves a shot, the effect can be duplicated with more control in post processing.

That's a valid point, although I found that's harder to do with film than images on my DSLR (though I'll fully admit it could be my scanning process - a V800 with Silverfast into 16-bit per channel TIFFs usually). With something like Velvia though, I assume there is only so much that can be done in post? I'm quite new to slide films but I do recall Velvia is known to have 5-7 stops of range (compared to, I think 14 or so with Ektar?)

I did some tweaking on LighterPack (https://lighterpack.com/r/blkwes) and I managed to get my total weight down to 7.26lb if I buy new film holders (Chamonix as they're rather lightweight apparently) and not bringing along the ND filters and rings. The ND filters are about .43lb. I could bring an extra film holder and still be under that increase or probably cram a small P&S (like an Olympus XA2 perhaps).

I'm over-analyzing it for sure but yeah sort of a hard decision to be had. I expect some grand landscapes, though I've taken pretty photos without them for quite a while. On the other hand, it's not an everyday trip so...

I do think I'm sold on using glass filters though as far as the black and white goes...

Drew Wiley
7-Mar-2018, 11:57
The well-known dude who first popularized neutral grads and even got his name on one brand of them once lived in the neighborhood, and I can't think of a single shot he ever took that grads didn't stink up. And when PS came along, things only got worse. But if SUV commercials are your main income, fake might be welcomed. But it almost made me vomit to see reflections in streams more saturated and brilliant than sunsets above them. But he never did his own printing, so simple dodging and burning or unsharp masking was out of the question. Maybe someone could invent a photochromic optical glass ND filter positioned just in front of the film plane itself, using an initial exposure to create a precise ND map. But I'd never buy it. Got exactly what I wanted understanding color film itself.

tgtaylor
7-Mar-2018, 12:23
Difficulty with "graduated" ND filters, they are made with essentially a straight line across which tends to produce a manufactured look that is more often than not quite different than the way Nature presents an environment.


Bernice

There is two types of grads: one with a "hard" straight line separating the zones and the other with a "SE" where the transition between the two zones is gradual. Learning when to use the hard vs the soft edge version and careful placement is the key to successful results which are unnoticeable in the final output. Correctly used they are indispensable for photographing scenes where, for example, part of it requires several stops of additional exposure than the other part.

BTW, the step-up ring for the 95mm Cokin adopter ring was delivered on Monday and was used for the first time yesterday to place a Schneider glass haze filter on the 610 Apo-Nikkor. So within the next few days I will be placing an add in the FS section for Cokin P system which includes at least one adapter ring, several resin filters (Cokin and HiTek) and a Cokin circular polarizer. Also an 82mm adapter ring for the Cokin Z-Pro will be offered. If you would like to get in early, send me a PM. The price will be "right."

Thomas
Thomas

LabRat
7-Mar-2018, 12:49
Bernice is correct that there are situations where the grad line just won't match... If one were photographing a simple horizon, a strip can be made to work, but if the mountain range is vastly different heights, or severely angled (for example), or for an even sky above, one would just see that broad area that might not blend naturally, so more likely to have issues...

Commercially, we would "pull" chrome film by underdevelopment/overexposure to produce a much flatter film result when there was an excess of contrast in a "landscape" or architecture outdoor shot... (Now it would be fixed in post with maybe multiple exposed sheets of different densities...)

Unless one wants to have that overdone "Peter Lik" kinda tonality, it is an art to blend them... (But not impossible...) :-0

Steve K

ottluuk
15-Mar-2018, 05:25
You could shave off ~100g by swapping your 150/5.6 lens for a 150/9 G-Claron. You may be able to get a cheap barrel version (I payed about 30€ for mine) and swap the cells into the shutter of your current 150 (or maybe not if your lens is not in a standard Copal 0). Filter size is an odd 35.5mm but adapter rings exist.

Minor savings but this is what the thread seems to be about. Spend time & money on tiny modifications like this only if you are happy with the big stuff that can make a lot of difference: camera, tripod, the backpack itself, footwear, etc.

Drew Wiley
15-Mar-2018, 16:23
Peter Lik uses special filters that can remove an entire row of beachfront condos, power lines, parked cars, volleyball nets, and turn a gray beach flaming
orange, with a mismatched sunset in noon-day illumination, and change the camera perspective from south to north, all at once.