View Full Version : First Contrast Filter?

Josh Z.
10-Mar-2006, 20:51
I'm relatively new to B&W, and am looking to get a contrast filter (only 1 for now) for landscapes. So far I've been disappointed with the landscapes I've taken in B&W primarily because of the blown out skies. I live in Arizona, and I like dark skies, but not overly dark; so I am thinking about an Orange filter to darken the skies, and bring out the red rock. However, I'm also going to Florida in a week and am concerned an orange filter would black out the vegetation. I'm also not sure just how dark the orange filter will really make the sky, and if it will be enhanced overly so at elevation.

What would you suggest for a first contrast filter? In time I can expand, but for now I can only afford one, and would like to get a joyful start.

David Karp
10-Mar-2006, 22:37
I would go with a yellow #12. This will darken the skies, but not really darken them too much. Takes only 1 stop away from you and does not "black out" the vegetation. I think if you want more impact than a #12 would have, a #15 would work.

If you are on a filter budget, try buying used filters from KEH.com. Reasonable prices, usually spotless.

phil sweeney
11-Mar-2006, 06:24
If I had to live with one filter it would be a #8 (K2).

Ron Marshall
11-Mar-2006, 07:48
I use the #8 the most, followed by #12. Infrequently the #25 and polarizer.

Make sure you only buy good filters, Heliopan or B+W, and at least single coated.

Al D
11-Mar-2006, 11:54
I think a #15 filter (dark yellow) or #8 (medium yellow) would work nicely. And multi-coated filters from B+W or Heliopan are the way to go.

If you search around on the Schneider Optics page you can find some comparsions as to the function of different filters.