View Full Version : Filters: T-Max 100 and #15, #18 for Skin Tones

Sal Favata
1-Oct-2011, 13:03
Man I really suck at math and physics.

When using TXP or HP5+ for people, I normally use a #15 or #18 to place the skin tones where I want them, just a tad lighter to draw the viewer's attention to the face. Never a problem. I use standard commercial developers. Ambient light. Print using a 2.5 filter, condenser enlarger.

Now for the physics. When T-Max films are described as red sensitive, I don't know what that translates into on a practical basis. Does it mean that skin tones are darker or lighter? I'm guessing darker. If so, how does this film-stock respond to the use of filters mentioned above to lighten skin tones? Messy or decent?

Now, I should go out and shoot some film for tests. But, I have yet to invest $70 in a box of 4x5 film, unless it had promise in obtaining the lighter skin tones I prefer.

Can you folks break it down for me? Maybe even post an image or two? Thanks.

1-Oct-2011, 16:10
actually, it depends on the skin tone--in general--skin tones will be more white.

what you do is look at the skin you're photographing using filters to see....use a 47b filter to see what bleu sensitive will do (relative exposure-wise)...red filter for the opposite....

or you can OVERexpose the film...get the skin to block up...white skin will be lighter than most other stuff....so put that on a higher zone

it depends on the actual skin, the filter AND the film....you gots 3 BIG variables there.....try shooting setup A....then see the results..not white enough skin...best way to "lighten up the skin" is to use higher contrast in the printing paper---that's how weegee got his WHITE skin---grade 4 or higher.

oh--I use and orange (first) to lighten up caucasian skin...THEN reds...25....

never used yellow myself for skin

if its not white enough relative to the rest of the stuff in the pic, then get more aggressive with the red filtration to cut out the blue/green....

start with the higher contrast though......you can print high contrast paper with existing negs to see what you can get....it's something that is personal taste that you must find what you like for yourself....

Sal Favata
1-Oct-2011, 16:41

Your suggestions are geared for T-Max 100? I didn't know how to be sensitive to skin tone and ethnicity concerns, but yes... Caucasian.

In general, I prefer making adjustments along the camera's optical path rather than increasing print contrast, although that may be what's needed on occasion. I'm OK with altering development times if that gives me a reliable technique and results.


1-Oct-2011, 23:50
ANY pan film...each one acts differently---just try varying different things till you get the printing characteristics you like--you can increase the negative contrast too rather than the print contrast....OR you can overexpose...but the skin for even caucasians varies a lot too with lighting---what gets absorbed, what doesn't...etc...

OH--much much much red filtration will give you very light lips too...BUT it also lightens up zits and such to make them blend in....VERY dark eyes I 've seen on a lot of people with that filtration (not the whites..the centers--whites look VERY white).....LOOk at the person through the filters first before even shooting---you can see the effects with your eye...the changes in relative brightness...you must first shoot and see to know what to look for---best it take a roll film and shoot with different filtration at nominal iso plus / minus say 1 stop---3 pics per filter...then develop to see the differences that each filtration will give you along with pushing up/down on the exposure curve.