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Thread: Lens Filters for 4x5

  1. #1
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Lens Filters for 4x5

    So I'm starting out with 4x5 with a Schneider APO 150mm Synnar MC on a Chamonix 45N-1 4x5. I need contrast filters for BW and polarizer. I have 77mm B+W screw-on filters from my medium format camera system. Could I use these with a step up adapter? I believe the Schneider takes a 58mm filter. (Where can I verify the size?)

    Would I be better off getting a couple of new filters to screw into the Schneider lens without the adapter? How do you deal with lens hoods with Lee vs lens mounted filters on 4x5?

    How about Lee filter resin types? Does 4x5 lend itself better to glass mounted on lens filters or to Lee type? Does Lee affect hoods placement?

    thanks. Alan.

  2. #2
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    APO Symmar uses a 58mm. Yes, just get a step-up - I've literally used a 58-67mm on mine permanently. A normal lens has no issues with vignetting from step-ups in general.

    The rest is personal choice IMO so no correct answer. I don't use lens hoods personally. I use both Lee GND rectangular filters and screw-in filters, sometimes at the same time.

    IMO since you've already been shooting MF just do the same thing you would on MF with 4x5. It's not much different. Camera movements are about the only thing you'll want to familiarize yourself with.
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  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    I use the same sized filters that same way, or simply hold one against the lens with my hand. My filters are in, order used: orange, red, polarizer, green, and a set of ND. Thinking of getting a yellow. Keep in mind I pretty much only shoot b&w, or plates.


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  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    Do people shooting large format general not use hoods? Or something else?

  5. #5
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    I always use a hood outside for two reasons: (1) helps improve contrast in some situations, and (2) for protection. There have been more than a few times my lens hoods got bumped by something instead of the lens. I buy cheap hoods that are easily replaced. I also use a 4x5 darkslide with an Ebony clamp on a cold shoe. See: http://www.badgergraphic.com/opencar...roduct_id=1613

    Regarding filters: I had used the larger Lee filters inside their hood for many years (still have them), but made the switch to their Seven5 line last year. The largest lens adapter ring in the Seven5 system is 72mm, and this works out well for all of my 4x5 lenses, all my ALPA medium format lenses which are Schneiders, and all my Fuji APS-C lenses. I put an adapter on each lens before I go out to shoot, and use the Seven5 lens caps instead of the normal lens caps. It is a smaller system and very versatile. I stopped using screw-on filters years ago although I have a drawer full of them.

    Alan you seem to be asking a lot of good questions regarding gear. Before you go out and buy what everyone recommends, take your time and look at the work of those that recommend gear. If you find a photographer's work you admire, ask them what gear they use. If it worked for them, it will work for you.

    Kind regards,
    Darr
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  6. #6

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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    Iím just getting back into large format after a very long absence. I never used a lens hoodótoo much chance of vignetting when using camera swings and tilts. Best way to shade the lens is with the dark slide from the film holder.

    As far as filtering, I used Kodak gel filters taped to the back of the lens. Thatís INSIDE the camera. That way the filter isnít going to blow away. You donít need to worry too much about focus shift with thin gel (actually polyester) filters.

    This may seem very low tech but it was what most photographers I knew were doing back in the 70s and 80ís.


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  7. #7

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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    Behind the lens filter can help reduce possible flare and lower contrast due to the filter in front of the lens. During the 70's and 80's filters were generally not anti-reflection coated and placing them behind the lens helped.

    This is why there is a gel or square filter clip in the back of a Sinar shutter.

    The cinema folks use a matt box with a covered filter slot. The matt box in front of the lens went a long ways to control stray light and filter-lens flare. This is important for the cinema folks as they often use more than one filter for a given take.

    Placing the needed filter behind the lens inside the camera is often more difficult with a field camera due to how this can be done.

    Some lenses have a threaded filter mount in the rear, this helps a good deal to allow using a filter behind the lens.

    There is zero wrong with taping a gel filter at the back of the lens. It works.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by dfort View Post

    As far as filtering, I used Kodak gel filters taped to the back of the lens. Thatís INSIDE the camera. That way the filter isnít going to blow away. You donít need to worry too much about focus shift with thin gel (actually polyester) filters.

    This may seem very low tech but it was what most photographers I knew were doing back in the 70s and 80ís.

  8. #8

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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    I'll step out of the pack and suggest that for many, filters can do more harm than good in a shooting scene...

    Most B/W filters increase contrast on the neg due to the color of the light passing through... Light the same color as the filter passes through with very little cut, but complementary colors receive full cut, increasing contrast... But your film can see the range of spectral sensitivity possibly with too much cut to balance on your film and printing paper range, where you would have to choose if you prefer sky and highlight detail, or shadow detail, but difficult to balance both... For instance, in a sunny distant forest scene, the sky might be bright, but the tree leaves (green) would be darkened quite a bit by a red or orange, and the shade under the trees (blue light, lit by the blue sky filtering in and lower light level) could exceed the range of the film & paper...

    Yes, filters can effect overall tone, but there's other ways also... The best way is through precise exposure... So if a sky was exposed well, there would be good tone with clouds well defined, and if there was a healthy amount of exposure in shadows, they would render well... More than filters, a spot meter can tell you what those ranges could be, and some effect can be added with a little over/underexposed within a range you can still print...

    There are filters that can be useful AT TIMES, but you have to know where and when, and this even changes on different days, weather etc...

    I suggest possibly a yellow (for very low contrast shade and overcast conditions, even cloud shots), green (lightens trees, seas, can open shadow detail in some scenes, and can also open detail in bright highlights sometimes), pola screen ( but it's filter factor changes as you turn it), and I keep a deep blue in the kit where I would like to turn a sunny or overcast sky blank white for effect... Color is a different animal where filtration is usually used to balance the film to the type or conditions of the light...

    Developing also makes a big difference... Many think that filters get rid of a bland/fat/flat look, but that is often the result of overexposure/overdevelopment, but the look changes drastically with balanced exposure/development and experiments with diluted developers can open new ranges of tone (and even some enhanced sharpness effects...)

    So in short, save money not buying excessive filters, but get in tune with the rest of the process...

    Steve K

  9. #9

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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by dfort View Post
    Iím just getting back into large format after a very long absence. I never used a lens hoodótoo much chance of vignetting when using camera swings and tilts. Best way to shade the lens is with the dark slide from the film holder.

    As far as filtering, I used Kodak gel filters taped to the back of the lens. Thatís INSIDE the camera. That way the filter isnít going to blow away. You donít need to worry too much about focus shift with thin gel (actually polyester) filters.

    This may seem very low tech but it was what most photographers I knew were doing back in the 70s and 80ís.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Darr,

    can you point us to the cheap hoods you use?

    Thank you!

  10. #10

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    Re: Lens Filters for 4x5

    Alan,

    I really think you should just get the step-up adapter and use the filters you already have until you acquire another lens or two.

    After your 150mm, you'll likely want both longer and shorter lenses, say a 90mm and something in the 240-300mm range. These will likely not take the same size filters as your 150mm lens. You may then wish to get a set of filters for the largest lens and step up rings for the others so that you can use the same filters on all three. Don't buy now so you can get the right size later.

    For field work, good-quality, coated glass screw-in filters (e.g., B+H, Heliopan or Hoya HMC filters) are really the only logical choice IM-HO. Gels are fragile, easy to damage in windy conditions (they flap around a lot) or when it's damp (using them in a mist or rain or even fog will almost certainly ruin them). Installing a gel filter behind the lens in the field requires removing either the lens or the camera back and doing a bit of a balancing act attaching the filter since there's usually nothing to set things down on. The risk of dropping the lens or the camera back and damaging something is pretty high. In the studio, there's less of a risk.

    I find Lee, Cokin and similar filter systems similarly cumbersome. The only real advantage is for those that use graduated ND filters (which I generally hate, except for shooting color transparency film).

    About lens hoods: ideally, we would use a compendium bellows on every shot. These are adjustable in length and can be set to the optimum position to block extra light with any focal length or movements. Using fixed-size lens hoods for LF usually just results in not much shading (for longer lenses) or vignetting (when used on a too-short lens or if you've applied movements). In the field, I have a tendency to shade the lens when needed (and possible) with my hand, a hat, or the darkslide. When I really need to use both hands for something else and shade the lens, I've got a spring-clip set of barn-doors (a now-discontinued Voss filter holder) that does the job. In all honesty, however, a good 75% of my field work is done without a lens hood or any kind of shading. Good multi-coated lenses reduce flare surprisingly well.

    FWIW, I'll describe my field filter kits: The largest filter-size I need is 67mm (for my Nikkor 90mm f/8, Fujinon 75mm f/5.6 and Nikkor M 450mm). The rest of my lenses are all smaller and lighter-weight and, though have various filter sizes, are all fitted with dedicated adapter rings to get them to 52mm.

    I have two sets of filters, one 67mm, one 52mm, in filter wallets; six pockets each. I carry a #8 Yellow, a #15 orange, a #11 green, a #25 red, a polarizer and a #80B blue filter in each wallet. I'll double up a few filters sometimes in the wallet pockets and add a ND filter (usually a 9-stop one) and a #44 gel mounted in a filter ring.

    When I take a kit into the field that includes one of the larger lenses that needs 67mm filters, I'll grab the larger kit. It has a 52mm-67mm step-up ring screwed on to one of the filters so I can use the 67mm filters with any lens in my kit. When I don't need the larger filters, I'll grab the smaller set to keep weight down.

    I have a bunch of lenses: in addition to the three mentioned above, I've got WF Ektars in 100mm and 135mm lengths, a 135mm Plasmat, a 150mm Plasmat, a 210mm Fuji L tessar, Fujinon A 180mm and 240mm lenses, and a Nikkor M 300mm, all of which I use regularly. All these are adapted to take 52mm filters.

    Hope this helps you find a good strategy for your own filters.

    Doremus

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