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Thread: The mysterious “Hutchings” filter factor for b/w landscapes

  1. #41
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seattle, Wash.

    Re: The mysterious “Hutchings” filter factor for b/w landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    AA liked and used a Wratten #44 filter to approximate the look of orthochromatic film (an image of his of a white house with wisteria draped over the entrance springs to mind - wonderful tonalities).
    Here’s the image from AA’s “The Negative” (see chapter two):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mrs. Sigmund Stern, Atherton, California (c. 1927)

    It’s taken with an orthochromatic glass plate, but I imagine a modern panchromatic film with a blue filter would have looked somewhat similar. The sky is lost (in a good way), and the blue-filled shadows are lovely. No Hutchings factor necessary.

    Maybe AA asked Mrs. Stern to avoid looking directly at the camera because she had blue eyes. ;^)

  2. #42
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: The mysterious “Hutchings” filter factor for b/w landscapes

    Hard to say exactly what the sensitivity of those old plates was. Current Ortho Litho film seems about three times more sensitive to blue than green. I don't know about Ilford's
    Ortho sheet film - haven't tried it. Blue filters will not produce a true Ortho look, at least deep blue, because that would be minus green as well as minus red. A medium green would be closer, or a lighter blue tungsten conversion filter, which I sometimes carry for that very purpose - enhanced atmospheric effect. Ortho renders foliage more buoyantly than pan film, and orthopan like Fuji Acros somewhat that direction too. Ortho films were once popular for studio portraits of men, to make them look more rugged. Outdoors, there are often misconceptions because people think green foliage is truly green, whereas it actually reflects a lot of orange, red, and infrared light. Just look what happens in autumn when leaves lose their chlorophyll - the remaining yellow, orange, and red pigmentation becomes apparent. That's why a deep blue filter will darken most visually green foliage more than even a deep red filter. Lots of fun stuff. Now if I could just find a color sheet film that responds well to fluorescent algae and lichens ....

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)

    Re: The mysterious “Hutchings” filter factor for b/w landscapes

    The filter of choice for orthochromatic rendering with panchromatic film is the Wratten #44 or #44a (minus red filter). It may end up passing more green than older ortho film/plates were sensitive to, but works really well. The next best thing, in my experience, is a good old 80A or 80B color conversion filter. These appear blue, but pass a fair amount of green too. I always have one or the other with me.

    For the blue-sensitive-only look, a #47 is your friend.


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