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Thread: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

  1. #1

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    Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    I have a simple (or perhaps not so simple) question. I've purchased Heliopan Yellow #8, Orange #22, and Red #25 filters. According to the specs, Yellow has a compensation factor of 1.5 stops, Orange 2-stops and Red 3-stops. However, when I take a spot meter reading in EV mode with a Sekonic 758, the difference in readings between a straight reading and one through the filter is 0.6 stops for Yellow and 1.1 stops for Orange filter.

    I want to trust my own readings, but I am confused by the difference. I have taken readings from different subjects ... sky, stuff around the house, ground, etc. and the difference in EV readings is never 1.5 stops for Yellow or 2 stops for Orange.

    This has me puzzled. What am I not getting? What is the correct compensation factor to use?

  2. #2

    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    The filter factor given by the manufacturer can be trusted.

  3. #3

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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Thanks, Paul.
    I usually trust whatever the manufacturer specs say, and will probably just use the compensation factors per specs, but I am definitely confused by the EV readings.
    I mean I trust the light meter to provide a correct exposure value when not using a filter, it feels very strange to ignore the meter when using a filter.

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamgolf View Post
    I want to trust my own readings, but I am confused by the difference. I have taken readings from different subjects ... sky, stuff around the house, ground, etc...
    Use a grey card in daylight, not colored subjects in whatever light source is around the house. Also, meters wander. Paul is right, trust the manufacturers.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Thanks, Mark
    I have actually taken readings in daylight and the difference in EV values is ~0.6 for Yellow and ~1.1 for Orange filter.
    For instance, on a sunny day, I take a reading off a puffy cloud in the sky the reading might be 15.7 EV and if I put a Yellow filter in front of the spot meter the EV value is 15.1 - for a 1.5 stop compensation I would expect the reading to be 14.2.

    While I do not have a Kodak 18% gray card, I do have something close to it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    There are three variables involved. The spectral response of your light meter. The spectral response of each film. And the spectral composition of the scene, which is a product of both the subject and the light falling upon it.

    Therefore, there's only one answer: test, test, test.

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Do you trust the film manufacturer's recommendation on their specification sheet or the filter manufacturer's recommendation?

  8. #8

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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Alan, I would like to trust both the film manufacturer's recommendations and the filter manufacturer's recommendations.

    But as Sal said "test test test" and that's what I have been doing with films and developers etc. and same thing here - instead of blindly accepting the compensation factors, I thought let me check the differences in EV values with/without filters - but I am a bit surprised and confused by the EV readings - so I thought I should ask if I am misunderstanding something.

  9. #9
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    Just shoot some film with the factor as specified and the metered-through-the-filter reading (not always accurate, by the way) and maybe bracket, too.

  10. #10

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    Re: Yellow, Orange, Red Filter Factors?

    I got a similar set of filters recently and I found the readings I got putting the filter over my spot meter did not correspond to the filter factors at all. I just used the manufacturer's recommendation and haven't had any problems.

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