Old 03-23-2011, 01:45 AM   #1
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I am looking to buy a couple filters for my camera and was wondering what you guys suggest, i am looking for a Black and white and a sepia filter. My lenses excepts 58mm filters.

Thanks for the help
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:58 AM   #2
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A number 25 red will give great contras with the sky and clouds in B&W a yellow filter a lesser amount. But shoot in BW mode? By the way you can do some of that in photo shop with the color sliders.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:07 AM   #3
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I don't have a B&W function on my camera that i can find. I have tried to turn photos B&W in my photo shop program but they never turn out to good.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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Yea, there programs that help but your best bet is google it for a how to page. Like this one
http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...l-bw-the-.html
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:19 AM   #5
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To be clear, there is no such thing as a black and white filter. In film days, there were a variety of filters that would change the colors hitting the black and white film, changing the appearance, sometimes radically. These would often be a single color, such as a red or yellow.

There is no filter that removes color from light entering the camera, such that a color film or a digital sensor would see only black and white. As far as I know.
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:28 AM   #6
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Janusz is right. If you're looking to convert your images to B&W or Sepia and you don't have the option in camera, you'll want (need) to do it in post processing. In many respects, that may be a better option anyway. What kind of camera are you using?
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:32 AM   #7
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I find filters useless on digital cameras. Some would argue for a UV filter or polarizer filter, but not me. Depending on what kind of camera you have, you might can do it all in camera, right down to adding red, green or yellow "filters" in camera. But your best bet is probably to do it in post.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
...[omitted]....There is no filter that removes color from light entering the camera, such that a color film or a digital sensor would see only black and white. As far as I know.
There is a filter that will allow the cameras to see only black - its called the lens cap.

There is no filter to make black and white, that was the effect of the type of emulsion that was coated on the acetate film.

Further, some cameras have a function on the camera that will let you tell it to shoot sepia or B&W, but that is really just how the view screen sees the image file in the camera and that can all be done with post processing.

If you want B&W images you should shoot RAW and adjust the camera to see the B&W image on the view screen, that way you can see if there is enough contrast in your shot.

Some of this can be done later with the software, but it is good to see what it looks like in the field to make sure your images look good in B&W.

Usually people take a bad color shot and try to pass it off as B&W and sometimes that works.

Often it looks like someone has taken a crappy color shot and made a crappy B&W shot out of it.

Sometimes though, a half way decent color shot looks better in B&W.

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Those old yellow and red filters were to bring up the clouds and the waves, and the birds, and other things that now can be manipulated with software on an image shot in RAW format.

A polarizer still has use in the digital age and it can make daylight shots look better in certain instances.

I use a UV filter on all my lenses just to protect the lens unless I am shooting trains or airplanes.

This is why you don't want anything on the end of your lens when you are looking at train headlights:

Reference Photo - Green Flaring from Train Headlights

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Old 03-23-2011, 04:26 AM   #9
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I don't have a B&W function on my camera that i can find. I have tried to turn photos B&W in my photo shop program but they never turn out to good.
Since you're using photoshop, look into using the channel mixer for converting images to black and white. Adjust the color sliders (red, green, blue) with the Monochrome box checked to come up with some really nice looking black and white contrasts. Often times, red (set to 100% and green and blue set to 0%) creates the best conversion to start with. You will probably still need to make some minor adjustments, but I always start with red at 100% and the other two at 0 and then go from there. Simply desaturating the image does not look good, and I'm guessing that's what you may have done.

Here's a black & white image I created using the channel mixer in photoshop:

Image © Jim Thias
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:08 AM   #10
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Tell us more, Jim! I would love to learn more about how to use the channel mixer. I've tended to use the canned formulas in PSE and they're OK, but clearly, there are better techniques. I'm all ears if you want to do a tutorial here sometime.

With respect to the OP's original question, I do use UV filters to protect the front elements, just as some of the other folks here do. I also religiously take them off any time I anticipate shooting with bright light sources in the frame....such as on night shoots....for exactly the reasons that HG outlined.

The only specialty filters I carry are a circular polarizer and a 2-stop Grad ND. The latter can be pretty useful in backlit situations, or whenever you have a bright sky and a dark train.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:55 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the suggestions, JT i tried to use the Channel Mixer in Photo shop but it appears my photo shop doesn't have it, and I use a Canon Rebel T1i
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:27 PM   #12
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Tell us more, Jim! I would love to learn more about how to use the channel mixer. I've tended to use the canned formulas in PSE and they're OK, but clearly, there are better techniques. I'm all ears if you want to do a tutorial here sometime.
You'd probably have better luck finding a video tutorial online than for me to try to explain it. It's just one of those trial-and-error things...I really don't have a set technique that I use when converting and image to black and white via the channel mixer. Every image is different, so you just need to experiment.

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Thanks for all the suggestions, JT i tried to use the Channel Mixer in Photo shop but it appears my photo shop doesn't have it, and I use a Canon Rebel T1i
I use PS7 for most of my processing and the channel mixer is on there. What version are you using? I think it's a common feature among all the versions of PS. On mine it's under Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:58 PM   #13
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I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:27 AM   #14
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I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0.
http://simplephotoshop.com/elementsp...nnel-mixer.htm
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:54 AM   #15
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Thanks JT i got it!
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