Lens filters vs in camera filters

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by kylebybee, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. So I'm really enjoying shooting my xt1 and I like the B&W red filter effect in camera. My question is would I get a better effect/contrast
    with a red filter screwed on the lens?
  2. SCL


    Give it a try and see for yourself! However, know that all digital cameras sensors record raw data, which is then "corrected" by processing algorithms - usually to produce JPEG renditions. What you are seeing from your camera is a processed image - in this case a b&W one in which the raw image is manipulated to approximate the effect of a red filter on B&W film. You could do the same thing in post processing software by decreasing the blues and then converting to B&W. Since the sensor records all colors in its gamut, adding a red filter to the camera would have no measurable effect on the processed b&W image, but would change the exposure by blocking part of the spectrum.
  3. A red filter for B&W has a different absorption spectrum than the Bayer filter on the sensor, and may have a different effect. However manipulation of the color in post processing to B&W will closely emulate the effect. Blue sky would render darker than normal, while foliage and rocks tend to be lighter, especially in dry climates and high altitudes. If you use a red filter on the lens, process the image as though it were daylight before conversion, rather than using automatic white balance. IMO, it's not worth the bother.
    A few digital cameras are offered without a Bayer filter for B&W only imaging. These include several Leica digital M cameras and a medium format back or two. A lens filter is the only way to achieve these effects, since there are no colors in the image to process. Why would you spend thousands of dollars for a B&W only digital camera? Ultra-high resolution, wide dynamic range (13+ stops), exceptionally high ISO limits, and a persistent love for B&W photography.
  4. You will probably get a better result with a red
    filter but don't forget you'll lose 2-3 stops of
    light so you may need to either use a tripod or
    increase your ISO. In-camera red filters can
    often result in more image noise.
  5. I'll upload (downsized) unedited SOOC JPGs. starting with "BW red filter" and nude lens.
  6. followed by a 3 stops B+W red filter on the lens and camera set to plain BW - sorry about unsharp background I had to adapt someting and maybe the adapter was too long for wide open landscapes.
  7. oops
  8. A simple color to B&W conversion looks pretty muddy. That's partly because a digital sensor has two green pixels for every red or blue pixel, whereas B&W film is fairly uniform in its response. The same thing happens if you print color negatives on B&W paper.
  9. The shot with the B+W red filter looks badly underexposed. You will nee to expose correctly to make a fair comparison.
  10. Exposure adjusted in PS
  11. You may also have to set white balance to manual in case your camera is trying to "correct" the red filtration.
  12. Thanks Jamie. Sorry, BW was my last intention with the Fujis so far, but it probably makes sense to broaden that kit with them. - I had shutter on Auto relying on the JPGs to turn out great as usual.

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