RGB filters for color w/b&w film

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by newberry, May 18, 2010.

  1. I'd like to shoot color photographs with b&w film. Does anyone know if there are RGB filters available that would allow me to recreate early color photography? IOW, shooting the same scene in 3 shots, with red, green, and blue filters.
  2. Surprisingly, you just use red, green, and blue filters.
    Here are three shots with color film--with black and white you'd need to use the filters in reverse to print, or else make each one, one of the RGB layers.... It's easier in the computer.
  3. Thanks for the response--what I'm looking for is where to get the RGB filters. I've found a ton of "blue" filters on B&H for example, but which blue is the one I'm looking for--etc for green and red.
  4. If you look up a table of wratten filter numbers, they are there as colour separation filters.
    Here: http://www.redisonellis.com/wratten.html
  5. Thanks Bob, that link helps...plus when I Googled wratten filters color separation, I found this thread:
  6. "Three-Color" Filters for Camera Use:
    Direct color separation with the camera using a Wratten 25 Red - Wratten 58 Green - Wratten 47B. These strong primary color filters will do the trick.
    using a black-and-white enlarger, color printing is preformed using three filters. These are the Wratten 25 Red - Wratten 99 Green - Wratten 98 Blue.
    The nomenclature comes from the English firm of Wratten and Wainwright. This firm was one of the earliest photographic supply house. Famous for their high quality filters. Frederick Charles Luther Wratten (1840-1926) was the master filter maker. This firm was the first to produce panchromatic glass plates in England. The firm was acquired by Kodak in 1912. As a tribute to Mr. Wratten, his name and catalog numbers are maintained to this day.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  7. Thanks Alan, for the informative post. I never knew where the term "wratten" came from.
  8. Old thread, but if anyone know the answer to the following question please respond. Are Wratten 98 and 99 filters correct? I have a list of Wratten filters, and types 98 and 99 are not on the list. I don't know how old my list is.
  9. Hi, they are both in my 1997 Kodak Filter handbook.

    Fwiw, it says that the 98 blue is equivalent to a No. 47B plus a No. 2B. And the 99 green is equivalent to No. 61 plus No. 16. So perhaps this will help if you are trying to reconstruct the filter responses.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Correct and available:

    [Link # 98]

    [Link # 99]

  11. As Alan explained, the #98 & #99 Wratten filters are designed for additive colour printing - a method that was rarely used in practise. Subtractive CMY filtering being easier to implement practically with just a single exposure.

    As Alan also said:
    "Filters for Camera Use:
    Direct color separation with the camera using a Wratten 25 Red - Wratten 58 Green - Wratten 47B. "

    A different set of green and blue filters are recommended for producing separation negs. Presumably they're better balanced for daylight exposure on panchromatic film, rather than enlarger/projection exposure using an artificial light source.

    Lee filters have their own series of primary red, green and blue filters. They might be easier to source than Wratten gels.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  12. .... a little late but ....
    Originally the first standard Wratten tricolour photographic set of colour separation filters nomenclature was A, B2, C5. (#25, #58, #47)
    The letter code was changed to numbers around the 1940s (I think?) and the #25, #58, #47 became the standard for RGB separation photography - particularly when using 'one-shot' tricolour cameras.
    The other set was #29, #61, #47B - used to maker colour separations from Kodachrome and Ektachrome 5 X 7 transparencies back in the day.
    These are all still available as 3" x 3" Wratten gelatin filters from Kodak or reputable camera stores eg. B&H New York but are expensive - about US$75 each.
    Cheaper alternatives are available - for example, 85mm resin filters made by Format HiTech that fit the Cokin P system.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2018
  13. All about Wratten Tricolour Filters. Part 1

    Wratten & Wainwright Ltd. was a small London photographic firm that claimed to be ‘the oldest established plate makers in the world, who specialise in materials for the Process Engraver and the Technical Photographer’ .

    Wratten ‘manufacture over 70 varieties of LIGHT FILTERS; the Wratten three-colour set is standard throughout the world’. (From a 1920s trade advertisement.)

    They produced experimental panchromatic plates which were a ‘considerable advance in photographic methods’.

    In 1906 C.E. Kenneth Mees joined the firm and ’made a series of light filters for use in the photography of coloured objects and to this day the ‘Wratten ‘ filters are standard in photographic work’.

    George Eastman offered Mees a job in 1912 ‘to organise and direct a research laboratory for the Eastman Kodak Company’.
    He agreed on the condition that Eastman buy Wratten & Wainwright Ltd. and the little business then relocated to the Harrow factory of Kodak Limited.

    Quotes from ‘Fifty Years of Photographic Research’, a talk given by C.E. Kenneth Mees at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on October 20th, 1954. (Dr. C.E. Mees was then Vice President in charge of research of The Eastman Kodak Company.)

    In this 1916 list the filters are described with a letter which was the original nomenclature before the later adoption of numbers. A few have the application noted as a word. Very early filters listed are no longer produced..

    For Tricolour work

    Standard Tricolour filters A(Red) #25, B(Green) #58, C(Blue) #49

    Equal Exposure Tricolour Filters

    (for Cinematograph Work) E(Red) #23, B(Green) #58, C4(dark) #49B

    Tricolour filters for use

    with Artificial Light Stage Red #27A, B2(light) #57, Stage Blue #47A

    Standard Projection Filters

    (dark) F (…) #29, N(…) #61, Blue #46 {as per catalogue}

    Cinematograph Projection

    Filters (extra light) Projection Red #24, Projection Green #59,

    Projection Blue #47

    ‘Wratten & Wainwright screen-plate analysis filters are: #29 or F for Red, #61 or N for Greenand #50 or L for Blue’ ( from a 1929 brochure.)
    Andrew Garrard likes this.

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