Spiratone and Spiratone Colorflow™ Polarizing Filters

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Yes, putting a circular polarizer on closest to the lens should work.

    I am not sure about autofocus, but the anti-aliasing filter uses birefringent materials, which are polarization sensitive.

    If your image doesn't have things that will be bothered by aliasing, you might get away with a linear polarizer.
  2. Great thread. I enjoy these old ads as much as the articles of the day. If I had a functional time machine I would go back in time and order from Spiratone. Thanks.
  3. Wow - I loved looking through the Spiratone materials back in the day - it was down the street from my Aunt's house and was a key reason that I would accompany my parents to their trips to Queens just so I could go explore the store. I still have some of the processing equipment from them, albeit sitting in storage. Thanks for the great post and historical info.
  4. Hello everyone. Waiting for a friend to arrive, I ventured onto this excellent thread by JD. Spiratone was my primary source of "affordable" photo accessories during my army days 63-67. Spec 4 pay was not a Trumper deal. A 400mm Tamron on my Nikon F keep me in sportscar & Gran Prix heaven. Upon discharge, they were the ONLY source of Series 7 filters for the 4x5. Their telephoto lens kit for the YashicaMat EM is still with that camera. . . the filters still in the 4x5 kit.
    Thanks for the trip JD ! Aloha, Bill
  5. I am not above "re-aniimation" on occasion, but in this case I discovered a nice graphic of how the Colorflow™ filter works in a June, 1976, issue of Modern Photography:

  6. Great find, JDM. I have this magazine somewhere at home. I remember wanting one of those filters, but on a college student budget it had to wait.
  8. So, if the description above is true and accurate, it would be possible to remove the magenta filter and effectively have an "any colour" filter all in one. Right?

    Add a built-in linear pol layer with rotating mount, and all other colour filters are redundant! Spiratone (and Vivitar) were sneaky not to decimate their market by making such a filter.

    A pity that digital and PS have now replaced optical ingenuity.
  9. I believe that you are describing Olden Camera. Spiratone was on 27th Street, as has been mentioned. There was also a closeout sort of store on Herald Square called Camera Barn. All sorts of odd stuff to be found there.
  10. I believe that you are describing Olden Camera; Spiratone was on 27th Street, as has been mentioned. There was also a "closeout" sort of store on Herald Square called Camera Barn. A really chaotic sort of place with all sort of things for sale.
  11. Brings back memories.
  12. Maybe irrelevant, but I have an aftermarket contrast filter. Running the gamut from light yellow to a medium red. Advertised as a dial-in the contrast you want. I've noted though with W/A lenses this filter causes a serious vignetting . It may be related to either both the contrast and/or the f-stop as I can'T remember how open I was shooting. But I do really like the convenience of it!
  13. I loved that place. I started mail ordering from them in about 1957. You could get good stuff with what a kid like me could earn mowing lawns. I still use some of m
  14. Yes, I might have got the location of Spiratone's Manhattan store mixed up with Olden; the last time I was there was c. 1965. I AM pretty sure that Spiratone was a flight up, like Olden.
  15. Another discovery on the history of this sort of filter -- turns out to have been offered in a yellow/blue version by GE, yes, in 1954:
    (Popular) Photography 1954-10
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  16. More Spiratone filter fun ....
    They also marketed a set of 3 'Vibracolor' filters:
    Aqua Blue ( Light Bluish/Cyan), Rose Red (a rebranded Wratten #32 Magenta) and Purple (a weird Birefringent Red+Blue).

    Spiratone Vibracolor Filters 190KB.jpg
    As well as their Contrast Blue which was a rebranded Wratten #47 Blue filter.

    Spiratone Contrast Blue filter 169KB.jpg
  17. I remember shopping in the Spiratone store in Manhattan back in the 1970's. I think I may still have one of their leatherette camera bags in my attic.
  18. To add to JDMvW's extensive research on Spiratone's ColorFlow System - the instructions for Colorflow II :

    Colorflow II instructions.jpg

    The original Colorflow series of filters were fabricated as a compound unit consisting of a polariser and a dichroic polarising element.
    Colorflow II separated the components into a stand alone polariser and individual dichroic filters.
    I purchased several through mail order - shipped to Sydney, Australia - in the late 70s.
  19. More on the Spiratone Vibracolor filters ...... The Vibracolor 'Purple' appears to be a Wratten #36 - ('D' under the original identification system).
    Does anyone have information as to what the #36 ( listed as 'Deep Magenta' in early Wratten filter info) was used for?
  20. As I mentioned earlier in the thread I never got around to purchasing any of the Vibracolor filters, I did try this interesting filter: back in the 80's I took a few images through a #4 Kodak Polycontrast filter. I'll try to see if I can find an image later if there's some interest.

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