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:

    Colorflow-works-1976-06-MP.jpg
     
  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.
     
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  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:
    GE-Variable-Color-Filter-1954-10-PP.jpg
    (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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