What B&W viewing filter is this?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by troll, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Can anybody identify the make/model of this BW viewing filter? Thanks
  2. Bill,

    It's a standard Zone VI viewing filter... Calumet use to sell them but rumor has it they're no
    longer available.

  3. Bill

    Yes , this is a ZONE VI viewing filter . It was available in different sizes . But more important is
    the following : a KODAK wratten filter Nr.: 90 is used and imbedded between 2 glasses , to
    prevent damage to the gelatine foil filter .
  4. SRB in the UK make a b&w viewing filter. It is on page 14 of their pdf pricelist
  5. Bill:

    The Wratten 90 as a viewing filter, was introduced by A.Adams. Very useful i.e when used, one may decide whether the scene deserves a separation of gray tones upon the use of B&W filters. I use it all the time for my B&W photography.

    Fred Picker popularized its use, and made it as you see in the picture. I bought my from the Zone VI Studios. When F.Picker sold his business to Calumet, they continued its production, but presently it is not available. There was another viewing filter for color photography made by someone else. I din't buy it as I did not see an useful application.
  6. Thanks, one and all for your help. Bill
  7. Tried it many times. Doesn't work for me at all. Am I defective or something?
  8. "Tried it many times. Doesn't work for me at all. Am I defective or something?"

    How did you use it? The natural tendency is to put it up to your eye and stare at the scene through it. But when you do that everything tends to merge. The way you're supposed to use it is to flick it back and forth quickly in front of your eye several times.
  9. The way you're supposed to use it is to flick it back and forth quickly in front of your eye several times.
    Okay, I tried that then... well my wife found me in a deep trance.
  10. Some people are more suceptable to hypnosis than others. It appears that you, Pico, are very susceptable. Now cluck like a chicken and when I clap my hands you will wake up with no memory of ever being a photographer.

    p.s. I have 2 of these filters and they don't work very good for me. Quack!
  11. Funny stuff as Carson would say ...

    I never understood the need for one myself.

    Out of curousity - have any of the "legends" used these in the past or present?
  12. I had a homemade one, but never liked it and threw it away. However, I do find useful an old Linhof multi-focal finder, or whatever it's called. Use it handheld to get tripod placement
  13. I use a Spectra, which is about 20 years old. They also are no
    longer made. It is also the same principle which is a wratten 90
    sandwiched between glass. I use it mainly to determine values
    when using filters, which saves on film. If you stare through it too
    long, it loses it's effectiveness, which is why I abanded the idea
    of making a pair of sunglasses out of some wratten 90 filters,
    (which at one time I thought was a very novel idea, but then why
    would you want to see like a dog??) Which of course raises all
    kinds of sillyl questions about why we photograph in B&W, but I'll
    leave that for another thread.
  14. That is a Fred Picker viewer made with a Wratten 90 filter. It does not work because the filter is not dark enough.
    Peak now carries a good viewing filter which is basically a new manufacture of the Spectra. It works extremely well.
  15. My Wratten 90 filter, works extremely well! Darker than that? I'll bet you, one could not pre-vizualize a scene in darker sorroundings, like swamps.

    And Lee Hamiel, would you like to know which legends use the filter? John Sexton, Allan Ross, George DeWolf. Since the latter three are professionals, unlike me and you,...through years of experience...they automaticallly know what filter to use, just by
    looking at a scene.

    See, in B&W photography the B&W filters play a big role, according to the surroudings, they are a MUST, to prevent the whole image from becoming all gray! Awful!

    After vizualizing the scene with the 90, you can decide which filter to use. This way, you don't have a bland (gray) tree trunk or a gray rusted iron piece of machinery or a gray swamp scene with no discerning tones. BTW, look at Clyde Butcher's luminous swamp murals.

    When attending AA workshops, the first thing he would hand out to the NOVICES, was the Wratten 90.

    What Picker did, was to enclose the fragile gelatine between two glasses! A very good idea, considering...my gelatine 90, which I got in 1972, deteriorated.

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