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Wratten 90 Filter

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    19 Jul 2012 - 2:33 PM

    How many of you guys use a Wratten 90 viewing filter in order to "see" the scene in monochrome before deciding whether to take an exposure for subsequent monochrome conversion?

    Or do you have an "eye" for a good potential monochrome photograph without such viewing aids?

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    Coleslaw e2 Member 913403 forum postsColeslaw vcard Wales28 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Jul 2012 - 2:35 PM

    I have never heard of it, let alone using one.

    Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Jul 2012 - 3:02 PM

    I suspect a large number of people on here use mono as a way to 'resurrect' poor colour photos! I doubt many visualise the picture in mono before the shot. Or am I just being cynical?

    If you squint your eyes up, you can get to an almost monochrome point before the image deteriorates, to get some idea of what the mono version might look like.
    You also used to be able to get a 'monovue' a small eyepiece you held up to look through which was dark browny colour. I like to think I have enough experience to see black and white shots, but I'm still occasionally surprised by what others come up with.


    rossd  111061 forum posts England
    19 Jul 2012 - 3:11 PM

    Must admit altough I'd heard of the Wratten filter numbering system, I didn't know they had one (the 90) for removing colour. Can't say I'd use one even if I knew where to buy one!! I suppose the B&W filter mode on most digital cameras does much the same thing. I use this sometimes but take the shot in colour and then convert afterwards.

    19 Jul 2012 - 4:34 PM

    For the more technically minded: http://www.karmalimbo.com/aro/pics/filters/transmision%20of%20wratten%20filters....

    Less technical: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wratten_number

    Paul Morgan
    Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315379 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Jul 2012 - 6:24 PM

    Back in the film days it got to the point were I wasn`t just seeing in black and white, I was also seeing the effect a filter would give, I would`nt know were to start now Smile

    Quote: I suppose the B&W filter mode on most digital cameras does much the same thing

    Some sensors are designed to see in B&W only

    19 Jul 2012 - 6:45 PM

    Quote: I suspect a large number of people on here use mono as a way to 'resurrect' poor colour photos! I doubt many visualise the picture in mono before the shot. Or am I just being cynical?


    I think that it might be a bit cynical in relation to the type of forumite who has joined this group, Nick. Although I am sure you are right about many "less specialist" mono converters.

    Must confess that I am a bit of both.

    Of the three images I have put up on the Group image gallery so far, one was totally unplanned (the HK glass building), one was taken with a view to mono conversion (the Monterey Cannery Row pier) and the third (the misty graveyard) was taken knowing that the drab tones might look better in mono but without really being sure.

    The reason that I asked about the Wratten 90 filter was that virtually every authoritative book on black and white photography recommends using one in order to visualise the scene in mono before taking an exposure. (By the way, in case anyone didn't know, you look through the filter - you don't attach it to the camera). I guess that was more important in film days when you wouldn't want to "waste" film on a subject that might not work.

    I have never used one and think I am reasonably good at visualising what a scene will look like in mono. Normally what I am looking for is that elusive blend of contrast, structure and fine gradations of tone.

    Pete Site Moderator 1318443 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
    14 Aug 2012 - 11:26 AM

    SRB used to sell the Monoview which was a filter in an eye cup. It did actually help reduce the tones down to brightness level so you could see where the light and dark areas were clearly and then use a spot meter to meter from those points. It was a very precise way of working and did help those who followed techniques, such as Ansel Adams Zone system, as they could adjust exposure and processing to suppress or expand tones.

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