Warming Ektar 100-save me time (and money)

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Wayne

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I'll be on the road for a while and will not be able to develop and print my film until I come back home. I will be printing it all analog, of course. I'm very new to shooting color negative film (other than snapshots), and I'll be shooting mostly 4x5 with some 120 so mistakes will not be cheap. Fortunately and unfortunately, I will also have a limited amount of film so the cost of my mistakes will be limited. But I also won't be doing much bracketing unless its a really special shot.

I only have an 81A and an 81B filter, so using an 81C won't be a choice. If you've used these quite a bit (as opposed to those just offering wild guesses :laugh:), what conditions do you use them in, and which situations call for the B instead of the A? I'll be in the SW a lot of the time so there will be lots of blue skies (which I rarely include in the frame, but they'll be there nonetheless) and earth tones. I could add an 81C if absolutely necessary.

So, tell me what conditions you use which warming filters for with Ektar, esp if you're analog printing them.
 

jbrubaker

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I don't think any filters will be necessary with color neg film, since the color can easily be shifted warmer in the printing or scanning process. ---john.
 

jp498

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JB, the idea is to get things right at the time of capture.

I haven't analog color printed since the 90's so I don't have exact advice....
 

momus

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I was shooting Velvia transparencies when I lived in New Mexico, so I'm not sure what you might like w/ your color negative film (although I understand it has some saturated colours itself). I like blue, so I would recommend the a filter, which is pretty weak actually. Some people think the b is a little too strong. It depends on what time of day and what you're shooting, along w/ whether your tastes run to warmer or cooler. I didn't use any filters myself and loved the look, but this is truly an individual thing.
 

MattKing

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Send a PM to DREW WILEY - but don't be surprised if you get an "energetic" response
 

benjiboy

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Colour temperature filters are mainly for colour reversal films, colour castes in colour negative films are corrected in the filter pack when they are printed.
 

polyglot

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Oooooh, just you wait until DREW CAPSLOCK gets here. And get your earplugs in!

Anyway, you do need to get it vaguely right at exposure time if wet printing, especially for a high-contrast/high-saturation film like Ektar. Print hue-corrections affect the shadows mostly, whereas on-camera filters affect the highlights mostly. You can correct minor errors in printing so I don't personally bother with an 81A, but if the light calls for an 81C then you really want to use it. You can probably get away with using an 81B for any situation that you think might need some warming and then correct either direction from there while printing.

When you say you're new to C41, does this mean you previously shot E6 or just B&W? If you shoot E6 and can filter for that, do the same thing. C41 is more forgiving.

If you're carrying a DSLR then you can preview colour with that. Put it in Daylight white-balance and take a test shot or three with whichever filters you are considering. Inspect the RGB histograms (against your memory of a known-good histogram of a similar subject, appropriately filtered), select your filter, put it on the 4x5 and away you go! It takes quite some practise to not be deceived by the LCD image though because if the LCD is any good, the colour of the image will of course match your surroundings and seem "correct" even if it's waaaaaaay off neutral. Then you get home, look at the image in neutral light and go "oh bugger".
 
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Wayne

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Yes I knew this topic would be like honey to a Drew...but that's partly why I posted it. If I'm not mistaken Drew has said something to the effect that if printing analog, the tendency for Ektar toward blue in certain situations is best corrected at the time of exposure. And I am printing analog. And I'm too dumb to know if one way is better than the other but I like to hear all sides and then decide for myself which is the One True Way.

I shot various Fuji E6s for many years and almost never used color filters. Again, just dumb and always cheap. If a slide was too hideous I just didn't print it. I'm very simplistic.

I prefer slight warmth to slight blue, if I can't find perfect neutrality. I gravitate toward earthtones anyway. I just want to get things as right as possible because I still don't have enough experience with it to know how the film responds.
 

lhalcong

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I also like to get things right on camera. So here is what I think; If the sun gets behind the clouds, heavy clouds or overcast, you will have a cooler image/subject, more flat. If I feel the image diserves it, I like to warm it up with whichever I feel is best at the moment. that is slightly warm or warmer.
 

zanxion72

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I think that Ektar has already warm tones, a bit warmer than the usual ones in other films. Using a warm up filter will really mess it up.
 

DREW WILEY

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Well, I simply bumped into the thread, so no need to PM me. I personally always carry a light pink skylight filter for just a minor bit of correction, namely a "KN" Singh-Ray (apparently not made any more), then the 81A, which is the most versatile filter, and will correct the film for overcast drab bluish skies - a common situation. An 81B is just a little more pronounced in its degree of correction, but I've had trouble finding an 81B which is really correct itself - a true light balancing filter should have a pinch of pinkish amber to it, and not just dirty yellow. Then I carry an 81C for deep blue shade under clear blue skies - common in the mtns and coast, but really anywhere there's a mix of real blue overhead and deep shadows.
 

DREW WILEY

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No, I don't want to get into a repetition of things I've stated many time before on past thread, but Benji... there are certain very important
corrections which can ONLY be made at the time of exposure, which affect the way the different dye layers will act from that point onward.
Playing around with overall balance in the darkroom afterwards merely corrects your paper or general look to the film itself, but inherently
cannot remedy an incorrect initial exposure. Nor is it easy to do so in PS. With chromes, we just slapped em on a lightbox and either liked the
shadows or didn't, but it certainly didn't mean the lack of color temp correction was warranted. Some people liked things all excessively blue.
This kind of off-the-cuff strategy works very poorly with Ektar, which is not a muddy shoot-from-the-hip amateur color neg film, but something which behaves more like a BMW... It will really take you places, but it will also crash into a tree a lot faster if you're careless with it.
 

David Lyga

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Colour temperature filters are mainly for colour reversal films, colour castes in colour negative films are corrected in the filter pack when they are printed.

True, but there really is a slight diminishing of contrast when color negative film is shot in very high Kelvin temp like exclusively open shade or very dull day. I do find warming the situation a bit helpful in getting a really decent negative. Sometimes I even use a light yellow or light orange filter with such scenes. My honest opinion is that color daylight negative film 'feels best' in lighting from about 3200 K to 4000 K. I know that that statement is technically unorthodox but try it and print such. - David Lyga
 

DREW WILEY

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The basic difference with respect to the distinction between chromes and color neg film is that, with a chrome or slide you can see that YOU
are the one that screwed up.... With a neg film, you have to print or scan it first, then apparently have the nerve to blame Kodak when something goes wrong, when it was your fault to begin with. Ektar is for adults who correctly use light meters and are willing to carry at least an 81A. If you want something more forgiving, buy Portra. Sorry, but I realize this kind of advice might constitute a terrible hardship for those
of you who will spend thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest lens or camera, but can't afford a fifty buck filter.
 
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