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39mm filters - colour for BW and warming / cooling filters

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l’ve a 50mm Summicron and 90mm elmarit; both stellar lenses. I’ve had these lenses for a good few years and don’t have any desire for more. From the get go I was sure to source lenses with common filter sizes, in this instance 39mm. I shoot quite a lot of film with my M6, both colour and BW. Its on the way back (in the post) with a viewfinder upgrade and CLA so looking forward to giving it a good run feeding it lots more film. 

I’ve a B+W F- Pro orange filter that I use a little and I’d like to add to this. Specifically a green filter for BW portraits, to experiment on my young surfer son who’s seven with some cute freckles. Also, for colour negative, typically with Portra, I’d like to get my hands on warming and cooling filters to try and get more consistent results and minimise colour shifts. This is particularly relevant as finding a good local scanner operator is a challenge; it’s not an excuse, just another reason to try and minimise any requirement for corrections at the scanner,

i note Leica make some black and white filters, including a green filter, so that would likely cover off my requirement for BW, however, I’m stumped for warming and cooling filters, particularly in the 39mm size. I tried a camera store this afternoon to see what they may be able to get and was advised they’re unable to help me as there’s little need these days with digital; fair enough. Most ideally too, I’d like nice brass filters like the B+W F-Pro series, they’re very nicely made bits of kit.

As I’d like to keep the setup compact, I don’t wish to use step downs or larger filters, I’d like to stick with 39mm. So, we’ll made brass 39mm filters; colour for BW and warming / cooling for colour neg.

Any recommendations on where I might find the above? New or used? Thanks.

And for a bit of fun, who else is using warming and cooling filters for colour neg film? I’ve an old Lumu light meter; I’m considering upgrading to the newer one simply for better understanding of colour temp variance, and flash measurement. FYI, the lumu’s are a great little light meter; I keep mine on my phone always, often even if I don’t have a camera with me!





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For a "warmer" look with colour photography you might look for a Skylight filter. It has a weak pinkish tint and was used mostly for landscape film photography to reduce blue haze. They are still on offer e.g. by Heliopan for 39mm: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?q=skylight filter&filters=fct_circular-sizes_27%3A39mm

Though I am a little bit sceptical about those filters for color with a digital camera. You can achieve the effect more subtly or more prominently in your post-processing software by using tools for white balance etc.

You may also see some variance in "warmth" of color with different lenses. The biggest difference I saw yet was when I compared the 50mm Elmar-M to the Voigtländer "Classic" Heliar 1:3,5/50mm. The Heliar is much, much "warmer" than the Elmar - not always welcome since the Leica colors are often on the red side. 

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There are older Leica filters available on EBay, but I would trust newer B+W filters more as they would have newer coatings. Most should be available in 39mm. I have an old Kodak 41.5mm clamp on filter holder for Series 6 filters that I also use. Filter quality the way I see the ones I own: New B+W, Newer Leica, Toyo, Older Leica, Generic (Tiffen, Ednalight, Kodak).

The best warming filter for color film is an 81B (C will do but just a step warmer) cooling is 82A - C. Both have about 1/3 stop filter factor, ie open 1/3 of a stop from your meter reading or set the ISO on your meter 1/3 of a stop less. I would regularly use an 81B with Ektachrome 100. 

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21 hours ago, Steve_4802 said:

This is particularly relevant as finding a good local scanner operator is a challenge; it’s not an excuse, just another reason to try and minimise any requirement for corrections at the scanner,


Trying to finesse colour shifts to equalise colour temperature is very difficult unless in a studio. The warmth or coolness of a colour film changes with the quality of both daylight between sun, shade, and overcast or artificial light between flash, tungsten or fluorescent etc. Using just a couple of filters you will fail. Furthermore the scanning equipment is most likely going to be set on 'auto' and it will try to normalise your corrections. You would be far better served not using a couple of warming or cooling filters but having your scans done as .dng files and do colour corrections in ACR or Lightroom. 

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Thanks for the input guys. 

Tommomego, cheers for the clarification on warming and cooling filter specs; very useful for me as a starting point as I’m not across the different types and helps me with a good happy medium to try.

Unfortunately, I made contact with the manufacturer of B+W filters, they no longer make warming and cooling filter, or green filters for that matter. Anyone happen to have some good quality coated 39mm filters they’d like to part with and that they no longer use, for a fair price of course.

250swb, thanks for the thoughts, also very helpful and I’ll take on board. Interesting you mention the scanner normalising to correct the correction from the filter. While you are likely correct it’s something I’d very much hoped to test in person with trials of identical shots both with and without a warming filter, thus allowing me to see first hand what practical benefit I would get with a filter and using my local scanner and operator. While I expect you’re correct, I find it difficult to accept little benefit would be offered; the mere fact that a cloudy day appears colder (too cold to me) on the final scan demonstrates (by my thinking at least) that it doesn’t nearly enough correct the cooler light. Regardless, the use of filters, whether it gives an improved outcome or not, i feel, would help me better understand the light. At worst, I’ll get no benefit but learn and understand why for future. At best, I’ll get more consistent results with colour negative film. If nothing else, it’s always good to try new things, particularly with film where it’s often more critical to understand the scene before pulling the trigger. It’s how we learn right?

In the topic of dng scans, is this typically an option on a standard SP500 or SP3000 scanner? These are the scanners at my two local camera labs. I.e, both Fujifilm. I thought bitmap and tiff were the only option for export?

Thanks again.

On a different note, ordered an MP yesterday to go with my existing Leica, an M6. Be handy being able to have two different films on the go at once. Having just had the viewfinder upgraded on the M6 it’ll be interesting to trial that side by side with a new MP. To see if it really is an equivalent viewfinder or just improved over the standard M6...


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Have you tried the "usual suspects", i.e. Hoya, Tiffen, Marumi, Kenko etc.? They usually have filters in a wide variety of sizes. Many times you can find practically new such filters on ebay for a couple dollars. If everything else fails, just a step up ring to the closest "common" size might be a solution, I'm guessing that would be 49mm.

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I searched this a bit a while back, when I was looking at trying some Kodak Vision3 tungsten balanced film (500T). The smallest filters that seem to be available are 49mm, from Tiffen I think. 
Having to use step up rings and putting a 49mm 81b filter on a e39 lens seemed a bit...odd. So I never pursued the idea further.

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