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Photography Question 
Brent D. Seefried

Digital B/W and Filters

I normally shoot with film, but am considering a DSLR. I am curious, however: Do filters work the same way digitally as they do on film? For example, a red filter plus a polarizer shot on black-and-white film produces a near black sky, with almost pure white clouds; an effect I really like. But since digital records all color information and then converts, will adding filters like this just mess up the image? Thanks to those who respond.

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5/20/2004 9:31:01 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  It does have the same effects. Red and orange makes the blues darker after you go to grey scale. But you have contrast and lightness control on digital, so there's really no need to shoot with a filter on the lens. Use the extra light and you don't have to see everything in whatever color filter you're using.

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5/20/2004 12:36:10 PM

Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
  Brent: With a digital camera, you would shoot in color and convert the images to black & white later.

My favorite conversion program is the BW Pro from Miranda. It offers a wealth of choices for filter effects - as if you had been shooting b&w film and used a blue, red, yellow, orange or green filter.

(Plug-in for Photoshop but not compatible with Elements.) A bargain at $30.

Cheers! Peter Burian

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5/25/2004 5:21:41 AM

Michael Kaplan   As previously mentioned, yes, filters do work the same as with film cameras but with digital you really don't need to in most cases. The filter effects can usually be added after. That is the wonderful world of digital. There are circumstances where you would still need to use a filter like using a polarizer to remove glare or a ND (Neutral Density) filter to decrease your DOF. Most effects like darkening of sky, color changes etc are too easily done in your image editing program.
Michael Kaplan
Canon EOS-10D

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5/31/2004 7:40:23 AM

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