I am in a B+W Filter quandry

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I want to buy three B+W 58mm filters for Black and White photography. I want a yellow, orange, and red. The B+W catalog has me into a tailspin with too many choices and I seem to not be able to get off the dime on this.Why I have become so stuck, I do not know.

Choices are:

022 Medium Yellow (8) FF 2

023 Dark Yellow (?) FF 3

040 Yellow-Orange (16) FF 4

041 Red-Orange (22) FF 4

090 Light Red (25) FF 5

I thought I might order 023, 041, and 090.

Am I missing the boat here on the ones I have left out? Should I be making a different selection. I shoot landscape and architecture, 4x5 Tri-X.

I need to order these tomorrow, so thanks for any help you can give me on this confusing topic.


-- Scott Jones (scottsdesk@home.com), July 16, 2001


I would opt for a yellow, dark red, and a green. The dark green(wratten 58) will be just as useful as the yellow. It will lighten dark green foliage and darken blue sky also. The yellow and dark red will be all you need for other filtering. The use of an orange is not necassary if you have the other three. And get a polarizer. It is necassary. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), July 16, 2001.

I use yellow (8) more often than any other filter for b&w, and occasionally red (25) and less frequently others like green (58).

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), July 16, 2001.

These are good choices, but I would first get a polarizing filter. With the polarizing filter in combination with a yellow or green you can do a lot more.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (jorgegm@worldnet.att.net), July 16, 2001.

Scott, B+W filters are high quality AND expensive. Your 58mm filter size is rather small, and won't fit many large format lenses/ or telephoto lenses in the foll-film genre. You should seriously consider a larger size filter coupled with a step-up ring, or else you may find yourself buying the identical filters in the not to distant future again. Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@usa.net), July 16, 2001.

I have the B+W series in the 023,040 and 090 and find that they cover all of my requirements in B&W. I like them to acquire the set in 52mm, 67mm, 77mm and (ouch)95mm. I use a step up ring that S K Grimes made me to go from my 250mm Kodak Wide Field Ektar to 95mm because it was cheaper than the filters on the larger end of the scale. I have tried the greens and the red/orange and found that the marginal amount of adjustment versus the others I had was insignificant. I also found that the dark red was to much for my taste.

You will not go wrong with your initial instinctive decision. They are well made filters that should last a lifetime.

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@home.com), July 16, 2001.

I agree with the red(025) but the yellow/green (060) of B+W... Years ago there was a really good write up in View Camera (I think) with a test on the differences of yellow, orange, red, green and yellow/green. I never really thought the yellow was all that great and opted for the orange, red and then when I saw the write up on the yellow/green I got that one and tested it myself. Great filter! B+W's are really good filters. You'll like them very much.

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), July 16, 2001.

Just so you are aware Heliopan makeas these same filters and only supplies them in thin rings with front threads that won't vignette with lenses as wide as 21mm or it's equivelent.

They are the only filters made in Germany that only use Schott glass and the mounts are black anodized brass.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 17, 2001.

Sorry to disappoint you, Bob, but B+W uses Schott glass and brass mounts too.

-- Michael Klayman (michael@schneideroptics.com), July 17, 2001.

"Sorry to disappoint you, Bob, but B+W uses Schott glass and brass mounts too. "

Not exclusively and not on the ALU series being sold in some markets.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 17, 2001.

I will clarify my answer, then. The B+W filters imported into the United States have brass mounts and use Schott glass exclusively for the UV, warming and cooling, polarizer, neutral density, black and white, infrared, and many of the special filters. The only filter which has an aluminum mount is the Slim polarizer. And our Slim filters are thinner than Heliopan filters, so they can be used on shorter focal length lenses than a Heliopan filter. B+W does use CR-39 acrylic for the color graduated filters and Softars, JUST LIKE HELIOPAN.

Bob, as tech reps, our jobs should be to answer questions and enlighten the public, not confuse them. Someone of your tenure and experience should understand that.

-- Michael Klayman (michael@schneideroptics.com), July 17, 2001.

Micheal, since you mentioned a compound called,"CR-39 acrylic" on the B+W Softars, does this mean that these filters are more generally softer in hardness than a glass filter and therefore prone to scratching (from overzealous cleaning, etc... ) But then again, since it's a SOFT focus filter, if so, it's not that crucial, right? I'm thinking about getting one.... Andre

-- Andre Noble (andrenoble@yahoo.com), July 17, 2001.

Softars are easily scratched, which will effect their performance, so special care in cleaning is strongly recommended. Every current Heliopan Softar (all Softars from Heliopan, Hasselblad, rollei, B+W are identical if they are the same strength. Only the rim and the package are different) has a very prominant warning label about the care required for a Softar.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 18, 2001.

B+W Series 9 filters imported into the USA are not made of brass. I like these because they are not nearly as heavy as a brass-mounted filter of the same size. Sure, brass mounts screw on easily, but you have to carry the extra weight.

-- William Marderness (wmarderness@hotmail.com), September 17, 2001.

If you aren't quite sure what the filters do, how do you know for sure you want three?

Take the camera to the camera store & shoot the same scene with different filters... or buy three at a store that has a few days to return and/or exchange. That way you make sure you get what you really want & answer a few of the questions with your gear and film combination.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), September 17, 2001.

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