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Forums > Photography Talk > White Balance, UV Filter, With and Without Search   Reply
Photographer
The Signature Image
Posts: 12,055
Gorham, Maine, US


I read that a UV filter interferes with the final images when using, according to a buddy, a UV filter in combination with strobes. I have UV filters stuck to all my lenses so I thought I'd run a test. I also ran white balance tests with and without UV filter using my Expo Disk.

I've been having some problems with WB so I figured I'd throw that in the mix as well.

I'm shooting Nikon D700 in combination with Nikon 24-70 or f/ 1.4 prime glass. My basic setup is soft boxes with a beauty dish. I shoot primarily with White Lightning.

First I white balanced with the 24-70 with the UV filter on and shot an image. I'm shooting against a white background, unlit, which yields a gray color. I got a very warm reading of around 6000k and the gray was more reddish gray than anything else.

Next I repeated only removed the UV filter. Shot and got a reading of 5400k with the gray now looking gray.

Next took straight shots with and without the UV filter. I got a little surprise here. The shots without the UV filter showed improved colors and color saturation. The colors were more vibrant.

So these are the results of my unscientific experiments.

In-studio shooting for me now includes no UV filters.
Mar 25 13 07:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,142
Sacramento, California, US


The Signature Image wrote:
I've been having some problems with WB so I figured I'd throw that in the mix as well.

I'm shooting Nikon D700 in combination with Nikon 24-70 or f/ 1.4 prime glass. My basic setup is soft boxes with a beauty dish. I shoot primarily with White Lightning.

First I white balanced with the 24-70 with the UV filter on and shot an image. I'm shooting against a white background, unlit, which yields a gray color. I got a very warm reading of around 6000k and the gray was more reddish gray than anything else.

Next I repeated only removed the UV filter. Shot and got a reading of 5400k with the gray now looking gray.

Next took straight shots with and without the UV filter. I got a little surprise here. The shots without the UV filter showed improved colors and color saturation. The colors were more vibrant.

We have this guy in London you should talk to about the Nikon and white balance.......

You know that blocking out the UV will mean the models won't tan properly. Which is why the UV filter should be off for models. Still life may be different.

But that depends on the brand of the UV filter and if your flash tubes are UV filtered or not, else you get that double UV effect.

Good that you use white light, else if you use green light, the traffic wouldn't stop at the intersections. But if it works, that's all that counts.

The boxes and beauty dish may change the color on different setups.

Mar 25 13 07:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,847
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


If your finding was down to the UV filter it is a bit of a 'kick in the teeth' to those who profess that there is no reason to use such a filter on digital since the sensor does not get effected by UV.

If you are using a Skylight 1a/b filter and not a UV filter then what you describe would be expected.

As has been mentioned, some flash tubes are UV filtered, some glass domes are UV filtered. There are other possible variables in what you describe that might not be the same for other people.
Mar 25 13 11:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,564
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:

We have this guy in London you should talk to about the Nikon and white balance.......

You know that blocking out the UV will mean the models won't tan properly. Which is why the UV filter should be off for models. Still life may be different.

But that depends on the brand of the UV filter and if your flash tubes are UV filtered or not, else you get that double UV effect.

Good that you use white light, else if you use green light, the traffic wouldn't stop at the intersections. But if it works, that's all that counts.

The boxes and beauty dish may change the color on different setups.

Would using coloured UV gels correct the colour?

Mar 25 13 11:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leonard Gee Photography
Posts: 16,142
Sacramento, California, US


Images by MR wrote:
Would using coloured UV gels correct the colour?

Yes. I have Norman and Elinchrom heads and they both have color corrected tubes. The Norman softboxes are neutral, but I got a ebay chinese octabox for the grid and the diffuser on that box is blue, probably from UV brighteners or the fabric composition. It takes a 15cc yellow to match the other boxes. UV won't cut it.

Of course, if I am using all the same boxes or using the off color box by itself, I can just white balance for that in camera. It's just when the chinese box is used with daylight of other neutral boxes that it has to be brought back into the correct color.

Mar 25 13 11:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Images by MR
Posts: 7,564
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
Yes. I have Norman and Elinchrom heads and they both have color corrected tubes. The Norman softboxes are neutral, but I got a ebay chinese octabox for the grid and the diffuser on that box is blue, probably from UV brighteners or the fabric composition. It takes a 15cc yellow to match the other boxes. UV won't cut it.

Damn... wish I know all that before I invested in coloured UV gels.

How about if I have a square shaped beauty dish could I use the 15cc yellow?


Edit:  Was just talking to this guy from London & was told to switch to Canon to fix any WB / UV filter colour problems.

Mar 25 13 11:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,102
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
Yes. I have Norman and Elinchrom heads and they both have color corrected tubes.

UV-corrected flash tubes are also standard with Photogenic.

Of course when they first came out, the UV-corrected tubes (which cost more than clear tubes) were optional.

Then Kodak introduced their Gold color negative films, which were also UV corrected - which made the UV-corrected flashtubes surperfluous. Now that we can set the WB in the camera, they're still superfluous.

So now that we don't need the more expensive UV-corrected flashtubes, they're standard with most high-end strobes. Assuming you have more than one strobe, each time you have to replace a flashtube, we have to go with the more expensive UV-corrected tube - so it will match your other strobes...

Mar 26 13 02:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WMcK
Posts: 5,272
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:
We have this guy in London you should talk to about the Nikon and white balance.......

I don't think we will be hearing about those problems for a while now!

Mar 26 13 04:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Signature Image
Posts: 12,055
Gorham, Maine, US


Leonard Gee Photography wrote:

We have this guy in London you should talk to about the Nikon and white balance.......

You know that blocking out the UV will mean the models won't tan properly. Which is why the UV filter should be off for models. Still life may be different.

But that depends on the brand of the UV filter and if your flash tubes are UV filtered or not, else you get that double UV effect.

Good that you use white light, else if you use green light, the traffic wouldn't stop at the intersections. But if it works, that's all that counts.

The boxes and beauty dish may change the color on different setups.

Boxes and Beauty Dish? Yes, the combination is tricky. I WB off the Beauty Dish only and get a nice 5400k balance. Depending on the model I may have to make adjustments in RAW, but very slight adjustments.

Mar 26 13 05:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ArtisticPhotography
Posts: 7,699
Buffalo, New York, US


I'm trying to get this straight. You put on a slightly colored filter, took a picture, and then are complaining that the filter slightly changed the color. Is that right?

This is why they invented white balancing.

Here, try this experiment.

Put your filter back on. Take a picture of a white surface. Color balance your camera. Take another picture. Guess what, it's white!!!  Now, take the filter off but don't adjust the white balance. Take a picture. Guess what, the color is now off!!! That means that real light is bad, right? And white really isn't white, right?

Now, go order a "warming card". White balance to balance to that. Then start taking pictures of people. WOW, suddenly everything looks like TV - nice and warm.

I guess I'm trying to say, in my overly facetious way, is that everything changes everything and there are no rights and wrongs, just differents.
Mar 26 13 06:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,531
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


ArtisticPhotography wrote:
I'm trying to get this straight. You put on a slightly colored filter, took a picture, and then are complaining that the filter slightly changed the color. Is that right?

This is why they invented white balancing.

Here, try this experiment.

Put your filter back on. Take a picture of a white surface. Color balance your camera. Take another picture. Guess what, it's white!!!  Now, take the filter off but don't adjust the white balance. Take a picture. Guess what, the color is now off!!! That means that real light is bad, right? And white really isn't white, right?

Now, go order a "warming card". White balance to balance to that. Then start taking pictures of people. WOW, suddenly everything looks like TV - nice and warm.

I guess I'm trying to say, in my overly facetious way, is that everything changes everything and there are no rights and wrongs, just differents.

actually I think you are completely missing the point.  you must not read the forums a great deal.  The point (which I am not even going to pretend to be guessing at) the OP is making is that UV filters should be removed  because they impact the image.  So there is no point in the 'safety' of them and 'protection of letter glass' if the image suffers.  This is clearly his posted findings in that debate.

Mar 26 13 07:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 762
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


In my experience many UV filters are slightly red equivalent to 1a but the thing is, your white balance should overcome a slight difference like that and if it doesn't you should be able to factor in a correction. However, if you're in the studio you may as well take it off.
Mar 26 13 11:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


The Signature Image wrote:
I read that a UV filter interferes with the final images when using, according to a buddy, a UV filter in combination with strobes. I have UV filters stuck to all my lenses so I thought I'd run a test. I also ran white balance tests with and without UV filter using my Expo Disk.

I've been having some problems with WB so I figured I'd throw that in the mix as well.

I'm shooting Nikon D700 in combination with Nikon 24-70 or f/ 1.4 prime glass. My basic setup is soft boxes with a beauty dish. I shoot primarily with White Lightning.

First I white balanced with the 24-70 with the UV filter on and shot an image. I'm shooting against a white background, unlit, which yields a gray color. I got a very warm reading of around 6000k and the gray was more reddish gray than anything else.

Next I repeated only removed the UV filter. Shot and got a reading of 5400k with the gray now looking gray.

Next took straight shots with and without the UV filter. I got a little surprise here. The shots without the UV filter showed improved colors and color saturation. The colors were more vibrant.

So these are the results of my unscientific experiments.

In-studio shooting for me now includes no UV filters.

What do you mean by shot and got a reading of 5400k?  Are you using a color meter and metering through the filter and without?


The improved vibrancy is from not having the contrast loss that happens when filters flare.

Mar 26 13 12:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jim McSmith
Posts: 762
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


In terms of flare and from experience most in studio flare issues are not caused by the filter but the use of a petal hood instead of a circular hood. Petal hoods are not deep enough from the sides when using studio flash. I discovered that when using a Sigma 24-70 2.8, it suffered really bad flare unless you put something like a Hoya multihood on it. That was without a filter by the way. Most flare issues with filters will come from the front, whether it be direct from the light source or reflected off something bright.

Many people use the petal hood religiously because that's what Canon or Nikon sell but they should switch to a deep circular hood.
Mar 26 13 01:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,068
Buena Park, California, US


IIRC, the expodisc should be used pointing AT the main light source and not the subject.

a good example is my beach sunsets.  If I set WB  based on my subject, the subject would end up very very blue.  And that's because it would actually set the WB for the setting sun and not my flash (which was my main light).
Mar 26 13 02:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Signature Image
Posts: 12,055
Gorham, Maine, US


MC Photo wrote:

What do you mean by shot and got a reading of 5400k?  Are you using a color meter and metering through the filter and without?


The improved vibrancy is from not having the contrast loss that happens when filters flare.

5400k was the color temperature. Color vibrance improvement was the result of a side-by-side comparison, with and without the UV filter.

Mar 26 13 02:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


The Signature Image wrote:

5400k was the color temperature. Color vibrance improvement was the result of a side-by-side comparison, with and without the UV filter.

What told you the color temperature was 5400?

Were you using a tripod?

Mar 26 13 07:48 pm  Link  Quote 
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