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Do You Use an 85 or 85B Filter for Shooting Daylight on Tungsten Film?


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#1 Karl Lee

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:47 PM

I've read through a few threads in this forum regarding the finer points of 85 vs. 85B filters for filming in daylight with tungsten balanced film.  I've noticed that on cans of tungsten balanced film, Kodak specifies the use of an 85 filter for daylight color conversion, while Tiffen's website specifies an 85B as the proper filter for balancing tungsten film to daylight.  Specifically, Tiffen lists the 85 as converting daylight to 3400K, while the 85B converts daylight to 3200K.

 

So, who to believe for optimal results...Kodak or Tiffen?  Is the 200K color temperature difference pretty much a moot point?  I've filmed plenty of super 8 using an external 85 with great results, but since I'm going to start shooting some S16 and am in the market for an 85 or 85B filter to use with my SR3, I'm just trying to decide which one to purchase. 


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#2 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 10:51 PM

Many people use the built in filter on S8 cameras because it is cheap and easy. It is usually of very little consequence since the difference is only 200k, and some photoflood kits are actually rated at 3400k and not 3200k. 

 

Even if you shoot under tungsten with 3400k, it adds some warmth which many film shooters like and film handles it quite graciously.

 

If moving up to S16 though, I would go with the 85B. You can always add warmth in post but I believe you should always strive for as perfect of an image in camera and then muck it up later, if that is what your "art" requires. :D


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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:05 AM

See my comments on your other thread about buying used.

 

I think 85 is the most useful way to go.  I don't think you need the extra warmth of 85B all the time,  and you will find it harder to get 85BND combos.  You can have warming filters on hand like coral if you need.   

 

In sunshine shooting 200T rated at 125 or or 500T rated at 200-320 with an 85 filter you will be T22 and higher.  So you need to think of 85ND combos and NDs straight away.  If you started with one filter maybe it should be an 85N9  

 

Assuming you are a good finder,  I'd buy or build up a set of 85ND (normally 85, 85N.3, 85N.6, 85N.9) combos first.  You need NDs as well.  You shouldn't need 85B all the time,  but if you had one it might sometimes be usefull stacked with an ND.


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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 01:13 AM

Meant to add,  but the edit function timed out...You can always throw on a warming filter if you need it.  Again,  some stuff comes up cheap on eBay.  I got a full Coral set from Lee Utterbach on eBay for about $100.  He would often start his auctions for $1,  but he had a lot of people keeping tabs on him.  A lot of people shifted from 4x4 to 4x5.65,  so there are probably a lot of unused filters if you can find them.  Rental houses might be a good place to look.


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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 02:23 AM

Rather interestingly Kodak, when you had the choice, recommended 85 for their tungsten neg stocks and 85B for the tungsten reversal stocks. Having shot neg with both, I now shoot it with the 85.

 

Some DPs have shot neg with 81EF filters and some even without any conversion filter because, after tests, they preferred how the stock responded.  For example John Alcott on "Barry Lyndon".


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#6 Karl Lee

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

Meant to add,  but the edit function timed out...You can always throw on a warming filter if you need it.  Again,  some stuff comes up cheap on eBay.  I got a full Coral set from Lee Utterbach on eBay for about $100.  He would often start his auctions for $1,  but he had a lot of people keeping tabs on him.  A lot of people shifted from 4x4 to 4x5.65,  so there are probably a lot of unused filters if you can find them.  Rental houses might be a good place to look.

 

Good point, Gregg.  I'll try checking with a few of the larger rental houses to see if they're trying to offload any 4x4 equipment.  I was a little hesitant to buy a 4x4 matte box since I'm shooting S16 and was going to look for a 4x5.65 matte box, but I got a pretty good deal on a like new Chrosziel 440 matte box  (or "SunShade" as they call it) which is 4x4.  According to Chrosziel's website, the 440 will work with S16 down to 10mm.  The wide end of my Canon zoom is 11.5mm, so it's cutting it close, but hopefully it will work without any vignetting.  I guess this is another topic for another thread :)


Edited by Karl Lee, 04 May 2014 - 08:46 AM.

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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:53 AM

I don't remember ever having the choice. Every rental house I used only had 85 Filters. When I was an AC many DPs I knew liked to shoot with different correction. Using a Coral 4 or 5 was in vogue for a while, and some used Chocolate, Straw or even Sepia filters instead of an 85.


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 01:12 PM

Part of the problem is just that the industry uses term "85" generically to cover both the 85 and 85B.  Truth is that "85" sometimes meant 85A, which converted daylight for Type A Tungsten film (3400K for lighting under photofloods) and the 85B was for Type B Tungsten films to convert daylight to 3200K.

 

But negative film has enough latitude that the difference between 85 and 85B is not much of an issue, unlike reversal film.


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