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Analog Red vs Digital Red | Experimenting with Black and White Filters

Updated: Jun 16


Experimenting will grant you so much insight during the creative process. I often find that this is where I get most of my ideas, leading to unexpected results.


In photography, it's safe to say that many rules are imposed by others, which can stifle self-development. For example, filters used for black-and-white photography aren't recommended on digital cameras that aren't monochrome. But if you're like me and don't follow "rules," you just like to do things your way.



Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Kenko Red Filter | Lightroom Monochrome Profile
Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Kenko Red Filter | Lightroom Monochrome Profile




The image on the left was taken with the Sigma FP using a Kenko Red Filter and the Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f2.8 lens. I shot this using the FP's standard colour profile.


I converted it in Lightroom using the Adobe Monochrome profile, not the camera's monochrome profile. I can immediately see that instead of the usual grayscale conversion that Lightroom applies to colour images, there is a clear separation in tones.








For context, this is what the image looked like out of the camera with the Kenko Red Filter


Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Kenko Red Filter | SIgma FP Standard Profile
Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Kenko Red Filter | SIgma FP Standard Profile

Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile
Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile


The picture on the right is the same image taken with the Sigma FP and the same lens but without the red filter. The image was again converted using the Adobe Monochrome profile.


The image feels flat, and the separation between the brick wall and the tree is not defined. Also, the leaves on the lower left are a mush of data.













Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Lightroom B&W Red Filter
Sigma FP | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Lightroom B&W Red Filter




The image on the left is the same as above but with the Lightroom B&W Red Filter. There is slightly better separation between the back wall and the tree now, but it still lacks the organic look of the first image.


I plan to continue experimenting with these Experimenting with Black and White Filters and maybe one day I'll even try them on a monochrome digital camera. For the time being, I'm convinced that there is something pleasing about using an analog filter instead of the digital one inside Lightroom.






Update:


I took the Leica M9 with the Chiyoko 2.8/45 with the filter out this weekend. Very surprised with how the CCD responded to the Red Filter compared to the Sigma FP. Here are some shots


Leica M9  | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile
Leica M9 | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile

Leica M9  | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile
Leica M9 | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile

Leica M9  | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | No Profile
Leica M9 | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | No Profile

Leica M9  | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile
Leica M9 | Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f/2.8 | Walz Red 40 | Lightroom Monochrome Profile

I'm thrilled with the results on the M9, the Chiyoko is also a welcomed addition to my kit. I'll do a proper review of the lens in the future.


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