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On-Camera Filters

Below is a listing for all the filters that are commonly used in color photography. This chart should be used as a reference point, but remember that because the Kelvin color temperature for any light source varies greatly, you might have to adjust your print in the darkroom, too.

We should note that there is some logic to the filter naming convention. Filter ABCs go into it a little bit. For filters used in Infrared photography, see Infrared Photography.

Color Temperature Chart


Filter Effect
Skylight Used to eliminate blue cast in distant scenes and in open shade because it absorbs ultraviolet rays and some blue light. It also clears up environmental haze a little.
UV (a.k.a. UV Haze) Used to eliminate blue cast in distant scenes and in open shade. Absorbs ultraviolet rays. It also clears up environmental haze a little.
FL-D Eliminates green cast when daylight type films are used under fluorescent lights.
ND Used to lower intensity of light striking the film to enable larger apertures for shallow depth-of-field, slower speeds and special effects. Of ten come in .3, .6 & .9 densities. (1/3, 1/6, 1/9 f-stops).
 
Filters designated as 80 filters are very cool in Kelvin temperature
80A Now use daylight color films with 3200°K photofloods.
80B Now use daylight color films with 3400°K photofloods.
80C Now use daylight color films with 3800°K lamps.

Filters designated with 81 filters are a little bit warm in Kelvin Temperature
81A Now use tungsten "Type A" tungsten (movie film) with 3200°K photofloods.
81B Eliminates blue cast found in high altitude mountain photography or when shooting during a very clear day.
81C Helps counter the blue cast in cloudy and rainy weather.

Filters designated with 82 filters are a little bit cool in Kelvin Temperature
82A Now use "Type A" tungsten (movie film) with 3200°K illumination.
82B Now use 3200°K standard tungsten film ("Type B") with household bulbs (2800-2400°).
82C Reduces the reddish cast found from shooting early morning or late afternoon.

Filters designated with 85 filters are warm in Kelvin Temperature
85A Now use "Type A" (movie film) can be used in daylight.
85B Now use standard tungsten film ("Type B") in daylight.
85C Converts 5500°K lighting to 3800°K.