An fld filter, also known as a “fluorescent lighting correction filter,” is a type of camera filter used to balance the color temperature of fluorescent light sources. Fluorescent light sources have a distinctive greenish or bluish color cast, which can be problematic for photographers because it can cause skin tones to appear unnatural and make it difficult to capture the objects’ colors in the scene accurately.
An fld filter helps correct this color cast by adding a complementary color to the light entering the camera. It helps to neutralize the green or blue color cast and results in more accurate and natural-looking colors in the final photograph.
Benefits of using an fld filter
- Improved color accuracy: By neutralizing the color cast of fluorescent lighting, an fld filter helps to produce more accurate and natural-looking colors in your photographs. It is especially important if you are shooting portraits or other types of images where accurate skin tones are essential.
- Consistency: If you are shooting in a location with multiple light sources, such as a combination of fluorescent and incandescent light, an fld filter can help ensure that the colors in your images are consistent and balanced.
- Versatility: An fld filter is a versatile tool that can be used in various lighting situations. Whether shooting in a studio or on location, an fld filter can help you achieve more accurate and consistent colors in your images.
How to use an fld filter
Using an fld filter is easy. Simply screw the filter onto the front of your lens and start shooting. Depending on the strength of the color cast by the fluorescent light, you may need to adjust the white balance settings on your camera to fine-tune the color balance.
It’s also a good idea to take a few test shots and review the results on the LCD screen to ensure that you are getting the desired results. If the colors in your images are still inaccurate, you may need to adjust the white balance settings or try using a different strength of the fld filter.
Can I use an fld filter with other light sources?
While an fld filter is specifically designed to correct the color cast of fluorescent lighting, it can also be used to improve the color accuracy of other light sources. However, remember that different light sources have different color temperatures, so you may need to experiment with additional filters or white balance settings to achieve the desired results.
Do I need an fld filter for every lens I own?
It’s unnecessary to have an fld filter for every lens you own, but it can be convenient if you frequently shoot in environments with fluorescent lighting. If you only occasionally shoot under fluorescent lighting, it may be more cost-effective to use a single fld filter that you can swap between lenses as needed.
Can I use an fld filter in combination with other filters?
Yes, you can use an fld filter with other filters, such as polarizers or ND filters. Just be aware that stacking multiple filters can affect the overall color balance of your images, so you may need to make additional adjustments to the white balance settings on your camera.
Do I need an fld filter if I shoot in raw format?
Shooting in raw format allows you to capture a scene’s full range of colors and tones, which can help correct color casts in post-processing. However, using an fld filter can still be beneficial because it can help reduce the amount of color correction needed in post-processing, saving you time and effort.
Is an fld filter the same as a CTO filter?
No, an fld filter and a CTO filter are different. A CTO (color temperature orange) filter is a type of filter that is used to warm up the color temperature of a scene, making it appear more yellow or orange. It can help balance the color temperature of cool-toned light sources, such as overcast skies or electronic flash. An fld filter, on the other hand, is used to neutralize the color cast of fluorescent lighting.
Can I use an fld filter with a flash?
An fld filter is primarily designed for use with continuous light sources, such as fluorescent lights or natural daylight. While it is possible to use an fld filter with a flash, the results may be less predictable, as the flash’s color temperature can vary depending on the strength of the battery and other factors. If you are using a flash and need to correct color casts, using a flash gelling system or adjusting the white balance settings on your camera may be more effective.
Are fld filters durable?
Fld filters are typically made of high-quality optical glass, which is durable and resistant to scratches and other types of damage. However, it’s always a good idea to handle your filters carefully to ensure they remain in good condition. It includes using a filter pouch or case to protect your filters when not in use and cleaning them with a lens cleaning cloth or brush as needed.