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I bought a UV Filter that came with a Polarizing Filter and a Fluorescent Filter. While I understand the polarizing filter what is the point of a fluorescent filter? When I tried the filter under a fluorescent light it caused the photo to have a pink tint. (The filter itself is pink.)

Is this filter worth using? And when/how do you use it?

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This is addressed to some degree in the top answer to photo.stackexchange.com/questions/586/… – mattdm Apr 28 '12 at 18:43
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Fluorescent filters are for "converting" fluorescent light to closer to daylight (FL-D) or tungsten (FL-W). Generally speaking, with a digital camera there's not much need for a FL-* filter since you can accomplish the same thing (and more) with your camera's white balance setting. Shooting with film you would want an FL-* or some kind of magenta filter, since you cannot modify the white balance of the film.

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Indeed. Even more so if you use Auto WB then the camera will attempt to correct the coloration added by the filter. Plus, it may fail because most Auto WB systems are not perfect. – Itai Apr 28 '12 at 19:09
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The advantage of the FL-D filter compared to AWB is that the filter equalizes amounts of blue, green and red light. This leads to more even RGB raw histograms, less boosting of the blue and red channels and therefore less noise. This is probably not worth the hassle for many of us, but if one needs to minimize the noise, this filter might help. – MirekE Jun 8 at 16:48

You might consider a color temperature light meter. If you are a professional shooting images in industrial environments, inside and outside, then knowing the correct temperature is critical. Oh, many homes now use CFL type of lights, incandescent lights are becoming more difficult to purchase, those too project fluorescent light.

Many modern digital camera allow manual setting of degrees Kelvin. Of course one can chimp their camera LCD, but that 3 inch LCD is very inaccurate, it is a JPG rendering of the raw file, also doing so is time consuming. Using a color light meter one meters the light, sets that Kelvin number into the camera.

Color light meters are expensive, thus for the non-professional it may not be worth owning one. Yes, shooting in raw one can correct white balance, but that is not the best for the image. But for the professional, the best results come from capturing the color correctly in camera, then using post processing for tweaking, not correcting mistakes.

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Fluorescent lights are usually very green. We don't notice it with our eyes, as our brains auto-correct the white balance. The best fluorescent filter is the off switch on the wall, turn them off and use other lights -- strobes, sunlight, tungsten lights, etc.

there are filters for strobes and other lights that convert their nice light to the green crud that fluorescent produce. I've not heard of a filter that can fix the sick green to something useful. You can overpower them with flash, etc.

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I completely agree that the best "filter" is the switch on the wall...it's even more difficult nowadays because "fluorescent" lights can have numerous color casts...and they're often mixed together (e.g. "Daylight" tubes mixed with old-school ones, along with "warm" ones)...making it very, very difficult to balance with any kind of filter (lens or strobe). – djangodude Apr 29 '12 at 15:47

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