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I am using a film SLR camera (Nikon N6006), and the film that I have right now is daylight film (Kodak UltraMax).

If I understand correctly, using a blue filter will mitigate the color issues that occur when using daylight film indoors under artificial lighting (fluorescent and LED). An answer to a different question on this site says that the Tiffen 80 series is the blue filter that I need, which matches what I've read about this issue on other sites.

However, as mentioned in that post, Tiffen offers a few variations on the 80 filter. I'd like to buy one of those filters, but I'm having an bit of trouble figuring out which one I need. According to Wikipedia, there are four types of 80 filters: 80A, 80B, 80C, and 80D. I found the filters on Amazon and Tiffen's website but could not find useful information there. (Google was not much more help, either.)

I'm guessing that there is no single "correct" answer because there are probably a lot of variables that affect this choice: the Kelvin temperature of the light that I'll use to take pictures, the film, and (possibly?) the lens and camera that I'm using. So unless I'm guessing wrong and there is one filter to rule them all, how do I figure out which filter to use? Do I need to measure the indoor lighting that I have to find a Kelvin value to match to the filters? (And, if so, how do I do that?)

tl;dr: How do I figure out which type (or types) of the Tiffen 80 filter (80A-D) to buy to avoid yellow indoor pictures?

2 Answers 2

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You mention fluorescent and LED light, and then seem to bundle them up together as if they are the same. That's not exactly correct. The 80-series of filters are meant for correcting colour when using daylight-balanced film under tungsten lighting. If you are shooting under fluorescent light, you might actually need a FL-D filter (a purple filter, to counteract the green hue of fluorescent tubes).

The filter you need depends on the exact colour/temperature of the lighting. Daylight-balanced film is "expecting" to be used under 5500K light. The Wikipedia article you link to shows the temperature shift for each of the 80 filters. If you wanted to try to do it more precisely, you would measure the light with a colour meter.

All the 80 filters are pretty similar, with 80A having the strongest effect/change.

  • 80A for correct colour under household tungsten bulbs
  • 80B for correct colour under tungsten studio Photoflood lighting
  • 80C for correct colour under tungsten Photopearl lighting

As Alan says, with colour negative film, you don't need to be exact. But the filter can be helpful to bring your colour into the right ballpark. Don't forget the filter factor, and the consequent slower shutter speeds needed.

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  • Thank you! You answered the question that I asked, but also included a lot of helpful information that I didn't know to ask for!! I asked about different types of lighting because my parents (and in-laws) use different types of bulbs than I do, and I'd like to be able to shoot everywhere. I'll probably buy the 80B or C if I only get one filter, so that I don't overcorrect + slow down my shutter speed too much. And avoid shooting in fluorescent altogether if I don't also have a purple FL-D. Thanks again! :)
    – MTL
    Aug 2 at 1:21
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    One other consideration which I forgot to mention... you could always just shoot a tungsten-balanced film like Cinestill 800T instead of using a filter. But then you have a different problem - in my experience, the film doesn't give great results in daylight, producing a cold blue/green cast.
    – osullic
    Aug 2 at 13:21
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One upon a time we mainly loaded black & white negative film. Upon occasion we loaded color slide film. Slide film came in different flavors. Type D for working under daylight conditions. Type A for working in the studio with tungsten lamps. Type C when working with clear flashbulbs filled with bundle of aluminum threads. Type D when working with clear flashbulbs that featured zirconium.

We likely worked with just one camera pre-loaded, so we were forced to fill our gadget bag with various correction filters. Best was to load tungsten B film and covert with a salmon (amber) 85A so we work in daylight.

Now you want to expose a negative color (print film) under tungsten lamps. OK, no filter necessary. Color Print film yields a negative image that’s not much to look at. From these we produce positive prints. When we invert color negatives to positive prints, we rely on software that usually handles this task quite well.

Now color print film is likely a D type film however, some formula resulted in a film half-way between a D and B emulsion. Working under the believe your film is a D type, you would mount a blue correction filter. 80A for 3400K studio lamps. 80B for 3200K (movie bar lamps). 80C for clear flashbulb 3800K and 80D for zirconium (can’t remember their color temperature).

Again, I don’t think you need a correction filter, correct using your imaging software.

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  • Thank you!! Your answer includes a lot of very helpful information, and I appreciate the historical background as well :) ...I don't develop film myself (not yet, anyway), and in the past I've gotten some very yellow pictures back from the photo lab (and I don't always get negatives, depending on whose service I use) ...I have been able to correct those yellow pictures in GIMP, but I'd rather not need to correct them if it can be avoided.
    – MTL
    Aug 2 at 1:20

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