Over the past couple of months I have been experimenting with 84.5mm filters new range of Analog Rainbow Filters, in particular the California Sunset with scratches, Light Hippie Rainbow and Spring Meadow but also within the range is Purple Haze and Deep Purple, all of which are available as plain, cracked or scratched in white or black to create whatever abstract look you wish with the filters.
The filters cost anything from £17-24 depending on the style or effect applied and as usual with 84.5mm filters they are produced using the usual material CR-39 material making them tough, durable and highly scratch resistant. Although these filters are for fun they still remain consistant with the range so you can rely on any of the line to not break with ease.
Some might argue this is rather expensive and might not see the idea with these filters as some could argue you can make the effects in post production but where is the fun in that?
These filters are a lot more than just a filter, it's about having fun and getting back to basics. Less is more and all that.
Less time spent on the computer editing, more time out playing in the sun with a camera.
As I previously mentioned, these filters are produced using CR-39 resin which is tough and durable which is just as well, because my first outing with the filters they were caught in a big storm on a trip to Snowdonia, North Wales. The weather was that severe the trip was cancelled and I abandoned ship before it got any worse.
With heavy rain and strong winds whipping up dust and sand in to the front of the filters it's reassuring that they will last and can survive this. Having gone away and cleaned away the sand off the filters and any watermarks, the filters still remain brand new like they have never been used. So just because the filters are cheaper than most other brands doesn't mean they are not good. Money doesn't mean everything.
Out of the three filters my favourite and easiest to see the results is the California Sunset. It is one of the darkest filters in the range so the colours really show and create some great abstract imagery. Coupled with the X-Stopper or a 3 Stop ND you can create some great colours with so ICM.
The Spring Meadow and Light Hippie Rainbow are both a lot lighter and at times and using the filters on darker backgrounds I found the colour rendition weak. This could also be down to my camera and the white balance in auto correction being to good for itself. As with the California Sunset style, when coupled with the ND to create more abstract pieces the filters really come in to their own element and create some interesting colours, patterns and effects. Better still is this style can result in no post production so you can go straight from camera to whereever with ease, which I find highly refreshing.
In experimenting with the filters on a variety of lens, I found wide angle worked best. Around the 20-24mm mark which could capture the whole length of the filters colour range. Not that you can't use a telephoto/zoom lens. Past 85mm I found it took the centre of the filters and with the scratched effect on the California Sunset I could avoid this area and just keep the rich tones from the filter.
The weakest of the filters I found was the Spring meadow. The colour range is limiting in where I could use minus the obvious green filters and blue skies, this said this filter worked great for summer days on wonders in the countryside, the green and blues really boosted the vibrancy. Rather than creating abstract colours like the other filters in the line, think of this one as a tobacco filter or warming filter like you could use for strengthening sunsets.
As with the Spring Meadow filter, the Light Hippie Rainbow can be weak at times but both work best in brighter situations. As I found with my recent visit to the Brecon Beacons.
The bright sunrise over Pen y Fan with the cloud inversion was the perfect conditions for both filters and the subtle rainbow colours really came out to make a rather pleasing and happy image.
I've been pleased with the results from the filters and what I have enjoyed most about the filters is the lack of post production required with the range.
They're a lot of fun to play around with and for more abstract pieces coupling it with an ND filter really sets the filters in to their own. I will be interested in using the Purple Haze filter in ICM and seeing what results can be produced.
These filters are all about fun and getting back to basics, whether you use them on a DSLR, CSC or mobile phone. They are your 'Instagram' filters essentially.