Lens - Filters - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Autochrome Filter

T.K. Grant



Image of Autochrome Filter

Colour correction filter.

  • Pale yellow filter and a clear glass screen. 6 x 6 cm. Box.
  • Two yellow glass screens, one marked Aesculin. 3 x 3 cm. Box.

Address on box 89 Gt. Russell St. London. W.C. 1912 - 1927.

Dufay Filter

Dufay-Chromex Ltd



Colour correction filter. Gelatine film, unmounted, in packet. 6 x 6 cm.

Address on box Dufay-Chromex. Elstree.

Dufay-Chromex distributed Dufay products from 1936 or early 1937.

References & Notes:
AP 9/6/1937.

Thames Colour Plate Filter

Thames Colour Plate Co. Ltd



Colour correction filter, lemon yellow. Gelatine film, unmounted, in packet. 6 x 6 cm. The instructions suggest placing the filter between the lens elements.

Address on box Thames Colour Plate. 356 High Holborn. c. 1908 - 1914.

Agfa Colour Plate Filter

Aktien Gesellschaft für Anilin Fabrikation



Colour correction filter. Three filters (gelatine film, mounted between glass) together with holder. Marked 20 (normal, daylight), 21 (strong, winter sun) and 22 (weak, early morning). Box.

Agfa Colour Plate Filter

Details as above.

Omnicolore Filter

J. Jougla


Colour correction filter. Two filters, gelatine film, mounted between glass, one marked Aesculin, 6 x 6 cm. Box.

Dufay Dioptichrome Filter

R. Guilleminot, Boespflug et Cie



Colour correction filter. 6 x 6 cm. Instruction sheet. Box.

The box has the agents address: Autotype Co. 74 New Oxford St. The Dufay Dioptichrome process dates to between 1909 and around 1914.

Ducar Autochrome Filter

Carl Zeiss



Two colour correction filters for Autochrome incorporating a negative lens that displaces the image to compensate for the thickness of the glass plate. For 12 cm lenses. Push-in fitting, 28.5 mm diameter.

Serial Number:
18835, 17055 .

Ensign Isochromatic Screen No.1B

Houghtons Ltd



Image of Ensign Isochromatic Screen No.1B

Correction filter. Dyed glass, 6x exposure value, push-on mount. Case.

References & Notes:
Ensign Handbook, p. 69. BJA 1907, p. 344.

Ilford Isochromatic Screen. No. 1


Britannia Works Co. Ltd



Correction filter. Glass filter, brown/yellow, holder and clamp which is screwed to the front of the camera. Case.

Address on case: Britannia Works Co. Ltd. Ilford. Reverse of case states that the makers are: W. Tylar. 57 High St. Aston. Birmingham.

References & Notes:
BJA 1898, p. 523. BJA 1900, p. 519.

Imperial Orthochrome Filter

Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd



Correction filter. Dyed glass. 2x exposure factor. Case.

Burchett's Colour Screen


J.H. Dallmeyer Ltd



Three filters - 36mm, 43 mm, 47 mm screw fitting in red Morocco covered boxes.

Made in three series: Light yellow/green; Light olive green, used in conjunction with a light amber filter; Dark green. The claim was that these filters gave a truer rendering. The filter could be screwed to the rear element of the lens or pushed into the lens hood.

References & Notes:
BP 24487/1893. BJA 1901, p. 1534. The Photogram 1894, p. 116.

Contrast and Other Filters

Yellow Filter
. J.H. Dallmeyer Ltd, London. 2x exposure factor. Box.

Yellow Filter
. Ross Ltd, London. Gelatine between glass. Screw-in mount. Box.

Address: 31 Cockspur St.

Gelbglasfilter III hell
. Carl Zeiss, Jena. Push-in mount. Carl Zeiss produced filters that pushed on to the outside of the lens and also some, like this example, that pushed into the inside of the lens rim, a velvet band grips the filter to the lens.

Graduated Yellow Filter
. Aktien Gesellschaft für Anilin Fabrikation, Berlin. Spring fixing to lens, 45 x 60 mm. Glass is marked Agfa. In boxes.

Image of

, Augsburg. Two 60 x 60 mm filters. Gelbfilter No. 3, orange filter 5A. Box.

Retailer's label: Walter Talbot, Berlin.

, Augsburg. Two 45 x 45 mm filters. Orange filter No. 4, orange filter 5A. Box.

Retailer's label: Walter Talbot, Berlin.

Graduated Yellow Filter
. Rhaco, Frankfurt a.m.. Spring fixing to lens. Case.

Image of Graduated Yellow Filter

Graduated Yellow Filter
. Sanger-Shepherd & Co., London. Metal holder with 2" x 3" glass filter. Push-on fitting, 35 mm diameter. Box.

Graduated Yellow Filter
. Metal holder with 2" x 3" glass filter. Push-on fitting, 37 mm diameter.

The finish is similar to Sanger-Shepherd products.

Image of Graduated Sky Filter

Graduated Sky Filter
. Verax G.M.B.H., Dresden. Metal holder with 1 ½" x 2 ¾" glass filter. Spring fitting, c. 34 mm diameter. Box.

Contrast Filters
. Three filters - Beta, Gamma, K111 - screw-in mounts. Case.

Kodak Sky Filter
. Kodak Ltd, London. Graduated yellow filters - No 8 size. No 20, in tin. No 22, in tin, instructions.

Ilford Colour Filter
. Ilford Ltd, Ilford. Alpha, in blue leather case. Beta, in red leather case. Gamma, in red leather case. Gamma, film only, in packet. Micro 5, film only, in packet, instructions. All unmounted.

Ilford Colour Filter
. Ilford Ltd, Ilford. Micro 5, 36 mm clamp-on mount. Case.

Filter Set
. R.F. Hunter Ltd, London. Set of bayonet mount filters for the Rolleiflex. Pale yellow, yellow, orange, red, green.

UV Filter
. Marked RM on the rim and box. The glass is made to be removable allowing different filters to be fitted, the odd way of achieving this was to grip the glass by thumb and forefinger and pull it out through a slot against a spring. Box.

HW Filter
. Ilford Ltd, Ilford. Blue/green colour correction filter for use with panchromatic plates in half-watt lighting. The exposure factor was 6x. Gelatin, in packet, instructions.

Kodak Series VI Filter Adapter
. Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester. Series VI adapter with a portrait lens. The adapter consists of a filter holder and a retaining ring. Interchangeable filters and close-up lenses were supplied in slim metal mounts. The adapter was bulky and quite heavy.

Kodak Adjustable Filter Holder
. Kodak Ltd, London. Spring mounted filter holder for 2" diameter Wratten light filters, with yellow filter, box.

Handcross Universal Filter Holder and Lens Hood
. c. 1948. Neville Brown & Co. Ltd, London. Spring mounted filter holder and lens hood, with yellow filter, box.

References & Notes:
BJA 1949, p. 244.

Tricolour Set

c. 1904

Sanger-Shepherd & Co.



Image of Tricolour Set

Three filters - Red, Green, Blue - in a sliding holder to attach to the front of a lens. 1 ⅝" square. Box.

Address on box: 5, 6, 7 Gray's Inn Passage. Red Lion Square.

This is the smaller of the two sizes of three-colour filter sets made by Sanger-Shepherd.

References & Notes:
BJA 1905, p. 1331.

Wratten Filter Set M

Kodak Ltd



Image of Wratten Filter Set M

Twelve filters - A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, K1, 45A, 78, 96. 2" square. Box.

Address on box: Kodak Ltd. (Wratten Division).

These were intended for photomicrography and visual use with a microscope.

Kodacolor Filter


Eastman Kodak Co.



Image of Kodacolor Filter

To fit an f1.9 Cine-Kodak lens. In case, box.

This is three-colour filter for the Kodacolor lenticular process (16 mm cine film) used over the taking lens, a similar lens was used over the projection lens. The filter comprises three glass strips coloured red, green and blue.

Further Information:
The process is described in Coote, History of Colour Photography.

Herotar Polarising Filter

c. 1937

Carl Zeiss



Polarising filter. 37 mm diameter.

Serial Number:
6478 .

Bernotar Polarising Filter

Carl Zeiss



Polarising filter. In leather case.

When introduced Zeiss polarising filters were known as Herotar.

Johnson's Filter Indicator

Johnsons of Hendon Ltd



For filter 2XY. With leaflet.

This is a plastic dial similar to the popular exposure calculators of the time. The subject is set on the rear of the dial, the front then shows the effect the filter will have. Suitable for one filter colour only.

Focal Filter Chart

Focal Press



Calculator showing the exposure increase for different filters and films. Tables showing the effect of filters.

Optically filters were either made from dyed-in-the-mass glass of from a coloured film usually mounted between glass. Filters were usually placed in front of the lens but can be mounted behind the lens or between the lens elements. The term 'screen' was often used rather than filter. The main types are:

These are pale to medium yellow in colour to correct for the over sensitivity at the blue end of the spectrum of orthochromatic plates. Often sold as 'isochromatic screens'. Special filters were sold for colour plates such as Autochrome. The Zeiss Ducar correction filter for Autochrome or Agfa colour plates incorporated a negative lens to displace the image further from the lens to compensate for the emulsion being behind the plate, the filter was put in place after focusing.1 Colour correction filters for early colour processes were produced in different strengths for different times of the day.

Used to modify the tones of a black and white negative. Yellow and green filters, similar to correction types, were used quite early, orange became popular in the late 1930s. Graduated 'sky' filters - part yellow, part clear - became popular in the 1920s but were available earlier.2

Three-Colour Process
Filter sets for producing separation negatives.

Colour Balance
To correct for the colour temperature of the light source. Blue filters were produced for using panchromatic films in half-watt lighting. Later pale blue and amber filters were used with colour film to correct colour casts and for using, for example, tungsten balanced film in daylight.

These reduce the transmission of ultra violet light, of use when photographing distant scenes where ultra violet light is especially scattered resulting in lower contrast.

These pass light polarised in one plane while largely eliminating light polarised at right angles to that plane. Originally used to control reflections from non-metallic surfaces. Commercially available from the late 1930s.

Filter Comparisons (approximate)

IlfordWratten/KodakUltrasorbanZeiss-IkonCarl Zeiss
Pale yellowAlpha, 104K1201G1L
YellowK1 ½
YellowISO, 105K2, 8202G2D
Deep YellowDelta, 109K3, G, 15300G3
Pale Yellow-UVAviol, 102200G0
Yellow/GreenGamma, 402G.R 5, GR50VG4
Pale GreenBeta, 401X1, 11601
GreenX2602G.R 10, GR55
OrangeMicro5, 202EG4
Pale Red203, 204A, 25901R10RG1
Deep RedF, 29
UVQ, 8051a
TricolourA B C
Infra-red20787, 88a, 91R20, R30RG8
Light BlueHS, 301H
BlueHW, 403H801, 802B5, B40
Graduated Yellow500VG6
Graduated Green700

K3, used with panchromatic plates, was obsolete around 1932. X1 and X2 were introduced around 1932.

Visual Filters

Filters were also produced for visual use. These appeared at quite an early period, Wratten & Wainwright produced a Monochromatic Viewing filter by 1912.

MV Monochromatic Vision
Shows the scene without colour with the differences in brightness as would be seen by a non-colour sensitive emulsion. Dark yellow.

PV Panchromatic Vision
Shows the scene as seen by panchromatic emulsion. Used in conjunction with a contrast filter to judge its effect. Purple in colour.

References & Notes:
BJA 1902, pp. 742, 885. BJA 1909, p. 647. BJA 1948, p. 117. BJA 1957, p. 431. Kodak Museum Cat.
Filter Comparisons: Westminster Cat. 1939, p. 23. Minit&Cine, 1938, p. 249. ZI Cat. 1937, p. 98. Contax Photography (1938), p. 46. Johnsons Year Book 1956, p. 27. Ilford Plates & Films, p. viii. Phot. Journal 7/1932, p. x.

[1] The increase was ⅔ that of the thickness of the plate. BP 23738/1907. BJA 1909, p. 647. BJA 1913, p. 119.

[2] BJA 1901, p. 257.

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