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Messing with the Dramatic Tone filter

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by goldenlight, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    One of the first shoots I did with my E-P3 seemed a good opportunity to try the Dramatic Tone filter, which I had never had on a camera before. I'm still not sure if I like it and feel that it would certainly be easy to overuse it. No longer an issue for as I recently sold the E-P3 and reverted to an E-PL1. What do you think?

    Dramatic Tone filter
    E-P3    ---    30mm    f/8.0    1/640s    ISO 200

    Dramatic Tone filer, converted to B&W
    E-P3    ---    30mm    f/8.0    1/400s    ISO 200

    Without filter
    E-P3    ---    37mm    f/11.0    1/50s    ISO 200

    Dramatic Tone filter
    E-P3    ---    37mm    f/11.0    1/60s    ISO 200

    Dramatic Tone filter, converted to B&W
    E-P3    ---    37mm    f/11.0    1/60s    ISO 200
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I love the dramatic tone filter. I treat it like a good bottle of liquor. Just a little bit every once in awhile. SOmetimes when they turn out to gritty, I overlay an untreated same shot over it at 50% opacity.

    People put down the art filters, but they are just another form of processing.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    That's a great tip, thanks. :thumbup:
  4. dgorman47

    dgorman47 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    I'll have to try that overlay trick as well. Sounds useful. I used the dramatic tone alot the other day because all of my sunlight disappeared.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    When I first got my EP3 I tried and liked the Dramatic Tone filter a lot.. but after a few days, it kinda wore out on me.. I still use it, but rarely.. but it has it uses.. now if I want that effect, I process in Efex Pro..
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Yes, art filters aren't unique - they can all be replicated in pp software and with more control. However, they do provide a quick and convenient in-camera package but, as you say, they do need to be used sparingly once the novelty has worn off.
  7. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Agree with everyone else that Dramatic Filter is amazing but can easily be overused. I generally include one "Dramatic" filter with any set that I put on facebook after a trip, though, and my friend invariably "like" that one twice as much as any other. (Which may say more about my PP ability than the filter itself.)

    I have been using it for an extended project, and I like that by using the filter in camera I a)am sure that every photo is getting the exact same treatment and b) I have it in-camera to consider while composing.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I can see them as a quick and dirty solution, but for landscape type shots like those above they add a lot of distracting grain and banding in the cloud areas in particular. This can be controlled in post to a far greater degree - one of my toughest post-processing challenges was getting a panorama shot in Antarctica (seascape, lots of ice) that had come out underexposed by about 2/3s of a stop. Light wasn't ideal either, so needed/wanted to kick contrast. All of this, even with 5DII RAW files, meant quite a bit of potential for noise. Best solution for me was a combination of DxO Optic Pro (for the initial RAW conversion, cleanup and most adjustment) followed by stitching followed by a combination of Nik Software plugins in photoshop (although I could have done almost exactly the same with masks, Nik's local control stuff makes it easy).
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    The dynamic tone filter to me, seems to work best on cloudy days.
  10. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I've been toying with it...
    E-P3    ---    45mm    f/2.2    1/160s    ISO 200
  11. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah the dramatic tone works well for grey days, particularly where there's a splash of colour that you want to stand out.
  12. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    +1 ... I use it sometimes on grey days to make things pop some..
  13. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    I think it's a useful tool to have in the box but it does need using sparingly and with care. I've recently changed from an E-P3 back to an E-PL1 and the dramatic tone filter is one of the features I will miss the least.
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