Life Science Solutions

Kodak Color Compensating Filters Magenta

Kodak color compensating filters are frequently used to fine-tune the color balance of tungsten-halogen microscope light sources for photomicrography with color films. These gelatin filters control color by absorbing different amounts of the red, green and blue parts of the visible light spectrum.

The visible absorption spectra for a set of magenta color compensating filters are illustrated above. These filters have principal absorption maxima at 375 (ultraviolet) and 550 (green) nanometers, and display minimum absorption in the blue (390 to 470 nanometers) and red (620 to 700 nanometers) visible light region.

Color compensating filters are labeled with a number to indicate their ability to absorb light. The most common densities are 05, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50, in which larger numbers denote denser (darker) filters. A typical filter designation code is given as:

CC50M

where

CC = color compensating filter
50 = filter nominal peak density
M = filter color (Magenta)

Nominal peak densities of magenta color compensating filters are listed in Table 1, along with the expected exposure increase in f-stops for this series of filters.

Magenta Filter Factors
Nominal
Peak
Density
Magneta
(Absorbs Green)
Exposure
Increase
in Stops
.025CC025M--
.05CC05M1/3
.10CC10M1/3
.20CC20M1/3
.30CC30M 2/3
.40CC40M2/3
.50CC50M 2/3
Table 1

Transmittance data as a function of wavelength is listed in Table 2 for the most common magenta color correction filter nominal peak densities.

KODAK Color Compensating Filters Magenta
Percent Transmittance
WaveLengthCC05MCC10MCC20MCC30MCC40MCC50M
40087.686.685.684.282.380.9
1088.287.786.685.784.683.6
2088.688.087.085.985.284.4
3088.788.086.985.684.483.6
4088.787.986.084.782.581.4
5088.687.584.982.880.078.1
6088.486.583.180.076.173.7
7087.885.280.876.471.368.0
8087.083.677.972.165.861.7
9086.081.874.467.060.055.0
50085.079.770.561.753.748.1
1083.877.566.756.547.741.6
2082.775.363.452.042.836.3
3081.873.760.548.639.031.9
4081.372.558.646.636.729.8
5081.272.258.046.036.029.1
6081.572.858.346.536.729.7
7082.574.660.549.840.232.3
8084.077.364.955.646.239.0
9085.880.870.663.354.948.7
60088.084.577.171.664.959.9
1089.387.082.279.274.970.7
2090.288.986.184.181.479.2
3090.690.088.787.486.084.5
4090.890.590.089.388.787.6
5091.090.790.590.290.089.7
6091.191.090.890.890.490.4
7091.291.291.091.090.790.7
8091.391.391.291.191.091.0
9091.491.491.491.391.391.3
70091.591.591.591.591.591.5
Table 2

The blue region of the spectrum is between 400 and 500nm. The green region is between 500 and 600nm, and the red region is between 600 and 700nm.

Determining the density of a color compensating filter first requires measuring the filter's density with respect to its complimentary color. For example, a red color compensating filter has a low density to red light but a higher density to blue and green light (which combine to form cyan, the complimentary color of red). To determine the density, measure the density of the filter to its own color of light (red light to a CC Red filter). In this example let us assume that red = 0.02. Next, measure the filter density to blue and green light (again, in this example assume green = 0.07 and blue = 0.08). The average of the green and blue readings is:

(0.7 + 0.8)/2 = 0.75

After the neutral density (filter's density to color of its own light) has been subtracted:

0.75 - 0.02 = 0.55

The remainder is 0.055, which is very close to the 0.05 value indicated for the CC05R filter.

Contributing Authors

Mortimer Abramowitz - Olympus America, Inc., Two Corporate Center Drive., Melville, New York, 11747.

Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.

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