A Warming Lens Filter vs a Warm Filter in Photoshop – Which is Better?

A lens filter can help you get images right in camera, but do they work as well as Photoshop filters?

There’s no doubt about the fact that programs like Lightroom, Capture One, and Photoshop have changed the photography world, but are the changes always for the better? The guys over at NegativeFeedback recently started applying a warming filter to their images in Photoshop, and for the most part the effect was liked. After thinking about things, and after doing a little research, a decision was made to buy a warming lens filter to see if the effect from the analog filter would be better than its digital counterpart.

After buying a Leica film based camera a decision was made to only run black and white film through it, but NegativeFeedback decided that after trying the warming filter in Photoshop on some of his color images in Photoshop he needed to go back on his word. After buying the warming lens filter, he rummaged through some draws and found a roll of Lomography F2 400 color film which he promptly loaded into his Leica.

The test was simple. Go out with the Leica and the warming lens filter and shoot two frames of the same image; one with the filter on the lens, and one with the filter off. Pretty straightforward. When the shoot was done, all that was left to do was get the images into Photoshop to compare how the lens filter looked in comparison to the warming filter in Photoshop.warming lens filter

The results are actually pretty amazing. Photoshop does a really good job at mimicking what the real lens filter can do, and as stated in the video, it’s about 80 to 90 percent there when compared to the analog lens filter. The digital filter seems to have more of an affect on whites in the image than the lens filter does, but overall I think both images look great.

I am a firm believer at getting things done in camera as much as possible though, so personally I would opt to use a lens filter over a digitally applied one. Check out the video from NegativeFeedback below. It’s short and offers some great insights into using filters overall.

How do you feel about the results of the test? Would you spend money on the filter, or are the results from the Photoshop filter good enough for you? Let us know in the comment section below.