what are gels for cameras?

1. what are they

2. what do you use them for

3. what do you need in order to be able to use them

4. how expensive are they

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    You're really getting into different photography issues, aren't you? Good for you! Are you taking a class or is this a hobby?

    In reply to your question on "gels"...

    1- They are a type of filter used to modify light. Way back when they actually used to be a gelatin. Now they're mostly polymers.

    2- You can use gels in a variety of ways. Some gels 'color correct' the light in images (as a replacement for or add-on to correcting white balance). If you've ever shot pictures that look too yellow (warm), or blue (cool) or even greenish (like around fluorescent lights), that's a situation where a gel can correct the light to look more like what your eye saw and not what the camera saw. Other gels can be used to create 'special effects' or 'moods' (you may want to shoot a background to look red and have a portrait subject in front of that colored background) or you may want to mix colors if you have multiple lighting sources you can filter with a gel - casting different colors in different places w/in the scene. Yet others can be used like a "neutral density' filter - that is, they cut light if you're throwing too much light on your subject and over-exposing it or blowing out its details. Polarizing gels help 'eliminate glare'.

    3- If you look online or in photo supplies catalogs you'll see there are different brands and styles of filters depending on how you plan to use them. I think the most common uses are to use gels in front of your flash (on camera or external flash) or if you're doing studio work, in front of the lights you're using in the studio - strobes or whatever. I don't do darkroom work, but they're used there too. You can also put gels in front of your camera's lens. You'll have to Google it to see the options suitable for you and your intended applications... Some manufacturers will provide and/or sell sample books of gels that let you try the various colors.

    3- Gels can be very pricey. Can't really quote you a price since I don't know your app (see my #3...). But after you do your own Google research and figure out which manufacturers make the types of gels you need, check their website(s) to see if you you can get inexpensive or free sample books of their gels to try out before you buy pricey individual gels.

    Good luck! Balancing colors and light can be tricky in photography. Have fun experimenting...

    Source(s): Photog
  • 10 years ago

    Gels are used on flashguns to alter the colour of the light they emit to match the colour of the ambient light. This makes the getting white balance correct easier (or even possible).

    They are cheap to buy. £10.00 will get you a set of 40 to fit the normal flashgun size.

    There is no need to use colour filters on digital cameras as any effect they could produce is better handled in post processing.


  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    what the other person said, gels are generally used on lights not on the lens, filters like polarisers you can buy off ebay or at camera stores, coloured cellophane works ok as gels

  • 10 years ago

    1- Little colored peices of celophane/plastic.

    2- Change the color of light of your flashes/strobes.

    3- Strobe or flash.

    4- Not very. You can get a demo kit with samples of a bunch of colors for about 20$

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