Producing radiographs of good diagnostic quality while keeping the dose as low as possible is the goal of the dental radiographer. Rare earth compound filters reduce the do se, but few clinical studies have evaluated the diagnostic yield. The diagnostic quality of a samarium compound filter used with E-speed film was compared with that of a conventional aluminum filter used with E-speed film. Bitewing projections with the test and standard filters were exposed for 39 patients. Agreement was evaluated with kappa statistics. The results indicated a substantial level of agreement between the two filter types. The combination of samarium compound filter and E-speed film appears to be a good mechanism for achieving dose reduction without compromising the diagnostic yield of the film.