Filter Recommedations???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by abuena, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. abuena

    abuena TPF Noob!

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    Can anyone recommend any types of filters to shoot with if I'm shooting people outside and I want the sky and sunlight to be somewhat dimmer than the subject?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Are you shooting digital or film? The only filters I ever really use, since going digital, is a circular polarizer.

    This isn't a matter of filters. You need to underexpose the background and use flash to light up the subject.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    A circular polarizer..sure, but also a graduated neutral density filter. The grad ND filter is great for landscapes particularly if you are shooting toward the light in a bright sky. It allows you to get the right colour and exposure in the sky, while bringing up detail and colour in the foreground land/water areas.

    A polarizer works best at right angles to the direction of the light in terms of producing better sky colours and deeper blues. A graduated ND filter works at any angle and improves exposure balance as well between the sky and the foreground.

    Close-up diopters that look like filters are also useful if you like to do some close-up work but not enough to spend the money on a macro lens. For experimentation purposes an enhancement filter or a split focus filter are worth considering.

    skieur
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good point about Grad filters (they don't necessarily have to be Neutral Density...I've got a great 'Tobacco grad')...they can help to knock down a bright sky and allow you to expose fro the darker tones.

    However, if you are shooting people (or any thing really) that crosses the horizon...the filter will darken part of the subject as well...which I why I don't like to use them anymore. In Photoshop, you can darken the sky without darkening the parts of your subject above the horizon.
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You are right. Other kinds of grad filters work well too. However your horizon problem is solvable.

    Cokin has a filter frame for a square graduated neutral density filter. You then simply slide the filter up or down to get the effect you want. It then becomes possible to work around horizon problems.

    In Photoshop you can darken the sky but you are dependent on the picture data from the original and the process can lead to noise creation.
    Of course darkening the sky can also become difficult at the horizon if you have trees or other items breaking up the sky. An on-camera graduated ND filter also enables you to bring up detail in the dark foreground without causing noise or other postprocessing degradation

    Software filter plug-ins are better than straight Photoshop in that you have more control at the horizon and can apply them in 16 bit,

    skieur
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Okay skieur, maybe you can convine me otherwise. The reason I was put off by the Cokin system was because the filters were made of plastic (and was told they were not precision ground). With that being said, why would I want to put something like that (assuming it's true) in front of a $300 lens, much less one that costs $1K. The diversity and simplicity of the Cokin system is endearing, but I think I would much rather have a screw-in piece of engineered glass for a filter. I nearly $h!+ my pants, but I forked out the $165USD for a 77mm B+W CPL and another <$100 for a Hoya ND. And may I add, they are awesome.
     
  7. The_Caper

    The_Caper TPF Noob!

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    Hi Mike:

    You say that since you have gone digital that you only use Circular Polarizer filters. Does anyone use UV filters for Digital SLR's or are UV filter not a requrirement anymore. UV filters for regular 35mm SLR's were an
    absolute must for not only UV ray reduction but protection of the front element of the lens as well.

    The big question I have is, can I or should I be using a UV filter on a Digital camera?


    Thank you in advance.

    Paul.
     
  8. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    Polarisor (Colour only).... Grey Grad/Nutral grad (2). ... Warm up (81A/B).

    That is it

    (To recreate the 70s try a Purple/green 6star grad) . Only put that in 'cause a friend of mine just go one in a magazine and we are trying to make up things you could use it for....?

    Suggestions please.....

    The best one so far ... is to put under an ash tray so it doesn't wobble....
     

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