Filters vs Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sarah Elizabeth, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    Sarah Elizabeth TPF Noob!

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    What are the benefits of using a filter as opposed to using a program such as Lightroom to alter/enhance my photos?

    Thanks for any answers! :D
     
  2. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    You're always better off getting it right on the camera. The more "correct" your image is straight off the camera, the less you have to mess around with it in post-processing programs. To mimic the effect of some filters, you might have to heavily massage the image in whatever PP program you're using, and heavily massaged images sometimes lose their natural look or just don't quite look right.
     
  3. chente922

    chente922 TPF Noob!

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    exactly... specially on filters that enhanced certain colors... it'll take quite more time on post-processing software... always try to get shot your pictures the best possible from the camera
     
  4. Dnohla vopi

    Dnohla vopi TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but you could draw a parallel with shooting in sepia mode. I hate it when my girlfriend does that. She says that she likes the sepia shots more, but you just limit yourself by doing that.

    What I'm trying to say, if you get a good standard color photo, you can mimic any kind of filter with PS or lightroom or whatever. Once you took it with a filter, that's it. No going back
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    That's not true at all. It may be true for certain situations, but certainly not for all.

    Try taking a sunset or sunrise photo without a grad-ND filter and let me know how it turns out. Those types of shots can grossly exceed the dynamic range of any digital sensor and even film, and they'll always look far better with grad ND filters. Even with a 2-stop grad ND I still have to do massaging in photoshop with the shadow/highlight filter or in DxO to bring up the pretty much dark foreground. Without the filter, doing the same would be pretty much impossible with a JPG, and probably even beyond RAW.

    Another example is a circular polarizer for some landscape or scenic shots, especially mid-day when you have a ton of light bouncing around from every which direction. A CP filter will help a ton and I have no idea how you'd even begin to try to mimic a CP filter in photoshop. Good luck with that. :blushing:

    Some filters are pretty pointless on digital, like an 81A warming filter. On digital you can just trim out your white balance to get the same effect, or even adjust it afterwards in post-processing very easily. A UV filter doesn't really do anything besides protect the lens. On B&W film, you did need different colored filters depending on what you were shooting. On digital those are pretty pointless too unless you're going for some special effect. One filter that isn't pointless is a regular neutral density filter. If you're trying to get a nice flowing waterfall shot during the day on a tripod, a 4-stop ND filter is indispensible. I don't think you can photoshop a fast shutter speed waterfall photo into a longer smooth flowing waterfall shot. :lol:

    If you're talking about stuff like color vs B&W vs sepia, just shoot RAW and then you can keep processing the same sensor data in a lot of different ways. You don't really need a real "photographic" filter for that sort of stuff. Even my Nikon D80 has built-in B&W processing filters. The red or especially the orange one tends to give a much nicer look for portraits than when left alone. I don't shoot like that enough to actually warrant buying a real filter though, which might look better.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't use the in-camera filters, for the reason you stated - there's no going back. But - optical filters (you know, the kind that screw onto your lens...) do have a purpose.

    I try to get a photo how I want it in-camera as much as possible. I just don't think it looks the same in PS. IR filters for example - I've seen a lot of photoshopped images made to look like IR, but it never looks as good as an actual IR photo. CPL filters too. I'm doubtful that you could photoshop a picture to take the glare off of the surface of water the way that a CPL filter can. Maybe you could...but I think it would be lots of work. Why do all that when you can just screw a filter on and be done with it?

    ND filters can't be done in PS either. PS can't change your exposure times.

    -Edit-
    I guess Mav said pretty much the same thing...
     
  7. dbrandon

    dbrandon TPF Noob!

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    Couldn't agree more :thumbup:
     
  8. Dnohla vopi

    Dnohla vopi TPF Noob!

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    Of course you can't mimic a ND filter in PS. But she's talking about lightroom filters/effects. and this is what your lightroom interface looks like:

    [​IMG]

    This might be just me, but I don't see Neutrla Density on the list
     
  9. dbrandon

    dbrandon TPF Noob!

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    Wouldn't the reason for that be:


    The lightroom presets are great, but a lot of them don't really correspond to 'filters' as such.
     
  10. Dnohla vopi

    Dnohla vopi TPF Noob!

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    OK. Let me put it this way. when I see the post from the start of the thread, this is the story that rolls trough my mind:

    Sarah Elizabeth bought lightroom, she thought the effects were cool, but also she heard she can screw a piece of blue glass on her lens instead of using lightroom and, of course, she's curious why she would do that if she could get the same thing with one click of the mouse.

    Sorry if I got misunderstood
     
  11. dbrandon

    dbrandon TPF Noob!

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    Yes, you're quite right. I was just pointing out that the lightroom presets arn't really the equivalent to using filters. Some filters can be quite effectively mimiced, and if the results are how you want them to look, why not save the money (providing you already have the software ! :D) ?

    But some filters, as Mav and O||||||||O said, simply cannot be replicated in PP, so these would be well worth getting (if you have the use for them).
     
  12. Dnohla vopi

    Dnohla vopi TPF Noob!

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    agreed
     

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