Filters. Which one?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Polyphony, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to decide what next to purchase, a circular polarizer or graduated neutral density. I shoot outdoor scenery/landscapes/nature most often. I know that filters can cost quite a bit for quality ones so I'm only looking to buy one right now. I will definitely own both in the future. I like the ND because I hate blowing the sky out in my landscapes. I also love clouds that pop out. I'm not EXACTLY sure if the polarizer is much different. I know what it does and how it works but it looks like it functions the same: it brings out the sky and increases contrast between the clouds and sky. It also reduces glare if I'm shooting the ocean (which I do often). Help me decide or even throw me a different suggestion. Thanks.
     
  2. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I vote polarizer, I never owned a graduated neutral density filter. I did find a ND filter in my old camera bag and don't remember using it, must have bought it for a special shot or something. Of course never really using one I really don't know how valuable it might be.

    I recently bought a polarizer for my new setup and forgot how it made the sky pop. Dramatic difference in both the color of the sky and the details in the clouds. But it depends on how well it works depending on the angle of the light you are filtering. ND filters only reduce the amount of light going into the lens, GND does it to a varying degree.

    I think you'll get more use out of a polarizer.
     
  3. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    A polarizer is a better general purpose filter, IMO. It'll give you the affect of a 2x neutral density filter, as well as cut glare, increase contrast of the sky and clouds (in some situations), etc. The only real limitation with a polarizer is that they're not of much use at really wide angles. Since a polarizer depends on the angle of the light source (in most cases, the sun) to the lens, a really wide angle sky shot can come out uneven with a polarizer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  4. flyingember

    flyingember TPF Noob!

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    I would get a polarizer for the ocean use if you are going to buy one. I can see light bouncing off it weirdly.
     
  5. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    +1 polarizer.
     
  6. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Those graduated ND filters are so obvious. Seldom does the horizon form a perfectly straight line, except at sea or in the plains.

    Why does everyone want to do landscapes? I sure as hell don't. I like to photograph rusty school buses.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    That's why the soft-edge graduated ND was invented...the transition is not "so obvious". Clearly, you're out of your depth here,discussing this as if only the hard-edge ND existed. And yes P-P, we know about your loathing and dismissive attitudes in regard to landscape photography. Maybe next time P-P, you could contribute a useful answer instead of yet another useless, negative answer that mocks the OP's area of interest.
     
  8. PJL

    PJL TPF Noob!

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    Do you really have to try to turn every thread you "contribute" to into a fight thread by adding your snarky, holier-than-thou comments? The guy just wanted feedback on filters, not your personal ruminations on the value of landscape photography.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Should we start a thread with "I like landscape photography because ..."
     
  10. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    I can tell even when they are very gradual. It's obvious.
     
  11. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    My attitude toward landscape photography (utter contempt) is irrelevant here. Those filters are obvious to me.
     
  12. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Can you see them here?
    Nick Brandt : Photography
    Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and show us.
     

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