filters

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by messier, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. messier

    messier TPF Noob!

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    im buying a polerizing, uv, and red b&w contrast filters for my nikon n65 28-90mm camera. ive noticed alots of other filters. would you recommend any with an explaination of what they do.
     
  2. toxic_stars

    toxic_stars TPF Noob!

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    make sure your polar. filter is a "cicular" not linear.

    i like the star filters, but thats me.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    You should do well with those ones for a while. I'm of the opinion that people should not use filters at first. First they should learn what they can do without the filters and them only get/use the filters when they find the limitations of their current equipment and see that filters will help them.

    As for other filters, it depends on what you like to shoot. Soft focus and color correction filters would be good for portraits. A warming filter can be good for portraits and landscape shots. A split filter can be very helpful for landscape photos. A star filter can make a nice effect for night shots or candle lights. There are hundreds of filters to choose from.
     
  4. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    Go for a warm up filter, it does what it says on the tin, makes the scene look "Warmer" and brings out the colour.

    Also, soft focus filters are nice, and can be great at weddings or portraits...aswell as perhaps scenery?

    What system you got? Cokin?
     
  5. Shinnentai

    Shinnentai TPF Noob!

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    Expanding on what Toxic-Stars said about linear vs. circular polarizers:

    You only need a circular polarizer if you're planning on relying on your camera's autofucus feature. If you preffer to manually focus, or if your camera is strictly manual, you're better off buying a linear polarizer. There is no end result (or in-use) difference between the two. They do exactly the same thing, and work exactly the same way, the only difference is in the layout of the microcrystalline bands in the filter coating.

    Linear polarizers confuse autofucusing systems, causing them to focus in and out perpetually without ever "locking" onto anything in frame (the autofocus wants to focus on the linear crystals in the filter). The crystals in a circular polarizer follow a curved pattern, and so the autofocus ignores them. This means *absolutely nothing* as far as your exposure goes, it's just for the benefit of the autofucusing hardware.

    Circular polarizers, however, are nearly twice the price of linear ones, so don't shell out for one if you're going to be focusing manually anyway.

    As far as recomendations go, I'd say pick up filters only an "as needed" basis while you're learning. The polariser is the only really universal "must have". Research and familiarize yourself up front with what different filters do and can do by reading and asking around, and let that info hibernate until you need it. If you have an idea for a photo that you know you'll need a certain filter for, then get it. Otherwise you're just wieghing youself down early with extra kit.

    A few extra tips:
    Some filter types can be easaly improvised. Star filters are just a kindergarden-simple defraction effect, and can be made simply by lightly abrading a piece of clear plastic in a criscrossing pattern. Very nice soft-focus effects are possible in a number of ways, from lightly spraying a piece of clear plastic with clear satin enamel (check hobby shops for model building supplies, or even the paint center at Home Depot), to simply huffing on the lense before snapping the picture. A sheet of clear acrylic from a Home Depot type place will furnish enough "blank" filters for a Cokin type-system to last you a good long while at a fraction of the price of a single prefab filter.

    Party stores and florists will have clear colored mylar for use as wrapping that can be used, and any good copy place will enable you to print a sheet of whatever color their (or your) graphics program can create onto overhead trasparancy films.

    If you're using a digital camera, you can get around using color filters alltogether by exploiting the manual white balance adjustment option. Just use a color card instead of a white card to set the white balance. The result will be a filter effect of the complimentary opposite of your chosen color card (i.e. use a blue card for a red filter effect, yellow for green, etc.). A ten dollar book of double-sided scrapbooking paper can do the work of hundreds of dollars worth of color filters.

    Have fun!
     
  6. messier

    messier TPF Noob!

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    tks for all the info. as far as the polarizer i purchased was a circular.
     
  7. CaliBoy

    CaliBoy TPF Noob!

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    does anyone have any opinions on Omega filters
     
  8. walter23

    walter23 TPF Noob!

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    That doesn't seem quite right to me. A circular polarizer has the same construction as a linear polarizer, but it contains an additional element (a "quarter-wave plate") behind the linear polarizer that converts the light to the circularly polarized form. Forget about how this actually works, I don't half understand it myself. Something about shifting the phase of half of the polarized light by 90 degrees. Not sure how, optical physics is something I only vaguely remember from a distant X-ray crystallography course...

    Anyway, the reason circular polarizers are usually used with autofocus cameras is that linear polarized light can cause interference with the autofocus system. I believe this is because polarized light, under some conditions, is not reflected normally from a mirror. There might be polarizing elements in the autofocus system too, possibly the partially reflective SLR main mirror. In any case, it's not a matter of focusing on crystals in the filter, it's just that polarized light can't reach the autofocus sensor for some reason and thus it fails. This can also reportedly cause problems with metering if the light levels hitting the meter aren't right.

    But for some reason, I can use a linear polarizer just fine with my elan 7n. This might be partially due to the large lattitude of film (problems with metering won't be so apparent), but I've never had a problem with autofocus either, under any conditions that I've used the polarizer... and in all orientations. I guess the specific design of this camera makes the old linear polarizer problem irrelevant.
     
  9. airgunr

    airgunr TPF Noob!

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    Good suggestions and comments by all and I agree. The main ones that I have are the Circular Polarizing, UV and a warming filter.

    I have recently added a Graduated Neutral Desity filter. I've actually just got it so I'm waiting for an appropriate subject to try it out on.
     
  10. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    messier along with the filters...ive noticed that, back in the day when i had a n65, the 50mm f1.8 lens was my baby. it was soo sharp. this might take you to the next level as well.

    good suggestions on filters everyone!

    md
     

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