have I got the right idea here?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Heretotherephoto, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    I am looking at an ND grad filter for some of my landscape shots. I don't know much about filters so tell me if I'm way off base here. As I understand the ND grad filter can be used to help expose two different parts of a scene properly. I mean lets say you have a bright sky and to expose for it properly would underexpose the foreground. By placing the filter appropriately you could properly expose for the ground and the sky, or at least get closer. Is that about right?
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep, that's about right, particularly if you're thinking about a rectangular filter in a filter holder, rather than a round filter screwed to the front of a lens.
     
  3. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Yes.

    Some things to consider though. If you are looking at the round screw on ND filters, I would suggest forgetting that idea. That forces you to have your "horizon" in the middle of the image all the time.

    You can buy a rectangular filter and holder system, or you can handhold a rectangular filter by hand in front of the lens. This allows you to put your horizon anywhere you want in the frame.

    If you are looking into a filter system, there are many options. HiTech, Lee, Cokin, Sing-Ray, and Schnieder all make filters. The Lee filter holder gets great reviews.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    That's the general idea, yes.

    While I can still appreciate the use of grad or split filters, I think that they are close to being obsolete in the digital world. You can easily apply a grad filter effect in post processing. In fact, Lightroom has it as one of it's primary tools. It's also rather easy to take multiple exposures and combine them with software, thus allowing a greater exposure range in your final image.

    For me, the main issue is that a grad filter is still a straight line...and not many of the landscape shots I take, have a flat horizon.
     
  5. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks folks,

    I should have specified. I am looking at the rectangular style. I looked at the circular but as was mentioned this severely limits where I can put my horizon. I did not know there were holders for the rectangular filters though. I will definetely look into that.

    Thanks
     
  6. grafxman

    grafxman TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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  7. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    On the right track.
    I use a tripod and handhold the neutral graduated filter in front of the lens.
    You can only use the graduated straight line ones if you have a straight horizon, sometimes you can get creative however and use them anywhere in your frame from creative effect.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    There is a reason Cokin stuff is inexpensive.

    Montana mentioned Lee and Singh-Ray, both of which I have used for years, mostly Lee. The Lee holder seems to work better than the Cokin filter too.

    Lee Filters USA | Camera products

    I also use Lee lighting products.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, but...

    You can get them with varying degrees of hardness (?) along the transition.
    Some are a hard line, no transition at all - others have a more gradual transition from ND-to-nothing. The edge can be feathered, if you know what I mean.
     
  10. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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