Looking at ND Filters - Advice Please?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by manaheim, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    So I'm loading up on filters because I suddenly realize that I need them. :mrgreen:

    I bought two Promaster filters today at the local camera shop. One Circular Polarizer and one UV (just to protect the glass as usual).

    I'm looking at a graduated ND filter and the woman at the camera shop (this is not a hack shop btw) suggested I also look on ebay because they sell new ones for cheap.

    So I poked around at B&H and I poked around on ebay. I've seen ones like this on ebay, but it doesn't indicate what "level" it is... .3/.6/.9, etc. I'm also worried about it coming from China and being 1/10th of the cost of the ones I see on B&H.

    What should I be looking for here? What should I avoid? I'd prefer not to spend an astronomical amount of money, but I don't want to buy a piece of garbage either.

    I'm also starting to wonder if I bought "bad" filters when I got the promaster ones today... the lady did have one polarizing filter that was $189... I bought the UV and the circ. polarizer I got for a grand total of $125. I know money isn't a measure of quality, per se... I guess the key is that I just realized I didn't really research this and so I don't totally know what I bought or what I should be buying.

    I -assume- the ones I have will at least be decently functional since this is a very reputable shop in the area and they weren't $10 :lmao:, but...

    Please let me know your thoughts? Give it to me straight. I can take it. :)

    Thanks, all!
     
  2. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    oooh, I'm looking for an ND grad, too, for my Sigma 10-20 that's on its way.

    Filters are an area that I'm not quite familiar with yet, either.


    Anyway, don't mean to hijack your thread, manaheim, but I guess I just thought I'd throw in that I'm looking for one of those, too.:mrgreen:

    ETA: and isn't it a "neutral density gradient" filter? Or...is there some graduated filter that is out there? I really need to know this.
    This filter stuff REALLY confuses me.
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Steph recommended these and I am also looking at these. They ain't cheap.
     
  4. sultan

    sultan TPF Noob!

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    Why not a home-made variable ND?

    Buy a linear polarizer and screw it in front of your circular polarizer and voila! Turn the ring of the linear polarizer to adjust the brightness.
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    HA! The exact same lens I'm getting filters for. Too funny. Maybe we can get a very small bulk volume discount. :)

    Yeah the camera shop dude mentioned the cokins, and the general "get a filter that sits in a mount in front of your lens" type. Obviously very cool, but I'm trying to keep it a little simpler if possible.

    hahaha... ooookay. That's very neat but I think more than I want to struggle with. :) Thanks for the cool idea though.
     
  6. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    The ebay stuff you're looking at is exactly the kind of filters I would avoid as far as "cheap" filters. Promaster has good stuff. As far as I know they're just a generically branded Hoyas or Tiffens at a lower cost.
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To be honest I have filtered myself through eBay and have gotten some good glass (or insert filter material here) with no complaints. As to whether a filter is one density or another, send a question to the seller or stear clear. But I wouldn't hesitate purchasing filters from eBay.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're looking for straight NDs then you can get either circular screw-on types or gel (Cokin) style. They come in 1, 2, 4 etc stop values for the amount of light they block. These are very useful for acheiveing slow shutter speeds on bright days, such as getting the 'misty' effect of moving water.

    Graduated NDs (or gradient) are ones that transition from a 1,2, 4 stop value at the top to completely clear at the bottom. These used most commonly to darken skys that would otherwise be blown. These are most effective when using the gel type (with screw on ones, you can't change where the transition is on your image) and will change a landscape scene with a bleah sky to one with a beautiful sky.

    I suggest buying a 1 and 2 stop of both graduated and non-graduated ND, which will allow you to have a total of three stops for both. The Cokin adaptor is quite easy to work with. DON'T however buy the cheap offshore stuff on eBay. There's a reason it's cheap.
     
  9. Chewbecca

    Chewbecca TPF Noob!

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    So, uh, if I want to get one of these ND grad (not the circular scew on ones) what set up should I get, then?
    I own a D60.

    Would someone be so kind as to link me to what I need and what I should get?
    I'd forever be grateful.
    If this wasn't my first time buying a filter like this, I might not need such help.
    But I'd appreciate any and all help on this.

    And thanks for the explanation, guys!:mrgreen:
     
  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would recommend the Cokin filters which you should be able to purchase from any major photo retailer or on-line (Here's there website: http://www.cokin.fr/ ). I would suggest getting the P size rather than the smaller A size as that will allow you to use them with larger lenses (A size maxes out at around 65mm). You will need the filters of course, a filter holder and an adaptor ring(s). The adaptor threads into your lens/filter and the lens holder slips onto that (it's removable, but doesn't come apart unless you want it to).
     

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