Must-Have Filters?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Luna, May 20, 2008.

  1. Luna

    Luna TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  2. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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    I really like my GND filter. It helps me get the longer exposures on bright days.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    ND filter set
    CPL
    UV, only for protection, not to shoot through

    for film I keep an assortment of colored filters handy:
    25, 29, and 89 reds
    orange, green, yellow, and blue

    Had my eye on a Singh Ray Vari-ND for a while. mmmmmmm.
     
  4. stabo

    stabo TPF Noob!

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    Why would you not shoot through with a UV? only have my camera a few weeks,i leave the UV filter on the whole time.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless you have a very good UV filter (Hoya SHMC, B+W or some equivalent good one) you typically suffer a quality hit.

    Even with the top of the line filters if you shoot into a flaring light source like the sun or a street lamp, it'll cause ghosting.

    I would agree with Alpha's list and add a Hoya RM72 Infrared filter to the list, but then i'm a sucker for the effect and shoot infrared film on occasion too.
     
  6. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Ageed.
    Uh-oh: UV filter only for situations where there is excess UV light to be filtered. If there isn't, don't use it.
    Only for B/W film.
    Color negatives or slides will end up as scans in CS3 anyway...
    Could be fun if you're into the long exposure/tripod game. Please demo it for us when you get it. :wink:
    All filters, even the most expensive ones, share one weak spot: they have 2 sides, front and back. Both are refracting zones of course, whichever way you cut it. Thus increasing flare, focal softness, and chromatic aberration.

    Use filters when you need them. But maybe even more important: don't use them when you don't need them!
     
  7. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would say an ND filter is a good investment, especially if you like river photos in daylight. A UV filter is pretty good as well for cutting down the haze in landscape photos, although I heard somewhere that a polariser does that as well. Those are really the "main" filters, there are tons to choose from.

    However, like Alfred D said, filters will degrade image quality, there's no two ways about it. It's just finding a comprimise between total image quality and the effects of various filters. Good luck!
     
  8. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    Skylight for protection, polarizer and orange-for b&w. All Hoya.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I've said it before but a flat piece of glass doesn't cause CA, especially optical glass. That is a function of glass that bends light only. Anyway I agree on all the other points, especially the flare. Regardless of how good optical coating is a filter is a flat face and will ghost a light source. Proved that well and truly with Hoya's top filters, and cheap filters here: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100830

    I will disagree on principle though. A $100 filter is cheaper to replace than the aspherical front element of my 28-70 f/2.8. I've been in a situation where a filter has taken the full force of a cliff face before (cheaper lens though), and shattered, so unless I am using a tripod and shooting into something that will cause flare problems, my UV / Protection filters stay on at all times.
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a crossthatch filter...I'm just looking for an excuse to use it :lmao: as well as a metric butt ton of UV Filters.

    It's alredy been covered but, If you are planning on doing any B&W, you should invest in a good set of BW filters.
     
  11. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    If anyone could answer any of these, it would be great:

    So is it a good idea to leave on a UV filter all the time for protection? As Garbz said, it would be tragic to break/scratch the front element of your lens.

    Also, how can you tell when there will be ghosting due to your UV filter, and when are you 'supposed' to use your UV, i.e. what would be an example of a situation where there is lots of unwanted UV light?

    Is it true that you should leave on a polariser for most outdoor shots, just to increase the colour saturation?

    And I'd love a good ND grad, but they're so expensive :(
     
  12. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    I don't agree with Garbz here. Leaving the UV filter on when there is no excess UV light to be filtered puts an extra barrier – with 2 refracting sides – in front of the lens. That can only do one thing: degrade the image.
    For lens protection I use a lens cap, which was designed to do precisely that, and a lens hood (never shoot without a hood!).
    You don't use a screwdriver to hammer in nails either, do you?
    Use a UV filter (only) when there is an excess of UV light. There is an excess UV light at altitude (over 3,000 feet), in the desert and savannah, at the beach, at sea, and in snowscapes. If you're not in any of these circumstances there is no excess UV light to be filtered. So use a UV filter only in those situations. Not in others.
    No.
    Firstly, you must want that colour saturation (in the sky more than anywhere else) in that particular image. Secondly, the lens axis angle in relation to the sun determines whether or not the light can be polarized, and by how much. Thirdly, polarizing slows down your available shutter speeds by up to 2,5 stops. You will probably need a tripod.

    Important: polarizers and wide angle lenses don't match! You'll get blotchy skies!

    An UNgraduated ND filter is more useful. It enables you to slow down your shutter speeds, or open up your aperture (for more selective DoF), by several stops.
    Instead of using an ND grad you'll get better results with HDRI.
     

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