ND & CP Filters; Got Any Sample Pics?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by maulrat, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Hello all. I am finally getting a chance to do some nature photography. I will be going to Yosemite in a about 3 weeks and I'm trying to get a little prepared. I am looking into some filters needed for some shots. I think that the only way I can get this effect is by using a neutral density filter or shooting near darkness hours.

    [​IMG]

    Does anyone have any experience with ND filters? I can't seem to figure out what type I would need. I've seen them in; .3, .6, .9, ND2, and ND4. I will probably be shooting in bright light; around noonish or so. I am thinking about buying the ND2 and ND4. I figure that I can always stack the filters if I need a longer shutter speed. Does this sound resonable?

    I also want to get some better sky effects to go along with my scenery. I hear that a circular polarizing filter is the way to go. Does anyone have any samples of some sky or nature photos taken using a CP filter? Thanks to all for any advice.
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  3. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I like that site alot. It's not a place to post if you are thin-skinned, because the critique is usually direct and frank, but very helpful. It is a wonderful resource to look at excellent quality images with optics you are considering.
     
  5. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    I would avoid shooting at noon if you can help it. It'll be difficult to get shots without blowing highlights / shadows. I think the rule of thumb is to not shoot outdoors between 10am and 4pm in order to avoid harsh lights.
     
  6. timbearden

    timbearden TPF Noob!

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    Yosemite in three weeks? I go august 30 again......nice place for landscapes and nature. Hopefully the smoke will be gone for you. Last week was horrible to take photographs because of the fire.
     
  7. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I sure hope that most of the smoke clears too. I am being forced (by the GF) to hike Half Dome and to Yosemite Falls; not complaining. My other sites will be of my choosing. I need to do some research on some creeks in the park to visit. If you got any suggestions, I'm all ears.
     
  8. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I wish that I could always use this rule. Unfortunately, I have no idea what time it will be to get to some of the photo sites. If I have to hike far in then I may need to save some daylight hours to hike back out. I will have to do some good planning before picking my sites and what times to shoot them at. Thanks for the advice RMH159.
     
  9. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Different manufacturers have different nomenclatures for ND filters:

    0.3 = ND2 = 1 stop
    0.6 = ND4 = 2 stops
    0.9 = ND8 = 3 stops

    The quality of ND filters also varies depending on manufacturers. Some of them are not truly neutral and cause some visible colour cast (in my experience Cokin filters are not neutral). This might not be an issue if you shoot digital and adjust white balance in post-processing but it is worth keeping in mind.

    And yes you can stack several filters.
     
  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is the only posted ND grad I have, not a very good one:

    http://www.rthtg.net/john/crete/Tidal_pool_8x10 (Large).jpg (Link due to size)

    That was three stops of Cokin ND grad filters (1 x 1 stop and 1 x 2 stop)

    This:
    http://www.rthtg.net/john/crete/Buildings2_5x7 (Large).jpg (Link due to size)

    shows just about the maximum sky effect you can get with a CPOL under ideal conditions, that is: Sun low in the sky, and at aproximately 90 deg to the lens axis.

    As far as what to get, though some don't like them, I recommend the cokin ND and grad ND filters (I'd get a 1 and 2 stop of each). For a CPOL, there are many to choose from, but get a good quality one (Hoya, Tiffen, Heliopan, Rodenstock, or B+W).
     
  11. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Well. I finally have a little hint on what strengh ND filter I need. Yesterday after work, I decided to pick up an ND filter at the local camera shot. I called and called everywhere within a 20 mile radius and could only find an ND2 (aka .3) filter. I bought one, found a creek, went hiking near dark and took a couple of pics.

    First of all, it ain't easy finding a creek in San Diego. I found a super tiny one. It was terrible but served as a last minute test site. Second, I learned that if I wanted to get any type of shot like this in near to full sun, I am going to need a to stack some filters. Even an ND8 (aka .9) alone wouldn't do the trick.

    Here are a couple of my test shots. All taken around 30-45 minutes before completely dark.

    San Diego River + Old Mission Dam

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not too bad for a 1st time experience with this type of photography and 1st ND filter experience, but not great either. I have a lot of learning to do. Next attempts, I will hopefully try to stack a stronger ND filter + a circular polarizer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Remember that the CP will cut your light too, so you may not need to stack ND filters PLUS the CP. Try it and see.
     

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