ND filters

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Johnboy2978, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was thinking of picking up some ND filters to enhance my outdoor shooting. I will be returning to some old grist mills soon and would like to be able to slow down the water movement when the sun may be too bright to allow me to use the shutter speed necessary to do it with an unfiltered lens. Is it better to get an assortment of like .3, .6, .9 or can you get something middle of the road like a .6 to serve most purposes? Also do any of you use them w/ outdoor portraits? What about split filters v. ND for landscapes?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    The only times I've ever used ND filters are for running water shots where I want a faster shutter speed than F29 can give me.

    Split/grad filters are different and can be used for landscape shots to even out the exposure. I used them with film but honestly haven't used them much with digital. Besides, the split or gradient is always a straight line...and my landscapes rarely have a flat horizon.
     
  3. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    I use em... I'm not sure about the .3 system you are referring too but I have a 2 stop and 4 stop ND and 2 stop and 4 stop ND GRAD..

    I try to keep the aperture between f9 - f11 if I can..

    if ur just starting and don't want to buy a bunch of them all at once I'd pick up a 2 stop ND, and 2 stop ND grad.... when used in conjunction with your polarizer this will give you 4 stops to work with.

    Go with the square adjustable filters like the Cokin P-series..... it will be cheaper in the end.... they allow more adjustment than circular ones... mike mentioned the ND grads are too linear and that his landscapes are not often linear... I get around this by matching up the best I can and dodging the difference...

    if ur really on a budget just get the 2 stop ND... you can replicate most the ND GRAD stuff using software... it just takes a little longer..
     
  4. sambrody44

    sambrody44 TPF Noob!

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    What are the must have filters for scenery shooting? I already have a circular polarizer and a UV filter. What else should I look in to?
     
  5. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    Did you mean 'slower'?
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    a quality tripod, preferably with a pan head as well so that you can capture good panoramas as well. A nice lens is also a must. I was looking into the ND filters b/c I plan to re-visit a couple of mills some 2-3 hours away this fall, and the last time I went, I wanted to photograph the water in slower motion. Even with the ISO set to 100 and an f/32 I couldn't get a long enough shutter speed to make that effect w/o over exposing the water. It was too early in the day and the sun was overhead at 2pm but I couldn't wait all day for better effects.

    This is what I came away with:
    [​IMG]

    I was looking into ND filters to help achieve that. As for the .3, .6 and .9 system this is from B/H:
    ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop, reduces ISO 1/2)
    ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stops, reduces ISO 1/4)
    ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops, reduces ISO 1/8)

    So it looks like the .6 with a 2 stop reduction would be the way to go if buying only one?
     
  7. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    Even if you can slow down exposure by stopping down to f/32 or whatever, it's better to use ND's due to how diffraction limited most modern DSLRs are even past f/10.

    For those into landscapes: ND grads! It's difficult to find information on them on the forum because no one uses them, everyone just resorts to HDR's but a square filter system such as the Cokin P system will work wonders for your landscape shots.
     
  8. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I'd love to use these but unfortunately, from what I understand from reading their site, this series will not fit on the Sigma 10-20mm wide angle, the P series fits 28mm and up and the Z series fits 20mm and up. What can I use instead?
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I use a Cokin P on my Sigma 10-20. I get a very little bit of vignetting, but it works.
     

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