ND8 Filters

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Canon88, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Canon88

    Canon88 TPF Noob!

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    Should I buy a ND8 Graduated Filter or an ND8 Circular Filter?

    Lenses they will be used on: Canon's Tamron 11-18mm and Canon's 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM

    I would like a few photo examples of both filters at work (to see the differences) and also the pro's and con's to both filters, if possible.

    If I buy the ND8 graduated, I think I'd have to buy that whole Cokin setup...
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    What are you planning on accomplishing. That changes everything.

    I'm assuming you know what a ND filter does...
    so what would you use it for? That'd help more.
     
  3. Canon88

    Canon88 TPF Noob!

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    I'm thinking mostly landscape stuff. I've seen some really dynamic results with the use of an ND8 Filter on DeviantArt.com, but they never say which type of filter they're using, only that it's ND8.
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ND stands for neutral density. The filter cuts down the amount of light that hits the film/sensor without affecting the colours of the subject. On a 'plain' ND filter, the amount of light filtered by the filter is the same on the whole picture. With a graduated ND filter, there is a part of the filter which is completely clear and the other part looks grey (the ND part).

    The 'plain' type is used to increase the exposure times (less light=longer exposure) when shooting waterfalls for example. The ND graduated filters are used mainly in landscape photography when the sky is much brighter than the rest of the subject. If you place the ND part of the filter over the sky you can retain details in the sky by correctly exposing sky and ground.

    ND filters (both graduated and 'plain') come in different strenghts. For example, ND2 will double the exposure time (ND=x4, ND8=x8). That's the Cokin way to name their ND filters. Other manufacturers use different numbers.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    are you sure you don't mean a circular polarizer? or perhaps HDR processing?

    Never heard of "dynamic" describing the neutral density filter...
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    usayit you're clearly a child of the digital generation :wink: NDGrad filters to this day I think give much better results than HDR. Even good tonemapped HDR looks like a HDR image, but a good NDGrad filter can compress the dynamic range and look perfectly realistic.

    I wouldn't get a NDGrad filter unless you really need it to photograph moving subjects. The NDGrad can be done in photoshop by taking 2 exposures with different exposure values, and then applying a gradient mask to combine the images.
     
  7. bango707

    bango707 TPF Noob!

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    Why moving subjects? I've only used them for taking down a bright skies. If you are shooting in open shade for example a NDGrad works really well to balance out the exposure.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry you miss-understood you can use them for anything really, but you NEED a NDGrad Lens filter to properly get the dynamic range if there are moving subjects in the frame in the light to dark transmission. In this case it would not work taking 2 photos which are aligned to either make an NDGrad filter in photoshop, or take 3+ exposures for HDR.

    If you're shooting sunsets or still things then a tripod and a bit of PP can do literally the exact same effect, 100% indistinguishable from using an NDGrad.
     
  9. bango707

    bango707 TPF Noob!

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    ^ I really need to take a photoshop class. I'm realizing that more and more each day:(
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Indistingushable in terms of end result. Not in terms of time. It's much faster to line up an ND filter, nail your shot, and PP a single RAW than it is to HDR.
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    It's almost too obvious to mention, but an ND grad is useless if the brightness change isn't in a near-straight line, such as when light dapples through the forest canopy or in the hills. Gently done HDR/tone mapping or negative film is usually the best option in those sorts of cases.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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