Neutral density filter

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by photong, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. photong

    photong Typo Queen

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Tornto, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I was thinking of getting a regular one...

    But..I have a couple questions....

    I see some have an x (ie. 8x)factor in there. How do I know whcih one to get? Is there a popular one?

    And then theres gradual, or graduated neitral density filters...

    I want that too. Does anyone have any advice, or examples of this? I can't find any on Deviatart and theres not much on Google images.

    I want to use it for control with certain subjects, and the gradual filter is more for an effect, which like I said I cant't find any examples that I used to have on Deviantart.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The grad filters are for when you have a big difference...say in the ground and the sky. You would use the filter to make the sky darker without making the ground any darker.

    An ND filter is for when you want to block light from the whole scene...for example, when you want a longer shutter speed for shooting running water.

    I forget what the 2x, 4x and 8x mean...when you look it up, it should say how many stops of light it blocks.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,454
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think grad ND filters are relatively useless except under very particular circumstances (eg. some snow photos). Regular ND filters are very useful. I tend to carry a 2-stop ND. If you have lots of money, look into the Singh-Ray Vari-ND. It has a range from 0-6 or 8 stops density IIRC, but at a few hundred bucks, it's also vari-expensive.
     
  4. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Alright Max... I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. :) Grad ND filters are great for sunsets where the sky is still somewhat bright but the ground might not be in direct sunlight anymore and consequently be significantly darker than the sky. A grad is a great way to get a nice, even exposure and pull out tons of detail and color.

    The number means what amount of light the lens lets through. You just need a 1/ in front of the number. Like an ND8 let's 1/8th of the light through (3 stops). An ND2 let's 1/2 through.

    I'm not sure how the ND# correlates to the stops (except the 8 cuz I have it) but you'll get amazing shots if you spot meter the sky, spot meter the ground, figure out how many stops difference it is and apply the appropriate filter.
     
  5. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey this is my first post on here so first off hello lol. i have just recently brought a cokin P filter system with a ND4 Grad (2 stops) and i would recomend it to everyone - it makes shooting landscapes alot easier when the sky is too bright. i also have a full ND8 (4 stops) for blurring things. this system rocks you can slide the filters up/down and rotate the whole assembly without affecting compsition. it also allows you to switch btw landscape and portrait very easily
     
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree with RMH, graduated neutral density filters are great for keeping the colour in the sky of a sunset and bringing more detail to the foreground.

    They also prevent making the landscape into a silhouette because you have a very bright sky near the ocean or a lake for example.

    They also can be used instead of a polarizing filter to make the sky more blue and a little darker to match the landscape in the foreground.

    If you do landscape photography, scenics or panoramas they are an absolutely necessary tool in your camera bag.

    skieur
     
  7. avcabob

    avcabob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So if were to put two ND filters together, say an ND2 and an ND4 on that, am I right it saying they would equal an ND8? If the light first goes through the 4, then only 1/4 of the light would end up hitting the 2, and it would block have of that bringing it down to 1/8 and therefore the same as ND8?

    Just wondering cause I have an ND2 and an ND4 and have often used them together to get really long shutter times durring the day.
     
  8. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I guess it all depends on what your shooting style is, but I would have killed for a grad ND filter when I was in italy. I had to make the choice, do I want to properly expose the land/mountains and washout the sky & clouds, or do I want to show the beauty of the sky while losing detail in the land? A grad ND would have solved that problem for me, and try as I may I can't photoshop the pictures to my satisfaction.

    I'm about to get a cokin P series holder and will get the ND as well as grad ND filtures. If you do a general search for ND filters you should get a plethora of informative sites regarding the 2x, 4x, 8x, etc.
     
  9. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I believe you multiply them when stacked. So like you said a 2 and a 4 would equal an 8. Two 8's would equal a 64, etc.

    I've seen a cool effect (I believe it was an ND64 which I never see... so maybe 2 8's stacked... anyway...) where the ND filters allow such a slow shutter speed that they actually remove anything that's moving from the shot. So if you'd take a pic on a busy street the final image would only show what was still during the exposure (buildings, streets, etc.). I'm sure there are a ton of factors that go into a shot like that but it's a pretty creative use.

    As for the grad filters... there are certain filters that might only come in handy for 5% of your shots but for those 5% they could be the difference between an amazing shot and something you'd delete. Cokin filters are around $20 too so they're cheap.
     
  10. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Jersey
    Is the graduation on the filter a straight line? I can't imagine that ever aligning correctly with a horizon unless you're in the midwest. Does it work for mountains, etc?
     
  11. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can get them with the split arranged in a variety of ways. My grad filter transitions from clear to ND8 at the top so it doesn't have to be a dead straight horizon. A straight-ish horizon helps but isn't necessary if you compose it correctly.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    14,491
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Europe 67.51°N
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have to disagree here. Of course, if you have use a film which covers many f stops, you wil be fine in most situations, but if you go to film with a very narrow dynamic range (e.g. some slide films), not to speak of today's sensors, then some sky/ground images pose a problem without a grad ND.

    Things seem to be more relaxed when there is snow on the ground though, since most times the contrast between sky and ground is much less extreme then.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
how does a neutral density filter make it possible to eliminate all the cars from a photograph of a busy street
,
how does a neutral density filter make it possible to eliminate all the cars from a photograph of a busy street?
,
nd filter snow photography
,
nd filters for photographing snow
,
neutral density filter for snow
,

neutral density portrait

,
neutral density portraits
,
neutral density snow
,
using nd filter for snow
,
using nd filter in snow