Selecting Filters?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by newb, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. newb

    newb TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so I've been lookin at filters, and I've come up with a problem. Which filters are more versitile, or more desireable? The round ones, or rectangle? One advantage for the rectangle filters, that I can see (the Cokin setup specifically) is that I can buy different adapter rings for different sized lenses, and not hafta buy all new filters. What other things should I consider?
     
  2. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    Well, you can by "adapter rings" for the round filters also, called step-up rings. The step-up rings allow the use of larger filters on smaller lenses. That way you don't have to buy multiple sized filters for your lenses. So if you have a lens that takes 77mm filters (typical size for pro glass), and one that takes 72mm, or 67mm, you can simply by step up rings for those lenses that allow you to use the 77mm filters on them.

    They have step-down rings, which do the opposite, but seem pointless to me (vignetting).

    If you're looking at getting graduated neutral density filters (GND), you'll want those in the rectangular format. The round ones have the graduation right in the middle, which is 9 times out of 10 not where you want it. Unless you do a lot of landscapes, you won't need those though.

    The only filter I would invest in is a polarizer. If you're into landscapes, you'll probably want some GNDs (rectangular) and some regular neutral density filters also. Don't buy cheap ones either, you'll regret it. Always buy multicoated filters.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    The advantage of square (rectangular) filters is that you can change their position over the lens. The only square filters that I'd use, are the graduated or split filters, where one side is darker than the other. You can then position the filter to match the composition of the shot you are taking. Round grad & split filters are centred, which doesn't give you a lot of options for your composition.

    As for which filters to get/use. A circular polarizer is #1 on the list...for outdoor photography anyway. It's one filter that is very hard or impossible to duplicate with digital editing. Grad filters can help you get shots that would be hard to duplicate with just one exposure, but it's so easy to combine multiple exposures and/or edit selectively, that even grad filters are becoming obsolete.

    Most other filters are already obsolete. You can easily duplicate their effects with digital editing....and will full control as well. When using most filters, you have two options. On or off. With digital editing, you have at least 100 steps between off & on...and you can choose to apply the effects to whatever parts of the image you want.

    One more filter that might be useful, is a Neutral Density (ND) filter. It just darkens the image, allowing you to use a longer shutter speed.
     
  4. newb

    newb TPF Noob!

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    I didn't think about the ability to move the rectangle filters. Thanks.

    Do graduated ND filters work like graduated color filters, where they darken one side of the image and not the other?

    I do already have a circular polarizer, I bought it with my camera. I just need to put it to more use lol.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, they are just like grad ND filters...just with some added color. I've got one called sunset something and another one called tobacco. They can make an average sunset/sunrise scene look spectacular...in terms of popping colors.

    To be honest, I haven't used them in years. They are only the A series Cokin filters, and they aren't big enough for most of the lenses I now use.
     
  6. newb

    newb TPF Noob!

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    Ahh, I know exactly what you talkin about. I've been lookin at the Cokin P series filters. The P series holder came in a package with my camera, so I've been wanting to put it to use.
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Actually, it would be a step down ring. :D

    Agreed except that there doesn't seem to be a need for any filter besides the CPol and an ND set which don't need to be off-centered. Seems to me anything else can be recreated in PP and that is the better way to go, imho.

    That is the way audio tracks are recorded and have been for a long time. Pure clean sound. Add the effects later.

    It is easy enough to add an effect after the fact but you can't remove one. The only exceptions are CPol and ND. I have Cokin NDs and they are fine but I've always stayed away from their Pol. Never read anything interesting about them.
     
  8. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    No. A step-down ring allows the use of a smaller filter on a lens that requires larger filters (I fail to see the point of these, there must be massive vignetting). A step-up ring (most common) allows the use of larger filters on a lens that requires smaller filters. So a lens that requires 67mm filters can use 77mm ones, for example.

    I mentioned both in my post. There is a difference.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    :lmao: Sorry man, I was just messing with you. I've seen so many people argue about which way the step is I couldn't help myself.

    "We are stepping up to the filter"

    "We are stepping down to the lens"

    :D
     
  10. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    :lol:

    Ha, I figured as much. I've seen people argue about it too, or at least seem confused about it. Most manufacturers I've seen call them "step-up" rings though (lens to filter).
     

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