3-stop ND filter reduces saturation

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by sfogel2, Feb 15, 2021.

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  1. sfogel2

    sfogel2 TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a 3-stop ND filter for my Canon 5D Mark IV to use with a few lenses. Tried it in the studio with a strobe yesterday and noticed a distinct desaturation of the photo compared to using high-speed sync without ND.

    Is reduced saturation expected with 3-stop ND filters? This is a high-quality ($160) filter from B+W. Thanks.


     
  2. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Did you increase the ISO for the shot with the ND filter?
     
  3. sfogel2

    sfogel2 TPF Noob!

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    I didn’t increase the ISO, no. Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of using the ND filter to reduce the luminance of the background? Thanks.
     
  4. Scott Whaley

    Scott Whaley No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a 9 stop ND filter. Best to use a tripod and lower the shutter speed. Also, you may want to cover the viewfinder with something to keep light from getting into the lens.
     
  5. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    That does not surprise me but can you bring it back in post?

    I figure that there is always a trade off. Any additional glass in front or behind the lens, no matter how good, will have the intended benefit at some cost elsewhere.
     
  6. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Assuming you compensate for exposure the color saturation on a shot with an ND filter should be no different than one without. I have a wide range of filters that I've used frequently and never notice any difference.

    There will be significant differences between a shot taken with an ND filter and one taken with HSS. An ND will darken the image equally across the frame while HSS provides light in the shadow areas to lower the DR across the frame.
     
  7. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    NDs aren't selective. They reduce light in the entire scene, not just the background.

    Their only effect they can have on the background is a result of opening the aperture and throwing it further out-of-focus.
     
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  8. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Actually there's another effect, depending on shutter speed, how stable the camera is and wind, you can get motion blur.

    Just to be sure you don't have a UV Haze filter on also?
     
  9. Space Face

    Space Face Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a number of ND filters, grads etc and can't say I've noticed this issue. Interesting reading the replies tho.
     
  10. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    I've found many 'neutral density' filters that are far from neutral, so are selective to an extent. However these simply introduce a overall tint. If the image is being desaturated that sounds like an exposure issue or perhaps severe flare (similar to what I've seen using 90 year old uncoated lenses).
     
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I'm referring to exposure...... not color rendition.
     
  12. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    That was the point of the question, you don’t want to increase ISO as it reduces DR and increases noise. I use Lee 100mm filters, mostly soft gradient, but have used their 10 stop “big stopper” and haven’t seen any desaturation or color casts.
     

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