Fader ND Filter

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by OscarWilde, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. OscarWilde

    OscarWilde TPF Noob!

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    Anyone had any experience with fader ND filters? I'm deciding between just a 3 stop or getting a fader which advertises 1-10 stops. It just seems odd to me... I can get the 3 stop for $80 or I can get 1-10 for $90? I'm assuming quality is the expended variable here... Whether that`s quality of the images or quality of the filter itself; I don`t really know!

    Any feedback would be welcome!


     
  2. OscarWilde

    OscarWilde TPF Noob!

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    85 Views and no replies! My first real question on this forum and I've stumped you all!? Perhaps a more broad question?

    Does anyone on here have any experience with ND (Neutral Density) Filters? Normal ones (1, 2, 3, etc stops) Big Stops (8, 9, 10 stops) or Faders 1-10 stops or even the Faded ones where part of the filter is a higher F stop and another part is a lower F stop.

    Anything at all! I've done quite a bit of theoretical research; I just want to know how they function practically!
     
  3. Desi

    Desi No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I haven't seen any talk on this forum regarding the faders, so I wonder if there is much experience on this board regarding this topic.

    There is lots of experience with the others, but I think your question may be too broad.

    My basic understanding is as follows: 1-3 stops are useful when it is too bright outside and you want to either use a slower shutter speed (for motion) or a larger aperture (for depth of field). The big stoppers are great for capturing motion (long shots on bright days). The big stoppers are a lot of fun but a bit tricky to use, since you can't really see through them and your exposure is based on guess-work.

    You can stack filters.

    Polarizers also act as 1 stop ND filters.

    Graduated filters are bulky and more expensive but allow you to balance a bright sky and darker foreground, such as when you want to capture a sunset and you want the beach in front of you to be well exposed. Also, they don't screw directly onto your lens.

    This thread has some of my experience with a big stopper. I hope it helps. http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum/264517-another-afternoon-beach.html

    Desi
     
  4. OscarWilde

    OscarWilde TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, this was the kind of answer I was looking for! So basically if I was to buy something like a 1-3 stop set I could achieve 1-6 stops? I would need step rings and bigger filters, though, for that to work without vignetting, right?

    I had no idea that graduated filters didn't screw on, I had assumed they were the same!

    In the interest of sharing what I know:

    Fader filters are 2 rings attached (with one slightly larger to avoid vignetting). You turn the outer ring and it increases the stops in one direction and decreases in the other direction. It allows you to have a functional 1-10 stop (or more) ND filter on your camera without changing it every time you desire a different stop.

    What I've heard: They don't give quite the same sharpness when compared to a standard ND filter. I know they are more commonly used with video cameras but they still function (and attach; obviously) to a DSLR lens.

    And a more specific question:
    When buying filters (of any kind) what are the things that change with cheaper filters? Is it really the quality of the image that changes or do they just break and wear out faster? AND what is a nice-ish mid-range for prices for an ND filter?

    I have been assuming that $0-100 is the low to mid range and $100+ is the mid to high range... is this accurate? Or should I be looking a bit higher for a nice mid range filter?
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    The problems with stacking ND filters;

    1. Vignetting becomes a serious issue, especially when using wide-angle lenses.
    2. Al that glass seriously affects the image quality.
    3. Risk of dust, smudges & fingerprints on all those extra surfaces.
     
  6. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a Graduated ND filter that screws on and has an outer ring that turns to place the ND section in the area you wish.
     
  7. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Graduated NDs are not the same as a variable/fader NDs.
     
  8. Joey_Ricard

    Joey_Ricard TPF Noob!

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    Exactly, and I have yet to see anyone using them for still images within my group of peers. I use drop in filters, so this didn't interest me when I first saw them, but I hear some video guys use them (DSLR video guys that is) where the lowest native ISO is about 160 and then need less light.....
     
  9. PapaMatt

    PapaMatt TPF Noob!

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    I use a 10 stop fader, In very BRIGHT sun it is a must have option for me, The 77mm size, helps when used on a 67 or lesser mm lens
     
  10. Joey_Ricard

    Joey_Ricard TPF Noob!

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    I use a 10 stop and various (stops) ND filters for some of my daylight stuff such as waterfalls etc. These are drop in filters.

    Matt, do you use this fader as if you were stacking and unstacking ND filters in general? I'd be interested in seeing samples of the variable degrees to see how they look.
     
  11. PapaMatt

    PapaMatt TPF Noob!

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    I use the Nature Fader ND it has a density of just 8 stops, sorry not 10, it can go more but best results stop at 8, It is used like a circular polarize filter, I do not stack filters.I can go from 1.500 sec at f8 to 1 sec at f 11 or even 4 sec at f22, handy to have.
     
  12. PapaMatt

    PapaMatt TPF Noob!

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    If interested I will take some shots showing you the difference next week.
     

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