Filter question

ernie

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Hey,

I was wondering what kind of filters you all use and what for? What are the filters a photographer absolutely must have and why?

Thanks
 

Mav

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For sunrise or sunset type photos, you'll definitely want at least a 2-stop graduated neutral density (ND) filter, but a 3-stop might work even better. For general outdoor shooting during the daytime, a circular polarizer can come in extremely handy and is another must-have. If you want to capture wave action or a waterfall during the daytime and need a longer exposure, a regular (not graduated) ND filter is what you'll want. Blocking out light will help you slow the exposure down enough to help get the smooth looking flow from a waterfall (tripod required). A UV filter just for general lens protection. I had an 81A warming filter, but it's easier to just trim the white balance on your camera slightly to a warmer look. I'll try to post some examples later.
 

Big Mike

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A polarizer is really the only filter that I use on a regular basis...and I use them almost all the time for shooting outdoors in the daytime.

Just about everything else can be replicated with Photoshop.

Split and ND filters do come in handy, even with digital...but I wouldn't say that they are a must have.
 

kdabbagh

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could damage be done to the camera if certain filters aren't used when they're preferable to be used?
 

Big Mike

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could damage be done to the camera if certain filters aren't used when they're preferable to be used?
Not unless you are talking about protection from physical accidents like dropping the camera/lens or poking it with somthing. This is why many people use UV filters. If you drop your lens onto the ground, it's much better to replace a $50 filter than a $1000 lens.
 
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ernie

ernie

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Thanks for the help. So how do I know what filter to get for which lens? I'm thinking of getting one of those UV filters to protect my lens.
And the next may be a stupid question, but how do you attach the filter to your lens? Can you do it yourself or does a mechanic of some sort has to do it?
 

Dominic

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The filter thread size should be mentioned on the front of the lens. Threaded filters are simply screwed off and on. A filter set like a Cokin would require an adapter ring and what not. Those are slot gel filters though, and I think you are simply asking about threaded.
 

Big Mike

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The front of each lens had female threads. A filter will have male threads...so all you do it screw the filter to the front of the lens with your hands. Not too tight, you don't want it to get stuck.

You do have to make sure that your filter and lens threads are the same size.
 

Dominic

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One other quick thing (and I've heard both sides, so it comes to personal believe); digital camera sensors require filters made for them (e.g. Hoya Pro 1 Digital, or Promaster Digital, etc...). I've heard clerks in camera stores that isn't necessarily true, but I still stick with digital coating for digital sensors.
 

Big Mike

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One other quick thing (and I've heard both sides, so it comes to personal believe); digital camera sensors require filters made for them (e.g. Hoya Pro 1 Digital, or Promaster Digital, etc...). I've heard clerks in camera stores that isn't necessarily true, but I still stick with digital coating for digital sensors.
Personally, I think that's a load of cr@p. 'Digital' is just being used as a catch word for marketing and sales.

However, there is an issue with digital in that the surface of the sensor (filter over the sensor) is more reflective than film. This may cause reflections to occur, inside the camera and/or lens...which may cause a loss of contrast or lens flare.
For this reason, newer lenses have anti-reflective coatings on the rear element. I'm not sure how much of an issue this is at the front of the lens (where the filter is) but who knows?
 

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I never really understood the digital thing. Let's think about this...
The back is anti reflective coated. Well, guess what? So are the old ones. The whole reason they're multicoated is because the light bouncing around between the filter and front element causes ghosting and flare, and other such grossness.

So, therefore I say let's buy the normal ones.

Plus, the Pro 1 Digital filters cost twice as much as the S HMC ones.

Pro from Hoya just means thinner rim.
 

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