Filter question

insane pelican

TPF Noob!
Apr 30, 2006
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So, i bought a pentax 50 MM f/2, and now i am looking at filters. I bought a polarizer filter (this is the same as a neutral density, right?) today, and im just wondering if there are any others that i should think about purchasing, that would improve my photo's. I play on taking pictures of animals (birds) as well as scenery shots and sunsets, and water pics. thanks.

Also, just wondering if there were any websites that had a list of different filters and what they do.
If you like landscape shot you might be interested in a gradient filter. Either Neutral or coloured.

Do a search for Cokin. They make quite a good filter system and their website has some good examples of what each filter does and its application.
One thing I have done is bought very good filters in the largest size I needed. The got step up rings from my smaller lenses to fit them. As time goes by I will occasionally pick up a filter for the other lenses. But its a way to buy the very good filters and use them on all lenses, than say buy medium filters for all lenses.

Why put cheap class in front of expensive glass. It will bring the good lens glass down with it.
I bought a polarizer filter (this is the same as a neutral density, right?)
Nope... A polarizer is used to saturate the colours in an image, and to reduce reflections from certain types of surface such as water and glass. It also has the effect of darkening the blue of the sky, especially at 90 degrees to the sun. Polarizers do cut out some of the light reaching the lens, but this isn't their main purpose.

A Neutral density is basically like the glass in a pair of sunglasses, cutting out light reaching the lens, without affecting the colours etc. It's useful if you want to use slow shutter speeds in brighter conditions.

Graduated Neutral Density filters have the same effect as the above, but only across part of the image - for example to balance exposure between a bright sky and darker foreground.

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