Filters!

dcmoody23

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I'm looking at buying filters for my 50/1.8 (52 mm)and my 70-200/2.8 (72 mm)- My primary need is ND filters - I'm thinking I'll go with a .9, a .6, and a .3 for both lenses..

My primary question is what brand do you like for your filters? With my 72 I have a small kit of filters (UV, polarized, and a warming filter [which IMO doesn't really work])which is Tiffen filters and I don't notice any big degrade in my images between filter and no filter, but I also have nothing to compare it to.
Can someone put together a list for me of best filters, to acceptable, to not acceptable? I want something that won't effect images, but I also want cost effective. I baby all of my equipment so build isn't a big deal, as long as it doesn't effect quality.

Also, what would you recommend to buy other than ND filters? What do you find that you use a lot to produce things you couldn't without a filter?


Thanks!
 

tirediron

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I've got enough filters to float a boat. Out of that mess I use polarizing filters, NDs and G-NDs; all the rest (reds, oranges, greens, graduated blues, graduated sunsets, warmning, 1A, 80A etc). For polarizing and other round filters I like B+W, Lee and Singh-Ray. For grads and NDs, I use the Cokin P system. I would prefer Lee or Singh-Ray, but I can't justify $120+/filter as opposed $35-40 filter. The only downside to the Cokin ND and G-NDs is that when you're shooting toward the sun they can suffer severe CA, however, that can be reduce or eliminated with a good lens hood (I use a piece of 8x10 matte black craft foam; $1.00 at Wal-mart).
 
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dcmoody23

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I've got enough filters to float a boat. Out of that mess I use polarizing filters, NDs and G-NDs; all the rest (reds, oranges, greens, graduated blues, graduated sunsets, warmning, 1A, 80A etc). For polarizing and other round filters I like B+W, Lee and Singh-Ray. For grads and NDs, I use the Cokin P system. I would prefer Lee or Singh-Ray, but I can't justify $120+/filter as opposed $35-40 filter. The only downside to the Cokin ND and G-NDs is that when you're shooting toward the sun they can suffer severe CA, however, that can be reduce or eliminated with a good lens hood (I use a piece of 8x10 matte black craft foam; $1.00 at Wal-mart).

Nice money saving idea! Would I be able to shoot a sunset with an ND filter and get just the circle and not that ridiculous star (lacking the term) that ruins the image? Or do I need another filter? I know you said you had a sunset filter.. Is that what that's for?
 

tirediron

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If you're shooting sunsets, you will likely want to use a graduated ND (G-ND) vice a regular ND as this will allow you to reduce the dynamic range between the sky and ground. The sunset filter is a graduated orange which can enhance the colours of a sunset, but more often than not just winds up looking hokey.

For me, 'must-have' filters for outdoor photography consist of a circular polarizer, and 2 each of ND .3, .6, .9, 1 each of gradual G-ND .3, .6. and .9, and 1 each of hard G-ND .3, .6, and .9. With that combination I've been able to acheive exposure times in excess of 10 seconds in bright, Mediterranean sun.
 
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dcmoody23

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If you're shooting sunsets, you will likely want to use a graduated ND (G-ND) vice a regular ND as this will allow you to reduce the dynamic range between the sky and ground. The sunset filter is a graduated orange which can enhance the colours of a sunset, but more often than not just winds up looking hokey.

For me, 'must-have' filters for outdoor photography consist of a circular polarizer, and 2 each of ND .3, .6, .9, 1 each of gradual G-ND .3, .6. and .9, and 1 each of hard G-ND .3, .6, and .9. With that combination I've been able to acheive exposure times in excess of 10 seconds in bright, Mediterranean sun.

Oh my - I barely know the first thing about filters, and I learned that today over some random website :lmao:
Can I ask why 2 of each ND? and why if you have those buying G-ND filters can be justified? Graduated filters seem to me like they'd be kind of cheesy.. Plus I shoot a lot of HDR so I don't normally have a problem getting the right exposure through out.

I guess I just don't understand the purpose (fully) of the graduated ND filters. I'll probably buy 1 .9 graduated filter and see how I like it, and then add to that if I find I like the effect.

I also wanted to know about infrared filters -- the images produced can look really great from what I've seen, but I don't understand exactly what the infrared does to the image?

Lastly: Dolica vs Tiffen - I just simply don't have the money right now to buy the expensive filters (just bought a computer :p) so I'm wondering what the best cheaper filter .. I just looked on amazon and saw that a kit of dolica filters (.3,.6,.9) goes for $51, compared to the Tiffen filters which go for nearly $45 each (keep in mind that's at 77mm)
So, do I wait, save money, and get the top of the line filter? or do I buy the dolica package? (maybe even 2)

Thanks!
 
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doziergraphic

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I was motivated by a link here yesterday regarding waterfalls - I went out today and purchased a ND 8 circular to get longer exposures in daylight. I can't always get out for the 'magic hours' and have to settle for just having fun shooting in the nasty harsh sun sometimes. So hoping this ND 8 will give me better moving water shots.

spent $39 on the Kenko ND 8 for 72mm - to use with my Sigma 18-250 3.5-6.3 lens.

Any feedback on that?
 
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dcmoody23

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Okay - Please don't disregard my above post because there are lots of questions on that..

But one more question - Can I buy 77mm filters and use them with all lenses via adapters? Or are there only certain lengths? Because I would love to buy my 77s and not need duplicates in every lens size I ever get
 

ann

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you can buy step up rings to use on various sizes , moving up to a 77mm so you only need to buy one size.
 

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