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Archive 2012 · GND: Hand hold or not?
  
 
LA_Sportsman
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p.1 #1 · GND: Hand hold or not?


If you use a GND, what is the best technique?

I am not interested in a debate on the value of GND's which it seems most threads quickly turn in to. I respect your opinion not to use a GND. I plan to purchase one, most likely Singh Ray (opinions are welcome) and would like to know whether to go with the 4x6 or Cokin P size.

Asking here because I specifically want landscape photographer opinions.



Apr 03, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Ruahrc
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p.1 #2 · GND: Hand hold or not?


I don't think there is a "best" technique. It will depend on the situation and the image.

Stacking filters? You pretty much need a holder. Just one? Handholding can work okay... unless it's a long exposure and then maybe you don't want to stand there for a minute and hold a filter to the lens.... Maybe the camera's hanging over a cliff and you can't handhold without being in danger of falling over... Maybe you've only got a hard edge, and need to feather the filter for a softer transition, so you handhold... You get the picture.

FWIW I would recommend going straight for the 4x6 size. Here is why:
1) 4x6 filters are easier to handhold without getting your hands/fingers in the frame, so it opens this possibility up
2) the larger coverage is more amenable to wide angle lenses without vignetting (particularly when stacking with multiple filters or a CPL)
3) 4x6 hard edge filters, when moved to one extreme, can serve as a full ND filter too. So one filter does the job of 2, making them more effective in the field, and helping to offset their higher cost with increased usability
4) if you're DX and moving to FX, it's easier to port your 4x6 filters, especially when talking about wide lenses

Norman



Apr 03, 2012 at 02:42 AM
LA_Sportsman
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p.1 #3 · GND: Hand hold or not?


- I am shooting DX (D300) and hoping to move to FX within a year.
- The two filters I use regularly in order are a CP (often) and a ND (occasionally) but for the most part I can set those and still handhold.

It seems I see more photographers holding filter by hand but I was curious a poll of FM photographers.




Apr 03, 2012 at 03:09 AM
dereksurfs
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p.1 #4 · GND: Hand hold or not?


If you are going to do it then do it right and get the larger filters which as Ruahrc described are more versitle. WA lenses will work much better with these. Start with one without the expensive holder. See if it works for you simply hand holding. If not then go for the holder later. You can sometimes find these overpriced wonders on ebay. Lee makes some good larger holders which are stackable. I came very close to buying the holder, but never did and don't really feel the need for it. I wouldn't want to hand those smaller filters nor do I think it would cover WA lenses. I will caveat that I only use my GND when I feel conditions are right for it (mostly strait lines) and I don't want to mess with blends. Its nice to have both options. I also use screw on ND and CP filters which are way easier to maintain, less fragile and fiddley.


Apr 03, 2012 at 03:13 AM
 

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LA_Sportsman
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p.1 #5 · GND: Hand hold or not?


I use screw on CP and ND filters.

I was planning on buying the Singh Ray Galen Rowell. Are they and Lee about the same with simply user preference?



Apr 03, 2012 at 03:44 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #6 · GND: Hand hold or not?


LA_Sportsman wrote:
I use screw on CP and ND filters.

I was planning on buying the Singh Ray Galen Rowell. Are they and Lee about the same with simply user preference?


I don't think you can go wrong with either of those. I have a full set of 1-3 stops soft and hard in Lee brand and I have a reverse GND 3 stop Singh Ray Darryl Benson. I also have the Hitech 10 stop newest version with better IR control and good sealing like the Big Stopper. I just went onto BH to check prices and for some reason I'm not seeing the normal listings for the Lee filters. I see the 4x6 Singh Rays are $160 but why aren't the Lees showing up? Has BH stopped dealing with them or something?

Edit: Nevermind, just found them. Didn't show up with my normal search terms but it looks like they have some of the sets in stock. For $240 you can get a full set of either soft or hard. I would go this way to save some money because I don't think the singh ray is worth the premium but then again I only own the one RGND.



Apr 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM
KFG1
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p.1 #7 · GND: Hand hold or not?


I do mainly seascapes and I'd have to recommend going with 4x6 size and getting a Lee Holder. I been using SIngh Ray GND and Reverse GND filters and I'm very happy with them, I have recently received a Lee Big Stopper and it is also great filter to have. As for the holder I prefer the Lee, it works perfectly and has been problem free for years. I tried the handheld method but prefer using the holder.


Apr 03, 2012 at 11:51 PM





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