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Archive 2012 · Neutral Density Filters....
  
 
Steve Kelley
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Neutral Density Filters....


I am looking to purchase some of these filters.... I would like to get some 1st hand knowledge from those of you who have used the different brands....

I went to the mountains to take pics of waterfalls.... I was going to slow the shutter speed down to blur the water.... There was way to much light and I had to wait to just about sundown to get a shot.... I'm hoping that the filters will help me with this kind of shooting.... Any advice is certainly welcome.... Thanks....



Nov 06, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Tareq
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Neutral Density Filters....


LEE ND filters
LEE GND filters

Alternatives:
Hitech ND filters
Hitech GND filters

Expensive alternatives:
Singhray Vari-ND and similar vari ND stops filters
Singhray GND filters
Singhray Reversed ND/GND filter

Some cheapo alternatives but very good comparable:

B+W ND filters [Top line so expensive compared to same type of filters]
Hoya ND filters
Kenko ND filters

Ofcourse you can pair any of above with Circular Polarizer filters from B+W or Hoya and similar, but i always choose GND and ND first when i shoot landscapes with sky and bright exposure or waterfalls and waterscape surfaces.

Good luck!



Nov 06, 2012 at 05:18 PM
AlphaValues
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Neutral Density Filters....


ND filters will add a bit of color cast to the image, too. Even my SinghRay VariND cools the tone a little. Make sure you custom WB after you get the filter setup to make sure your colors are accurate.


Nov 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM
TheWengler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Neutral Density Filters....


Personally I feel the best light for that type of thing is when it's 100% in the shadows. At those times a polarizer cuts more than enough light (sometimes too much) to blur the water. I do like ND filters for cloud movement though. How strong of a filter do you need? Do you use a filter holder (i.e. Lee FK)?


Nov 07, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Steve Kelley
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Neutral Density Filters....


I don't have any filters or holders.... I don't know what strength I will require.... That is the purpose of the Topic....


Nov 07, 2012 at 01:48 PM
surf monkey
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Neutral Density Filters....


Go here for some valuable info: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/neutral-density-filters.htm


Nov 07, 2012 at 04:55 PM
surf monkey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Neutral Density Filters....


To figure out what "strength" ND filter you need, it's a simple calculation.
You need to know your shutter speed and use the following:

Amount of light reduction
1 stop: 1/2
2 stops: 1/4
4 stops: 1/16
6 stops: 1/64
8 stops: 1/256
10 stops: 1/1024

So if you're shooting 1/250 shutter speed without a filter, then an 8-stop filter will give you a 1 sec exposure. 10-stops gives you 4 secs.



Nov 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
 

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TheWengler
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Neutral Density Filters....


Steve Kelley wrote:
I don't have any filters or holders.... I don't know what strength I will require.... That is the purpose of the Topic....


Well I'm assuming you know what shutter speed you were getting. I certainly don't have that info. Do you know what shutter speed you want? Then we can do some math to figure out what you need.



Nov 08, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Steve Kelley
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Neutral Density Filters....


I like to shoot the falls with a shutter speed of 1-2 seconds....


Nov 08, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Genes Home
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Neutral Density Filters....


Steve,

Not to be picky.....but at what ISO and f/stop are you shooting?

You have a lot of variables you are dealing with here, and all of them are equally important.

Let's deal with a couple of them.

1. Light. Shooting waterfalls is ALWAYS best done under cloud cover heavy enough to eliminate shadows, or at first/last llight when the sun has gone off both the water and the immediately surrounding landscape that will be in the picture. This is an issue of dynamic range, where the sunlight off the water is so much brighter than the surrounding landscape that the camera simply cannot capture both light and dark with any detail. You simply have to manage this situation with your shooting plan or travel plan.

2. Reflection. Always a scene killer on moving water, it adds to the dynamic range problem. A good circular polarizer will help here. You want one that is LARGER by at least one size than the filter ring diameter of the largest lens you will be using. I use an 82 mm and have a set of inexpensive step down rings that let me use it on lenses down to 52mm. This avoids the corner darkening that you will get by using a filter sized to your lens. Most polarizers will cut the light by at least 2-4 f/stops when in use, which might be enough to get you where you want to be if you are using native ISO (100 for Canon, 200 for Nikon) and an f/stop beyond f/11-16. If you do nothing else, get one of these....preferably the most expensive you can afford. Quality costs money here.

3. Cutting the light. See Tareq's note above. Using a neutral density (ND for solid color across the entire filter, ND Grad for dark at one side and totally clear by the other side) filter is the classic solution here to give you a longer exposure. NOTE....it will not do ANYTHING for management of extreme dynamic range if you are in a sunlight water situation. Check out the options at B&H or Adorama. Cokin P holders are the least inexpensive, but you will have to buy a set of adapter rings for your various lenses. Lee are made better but more expensive. BOTH WILL darken the corners of any photo shot with lenses greater than about 70mm. An alternative many people take is to not buy a holder at all, and to buy the larger size filters (for medium format camera lenses) and then hand-hold them in front of the lens. Doesn't work for me, though. Anyway, A decent initial kit of these would be ND filters in 2, 4, 6 or 3, 5, 7 stop strengths, and a set of ND Grads in the same strengths. Be very careful handling them. The ones you and I can afford are acrylic plastic and scratch quite easily. If you visit the Singh Ray site you can find some very nice andi nformative videos describing these filters in detail and showing them in action in the field. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND watching the entire series of videos before you buy any filters.

Gene



Nov 08, 2012 at 07:36 PM
DontShoot
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Neutral Density Filters....


I'll keep this short and simple: Get the Lee Foundation Kit, Adapter & Lee Big Stopper. Mount to your lens, close the viewfinder, meter the scene and expose. For waterfalls, I like 15 seconds or more.. which means ISO 100, big stopper, and anywhere between f/11 - f/16.


Nov 08, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Steve Kelley
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Neutral Density Filters....


Gene.... I had to wait until the end of the day.... The sun was still up, but behind the trees.... Just looked at my camera data for this shot.... Shot taken with a 5D Mark II, Lens 24-70 2.8L, F/22, ISO 100, SS 1sec....


Nov 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
lou f
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Neutral Density Filters....


3 stop for night shooting 10 stop for day time. if you want 2 min exp.


Nov 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM





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