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Archive 2012 · What filters...and why filters?
  
 
Dwight3
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · What filters...and why filters?


The only filter a 14-24 might need is a neutral density or graduated ND filter. A polarizer would not be useful on a wide lens like that because the polarization of light is aspect-sensitive.

The most common use of the polarizer is to darken the sky. But the darkening peaks at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun and drops off as you move toward or away from that line. You can see variability in sky darkening at focal lengths larger than 24mm if you look for it.

Passing up a good lens because it doesn't work with a system you're used to is silly. Learn to use multiple exposures and combine them in post. There's no reason you can't do that with the 14-24, which is a good lens. Admittedly it's a bit cumbersome. It's large and bulky and that front element looks intimidating. It sticks out so it's vulnerable. But those are all things that you can work around.



Nov 20, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · What filters...and why filters?


mshi wrote:
To "get it right in camera" is the lie told by the gear industry. Ansel Adams used to spend days and weeks to "develop" his looks in his wet lab by dodging and burning because he simply just couldn't "get it right in camera." Why use photoshop? You don't have to because anything you do in Photoshop you can also do in the traditional wet lab.


So what you are really saying is that Ansel Adams liked to skin his cat a different way than me. Big deal, I'm not Ansel Adams and I don't want to be Ansel Adams.

Bryan Peterson is an extremely successful and internationaly know professional photographer, not a gear head or a camera maker, and it's his mantra to get it right in camera. That's not to say he does not touch up an image here or there, but he saves time by getting it right in camera. For him, his creative process is more in the taking than in the processing ... a different way to skin a cat.

I personally have had great success getting it right in camera.

Finally, as Chris pointed out, there are things you can do with filters that no reasonable amount of photoshop will fix. But you are welcome to keep skinning your cats the hard way.



Nov 20, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · What filters...and why filters?


Dwight3 wrote:
The only filter a 14-24 might need is a neutral density or graduated ND filter. A polarizer would not be useful on a wide lens like that because the polarization of light is aspect-sensitive.

The most common use of the polarizer is to darken the sky. But the darkening peaks at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun and drops off as you move toward or away from that line. You can see variability in sky darkening at focal lengths larger than 24mm if you look for it.

Passing up a good lens because it doesn't work with a system you're
...Show more


I have to agree with you in principle ... but I also understand why people would avoid the 14-24 as the system required to use filters with this lens is expensive, bulky, and cumbersome to use as compared to something you screw on to the front of any other lens. One cannot forget that there is a difference between what can be done and what is practical and effective.



Nov 20, 2012 at 01:26 PM
campyone
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · What filters...and why filters?


Different types of filters serve different purposes depending on whether you're talking about b&w photography or color photography. For b&w photography the typical filters are yellow, orange, red, green and maybe blue. Their purpose is to separate tones that otherwise would merge in a b&w photograph. In color photography different filters are used mainly to balance colors from different light sources and/or of a different color temperature or to create special effects such as a "warm" look.

Some filters are common to both types of photography. E.g. neutral density filters and polarizers are often used for both as are some special effects filters.

Many of the effects produced by filters, whether for color or b&w, can be replicated and improved in Photoshop. I used to carry a full complement of filters of different sizes for different lenses as well as adapter rings, brushes, cleaning fluids, etc. I no longer carry any of them except a polarizer and a couple graduated neutral density filters. I prefer to do what the other filters used to do in Photoshop where I have more flexibility than the traditional filters gave me. Obviously this is a personal preference, others may differ.

This is obviously just the briefest of summaries. To understand how different filters work and why particular ones might be used in certain situations you should delve into the subject more deeply than you'll likely get from answers here. There are plenty of books on photography, digital and traditional, that explain how and why filters are used and I'm sure there's also information available on line.

Having spent many years in a darkroom and now many years with Photoshop I'd have to disagree with mshi that you can do anything in a darkroom that can be done in Photoshop. That may be true in theory but in practice, no.






Nov 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
ChrisDM
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · What filters...and why filters?


Dwight3 wrote:
The only filter a 14-24 might need is a neutral density or graduated ND filter. A polarizer would not be useful on a wide lens like that because the polarization of light is aspect-sensitive.

The most common use of the polarizer is to darken the sky. But the darkening peaks at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun and drops off as you move toward or away from that line. You can see variability in sky darkening at focal lengths larger than 24mm if you look for it.



You're forgetting (or not aware of) another primary use of the circular polarizer, which is to eliminate glare/reflections of moisture off of damp foliage etc. This function of the circular polarizer allows the true color of the foliage beneath the moisture to come through. This function is independent of focal length and is not replicatable in Photoshop, and can be the difference between a good photograph and a great photograph if you're shooting around foliage in damp conditions.

See the example and explaination under "Color Saturation" here:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/polarizing-filters.htm



Nov 20, 2012 at 02:03 PM
 

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papageno
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · What filters...and why filters?


JimboChin sent me a wonderful booklet he has written on filters. Clear words, great examples. If this topic interests you, can I suggest you pm him for a copy?


Nov 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
tmpollard
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · What filters...and why filters?


krickett wrote:
I often use:

1. Circular Polarizer - mostly or landscape shots with the obvious stuff: controlling reflections in water, off of foliage, and increasing saturation from foliage or the sky
2. Neutral Density - I have a range: 3, 4, 6, and 10 stop. This helps with waterfall or seascape pictures to show flowing water. The 3 and 4 stops are also used to bring shutter speed down for flash sync, whenever Focal Plane shots aren't coming out very well (underpowered).

Sometimes I will use ND Grads, but I find that I can use them way less given the dynamic range of modern
...Show more


Can you tell me more about when you use the 3,4,6 and 10 ND filters and what type shots each one is good for? Thanks



Dec 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Smiert Spionam
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · What filters...and why filters?


I'd agree that a polarizer and grads are really about all that is necessary the vast majority of time when working digitally. And with the latest sensors with improved dynamic range (in my case, the NEX-7 and D600), grads are less necessary than before. I still use them once in a while, but far less than before. That leaves a polarizer as the single filter that truly can't be handled better in post. Even that, I use more often for foliage than for skies -- because pulling down a blue sky in LR is usually quite easy, too.


Dec 11, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · What filters...and why filters?


The use of filters are a personal one. Me, I haven't owned a filter in years. When I had filters, the only ones for me, that were worth the expense were the B+W ND and a SR split grad.

Blending works just as good for me - if not better. I absolutely hate carrying more garbage than I need to, so the less the better

Oh and I would take a 14-24 over most any lens (I said most.. )

Here is one, taken with film a few months ago. No filters used.








Dec 11, 2012 at 03:21 AM
jerbear00
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · What filters...and why filters?


mshi wrote:
Have you noticed there is a Filter menu in Photoshop?


I don't get your point.

grad-ND allow you capture an image using today's sensors dynamic range so that you have shadow and highlight detail. Filters in photoshop will not fix blown highlights or lost shadow detail.



Dec 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM
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