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Archive 2012 · Handheld filters for long exposures?
  
 
Derek Weston
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


So I'm not a big fan of changing filters constantly and don't usually shoot with them. I also don't like the idea of owning numerous filters.

However, they have their moments. I'd like to experiment with long exposures during the day time, to be specific.

So I was thinking of getting a hand-held 4x4 (or 4x6?) ND filter.

Is this crazy thinking? To hand-hold for half a minute? I've never done such a thing. Also... any reason this wouldn't work with a wide angle lens that otherwise doesn't take filters?

I'm just trying to figure out if this is a feasible approach to long exposure shooting.



Dec 20, 2012 at 12:04 AM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


you can do it any way you want as long as you have enough overlap to do it and the patience to do it.


Dec 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


Remember that reflections off of the inside of a hand held filter can be a significant issue for hand held filters in many lighting conditions, and it is even more of a problem for solid neutral density filters that are in use to increase exposure times. So even though you do not like to mount the filter, a screw in ND filter can be a good investment for quality shots. The same goes for 4 by 4 solid ND filters, where a holder for them can help cut down on light leakage. The Lee Big Stopper filter even has some gasket material at the right places to help further cut light leakage when used on the Lee holder.

Graduated ND filters have less of an issue for light leakage when hand held, but still can have reflections. Besides light leakage, I happen to prefer a holder for Grad ND's so that I can position the filter the way I want, and carefully examine the wide open or stopped down view, and then adjust the filter position before shooting, or after a trial shot. If I hand hold, it seems like I have little control over what is going to happen.



Dec 20, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Derek Weston
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


Roland W wrote:
Remember that reflections off of the inside of a hand held filter can be a significant issue for hand held filters in many lighting conditions, and it is even more of a problem for solid neutral density filters that are in use to increase exposure times. So even though you do not like to mount the filter, a screw in ND filter can be a good investment for quality shots. The same goes for 4 by 4 solid ND filters, where a holder for them can help cut down on light leakage. The Lee Big Stopper filter even has
...Show more

I see. Yeah, I guess I wouldn't mind the filter holder... just that I believe the nikon 14-24 has to have its own special holder. So I started thinking just manually doing it would be best.



Dec 20, 2012 at 06:17 AM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


with a 14-24 you also need a slightly larger filter


Dec 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM
chez
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


Roland W wrote:
Remember that reflections off of the inside of a hand held filter can be a significant issue for hand held filters in many lighting conditions, and it is even more of a problem for solid neutral density filters that are in use to increase exposure times. So even though you do not like to mount the filter, a screw in ND filter can be a good investment for quality shots. The same goes for 4 by 4 solid ND filters, where a holder for them can help cut down on light leakage. The Lee Big Stopper filter even has
...Show more

I find with hand holding you do not need to get the transition exact as I slightly jiggle the filter while holding the filter allowing for a much better transition.



Dec 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM
 

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3iron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


The big problem with hand holding for me is for longer exposures, trying to keep the filter next to the lens without moving the camera, ever so slightly even, is next to impossible.
For short exposures it works fine.



Dec 20, 2012 at 03:59 PM
fairtex
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


Depending on the size of your filter, you can use simple rubber bands to hold them in place. It can be quickly applied and removed and is way more stable than I initially thought.
Now I use step-down adapter ring which I simply glued to the filter (yes, the glue removable).

Whole story here



Dec 20, 2012 at 06:38 PM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


after reading your blog and the filters you used (that being welding filters) I am assuming you used them with the knowledge that the light throughput is just a little different then a Neutral density filter. that being various selected wavelengths of light are attenuated differently. simply they are not "neutral Density" filters


Dec 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM
fairtex
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


You're right, the welding glass filters used in the linked images have a strong green cast, they are not neutral at all (though you can adjust this easily via manual WB). But the rubber strap method works with all kind of filters, also with my Cokin NDs.


Dec 21, 2012 at 07:20 AM
H. Hoolee
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Handheld filters for long exposures?


My concern echoes that of my fellow contributors- light leakage and camera movement. Some photographers will go to the trouble of locking up the mirror, weight their tripod with a camera bag, and take other steps to ensure that the entire unit is firmly secured on to the ground, in order to minimize/eliminate camera movement. Handholding a filter to the front of the lens can introduce more camera movement than you may realize. For me, changing filters is also an inconvenience, but I consider it part of the photographic process.


Dec 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM





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