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Archive 2013 · Metering & ND filter question
  
 
russdenney01
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Metering & ND filter question


Hello,

I like to use ND filters when shooting outdoors so I can open up with a large aperture for portrait work. I have tried using vari-ND filters but quickly discovered it can be difficult to dial a vari-ND into an exact amount of stops on the fly. The notches on the vari-NDs do not each represent one stop of light - even on the expensive models...

What I want to be able to do is this, meter the subject using a light meter and then adjust for an exact amount of attenuation using an ND filter. I have since decided to try a fixed ND filter (3 stops for example) so if I meter the subject at f8...I can set my camera up with the 3 stop ND filter and set it at f2.8.

My question is this...do you think a quality fixed stop ND filter is accurate on its rating...will I be able to meter the shot and then just adjust for the ND filter in camera and get reliable exposure on the subject?



Jul 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Allynb
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Metering & ND filter question


I usually use a handheld meter and take a reading of the scene, through the filter. Then attach the filter and bracket my shots just to be sure. This an old Large format procedure used by many LF shooters.
Allan



Jul 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM
russdenney01
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Metering & ND filter question


Thanks for the reply.

I am hoping the process can be a little more exact than that. Removing and reinstalling ND filters and bracketing exposures for portrait work can be a little cumbersome and produce unpredictable results.



Jul 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM
jwp721
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Metering & ND filter question


A fix ND filter may not be 100% accurate in the actual number of stops vs advertised... but it will always to be same. Once you determine the exact stops difference you should be able to simply dial in the difference.

But bracketing (or chimping) is just part of the process to ensure the ideal exposure....



Jul 26, 2013 at 01:19 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Metering & ND filter question


russdenney01 wrote:
...I have tried using vari-ND filters but quickly discovered it can be difficult to dial a vari-ND into an exact [number] of stops on the fly. The notches on the vari-NDs do not each represent one stop of light...


What you might do is run a test with your variable filter and record how much each notch represents. The detents may not be an exact stop, but they will be consistent from day to day. A little note card will be a lot less expensive than a set of new filters.



Jul 26, 2013 at 03:12 PM
tedwca
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Metering & ND filter question


I just made a cheat sheet for the marks on my variable ND filter. While the marks are not representative of F stops, they are consistent. i.e. the first dot is always two stops, the forth dot is always 3 stops, etc.

Edited on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:27 AM · View previous versions



Jul 27, 2013 at 06:46 PM
russdenney01
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Metering & ND filter question


Valid points on the ND. Thanks for the suggestions.


Jul 27, 2013 at 06:53 PM
basehorhonda
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Metering & ND filter question


Like its all ready been said, your value on your ND isnt going to change on a fixed filter. Once you figure out what your going to get, you should be able to figure out the rest.


Jul 28, 2013 at 05:29 AM





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