What filters...and why filters?
/forum/topic/1166852/0

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papageno
Registered: Jul 03, 2003
Total Posts: 3626
Country: United States

Noticed on several posts comments that noted that the writer had refused to buy the 14-24 (or one of several other lenses) because it doesn't take filters easily.

For my self, I use a Polarizer from time to time (but not on superwides). Other than that, I generally don't need or use filters.

Why are filters important to you, and what do you use that warrants this concern.

Don't mean this critically; but I would like to be enlightened....



ja_joyce
Registered: Jan 15, 2006
Total Posts: 148
Country: United States

Many landscape shooters use split or graduated neutral density filters to control the dynamic range of the scene esp. at sunrise or sunset. It allows you to have both sunlit and shadowed areas properly exposed. You can of course do the same thing now with HDR software but for me at least using a ND filer is a whole lot easier.



workerdrone
Registered: Dec 29, 2010
Total Posts: 1201
Country: United States

ND also to lengthen shutter speeds - for example, to blur moving water or to use portrait lenses wide open in full sun to blow out backgrounds.



James R
Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Total Posts: 5110
Country: United States

I use a Singh-Ray Vari-ND to reduce light, which allows using a slower shutter speed.



Chris Dees
Registered: Dec 24, 2002
Total Posts: 3774
Country: Netherlands

Besides (G)ND as mentioned above I use UV filters only for protection in hazardous environments like sandy beaches and a polarizer for dealing with reflections.



ChrisDM
Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7461
Country: United States

Neutral density and graduated neutral density filters are critical for most types of serious landscape work, to tame harsh skies and slow exposures for water motion. It is the reason I dont and wont ever own the 14-24.



Danner
Registered: Nov 19, 2012
Total Posts: 154
Country: United States

I always put a UV filter on for protection of the front element and the filter threads themselves.



Two23
Registered: Oct 28, 2009
Total Posts: 3712
Country: United States

papageno wrote:
Noticed on several posts comments that noted that the writer had refused to buy the 14-24 (or one of several other lenses) because it doesn't take filters easily.

For my self, I use a Polarizer from time to time (but not on superwides). Other than that, I generally don't need or use filters.

Why are filters important to you, and what do you use that warrants this concern.

Don't mean this critically; but I would like to be enlightened....



The only filters I've found useful are:

1. polarizer. Very, very useful.
2. Graduated ND filter
3. ND filter. I mostly use this with my pre-Civil war lenses because they have no
shutters and I need 1 sec. exposure & use a black hat for a "shutter."
4. Color filters. I carry red, orange, yellow, green filters when shooting b&w with my Leica IIIc
and Rolleiflex MX cameras. These allow me to increase or decrease contrast as needed.

I used to use UV filters on my lenses until I figured out they just don't do anything, and one day a filter broke and scratched up my lens! I use a lens cap to protect my lenses when not shooting.


Kent in SD



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3670
Country: United States

Have you noticed there is a Filter menu in Photoshop?



papageno
Registered: Jul 03, 2003
Total Posts: 3626
Country: United States

Have you noticed there is a Filter menu in Photoshop?

Yes, and I use it on occasion for warmer/cooler adjustment.

I have assumed that one could apply a filter before a B&W conversion to get approximately the same result. Not much on B&W....



krickett
Registered: Jul 02, 2010
Total Posts: 596
Country: United States

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 DSLR's.



ChrisDM
Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7461
Country: United States

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


Don't hold your breath for the neutral density photoshop filter, it ain't gonna happen. And this is why many serious landscape photographers pass on the 14-24.



Neddie Seagoon
Registered: Nov 08, 2007
Total Posts: 403
Country: United States

"Many Serious Landscape Photographers" are silly. There are filter options available for the 14-24.



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3670
Country: United States

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


Don't hold your breath for the neutral density photoshop filter, it ain't gonna happen. And this is why many serious landscape photographers pass on the 14-24.


Have you ever heard of exposure blending from the same RAW file in Photoshop?



Andre Labonte
Registered: Dec 21, 2005
Total Posts: 13484
Country: United States

I use four types of filters for different reasons:

1) Circular polarizer ... very very useful in getting rid of reflections and haze, and not just from sunlight.

2) ND filters when trying to slow things down where I want/need a specific shutter/aperature combination and I'm already at the lowest ISO I can go. This happens with water falls quite often.

3) Graduated ND. Not something I use that often, but when I do, nothing else will do, including all the PP in the world ... or maybe more correctly said, 5 minutes fussing with a ND filter saves hours of post processing.

4) Clear glass filters ... for ease of cleaning ... NOT for protection. Some people think a clear glass filter protects the front element ... not really, and if it shatters, it actually is more likely to damage the front element. A lens hood protects the front element better than anything I know other than using caution. BUT, there are times when the clear glass filter is just so much easier to clean that it saves me time for no noticable degridation in image quality. A few examples:

Example 1
Kids by the ocean splashing in waves .... ever get salt water that dried on your lens? Try and get it off that front element ... have fun spending hours cleaning it. With a filter, I can dunk the filter into a sink full of water ... cleans up in just a few minutes of drying. The trick to cleaning salt is copious amounts of water ... more than you want to put on your lens at any one time.

Example 2
Equestrian events on a hot, dry dusty day ... tons of dust ... again, dunk in the sink when done. Only an issue for short lenses like a 17-55 when getting in close to the action ... obviously not an issue for the long lenses.

Example 3
Spray foam fight -- need I say more?



papageno
Registered: Jul 03, 2003
Total Posts: 3626
Country: United States

Have you ever heard of exposure blending from the same RAW file in Photoshop?

Again, use it on occasion. I'm comfortable with Photoshop. Not great, but comfortable. I want to learn about filters, be they glass, plastic, or gels.......

In this digital age, what do they mean today? Some really great answers here; are their other viewpoints that should be considered?



Andre Labonte
Registered: Dec 21, 2005
Total Posts: 13484
Country: United States

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


Why use photoshop if you can get it right in camera? There are many ways to skin a cat, some like one way, other another.



mshi
Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Total Posts: 3670
Country: United States

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


Why use photoshop if you can get it right in camera? There are many ways to skin a cat, some like one way, other another.


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.



ChrisDM
Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7461
Country: United States

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


Don't hold your breath for the neutral density photoshop filter, it ain't gonna happen. And this is why many serious landscape photographers pass on the 14-24.


Have you ever heard of exposure blending from the same RAW file in Photoshop?


You're thinking of a graduated neutral density filter, which is the "getting it right in-camera" version of exposure blending. A standard neutral density filter however, is for slowing exposure time to create motion, typically in water. This cannot be duplicated in Photoshop. Furthermore, speaking of water, circular polarizers are used by more advanced landscape and nature photographers to reduce reflections of dew on foliage etc to bring out he color underneath. And Once again this being an effect that cannot be replicated in Photoshop.



ChrisDM
Registered: May 17, 2005
Total Posts: 7461
Country: United States

Neddie Seagoon wrote:
"Many Serious Landscape Photographers" are silly. There are filter options available for the 14-24.


Its not just the fact that you have to come up with a 3rd party solution to attach a filter. The weight and cost is also prohibitive. There are lighter, more affordable, and more sensible options available. Of course I've rarely accused a fellow photographer of being sensible...



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