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01-06-2013, 06:50 AM   #1
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Help Needed Dreamy ND Filter for Clouds, Shoreline and Waterfall Photography

Help me please! I am in the market for ND Filter for clouds, dreamy waterfall and shoreline effect. Questions;

1. What brand and number of ND filter should I get? I should be shooting f2.8 to f8.

2. Should I invest on prime lens with similar thread size (eg. 49mm) or invest a larger one for the DA*16-50 and get a step down ring to fit 50-135? Will zoom degrade quality as they have too many elements within?

Thanks in advance!

01-06-2013, 07:35 AM   #2
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well considering the effects you are after you will probably want a pretty strong ND filter: The current top makers are Hoya NDX400 ( ND9) B+W ND10 and the Lee "Big stopper" (10ND) the one I use just happen to use is most expensive option, the "Big stopper" From Lee filters is part of a rectangular solid borosilicate plate glass filter system that can be used on any lens - but the filter alone can cost several hundred dollars but given proper care, the glass filters will outlast resin filters. I don't have any experience with the B+W filter but many of my professional colleagues say that they are fantastic. The Hoya NDX 400 is basically a black glass filter - that does cause a noticeable yellow/green colour cast - the big stopper from Lee causes a slight blue cast. The B+W filter tends to have a yellow cast.

The Hoya or the B+W filters are your best bet, they are available in filter threads ranging from 49mm to 77mm - though the larger ones cost considerably more which is one of the principal attractions to using primes - filters tend to cost much less because the filter threads are often much smaller.

As for your concerns on filter flare - primes can suffer from it just as badly as zoom lenses do, it all comes down to experimentation and learning when it is going to become a problem and how to deal with it.


Colour casts present in two popular dark ND Filters. the blue cast from the Lee is easy to correct for, the cast from the Hoya filter can be a bit trickier to deal with - using custom WB preset would be recommended.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-06-2013 at 11:28 PM.
01-06-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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First, make sure you have a sturdy tripod. ND filters are available just about everywhere. I use a Hoya ND400 which is 9 stops (I think), usually mounted on my DA15. Even on a bright sunny day, I can see almost nothing so I use the DOF scale on the lens and do the math to figure the exposure. There are lots of ND filters. They range from 2 stops to 10 and everything in between. To start, I would suggest starting out with some late day shots at the lowest ISO, stopped down to f/11 or more and slowest shutter speeds you can get before buying new gear. You can get 30 sec. exposures at dusk without an ND.
01-06-2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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Samples?

Hello Lightbulb,
In addition to the good advice you've received already, the following examples might interest you;
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-technique/208079-comparison-...nd-filter.html
I took a series of five frames of the same scene, a running stream over rocks.
The first has no filters or hood. There is quite a bit of glare and lack of contrast.
Next I added a lens hood.
Then a Marumi circular polarizer + hood.
Next a # 16 ND, polarizer and hood, 0.7s exposure.
Last, a 4-second exposure at f/19, ND, CPL and hood. This one smoothed out the waterflow nicely, but I'd like to get an even longer exposure for that "cottony" or dreamy look. Notice how the cloud contrast/color is improved by the CPL and the overall contrast has deepened, less blown-out highlights with the ND's.
Ron

01-11-2013, 02:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Lightbulb,
In addition to the good advice you've received already, the following examples might interest you;
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-technique/208079-comparison-...nd-filter.html
I took a series of five frames of the same scene, a running stream over rocks.
The first has no filters or hood. There is quite a bit of glare and lack of contrast.
Next I added a lens hood.
Then a Marumi circular polarizer + hood.
Next a # 16 ND, polarizer and hood, 0.7s exposure.
Last, a 4-second exposure at f/19, ND, CPL and hood. This one smoothed out the waterflow nicely, but I'd like to get an even longer exposure for that "cottony" or dreamy look. Notice how the cloud contrast/color is improved by the CPL and the overall contrast has deepened, less blown-out highlights with the ND's.
Ron
Thanks for the input guys.

Looks like I will have to get Hoya ND10 and CPL filter and try it out!
01-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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I found this guide perfect for beginers with ND
"The Ultimate Guide To Neutral Density Filters" by Peter Hill | Redbubble
01-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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I'm with reeftool. Get out predawn and postdusk or during overcast days or under heavy forest canopy and stop your lens down to f 11 or f 16 while shooting at the lowest ISO your camera is capable of from a tripod. You won't need an ND filter. Once there is light and shadow on those types of subjects--midday--the ND filter can't fix the horrible lighting conditions other than getting you "cotton candy" water running through harsh shadowy conditions.

This could be the biggest difference between the images you see in magazines and art galleries and the images you see in friends travel blogs. Shooting at the wrong times of day in harsh lighting can't be fixed with a filter nor with PP. Oh, you'll get the blurred moving subject you were after, but you won't get quality images very often.
01-12-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
I'm with reeftool. Get out predawn and postdusk or during overcast days or under heavy forest canopy and stop your lens down to f 11 or f 16 while shooting at the lowest ISO your camera is capable of from a tripod. You won't need an ND filter. Once there is light and shadow on those types of subjects--midday--the ND filter can't fix the horrible lighting conditions other than getting you "cotton candy" water running through harsh shadowy conditions.

This could be the biggest difference between the images you see in magazines and art galleries and the images you see in friends travel blogs. Shooting at the wrong times of day in harsh lighting can't be fixed with a filter nor with PP. Oh, you'll get the blurred moving subject you were after, but you won't get quality images very often.
Thanks for the advice but I think I am ready to explore further;




01-12-2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan_M Quote
Thanks!
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