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03-07-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
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Miguel's Avatar

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ND Filter Advice

I'm headed to Arizona next month to shoot wildflowers and landscapes. Seattle just doesn't get all that bright and I need a little advice about the best setup for using ND filters.
Most likely I'll be taking three lenses with the K10D: a Pentax 12-24mm that takes a 77mm filter; a DA* 50-135mm that takes a 67mm filter; and an older M42 Mamiya/Sekor 60mm macro that takes what looks to be a 62mm filter.
It seems like a Cokin "one size fits all" type of setup would accommodate all. Are there any quality or ease-of-use issues here?
Also, would a graduated ND filter serve most of my needs or should I pursue specific densities? I prefer shooting at 100-400 ISO.

Thanks much.

M

03-07-2008, 09:50 AM   #2
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If you're taking landscapes get the graduated ND. It's crucial to balance the exposure between the landscape and a bright(er) sky. The cokin set will work with all three lenses, provided you have either 1)three cokin filter rings (one for each lens) or 2) step up(down) rings for each filter size.

Get a few different ND grads if you can. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend this can be easy or difficult. Grads typically come in different stop adjustments and the actual graduated part can be a hard or soft grad. The hard grads are great for sunsets where the sky is brightest at the horizon. The softs are better for earlier in the day.

If you're willing to spend some loot, look for a good set of them. I here people talk about Lee filters. They're pretty pricey though. I went with the cheap route and picked up a couple of grad nd4's I think. They're stackable so I can get an 8 stop difference.
03-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
If you're taking landscapes get the graduated ND. It's crucial to balance the exposure between the landscape and a bright(er) sky. The cokin set will work with all three lenses, provided you have either 1)three cokin filter rings (one for each lens) or 2) step up(down) rings for each filter size.

Get a few different ND grads if you can. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend this can be easy or difficult. Grads typically come in different stop adjustments and the actual graduated part can be a hard or soft grad. The hard grads are great for sunsets where the sky is brightest at the horizon. The softs are better for earlier in the day.

If you're willing to spend some loot, look for a good set of them. I here people talk about Lee filters. They're pretty pricey though. I went with the cheap route and picked up a couple of grad nd4's I think. They're stackable so I can get an 8 stop difference.
The square filters are the way to go. The Cokin standard filters are plastic, and can be scratched. (How do I know, you say?) The Lee filters are, I believe, glass, and are less prone to scratches.
03-07-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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I will be going to the Grand Canyon next month as well and the Cokin P system will be a purchase I will be making for that trip. I just placed an order at B&H today and totally forgot to put it in.

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