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07-21-2015, 02:58 PM   #1
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ND filters or use multi-exposure?

Hi folks,

So I'm confused - over the last year, there have been times where I was in the right situation or setting to capture a long exposure shot (a few beaches, sunset and landscapes).

I dabbled in reading about ND filters and now that the K3 (I own 1) has multi-exposure, I don't know if I should get a ND filter set up or just use the camera?

Maybe I need to try some multi-exposure and see, but it seems the camera settings could equal an ND filter?

I did read Andy's thorough article about ND. Also watched some Joshua Cripp's videos (also thorough).

Any help/advice would help.

Also, I wasn't sure if this should go in the Technique forum instead of this 1 so sorry if it's in the wrong place.

Cheers,
Keebler

07-21-2015, 03:19 PM   #2
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There are certain effects, such as "erasing"people at a crowded location, streaking clouds, etc that you just cannot do in camera and you need a pretty strong (9-10 stop) ND filter.
07-21-2015, 03:43 PM   #3
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What exactly are you trying to achieve? can you be more specific?

If you're just going after long exposures, I don't think there is a way around ND filters. You can only stop down that much (diffraction etc.). I don't think there is a way to simulate a 10 stop ND using in-camera settings. Maybe there is but I don't know how. Maybe you can do it using multiple shots and PP software, but I bet it's not gonna be that simple.

If you're having problems with high dynamic range conditions, there are other ways.
07-21-2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Can you please explain how multiple-exposure can mimic an ND filter ?

07-21-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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If you're asking me, I've just said that maybe there is a way but I don't know how. I was thinking something like taking a lot of shots of the same scene and then using some software to streak the clouds for instance (which are gonna change position while shooting), or to clone people out. I'm almost sure you're gonna need some PP for this, I don't think it's possible using in-camera settings.

The OP mentioned beaches, sunset and landscapes so it's not completely clear for me what exactly he wants to do. Beaches, yeah, ok, long exposure to get the silky water look. But sunset and landscapes? most of the times when I shoot sunsets and landscapes, it's not like I want long exposures, but I have to deal with high dynamic range conditions. And there are few different ways around it.
07-21-2015, 04:30 PM   #6
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It can come in handy if you don't have an ND filter. You use the Multi Exposure or Interval Composite shooting modes and average out and stack exposures.

07-21-2015, 04:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Can you please explain how multiple-exposure can mimic an ND filter ?
QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
If you're asking me, I've just said that maybe there is a way but I don't know how.
I also don't know how and can't imagine a scenario where multiple exposures might duplicate the light-blocking capability of an ND filter.


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07-21-2015, 04:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cgchang Quote
It can come in handy if you don't have an ND filter. You use the Multi Exposure or Interval Composite shooting modes and average out and stack exposures.

https://youtu.be/b3m9k76uf5k
Yes, that will work, but the user should be aware that what you are getting are multiple exposures, not a time exposure. When done as described in the video, the end effect is similar to a long exposure but not identical. The caution note is that there is a time gap between exposures* and the possibility of strange results. Anything moving across the frame may take on a stuttered appearance. Say a bright white bird fully crosses the framed during a sequence of 10 exposures. In the final merge, there will be a gray streak in the path of the bird with 9 gaps.


Steve

* Mirror travel + shutter cock. It would be nice if Pentax offered Mirror-Up until (something) + electronic shutter, but that is not a feature.

07-21-2015, 04:59 PM   #9
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It's one of those things that's more of a work around than a replacement method
07-21-2015, 05:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cgchang Quote
It can come in handy if you don't have an ND filter. You use the Multi Exposure or Interval Composite shooting modes and average out and stack exposures.

https://youtu.be/b3m9k76uf5k


Amazing, but I'm not sure if Pentax cameras have "averaging" in Multiple Exposure, the have something called "Auto EV" ?
07-22-2015, 06:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Amazing, but I'm not sure if Pentax cameras have "averaging" in Multiple Exposure, the have something called "Auto EV" ?
Yes they do!
07-22-2015, 03:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Amazing, but I'm not sure if Pentax cameras have "averaging" in Multiple Exposure
Ummm...The OP's K-3 definitely does. All composite image modes support three different merge types:
  • Average
  • Additive (cumulative exposure)
  • Bright (only bright parts are merged)
This is in the user manual.


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07-22-2015, 06:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hattifnatt Quote
If you're asking me, I've just said that maybe there is a way but I don't know how. I was thinking something like taking a lot of shots of the same scene and then using some software to streak the clouds for instance (which are gonna change position while shooting), or to clone people out. I'm almost sure you're gonna need some PP for this, I don't think it's possible using in-camera settings.

The OP mentioned beaches, sunset and landscapes so it's not completely clear for me what exactly he wants to do. Beaches, yeah, ok, long exposure to get the silky water look. But sunset and landscapes? most of the times when I shoot sunsets and landscapes, it's not like I want long exposures, but I have to deal with high dynamic range conditions. And there are few different ways around it.
Thanks. Definitely for water type scenarios - beaches, rivers, lakes with mist and landscapes for stretching out the clouds.

Some great feedback here. I appreciate everyone's input.

So what I gather, it's best I invest in some ND as the in-camera stuff isn't quite the same.
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