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04-20-2007, 07:05 AM   #1
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The Filter Fact

Does anyone have or know of a publication or site that I can get my hands on that talks about filters, how to use them and what is to be expected when using them? I have a myriad of different shooting opportunities coming up and I want to be prepared as best I can for them and I think that using the right filters at the right times will help me out.

04-20-2007, 07:18 AM   #2
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Try any of the major makers/distributors: Tiffen and Hoya. Or get a book: that shows spectral response, or that offers selection advice.

If you have the filters already, simple experimentation can also be fun.
04-20-2007, 09:06 AM   #3
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You may be able to borrow or rent some to fit your lens(es). The multi-coated super-deluxe high-brow filters cost as much as some lenses. It's nice to know in advance that it would be useful to you.

Personally I like the polarizer for darkening the clear blue sky and minimizing glare off of water and other shiny surfaces. You need to rotate it to find the position of maximum effect.
The other filter I find useful outside is the gradient neutral density. It darkens half the frame, usually applied to the upper half where the sky is, or the lower half where the snow is. It also works on an overcast sky where the polarizer won't.

As the earlier reply said, experimentation is fun. It's also enlightening.
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04-20-2007, 02:29 PM   #4
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Thanks, I will prolly get a book, but I know I will experiment as well

04-20-2007, 06:18 PM   #5
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OK, so I went to B&H and was looking at getting the Hoya HMC Multicoaded ones. Adding them to my cart and next thing you know I am at 200 dollars, and I havent even gotten to the polarizing filters yet... (woe is me) Anywho, I have another question, can you put filters on top of filters, like I can stack the polarizer on top of my UV and maybe an ND as well?
04-20-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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Yeah, you can stack filters, but of course the more glass you put in front of your lens, the more potential for image degradation.

In film days, filters for color (even/especially when shooting B&W) were important. Less so now, because that can all be done in post-production. ND filters are still useful in some cases, but less so for the same reason. Some things, though, like polarizing filters, though, can't really be duplicated after the fact. I have one for my olympus C5060, and I find it really useful.

You need a more expensive and somewhat less effective circular polarizer with an SLR, because the light-splitter which sends information to the metering has a polarizing effect, and if you send already-polarized light to it, no metering. Circular polarizers use Magical Advanced Physics Which I Do Not Understand to polarize the light in some way (circularly, obviously) which doesn't conflict with the polarization from the splitter.
04-20-2007, 09:59 PM   #7
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So something like THIS would be ideal then?
04-21-2007, 01:36 AM   #8
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The only bit of advice I can offer regarding filters is to buy filters to fit your largest diameter lens(es) and buy step-up rings to allow you to use them with your smaller diameter lenses. You can save a bit of money that way.

04-21-2007, 06:03 AM   #9
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Hey, good idea Mike.
04-21-2007, 07:25 AM   #10
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The "Super-Thins" can sometimes prevent vignetting on extreme wide lenses, but also remember that they sometimes only are threaded on the back.

Not an issue if you'll never stack filters, but it does make that option unavailable...

I compared, and the thickness was never more than a couple mm's anyway...

Something else to keep in mind, is that polarisers (both kinds) sometimes are a bit unpredictable at very-wide angles - has to do with the angles of reflection and so on (math was never one of my strong suits) so while a sky would be a pleasing blue in the centre of the shot, it could be much, much darker at the corners, akin to a vignetted shot anyhow... Because of this I decided, in my case, that if the polariser filter thickness was enough to vignette the shot, then I was probably shooting too wide to use a polariser effectively anyhow... just my opinion...
04-21-2007, 07:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Classvino Quote
Something else to keep in mind, is that polarisers (both kinds) sometimes are a bit unpredictable at very-wide angles - has to do with the angles of reflection and so on (math was never one of my strong suits) so while a sky would be a pleasing blue in the centre of the shot, it could be much, much darker at the corners, akin to a vignetted shot anyhow... Because of this I decided, in my case, that if the polariser filter thickness was enough to vignette the shot, then I was probably shooting too wide to use a polariser effectively anyhow... just my opinion...
That is right. On wide shots, a polarizer might produce strange effects. I took this shot at 19mm with a thin polarizer. The effect on one side was much stronger than on the other side:
04-21-2007, 08:12 AM   #12
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You may want to look at the Cokin filter system:

COKIN Creative System - The Holder System - Standard & Pro Holder

It could be less expensive in the long run than buying lots of srew-in filters, and you'd have access to graduated filters and other fun stuff.
04-21-2007, 10:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
That is right. On wide shots, a polarizer might produce strange effects. I took this shot at 19mm with a thin polarizer. The effect on one side was much stronger than on the other side:
It's related to the angle from the sun, so obviously a wider angle has a greater variation of angle from the sun so shows more variation over a single frame. That's what I think I know anyway.
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