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12-08-2009, 05:07 AM   #16
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UV filters degrade image quality but all those other types you mention don't?

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12-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
UV filters degrade image quality but all those other types you mention don't?

Chris
The actuality is subtle. As anything in the optical path it can degrade image quality.

The first thing to notice is that in the case of a UV filter, you don't really get anything for it. At least with a polarizer you can see through glass and water, you can get richer colors, etc.

Then you have to notice that the degradation of image quality by a UV filter is mostly flare which is cause be light entering the lens and reflecting outwards at a different angle and not all of it gets out. All the other filters I mention, let a lot less light in, so they will cause less flare. I've seen flare added by a UV filter quite often but never by an ND or polarizer.

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12-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #18
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Hi,

Just UVs and polarizers (two circular, for AF lenses, two linear, for MF lenses), and a ND-8 ...

Cheers
12-09-2009, 04:58 PM   #19
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Circular polarizers, UV, Tiffen ultra-contrast 3's

12-10-2009, 03:25 AM   #20
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I use:

UV filters (Hoya Pro Digital1) on all lenses, except for nighttime and pure indoor shooting. I also take them off when shooting into bright lights (dawn/dusk). I find UV filters very helpful to protect the lenses from sand (windy beach) or raindrops (better to clean filters than lens surfaces). Apart from reflections, of which I am well aware, I cannot detect any visible image degradation by these filters.

ND Grads in 3 densities (0.3 - 0.6 - 0.9), HiTech filters in Cokin Pro holders. One or two of the holders are cut down to just one slot, which makes them useable with extreme wide angles. The most important "effect" filter in my opinion. Really indispensible in snowy mountains, at the sea front etc.

Polarizers are something I use very occassionally. Sometimes it is nice to get more saturated colours, but usually I prefer natural colours. But ofcourse it is always possible to use an intermediate setting of the filter instead the full blocking.

I also have the full set of colour filters for bw film, warming and cooling filters for colour temperature adjustment (needed for slide film) etc. But I don't use these with digital.

Ben
12-10-2009, 07:13 AM   #21
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Please, please, before anyone runs out and buys a filter for any lens on a digital camera, please read this:

FILTERS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Yes, everything from ND to polarizers is nothing but marketing hype. You will get nothing from these that you cannot acquire and with better renditions in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Keep your money, buy a better lens.
12-10-2009, 07:35 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarheel13 Quote
Please, please, before anyone runs out and buys a filter for any lens on a digital camera, please read this:

FILTERS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Yes, everything from ND to polarizers is nothing but marketing hype. You will get nothing from these that you cannot acquire and with better renditions in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Keep your money, buy a better lens.
See, the main reason why I want at least UV filters is to protect my lenses from scratches. I take a lot of photos of my cats, and have come very close to having lenses ruined by curious paws.


As for polarizers or cooling/warming filters, I'm not that good with Photoshop, etc. and I guess I like to keep things a bit "old school" and do more via the camera rather than post-processing.
12-10-2009, 07:35 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarheel13 Quote
Please, please, before anyone runs out and buys a filter for any lens on a digital camera, please read this:

FILTERS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Yes, everything from ND to polarizers is nothing but marketing hype. You will get nothing from these that you cannot acquire and with better renditions in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Keep your money, buy a better lens.
As I mentioned in my post, this is wrong. A polarizer is the one that absolutely cannot get emulated. Try using photoshop to see what is behind a reflection or under water and you will see that I am 100% right. Maybe it works on CSI but I worked as a sofware engineer on image processing for 9 years, so I know a thing or two.

An ND filter has also a creative effect that also would be impossible to get using image processing (I mean without painting on the image) because you can lengthen exposure to include the passage of objects/people in your frame over a long period of time that is unreachable even at the smallest aperture and lowest ISO.

As for warming/cooling filters, as I said, that is called white-balance fine-tuning.

- Itai
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12-10-2009, 09:48 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarheel13 Quote
Please, please, before anyone runs out and buys a filter for any lens on a digital camera, please read this:

FILTERS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Yes, everything from ND to polarizers is nothing but marketing hype. You will get nothing from these that you cannot acquire and with better renditions in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Keep your money, buy a better lens.
Sorry, but this is simply not true. There are those filters you cannot emulate or only very superficially, compromising the real use of that filter:
  • You cannot emulate a polarizer in post-processing, because it does much more, than simply increasing sky blue. It takes away reflections - not only from glass (which is the usual example), but also from foilage - which means greens in landscapes get more saturated. Can you simply increase saturation? Yes, you can, but you won't get the same effect, a polarizer produces, because it takes away glare. Also it takes away glare from water surfaces, which can hardly be emulated and by the way, it decreases contrast, which brings many scenes within the working range of a sensor.
  • You cannot emulate a gradual neutral density filter. Well, I know, there are tools to do so. But the result is different from a real filter. Why? Because with a ND Grad you reduce the brightness of the sky or of foreground areas (think: sand in sunshine, snow etc.). That means in many cases, the brightness is reduced to a level, which the sensor can actually capture and preserve detail. If at the imaging stage the brightness exceed the sensor's dynamic range, the detail is gone - no way to recover that in post-processing.
  • You cannot really emulate a pure neutral density filter. These are used for several purposes. Firstly to allow for a faster aperture setting under brighter light. Ideal for portaits, when you want to throw the background off into unsharpness. Emulating this is possible with maks, but tedious and much slower, than simply using a filter.
    Secondly a ND helps to increase exposure time under brighter light, which allows not only the telltale flowing water effect, that is quite popular. In extremes it is the best recipe to image a popular place without having loads of tourists in the frame (to give just one example). These longtime exposures cannot be emulated - or only with hours of pp-time by somebody who really knows what he does.
  • Ofcourse you cannot emulate a protective filter...

You can do a lot on post-processing, but the best result is always achieved, when the initial image is of the best quality and at least those filters, I mentioned, help to achieve that quality. And in many cases, using the right filter is simply much faster, than using software later.

Ben
12-11-2009, 04:02 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Sorry, but this is simply not true. There are those filters you cannot emulate or only very superficially, compromising the real use of that filter:
  • You cannot emulate a polarizer in post-processing, because it does much more, than simply increasing sky blue. It takes away reflections - not only from glass (which is the usual example), but also from foilage - which means greens in landscapes get more saturated. Can you simply increase saturation? Yes, you can, but you won't get the same effect, a polarizer produces, because it takes away glare. Also it takes away glare from water surfaces, which can hardly be emulated and by the way, it decreases contrast, which brings many scenes within the working range of a sensor.
  • You cannot emulate a gradual neutral density filter. Well, I know, there are tools to do so. But the result is different from a real filter. Why? Because with a ND Grad you reduce the brightness of the sky or of foreground areas (think: sand in sunshine, snow etc.). That means in many cases, the brightness is reduced to a level, which the sensor can actually capture and preserve detail. If at the imaging stage the brightness exceed the sensor's dynamic range, the detail is gone - no way to recover that in post-processing.
  • You cannot really emulate a pure neutral density filter. These are used for several purposes. Firstly to allow for a faster aperture setting under brighter light. Ideal for portaits, when you want to throw the background off into unsharpness. Emulating this is possible with maks, but tedious and much slower, than simply using a filter.
    Secondly a ND helps to increase exposure time under brighter light, which allows not only the telltale flowing water effect, that is quite popular. In extremes it is the best recipe to image a popular place without having loads of tourists in the frame (to give just one example). These longtime exposures cannot be emulated - or only with hours of pp-time by somebody who really knows what he does.
  • Ofcourse you cannot emulate a protective filter...

You can do a lot on post-processing, but the best result is always achieved, when the initial image is of the best quality and at least those filters, I mentioned, help to achieve that quality. And in many cases, using the right filter is simply much faster, than using software later.

Ben
You just completely sold me on ND filters. Imma go see if I can find one.
12-12-2009, 09:32 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarheel13 Quote
FILTERS ARE A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME IN THE DIGITAL WORLD.

Yes, everything from ND to polarizers is nothing but marketing hype. You will get nothing from these that you cannot acquire and with better renditions in Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. Keep your money, buy a better lens.
I still see a value in filters ...for instance, a polarizer for removing reflection from leaves etc., in a landscape and I find a UV very useful when shooting over water to remove the haze and improve the saturation ...can't quite be duplicated with the saturation slider in PS or LR.
12-12-2009, 11:40 AM   #27
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I have CPs in various sizes, reduce glare, increase saturation etc, and despite tarheel 13's assertions this cannot be duplicated in pp.

I have Graduated ND's in various sizes to reduce light from above (sky) or below (white water) this can somewhat be corrected in PP, but the results aren't that good the work is tedious and I prefer taking photos to sitting in front of a computer.

And I have "normal" ND filters in various sizes to reduce light globally in order to decrease shutter speed for flowing water and some wind effects (grasses/flags/banners in the wind can give nice effects with slow shutter speeds) These also cannot be duplicated in PP. Or at least not without a LOT of time, and the results are NOT as good as a simple ND filter. Like I said above, I prefer photography time to computer time.

By several sizes I don't mean that I have a dedicated filter for every lens diameter. I have some step up/down rings that I will use with lenses of close sizes. For instance I have 55mm filters in the above categories but not 52mm filters, I use a step up ring from 52 to 55mm. Same with 67-72mm sizes. But I don't try to put a 67mm filter on a 49mm lens.
BTW, a CP is pretty much permanently mounted on my Pentax DA 12-24.

NaCl(oh, I almost forgot, I also own a cross star filter that was a gift...I've never used it)H2O
12-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #28
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.

We are of the "get it right in the camera and reduce Photoshop time" school.

UV on everything because I like to be able to clean my lens without worrying about perfection. I am not a perfect person. Sometimes my lens rag could even have grit on it. The horror!

Circ Polarizers for everything because we love the ability to control water and vegetation reflections and reduce ambient light in some sky conditions. Really like the Hoya ultra thin HD digitals.

Soft edge Kokin grad density set. Just learning how to use. Only have the 77 mm holder, have to get the 67 ASAP.
12-12-2009, 11:59 PM   #29
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I've got a filter set for my limited lenses,
that's one extra beauty of limiteds, get a 49mm filter and use it on all of them.

These are my filters, all B&W 49mm
# Kaeseman Circular Polarizer Multi-Resistant Coating
# ND 10-stop, 6-stop, 2-stop
# UV Filter

had not have chance to play with NDs,
but here is a shot using the 15mm and CPL

12-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by apemen Quote
I've got a filter set for my limited lenses,
that's one extra beauty of limiteds, get a 49mm filter and use it on all of them.

These are my filters, all B&W 49mm
# Kaeseman Circular Polarizer Multi-Resistant Coating
# ND 10-stop, 6-stop, 2-stop
# UV Filter

had not have chance to play with NDs,
but here is a shot using the 15mm and CPL

That is an absolutely beautiful shot.
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