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01-24-2016, 05:00 PM   #1
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Neutral Density Filters

In all of my years of photography I have seldom found a need for ND filters. I am trying to decide whether to invest in some decent ND filters or not. I only have a few and they are cheap (with plastic lenses). I understand the basic purpose for ND filters, and some of the scenarios like silky waterfalls and streaky clouds, but I have done these things without ND filters. I do occasionally use a polarizer in a pinch for this purpose (and I have a full set of circular polarizers.) But these are only good for about 1 to 2 extra stops.

Just looking for thoughts on this issue. Thanks.

01-24-2016, 05:41 PM   #2
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Yeah, I can answer your question from my own experience. I have a filter holder, a big lee stopper, and a B&W polarized filter. These are square filters and run pretty hefty prices, but what you can get with these is the ability to do things you can't do in photoshop. The most important filter to me is the polarizer: not only does it reduce glare, but it lowers the exposure by about two stops! Next the Big Lee Stopper will slow a 1/30th to 30 seconds (or around there because it's 10 stop ND). During day time or bright sunsets this filter allows for insane exposures: it will blur cars in direct sunlight...

Check out this photographic example I conducted a few weeks ago on this very matter.

Lee's Big Stopper & B&W's Polarizer Combination - Subduction Photo

This is an image from the little experiment I did.

01-24-2016, 05:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by KC0PET Quote
In all of my years of photography I have seldom found a need for ND filters. I am trying to decide whether to invest in some decent ND filters or not. I only have a few and they are cheap (with plastic lenses). I understand the basic purpose for ND filters, and some of the scenarios like silky waterfalls and streaky clouds, but I have done these things without ND filters. I do occasionally use a polarizer in a pinch for this purpose (and I have a full set of circular polarizers.) But these are only good for about 1 to 2 extra stops.

Just looking for thoughts on this issue. Thanks.
Here is a link that will clear up any concerns.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral-density_filter

Hope this helps, Tony
01-26-2016, 06:17 PM   #4
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Thanks, good info. Thinking I will get a good ND filter in 49mm, my most common filter size and play around some. I can see that an ND64 or even ND500 would allow for some interesting possibilities.

01-26-2016, 07:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scootatheschool1990 Quote
Yeah, I can answer your question from my own experience. I have a filter holder, a big lee stopper, and a B&W polarized filter. These are square filters and run pretty hefty prices, but what you can get with these is the ability to do things you can't do in photoshop. The most important filter to me is the polarizer: not only does it reduce glare, but it lowers the exposure by about two stops! Next the Big Lee Stopper will slow a 1/30th to 30 seconds (or around there because it's 10 stop ND). During day time or bright sunsets this filter allows for insane exposures: it will blur cars in direct sunlight...

Check out this photographic example I conducted a few weeks ago on this very matter.

Lee's Big Stopper & B&W's Polarizer Combination - Subduction Photo

This is an image from the little experiment I did.
Of the three you have posted, I vote for the one with the Polarizer . Nice photos, all three. Thanks,

Tony
01-27-2016, 06:22 PM   #6
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I have been trying to use the Interval composite mode in the drive selection of my K-S2 to slow down the shutter, it works a little but I am not getting that silky smooth look. I am thinking about getting a six or ten stop ND filter in the 77mm size to fit my largest lens, and use step up rings to fit the smaller diameter lens.
The ones I am looking at is the Breakthrough filters:
breakthrough photography *x3* nd Buy or Learn at Adorama
01-28-2016, 01:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wingincamera Quote
I have been trying to use the Interval composite mode in the drive selection of my K-S2 to slow down the shutter, it works a little but I am not getting that silky smooth look. I am thinking about getting a six or ten stop ND filter in the 77mm size to fit my largest lens, and use step up rings to fit the smaller diameter lens.
The ones I am looking at is the Breakthrough filters:
breakthrough photography *x3* nd Buy or Learn at Adorama
Sweet, yeah that's one really cheap option. Nice thinkin'
01-28-2016, 01:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by KC0PET Quote
Thanks, good info. Thinking I will get a good ND filter in 49mm, my most common filter size and play around some. I can see that an ND64 or even ND500 would allow for some interesting possibilities.
I recently did the same, Hoya ones (good affordable quality imo), & i'm pretty glad i did. It makes all the difference.
Since i shoot with ltd primes, i chose the filter fitting my fa31, (58mm & built in hood..) & it works with the others with a step up ring. So think about what lenses you'd like to acquire in the future.

btw, i bought two, a 3 step and a 9 step, so i can combine (or not) according the situation, which has proven to be useful in my most recent trip.

I'm thinking of adding a graduated ND filter to the set for landscapes (skies..). You can only pull out the darks that much in post..

01-30-2016, 08:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I recently did the same, Hoya ones (good affordable quality imo), & i'm pretty glad i did. It makes all the difference.
Since i shoot with ltd primes, i chose the filter fitting my fa31, (58mm & built in hood..) & it works with the others with a step up ring. So think about what lenses you'd like to acquire in the future.

btw, i bought two, a 3 step and a 9 step, so i can combine (or not) according the situation, which has proven to be useful in my most recent trip.

I'm thinking of adding a graduated ND filter to the set for landscapes (skies..). You can only pull out the darks that much in post..
Some good points, particularly buying larger filters (I already have various step down rings).
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