Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-14-2014, 10:31 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Minnesota
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,588
Graduated ND filters

Does anybody shoot with Graduated ND filters ? if so which ones do you use ? There are two types, the circular ones that you screw on the lens and the square ones you place in front of the lens with some type of adapter. A few years ago I purchased a rather expensive circular one, but did not like it so I sold it and purchased a set of the square ones with a Cokin P filter holder. These filters can get pretty expensive also and you need to pamper them, or they can get easily scratched. Due to their expense, mine mostly stay in my bag. I might have used them no more than 5 times since I purchased them 5 years ago.

Lately though I have been noticing that I'm losing a lot of pictures due to overblown skies, or overly dark foregrounds. With digital cameras the difference in contrast is rather brutal. Of course you can fix this in post processing, but the images do not look quite natural, unless you really know what you are doing. I don't usually shoot Nature landscape, I'm more interested in Urban landscape. I really don't want to look like 'the Man from Mars' with a square filter in front of my camera lens, but it seems I have no choice.

07-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Washington Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,346
I have a set of Cokin's, the 'A' size I think which is fine for my 49mm primes. As you noted they are awkward in a lot of situations except pure landscape and I do not use them much except for that. I think HDR bracketed shooting has replaced much of the need for them at least in my photography. I'm sure the true landscape photographers here might disagree with me.

Anyway, I carry my filter bag when I'm going to shoot landscapes and sometimes use them but mostly I either shoot brackets or just use the graduated filter tool in Lightroom.
07-14-2014, 12:44 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,067
I've been toying with the idea of getting a filter holder and some ND grads, partly because I've been shooting film lately. At any event, there's no magic bullet for rendering high contrast scenes to low-contrast output such as prints or typical monitors; ND grads are no more natural looking than well done exposure blends. Indeed, blending exposures is tremendously more flexible. However, there are of course advantages to getting it done in one exposure, most obviously with dynamic subjects.
07-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 8,899
QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
...
because I've been shooting film lately. At any event, there's no magic bullet for rendering high contrast scenes to low-contrast output such as prints or typical monitors
...
With BW film there is. You just need to master compressing highlights during film development. And when you do, you may find you'll never need a light meter again outdoors during the day time.

07-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
baro-nite's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,067
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
And when you do, you may find you'll never need a light meter again outdoors during the day time.
Indeed, I've been scanning some b/w film lately and am amazed at the exposure latitude even for normally developed film. Getting going with home processing is on the list...

So, to get back on topic, for those urban landscapes just load up some film!
07-14-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
skunktail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Sydney, NSW
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 287
I shoot quite a bit of landscape and grad ND's are an indispensable part of how I work.
I like doing as much in camera as possible, so I use them in preference to post production.
as far as which type, the P size square filters are my tool of choice as the screw-ins can't be adjusted and the line between dark and light is always in the middle of your image.
I use both hard and soft edged grads, generally either 2 or 3 stops

That said, they're not for every situation.
They work best when you have a clean line between sky and ground (sea, flat-topped mountains etc.) but less useful with a variable skyline.

When selecting which to use, I spot meter the sky and the ground, work out the difference in brightness (in stops) and that is the strength you need.

Hope this helps.
07-15-2014, 01:32 AM   #7
Pentaxian
schnitzer79's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,192
havent worked with ND grad filters, only with plain ND filters. You're right about blown out skies or dark foregrounds and what I do and it usually works is to use the grad filter in camera raw. does take some time since you need to place it correctly on the sky and make the graduation fairly smooth but you also might need to adjust other things like contrast, saturation etc in order to make it look more natural.. at the end of the day im happy with the results...
when you're out with friends or family for the day and you only have your camera and 1-2 lenses in your bag, its a quick solution to make those midday landscape shots look a bit better.
of course if you're out to shoot a specific spot then I do agree with having one with you.saves you quite some time later in PP.
07-15-2014, 04:23 AM   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
disco_owner's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,623
I use a Lee Filter system for my landscape photography , the only graduated ND in my kit these days is the 0.9 GND soft Edge along with Foundation holder and Lee circular Polariser then you need to buy the adaptor for your lens. Most guys I shoot with all prettty much take one exposure for forground and one for the sky and then blend the images in post. There are plenty of youtube videos on the subject.

07-15-2014, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #9
Pentaxian
mike.hiran's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: portland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,484
I often use Grad ND filters - P size, hi tech brand. Used Cokin but the color shift (purple) was awful. I also use HDR software pretty frequently but I try to stay away from the cartoonish armegeddon look.

Yes the filters are expensive, but so is a vacation and so is your camera gear - you may as well get your best image given you've already spent a bunch getting there and for your gear. True, the filters won't last forever, but the photos you capture will.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
filter, filters, front, landscape, lens, square, tripod
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Graduated ND filters - how to use them tranq78 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 04-11-2013 02:54 PM
Graduated ND filters...what type do you use? slackercruster Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 05-27-2012 07:43 PM
Graduated ND filters rodin5 Photographic Technique 9 04-30-2012 08:59 PM
ND Graduated Filters and tripod for Pentax KX true_scotsman Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 07-06-2010 05:09 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:12 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top