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10-25-2015, 12:48 PM   #1
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neutral density filters for beginner

Hi
I am looking at buying a neutral density filter in order to try out / see what effect / if like the effect etc.
i don't want to spend a fortune, perhaps max $50 to start out...
i have a pentax k5iis.
can anyone recommend a ND filter that would fit and be a great beginners filter?
Thanks
Jon

10-25-2015, 12:59 PM   #2
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what lens is more important than your camera model. The filter thread diameter has a lot of influence on cost.

I suggest a good place to start is ND8 or 3 stop filter. I normally use Hoya HMC variety. The lens you use is mostly the cost effecting factor, as larger filter threads dirve up the cost... for example old SMC primes were mostly 49mm thread (earlier K versions were 52mm). 18-135 zoom which you may have is 62mm... if you have a variety of lenses you might consider one large filter, and several stepping rings as a cheaper alternative to multiple filters.

After the ND8 gets you going, you might be interested in "shooting blind" with a "big stopper" Like Hoya's ND400 which is 9 stops of slow.

10-25-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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what are you attempting to shoot:
  • Long time-lapses at mid-day?
  • or 30-second exposures toward sunset?

M
10-25-2015, 01:00 PM - 1 Like   #4
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That other was ND400 +ND8 stacked during the day to get the streaking clouds, this one is ND8 only to make the reflecting pond.... well reflect..



10-25-2015, 01:06 PM   #5
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Mostly what @mattt said. Decide what lens you want to use, read the filter thread diameter and that tells you the filter size. How much density you want will determine the filter to buy. They often come in sets of 2x, 4x, 8x or 1, 2, & 3 stops. I agree with @Mattt the ND8 (3 stop) is my most used. So if only buying one get the ND8.

As to brands, I prefer B+W or Marumi but others have good filters as well. Just remember most brands have a "good, better, best" range so just buying say Hoya, does not mean much. Hoya has cheap junk and very good quality filters. Price is generally a good indication of quality.

I have a set of very old Toshiba ND2, ND4, ND8 that came with a lens I bought off ebay years ago. They work great and essentially cost me nothing. But they are 49mm so I can only use them on my small primes.
10-25-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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Interesting thread. I have nothing to add because I've never used a filter. I would be curious to see not only what specific filters are used but how they are used.

Mattt's shot looks awesome. I would like to see what that same shot would be like without the filter and with the filter.

I think we should recruit a forum member to do a tutorial.
10-25-2015, 01:56 PM   #7
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Like jatrax said, stay away from the cheap Hoya HMC and Alpha filters, I made that mistake with a protective filter for my lenses, lucky for me I only purchased a few. The Marumi are in your price range, I use their CPL filters and they are top quality!


Last edited by kjphilippona; 10-25-2015 at 05:18 PM.
10-25-2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
Interesting thread. I have nothing to add because I've never used a filter. I would be curious to see not only what specific filters are used but how they are used.

Mattt's shot looks awesome. I would like to see what that same shot would be like without the filter and with the filter.

I think we should recruit a forum member to do a tutorial.

At your request, i went back to my catalogue, and pulled out an adjacent photo. Shot at ƒ22. Similar results, not quite as smooth... no wonder, the exposure was several stops shorter.

10-25-2015, 05:13 PM   #9
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Here's one from today. ND filters are a joke. All you need is a good, steady tripod and a little imagination. I used a cheap Hoya 9-stop filter on this. Got what I wanted. Don
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10-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
what lens is more important than your camera model. The filter thread diameter has a lot of influence on cost.

I suggest a good place to start is ND8 or 3 stop filter. I normally use Hoya HMC variety. The lens you use is mostly the cost effecting factor, as larger filter threads dirve up the cost... for example old SMC primes were mostly 49mm thread (earlier K versions were 52mm). 18-135 zoom which you may have is 62mm... if you have a variety of lenses you might consider one large filter, and several stepping rings as a cheaper alternative to multiple filters.

After the ND8 gets you going, you might be interested in "shooting blind" with a "big stopper" Like Hoya's ND400 which is 9 stops of slow.

Thanks chaps..
ok so i was looking at using them during the day, of some landscapes with rivers....wanted to get the smooth river effect, and the wispy cloud...the images above are very cool, would be great to capture something similar.
i have a sac da 50mm f1.8, a sac da 18-55mm f3.5-5.5 al wr and a da 55-300mm f4-5.8ED.... i see the 50mm and 18-55 uses a 52mm but the 55-300 uses 58mm. i will take a look at marumi...
thanks again guys
jon
10-25-2015, 06:38 PM   #11
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Some more inspiration for Long Exposures... Love this guy's stuff...

Interview with Michael Levin | ND Magazine
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