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03-16-2016, 08:40 PM   #1
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ND Filters: I know what I want to do, but not what filter I want

A follow up to my previous ND filter thread:

I'm looking to get an ND filter, but still not sure of the best options. So, let's take this angle.

I'm mostly interested in it for limited use over the summer (vacation), but thinking it wouldn't be bad to have available.
I want something that will give me some cloud streaking, some water blur (I actually don't like the full long water exposure thing, but I do like just enough to enhance the motion).
Not looking to spend a lot since I question how much use I'll get out of it after the aforementioned vacation.

So, does that help us? Show me some ND filters!

03-16-2016, 08:48 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by applejax Quote
I'm looking to get an ND filter, but still not sure of the best options. So, let's take this angle.
I think you are really overthinking this.

If you don't know what you want get a set and have a play. Something like this: Amazon.com : Tiffen 58mm Digital Neutral Density Filter Kit (ND 0.6, 0.9, 1.2 + Wallet) : Camera & Photo

Just get the size that fits the lens you want to use it on.
03-16-2016, 10:50 PM   #3
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What jatrax said above makes sense. You can always stack the filters if needed. Mine happen to be Tiffen (bought used for little $) but there are other good ones out there sold at reasonable prices.
03-16-2016, 11:35 PM   #4
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B&H has some good deals on used filters. I have a variable 1-5 stop lens (good for beating flash sync speeds, capturing shots that include screens and cutting out light for portraits while keeping my aperture wide). I also have a 10-stop filter for blurring motion.

03-17-2016, 01:22 AM   #5
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ND variable filters have problems with ultra wide, and sometimes, wide lenses...
I ordered a pack of Haida Slim PRO II MC ND Extrem Filterset - 64x, 1000x, 4000x - 77mm very handy with their metal caps making them self contained...

03-17-2016, 04:39 AM   #6
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Umm streaking clouds is way more expensive/difficult to achieve than slick water. The latter can be had with exposures in the 1/2 - 1/30th length. The former 10' - 30'.

Sunny 16 would say at ISO 100 on a sunny day at f16 you'd need 1/100 exposure.

3 stops of ND gets slick water (1/25)

Presumably a cloudy day suitable for streaking clouds you'd be f8 or f5.6 1/100 (2 - 3 stops darker than full sun or even more if the weather is ominous) To get to streaking clouds you get two/three stops of slow for free - stop down to f16 plus 7-8 stops of ND to get you to ~15' exposure.

I stacked 3 stop ND filters then ultimately added a 9 stop.
03-17-2016, 06:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I think you are really overthinking this.
Guilty as charged, I overthink everything. That looks like a potential option, thanks!

---------- Post added 03-17-16 at 10:02 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
ND variable filters have problems with ultra wide, and sometimes, wide lenses...
I ordered a pack of Haida Slim PRO II MC ND Extrem Filterset - 64x, 1000x, 4000x - 77mm very handy with their metal caps making them self contained...
Where did you find these?

03-17-2016, 09:11 AM   #8
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If you can only buy one, I'd recommend a 10 stop. During the day you can achieve relatively long shutter speeds by closing your aperture a lot, at dawn or dusk you can keep the speed reasonable by opening your aperture to a certain extent and increasing your ISO a bit.

If you can afford two filters, a 3 stop and 8 stop might be handy. You can use either alone for a minor or strong reduction, and combine them for an even stronger result.

My recommendation would be for Haida filters, they offer excellent value for a very reasonable price (the 10 stop has been tested by multiple sources as being of the same optical quality as B+W or Lee equivalents at twice or three times the cost).

Whichever brand you choose, make sure to get a size that fits the lens with the largest filter thread you want to use it with, then get step-up rings for adaptation to your other lenses.
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