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04-13-2019, 07:12 PM   #1
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ND Filter Stop Suggestion and magnetic filter system?

Ok, so here's a weird question perhaps. If you could only have one ND filter on your lens (and not stack), what ND Stop would you go for?

This far I feel I have made some bad choices in this regard, and I'm going to attempt to make a better choice this time round.

My typical ND filter use is for waterfalls, but sometimes also long exposures for sky, which is much longer.

With my landscape shots I quite often do a single pixelshifted shot around f8, and then whack a ND filter on (take PS off) and do a longer shot for water or clouds. I never seem to get a great balance with my own ND filters. Either the 10 stop pushes the matching exposure over 30 secs (so need to guess in bulb mode... urgh), or the 3 stops is too short. Sometimes with super long cloud ones however 10 stops isn't enough and I need to add the 3 stop as well!

I'm just wondering if anyone has found a better ND filter stop choice in general, one that they reach for more often than not.

Furthermore, it is painful to take a PS shot and then maintain focus whilst screwing ND filters on and off, has anyone used those 'magnetic holders' that might make for whacking on say a 77mm filter a lot easier?


TIA!

Bruce

04-13-2019, 08:13 PM   #2
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I have a 10 stop and a 6 stop. The 10 stop is often too dark. The 6 stop works great in general, but on bright days it's not enough. I think the ideal situation for me is the 6 stop plus a 3 stop filter. I'd mostly use the 6 for landscapes and stack the 3 stop filter when I need it. Sorry, I know you wanted to avoid stacking..
04-13-2019, 09:53 PM   #3
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I think 6 stop is the one to go for in a good number of cases. if I need more I also use a darker cpl filter, which helps reduce the incoming light.

04-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #4
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You can also get variable ND filters, with a typical range of 2 to 8 or so stops. These use crossed polarizers, and the density changes as you rotate one of the polarizers.

04-13-2019, 11:20 PM   #5
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I have variable ND, and 100mm square ND 5 stops, 8 stops and 10 stops.
The variable ND works for a limited range, getting less and less homogeneous as attenuation increases.
I initially bought the 8 stop ND square filter thinking that I could fill the gaps with lens aperture / multi-exposure, with the implications this has for DoF and sharpness.
Now that I have 5 stops and 10 stops ND, I don't use the 8 stops anymore. Waterfalls are often in mixed shadows, 5 stops is enough +- 1 stop lens aperture +-1 stop ISO play.
For long exposures in daylight, 10 stops does the job. Note: it's not great to stack ND filters because of light leak between the filters (there is a light seal between the filter adapter and the filter nearest to the lens, but then for any additional ND filter there is no seal). In case ND filters are stacked, it's better to have the 10 stop ND sealed against the lens, and the 3 or 5 stops added ND plate in front (without light seal).
04-13-2019, 11:41 PM   #6
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Take a look at this

PolarPro | Variable ND Filters
04-14-2019, 02:25 AM   #7
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I have a circular Cokin X variable ND filter, I am very pleased with it, I only wish I'd bough it in a larger diameter beyond 52mm so I could use it on a wider range of lenses

04-14-2019, 03:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
I have a 10 stop and a 6 stop. The 10 stop is often too dark. The 6 stop works great in general, but on bright days it's not enough. I think the ideal situation for me is the 6 stop plus a 3 stop filter. I'd mostly use the 6 for landscapes and stack the 3 stop filter when I need it. Sorry, I know you wanted to avoid stacking..
I don't think I'd mind stacking if they were magnetised for quick docking and release.

QuoteOriginally posted by Fcsnt54 Quote
I think 6 stop is the one to go for in a good number of cases. if I need more I also use a darker cpl filter, which helps reduce the incoming light.
Yeah it does sound that 6 stop would probably be enough (and I do use a CPL as well).

QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
You can also get variable ND filters, with a typical range of 2 to 8 or so stops. These use crossed polarizers, and the density changes as you rotate one of the polarizers.
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I have variable ND, and 100mm square ND 5 stops, 8 stops and 10 stops.
The variable ND works for a limited range, getting less and less homogeneous as attenuation increases.
I initially bought the 8 stop ND square filter thinking that I could fill the gaps with lens aperture / multi-exposure, with the implications this has for DoF and sharpness.
Now that I have 5 stops and 10 stops ND, I don't use the 8 stops anymore. Waterfalls are often in mixed shadows, 5 stops is enough +- 1 stop lens aperture +-1 stop ISO play.
For long exposures in daylight, 10 stops does the job. Note: it's not great to stack ND filters because of light leak between the filters (there is a light seal between the filter adapter and the filter nearest to the lens, but then for any additional ND filter there is no seal). In case ND filters are stacked, it's better to have the 10 stop ND sealed against the lens, and the 3 or 5 stops added ND plate in front (without light seal).
My first ND filter was variable, never again. Was horrid.

Waterfalls just varies depending on strength of flow. I think for clouds there is no getting away with stacking as a 10 stop can sometimes be too short.

Has anyone had a try with something like the manfrotto quick release filter system?
04-14-2019, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
I have a circular Cokin X variable ND filter, I am very pleased with it, I only wish I'd bough it in a larger diameter beyond 52mm so I could use it on a wider range of lenses
It's also available for 77mm: Cokin 77mm Pure Harmonie Variable Density Neutral Gray Filter

---------- Post added 14-04-19 at 12:59 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Has anyone had a try with something like the manfrotto quick release filter system?
The problem of Pentax lenses is that none use the same filter thread diameter (the most common diameter found for most FF lenses of other brands is 77mm), with Pentax you would have be buy a new Manfrotto Xume ring / adapter and filter for each lens you use (DFA28-105 => 62mm, DFA24-70 => 82mm, DFA70-200 => 77mm, DFA*50 => 72mm, DFA50 macro => 49mm). Given the cost of good ND filters without too much color cast, when I was in your situation, I decided to use 100mm square filter, so that the only extra cost is the adapter rings.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 04-14-2019 at 04:02 AM.
04-14-2019, 05:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
It's also available for 77mm: Cokin 77mm Pure Harmonie Variable Density Neutral Gray Filter
Thanks for the tip. My local camera store did not have that at the time they recommended this filter, and 52mm does fit several of my favorite lenses. I have owned a Cokin slip-in filter system for quite a while, this was the first threaded filter I had purchased from Cokin. I am happy with the performance, but at US $135. I wish I had gone for the larger diameter. Oh well, that is how it goes with impulse buys
05-16-2019, 02:03 AM   #11
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Another vote for a 6 stop ND.

Wim
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