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01-27-2016, 06:59 AM   #1
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Hello and Neutral Density question

Hello all.

I had a Pentax MV back in the 80's - but a growing family, etc resulted in my lapsing into point & shoot (film then digital). I have recently acquired a K100D with a view to getting back into the swing.

I still have the MV and a couple of lenses, so will try marrying them up at some stage. Might even run some film through it for old times sake. For now though I want to get to grips with the K100D.

I have seen some nice waterfall effects using a Neutral Density filter and wondered which I should buy. The reviews (esp on this forum) give Hoya a good name, but what factor would be a good starting point?

Thanks,

Robin

01-27-2016, 07:32 AM   #2
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Cokin P
01-27-2016, 07:57 AM - 1 Like   #3
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For straight ND, not graduated, I like Marumi or B+H. Some Hoyas are fine as well but Hoya has a number of ranges from cheap junk to quite good so you cannot buy just "Hoya". You must also choose the range.

For graduated I use Cokin but there are others considered better though much more expensive.
01-27-2016, 08:51 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Formatt filters use the best glass, and few know about this brand. That's why one can often pick them up for bargain prices on Ebay.

01-27-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for this.

I have never heard of Formatt, so will have a look, but I do have some old Cokin kit (over 30 years old now - I didn't know they were still going), so I might start with that route.

In my day (sounding like a real oldie) there was just the straight kit, but now I see there are A Series and P series (and probably others). Any idea which would be compatible with my existing filters?

Thanks,

Robin
01-27-2016, 01:22 PM - 1 Like   #6
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As far as I know Cokin still uses the same terms. 'A' and 'P' are different size filters. I cannot remember the sizes. I have an 'A' kit and it works on my primes. I think it is ok up to 58mm filter thread lenses. Bigger than that and you need the bigger size filters. Cokin also has a 'Z pro' line which is even larger.

Look at your kit it should have the size on it.
01-27-2016, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I have a Hoya ND 4, but I recently purched a Cokin Pure ND X, an adjustable ND filter that goes from 0.5 to 10. I like having the wide range to choose from in one filter, but it cost more than $100
01-27-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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It looks like I have A series kit, so will look out for ND filters in that.

The adjustable versions sounds interesting, but I think I will leave that until I know that I am likely to get sufficient use for the cost.

Thanks again

01-27-2016, 06:04 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin CB Quote
It looks like I have A series kit, so will look out for ND filters in that.
While it is nice to have all one kit, and you already have the Cokin A holder, I do find the Cokin fiddly compared to a simple screw in filter.

Either works, and if you already have some Cokin stuff that might be the way to go but I would check what you already have and make sure it has some utility in digital. Most of the Cokin filters I have were for film, and have no real purpose in the digital world. The graduated ND's are fine with digital and that is what I use for landscape. But for waterfalls I have a set of screw on NDs (2x, 4x, 8x and 400x) that I find work better for me. YMMV.
01-27-2016, 09:56 PM   #10
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Hi Robin. Welcome aboard the forum. Looking forward to seeing some photographs soon.
01-28-2016, 02:18 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the welcome.

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
But for waterfalls I have a set of screw on NDs (2x, 4x, 8x and 400x) that I find work better for me. YMMV.
This is the other bit of info I really need. What factor of filter to use. The gap between 2/4/8X and 400X seems quite large - what do you use the different factors for?

Which would I need for daylight shooting of a waterfall - say 10-20 secs?
01-28-2016, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin CB Quote
This is the other bit of info I really need. What factor of filter to use. The gap between 2/4/8X and 400X seems quite large - what do you use the different factors for?
2x, 4x, 8x has been the 'standard' set of ND filters from as far back as I can remember. It really means a reduction in light of 1 stop, 2 stops, 3 stops. It was common usage to combine these to get the reduction you needed.

When shooting waterfalls you also have the camera exposure adjustments (ISO, shutter and aperture) and quite often a CPL filter as well. I usually use a small prime and a CPL plus the 8x. Then you have to 'chimp' to get the look you want. Every waterfall is different and you have to get the flow just right to look 'flowy' without just burning it out. Too fast and you stop the water. Somewhere in the middle is what you want. I generally end up with 4 to 5 'looks' on site and then pick what I like once I get home.

The 400x is I think a 9 stop filter and would not be used for waterfalls. This one is used for extreme situations, blurring clouds on sunny days, eliminating people in street scenes and so on.

I would suggest getting a good (but not great) set of 2,4,8x ND filters and a good CPL. That would set you up well for waterfalls.
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01-28-2016, 11:20 AM   #13
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Many thanks jatrax

Superb photo - if I can get anywhere close to that level I will be really happy. I can also see the benefit of adding a polarising filter too. Brings out the contrast very nicely.
01-28-2016, 12:59 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin CB Quote
I can also see the benefit of adding a polarising filter too.
Yes, I neglected that point too long because I did not want to use multiple filters for fear of vignetting or flare. But when the rocks and plants are wet, you have to knock those reflections down and that's what the CPL is for.

If the light is not too bright, quite often I can get good images with just f/11 or 13, and the CPL. Shooting waterfalls on bright sunny days is contra-indicated anyway.

And note this image was only 3 seconds. A 10 or 20 second image of this particular flow would have had no detail left in the water.
01-29-2016, 02:03 AM   #15
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Thanks jatrax Plenty of food for thought there and really helpful. I am going to have to experiment with a wider range of shutter speeds than I originally thought.
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