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01-21-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Neutral density Filters vs. exposure compensation

I am thinking of investing in some ND filters. But I would like some input from the Pentaxians on using EC instead on My K10D. Can you folks help me with the positives and negatives of using EC instead of ND's?

Steve

01-22-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
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In bright conditions a neutral density filter will allow you to keep your aperature open wider when you want a shallower depth of field. Normally, in a bright situation, you'd have to stop down to a smaller F-stop which will extend your depth of field.
01-22-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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You can also use the Multi-Exposure mode of the K10D to mimic the effect. Pg. 166 of your manual.
01-22-2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve917 Quote
I am thinking of investing in some ND filters. But I would like some input from the Pentaxians on using EC instead on My K10D. Can you folks help me with the positives and negatives of using EC instead of ND's?

Steve
The most useful ND filters are the graduated ones that allow you to expose with less difference in brightness between the sky and land, or whatever bright part and dark part.

Other ND filters are used to allow you to get silky water in a waterfall rather than drops of water by allowing a much longer shutter speed.

For this second version, I use a Polarizer which gives me two stops cut in light, more or less.

01-23-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
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EC and ND Filters have nothing to do with each other.
01-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
EC and ND Filters have nothing to do with each other.
What egordon said...

Exposure compensation is a part of taking correctly exposed photos. ND filter is used to allow less light to enter.

They are not used to replace one or another.
01-23-2008, 11:15 AM   #7
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If wanting to take "milky water" shots in bright light an ND filter is essential - stopping down the aperture (possible use EC) will only work if light levels are already low & you don't really want to go below F16 anyway (diffraction problems). As already metioned too you may want a wide aperture which won't be possible without the ND. One more thing obviously at these low light levels a tripod becomes essential

simon
01-24-2008, 04:09 AM   #8
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I'm in agreement with everyone else above. Not to mention that you can get much more exposure reduction with the really dense ND filters than the range of EC can allow. That can significantly stretch your exposure times when shooting moving water, wind-blown foliage, or other moving subjects where you want to put a lot of "time passing" into your exposure.

01-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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Great question and replies, I just got a bunch of good info on a question I had not even thought to ask yet. Thanks all.
01-25-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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I use ND grad filters to shoot sunsets and landscapes. This way I can get the right exposure for the earth while not overexposing the sky and/or keeping the sun from blowing out. They are a good way to keep the foreground of a sunset shot from being 'just' silhouette...some examples...



01-26-2008, 01:50 AM   #11
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PaulAndAPentax, wow! nice shots.
I 've got graduated NDs but I've often wondered if anyone uses the split ND filters without the graduation.
01-28-2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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Go Cokin

Another thought on the topic of filters, get the p series or larger Cokin filters... that way you won't be buying all new ND's when you go from a 58mm end diameter lens to a 67mm, plus you can slide your graduated ND's to where you want them... plus Cokin system is ultra inexpensive!!
01-29-2008, 05:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
If wanting to take "milky water" shots in bright light an ND filter is essential - stopping down the aperture (possible use EC) will only work if light levels are already low & you don't really want to go below F16 anyway (diffraction problems).
Wait, don't confuse the OP. Stopping down the lens has ZERO to do with exposure compensation (except in M mode, but now I'm the one doing the confusing -- sorry). I'm not even sure what you are trying to get at here. Are you saying that you should overexpose on purpose to slow the shutter speed? That may work to a degree (i.e. "exposing to the right"), but it is a recipe for badly blown out highlights.

As someone mentioned above, just stick a circular polarizer on the lens. That will cut out a couple of stops of light right there.
01-29-2008, 06:08 AM   #14
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I agree with using a polarizer to limit light but my experience is that you might need a polarizer and at least another ND filter to get good water flow shots in daylight. I've tried to shoot moving water with just one polarizer and it still tends to overexpose a bit (or you don't get a nice smooth water flow look)...

I suppose you could stack polarizers but I haven't tried that. Also, a polarizer can change the hue of your photos some whereas a good quality ND filter will not.

I recommend using a Cokin filter Holder (cause its cheap) but the filters themselves tend to leave color cast. Try using Hi-Tech filters at the very least. I use them and they don't leave any color cast but I've noticed some degradation in IQ (not tack sharp). Singh-Ray and Tiffen will work best but expect to pay over $150 per filter.

Exposure compensation won't do anything for you except under or over expose you image....(or compensate for something else) You have to have something in front of the lens to lower the light coming in, in order to get the effect of slowed water or movement in daylight. One of the things I use EV for is to shoot white birds in direct sun. If you use the camera meter, you will blow out the highlights of a white bird in direct sun. In order to see the feather details, I dial down the EV to whatever I need so the bird's feathers can be seen. You can also do this for black birds except you dial up.

Last edited by PaulAndAPentax; 01-29-2008 at 06:13 AM.
01-29-2008, 06:45 AM   #15
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it's a shame the OP has not revisited to comment or ask further questions because I amn not clear on what advice he is seeking.

As others have commented, exposure compensation is really just changing the overall exposure of the image, and will lead to loss of highlights, due to over exposure.

Neutral density filters reduce the amount of light, and as a result require longer exposure times or larger apatures but otherwise will result in the same overall lighting, when exposed in the same conditions. They do help as others have noted, in permitting blurred images to show motion, or silky seas etc.

Graduated neutral density filters, are different, because they change the overall illumination. they can be used to darken skys for sunsets etc, Graduation can be gradual or quite sharp, with sharp graduation usually used with the horizon.

Polarizing filters reject light if it is not in one specific orientation, and can reduce glare, and deepen skys by removing scattered light. you can also make a variable ND filter by using 2 ploarizers combined. This can give you extreme reduction in brightness, even in mid day sun. This can allow, for example exposude times of minutes, or hours, and allow you to take a photo of a building, and no people, as they pass through in too short a time to make an image.

The question is, what does the OP really want to do???
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