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11-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
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ND filter question?

I've been reading up on the use of ND filters...I'm going to Yosemite over the Thanksgiving holiday and am wanting to get some good waterfall pictures (cotton candy type effect)...I understand the use of the ND filters but don't see much on which X to use (2X, 4X, etc.). The cost of buying all of them is a little steep for me right now (and I'm sure getting all of them may not be necessary). Can someone point me in the right direction as to which one is the best starting point?

Thanks

11-07-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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I understand all that...just curious if I should start with a .06, .09, etc.
11-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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i started with the nd8, if you have a tripod then you will be able to nail the exposure, and really exaggerate the effect. here's one from the other day

11-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
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Yes I will most certainly be using a tripod...thanks for the input...nice photo BTW

11-07-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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One last question on this...is the difference between the HOYA regular multi coated glass NDF ($23.85) and the HOYA DMC Pro1 digital multi coated glass NDF ($51.13) worth the price difference?

Don't want to sell myself short but also don't have unlimited funds to spend if it's not needed.

Thanks
11-07-2010, 01:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProgMtl Quote
One last question on this...is the difference between the HOYA regular multi coated glass NDF ($23.85) and the HOYA DMC Pro1 digital multi coated glass NDF ($51.13) worth the price difference?

Don't want to sell myself short but also don't have unlimited funds to spend if it's not needed.

Thanks
Thanks for asking these questions:

I've been shooting for a long time, but I've never shot in situations with ND, so I'm curious to know the answers.

The whole idea of ND is to neutralize the amount of light entering the lens but to minimal detrimental effect. However:

If a polarizer slows you down 2 stops, do two polarizers slow you down 4 or 8 stops, since the effect is exponential? And has anyone tried this instead of NDs?
11-07-2010, 01:43 PM   #7
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Another thing, Prog:

A lot of people want to go for that canned "dreamy water effect," but why not go the other way and shoot as fast as you can to freeze the water's movement so you see the sharp water droplets?

Never quite understood people's fascination with that look, but to each his own.

Me, I prefer to see the water as people would view it--sharp and clear, and not blurred and dreamy looking.
11-07-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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I will be shooting the water as many different ways as possible...just wanted to option of doing it this way also...had 16" of snow overnight on my laster trip to Yosemite (Easter) and didn't get very many shots of anything...hoping to make up for that this Thanksgiving.

11-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProgMtl Quote
One last question on this...is the difference between the HOYA regular multi coated glass NDF ($23.85) and the HOYA DMC Pro1 digital multi coated glass NDF ($51.13) worth the price difference?

Don't want to sell myself short but also don't have unlimited funds to spend if it's not needed.

Thanks
Very generally, but also very accurately: the cheaper the filter the more degregation of IQ. I have a few low cost and mid-range rilters I never use, because I eventually bought good ones. Buy good ones up front.
Even good filters will degrade IQ slightly, although you need to pixel peep to see it.
Whatever filters you use, when you stack them, you double the degregation.
11-07-2010, 01:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice Ron...
11-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProgMtl Quote
The cost of buying all of them is a little steep for me right now (and I'm sure getting all of them may not be necessary).

Thanks
Check Ebay for filters. There are all kinds for all different prices. You can get sets of them for fairly decent prices.
11-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #12
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One thing is for sure, in my opinion, you're better to get a higher stop filter, than a lower stop one. as long as you use a tripod, you should be fine. I made the mistake of just buying a 2 stop ND, and wish I would have went 4 or higher..
11-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for asking this question. I have wondered myself which one to get. And to Steve, thank you too. I now know not to buy the 2 I was looking at on KEH.
11-07-2010, 09:22 PM   #14
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If the cotton-candy effect on waterfalls is your primary goal, there is another way to accomplish it, other than with ND filters.

Simply use multiple exposures. As long as you're using a tripod, you should be okay. You didn't mention which camera you are using, but my K10D has multi-exposure capability, and I'm pretty sure that most Pentax cameras after it also had the capability.

You can either use the camera's builtin multi-exposure blending, or simply shoot three or five identical shots and then combine them in post-processing. Since you're shooting on a tripod and nothing in the scene changes, except the "position" of the water, you get the same smooth effect.
11-08-2010, 03:15 PM   #15
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my filter that i shot through on the picture i posted was a 2$ nd 8 filter from e-bay, and a 40$ nd grad from cokin.... if you are just getting into it, i'd get the whole range from e-bay, and then find the ones you like and buy it in the conkin version... that's a cheap way to find out what you use... although... if you are going to yosemite, i might opt for the better more expensive one because you may not get there too often.
how's that for being non-decisive!
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