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02-28-2011, 07:50 PM   #1
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How to buy ND filters

So glad for a beginner section to ask q's like this.

How do you buy an ND filter. I've come across situations already in the short time I've had my camera where I've been shooting at or near where the sun is in the back ground and lost all of my subject to siloette. I have fiddled a bit with EV to force the back to be over exposed to save the fore but not happy with result Ive started looking for photo clinics to learn about stuff but this seems to be an important one, especially while holidaying in sunny Florida. Any thoughts to share would help. When I clicked through to the B&H page I got confused.

02-28-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
jac
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
So glad for a beginner section to ask q's like this.

How do you buy an ND filter. I've come across situations already in the short time I've had my camera where I've been shooting at or near where the sun is in the back ground and lost all of my subject to siloette. I have fiddled a bit with EV to force the back to be over exposed to save the fore but not happy with result Ive started looking for photo clinics to learn about stuff but this seems to be an important one, especially while holidaying in sunny Florida. Any thoughts to share would help. When I clicked through to the B&H page I got confused.
You don't want an ND here, Matt. You want to expose for the subject. If it's a portrait, try a bit of 'fill flash'. Watch your histogram (get out your manual for setting the histogram to display w/preview on the LED). If the subject will be patient, play with EV on the flash itself. Good luck.
02-28-2011, 09:07 PM   #3
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jac is correct. A ND filter will not solve your silhouette problem. You'll get the same exposure but with either a slower shutter speed or a wider aperture.

But on the subject of ND filters, read this entry on ND filters to help clear some of the confusion. Some ND filters are labeled with a filter factor (eg NDX8, NDX400) and some by their density (eg ND.6, ND.9). The table in that link will tell you how many stops a filter is when given by the filter factor without knowing some math or by density.
02-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
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It's pretty much impossible to properly expose both the subject and the sunlit background and like Jac said fill flash will help you in that situation.

A real quick explanation of ND filters. They will help you get a slower shutter speed at certain apertures. For example you can do a 1sec shutter lag while still using F8 in the middle of the day. It's really good for catching waterfall movement.

02-28-2011, 11:10 PM   #5
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Actually, it's not to hard at all to get detail looking into the sun. It's much harder when you have to rely on automagic exposure. On a larger version of this shot, you can read the writing in the shack's column and see the imprinted picture on the metal placard. A person in the shot would show up fine.



02-28-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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Impresive shot......I love the detail in the rocks and the soft look of the mountains in the distance. Shows the value of the advice and expose for the subject. I have been doing everything in manual mode since I upgraded to a K-7 and avoided the auto setting,

Dave
03-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #7
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Thanks!
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