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05-27-2013, 01:31 AM   #1
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what filter do I need

I need a filter to shoot interior window shots of bedrooms.

I had yesterday a photographer as guest in my B&B and he gave me tips about taking interieur pictures.
He had a Nikon D800 with a lens + "rotational filter" . He learned me the point about filters. Very interesting.

My question:
I have a K5 + sigma 10-20 4-5.6 lens.

Can I put a filter on that lens also?
what brand do I need.
I'm wiling to pay more to have it rotational instead of having to buy several filters.
I don't want special effects or so, just to isolate the "too much of" light that enters the room by the windows when I'm taking interieur shots.


Last edited by maxibaut; 05-28-2013 at 12:05 AM. Reason: more specific info given
05-27-2013, 01:33 AM   #2
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The most commonly used filters I know, that you "rotate" are polarizing filters - might that have been what you were told about?

(Other filters do exist, where you may want to rotate them, such as gradual ND, split-prism etc., but they're so esoteric as to probably not be relevant here)

B+W or Marumi are good filter brands, you might want to look at those?
05-27-2013, 01:37 AM   #3
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He took several shots, from minimum to maximum and you could see that the walls next to the window became darker when the filters was as it minimum.
He also uses this on the beach to filter the sunlight he told me.

I'm willing to search on forums and catalogs, but there is too much information available and to little knowledge from me.
05-27-2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxibaut Quote
He took several shots, from minimum to maximum and you could see that the walls next to the window became darker when the filters was as it minimum.
He also uses this on the beach to filter the sunlight he told me.

I'm willing to search on forums and catalogs, but there is too much information available and to little knowledge from me.
That sounds very much like a polarizing filter: they remove reflections and can give more saturated colors. That's what is often used to get those deep-blue skies and saturated colors - among other things.

A quick google turned up this:

http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/lighting/how-when-and-why-to-use-a-polarizing-filter/

There's an awful lot of information on pol-filters on-line, try to look through some of it, and then get one and practice.

Don't forget, though, a pol-filter is great - but you should get a good quality one (to not loose image quality) and you should also not neglect using a hood if taking pictures outdoors (removes flare, increases contrast).

05-27-2013, 02:28 AM   #5
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CPL?

Hello Maxibaut, Welcome to the Forum!
Tclausen is correct, a circular polarizing filter (CPL) is the one indispensable filter and very likely the one your guest was talking about.
They come in various sizes, you need the same size as the outer diameter (front) of your lens. The filter size should be printed on the lens itself, or you could find the size online.
The reason it's called indispensable is it provides an effect that can't be duplicated with the in-camera digital filters or any processing program. Some parts of what it does can be simulated, like improved contrast or darker skies, but they won't appear as natural as using a CPL, take more time in processing and generally make a simple task much more difficult.
Inexpensive CPLs aren't worth the cost, they're not as effective, can add incorrect color shifts and reduce image quality. Marumi are my favorite and B + W have a good reputation also. Avoid the cheaper brands!
Good Luck,
Ron
05-27-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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I'm just learning myself, but I seem to remember reading that a circular polarizing filter (CPL) can't be used on wider lenses like your 10-17. I'm not sure about the reasons why, but I would guess that it sees at such a wide angle that the polarizing effect would not be the same across the entire image.
05-27-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by npridgeon Quote
I'm just learning myself, but I seem to remember reading that a circular polarizing filter (CPL) can't be used on wider lenses like your 10-17. I'm not sure about the reasons why, but I would guess that it sees at such a wide angle that the polarizing effect would not be the same across the entire image.
You can't use a filter on the 10-17 because it is a fisheye lens. It has an extreme field of view and so you can't even attach a filter to it because it would show up in the picture. Other wide angles do not have this issue, despite being extreme wide angles. I use a filter all of the time on my 12-24. Once you get a shot of your own feet in a 10mm shot from the 10-17 you will understand the fitter thing completely!
05-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by npridgeon Quote
I'm just learning myself, but I seem to remember reading that a circular polarizing filter (CPL) can't be used on wider lenses like your 10-17. I'm not sure about the reasons why, but I would guess that it sees at such a wide angle that the polarizing effect would not be the same across the entire image.
Well, it's not a circular polarizing filter specifically, any polarizing filters will have - as you suggest - a variable effect across the frame at very big angles of view.

I've not used a pol-filter on a 10-17mm - I think that the Pentax 10-17 that I have has a somewhat "protruding" front element that's made me never really think of sticking a filter on it Also, it would have to be a really really slim filter so as to not get vignetting.

I regularly use a pol-filter on my 15mm - and I do not know the Sigma lens that the OP is using, so I wouldn't know what's possible or not with that specific lens....I would imagine that, at least, towards the longer end of it, it could work?

05-27-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Allison Quote
You can't use a filter on the 10-17 because it is a fisheye lens.
My mistake. My lens is a 10-20 sigma, so no fisheye.
Could you tell me the brand and serie of the filter you are using? To have an idea.
05-27-2013, 11:40 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Hi Maxibaut,

I have the f/3.5 version of the same lens. I also have a Circular Polarizer (CPL) for it. Some things you need to be aware of.

1. it is a very large diameter on this lens (82mm) which make these filters expensive.
2. What's more, owing to the very wide angle you really need to get an ultra thin filter to avoid heavy vignetting - even more expensive. Even the thinnest will produce some minor vignetting.
3. npridgeon is partially correct. You can use a CPL (obviously) and it will fit but when you shoot outdoors with a clear sky, you will notice that the CPL effect will not be even across the whole sky. What you will end up with is a darker band of blue throughout the middle.

That said, I still love CPL and have one for every lens I own (4 different diameter sizes). They are indispendible for landscapes, produce beautifully saturated greens in forrest, grass and foliage, and can take the place of a 1-2 stop ND for water effects. Also, as rbefly said, the effect they produce cannot be properly replicated in post-processing. They are also great to increase the contrast in clouds and see through reflections in water but again, if the water is a large portion of your image at a wide angle, the effect will not be consistent. Not so noticeable with clouds.

I don't really use it for indoors, I don't find it very effective at dealing with bright windows as they're too location specific. I use HDR instead.

Hope this helps.
Tony.

Last edited by Adinfinitum; 05-27-2013 at 11:52 PM.
05-27-2013, 11:48 PM   #11
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BTW,

Mine is a Hoya Pro1. They tend to range from $100-$200 on-line. I have seen them on eBay for around $50 but whether they will be genuine is anybody's guess. Remeber, the Pro1 variant is only about 5mm thick compared to the standard CPL which is roughly double that.
05-28-2013, 12:01 AM   #12
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Thx for the info. As my B&B is my business and 50% of my customer come by booking.com, I got me a the K5 to shoot almost (for now) exclusive interior shots. The price of the filter = the price of 2 nights stay for 2 people. (worth the costs)

QuoteOriginally posted by Adinfinitum Quote
I don't really use it for indoors, I don't find it very effective at dealing with bright windows as they're too location specific. I use HDR instead.
So you are saying that I need a HDR instead of a CPL for interior?
05-28-2013, 12:09 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxibaut Quote
So you are saying that I need a HDR instead of a CPL for interior?
My apologies,

HDR is not a filter, but a method of photography used to capture pictures where the scene contains extremely bright and very dark sections that no camera can properly capture. Interiors with bright light coming through windows fits this criteria.

HDR = High Dynamic Range. There are many methods of doing this but the most common involves taking 3-5 (or more) shots, bracketing at different exposure values then blending them in photoshop (or other program) to get the best exposed part of each. Your K-5 is perfect for this using exposure bracketing. It is not as difficult as it sounds and there are hundreds of useful on-line tutorials.

The other ways for interior involve either waiting for evening or night to even the light from the windows and taking long-exposures or else mastering multiple flash. HDR is definitely the easiest and arguably produces the best results - if only because you can keep that bright sunlight-through-the-window effect that works for inviting guests to your rooms.

When I get a chance I'll look some up and post some links.

And yes, other's may have different experience but CPL is primarily for landscapes, I don't know of any interior photographer who uses one.

Last edited by Adinfinitum; 05-28-2013 at 12:17 AM.
05-28-2013, 04:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxibaut Quote
I need a filter to shoot interior window shots of bedrooms.

I had yesterday a photographer as guest in my B&B and he gave me tips about taking interieur pictures.
He had a Nikon D800 with a lens + "rotational filter" . He learned me the point about filters. Very interesting.

My question:
I have a K5 + sigma 10-20 4-5.6 lens.

Can I put a filter on that lens also?
what brand do I need.
I'm wiling to pay more to have it rotational instead of having to buy several filters.
I don't want special effects or so, just to isolate the "too much of" light that enters the room by the windows when I'm taking interieur shots.

I noticed you updated with the specific lens information in the first post.

Sigma 10-20 f4 - 5.6 version. This lens has a 77mm filter thread.
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database (link to user reviews & specs)


It sounds like you need a Circular Polariser as others suggested.

The polariser can cut down reflections (and glare) from surfaces like water, glass, grass & foliage and improves saturation. Its used a lot in landscape to improve the contrast in skies.
It also works as a darkening filter as it reduces light by about 11/2 to 2stops.

Note: The "polarising effect" varies with the angle of the light rays coming into the lens so with a wide angle lens like the 10-20mm which cover well ....a wide angle...... of light rays there will be some variation of the colour effect of the sky.

Read this:
Polarizers


The 77mm is a pretty universal size. A lot of sigma lenses are 77mm. so is the Pentax DA*16-50, DA*200, DA*300.

77mm is pretty large aren't cheap but on the plus side, with some cheap adaptor rings you can use your big 77mm on smaller size lenses.

Here's a link to B&H photo for reference pricing.
Polarizing | B&H Photo Video

These are all the 77mm CPL. I would be choosing a multi coated one for best light transmission. "Kaesemann" type are supposedly sealed and better for more extreme environments.
The cheaper ones generally have inferior coatings or have no coating at all.
The "slim" variety are supposedly for wide angle lenses with thinner metal in the rings for less chances of shading in the corners but I've no idea if it's necessary on a 10-20mm with an APS-C sensor camera.

I have a 77mm B+W MRC and can recommend that one. It cost me 135 bucks a couple of years ago.

Last edited by steve1307; 05-28-2013 at 04:42 AM.
05-28-2013, 07:38 AM   #15
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you can't use a circular polarizer on an ultra wide lens such as the sigma 10-20mm. The reason is that the contrast reducing property of a circular polarizer will create dark and light elements within the photo due to the ultra wide angle of view. Meaning, instead of the CPL being able to make the image either darker or lighter, you'll get both effects regardless of how the polarizer is turned.
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