ND filters

This is a discussion on ND filters within the Digital Cameras, Lenses & Accessories forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; Hey quick question for you guys or gals who know more than me. when picking an ND filter should i get a set? (2,4,8) will ...


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Thread: ND filters

  1. #1
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    Hey
    quick question for you guys or gals who know more than me.

    when picking an ND filter should i get a set? (2,4,8)
    will i use them all?
    or should i just get one, if so which one.

    and what brand,

    thanks
    Go Cowboys

    Nikon D90/ D300s
    Nikon 50 1-1.8
    Nikon 18-105 f3.5-5.6 vr ed
    Nikon 50-200 f4-5.6 vr
    Nikon 70-200 2.8 vr
    50-500 sigma
    promaster2x teleconverter


  • #2

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    Well, it depends on your gear and why you need them. ND filters are often used by portrait photographers who want to shoot narrow DoF in bright sunshine. Say you have EV15, applying the sunny 16 rule, you'd need f/16 at ISO 100, but you want to shoot f/2.8 that's 5 stops, but you've got fill flash X-synching at 1/200s and so you'll be four stops overexposed. That means you need at least a 4 stop ND, ideally 6-8 if you want some flexability over your settings. In this example I'd want a 6 OR and 8.

    I can't imagine you wanting it for Macro work, as it's easy to dial down the lighting and for me it's usually a case of insufficient light for adequate DoF. The same goes for Landscape.

    The truth is that if you're shooting digital, you have so much lattitude with variable ISO, widely variable shutter speed, high bit-depth RAW and post processing methods, that nobody ought to need ND filters. Even with 50s era film cameras it's hard to justify a 2 stop filter, so get a 6 or an 8 if you must, but leave out the 2 and 4.

    Actually, I think a 6 stop GRAD filter would be a lot more useful.
    Currently playing with my EOS 1V & 5D MkII + various L-Series, Minolta MC/MD, M39 RFs, assorted 70-80's fixed lens RFs and occasional MF TLRs

  • #3
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    wow, that is all over my head, except the might not need to get one.

    i'm shooting a D90 and at the time i needed the filter i was using the 18-105 60mm and the 1.8 50mm.
    my problem was flare while shooting water with a slow shutter and low fstop.. i just could not get the whole picture right,
    \it was suggested that i try a ND filter.

    i am not familiar with the 6 stop grad filter.

    thanks for the help though
    Go Cowboys

    Nikon D90/ D300s
    Nikon 50 1-1.8
    Nikon 18-105 f3.5-5.6 vr ed
    Nikon 50-200 f4-5.6 vr
    Nikon 70-200 2.8 vr
    50-500 sigma
    promaster2x teleconverter

  • #4

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    OK, sorry I got carried away. Yes, you took home the only important message, that digital cameras mean you probably don't need Neutral Density filters.

    And yes, if you are constrained with needing both a slow shutter and wide aperture, you will need to either shade the subject, or get a ND filter. There's nothing to say you can't get many filters, but it's rarely necessary in the digital age. That's why I recommend a single good quality 6 stop filter over a set of three cheaper filters.

    I recommended a graduated filter because often one needs to do something like bring down the brightness of a bright part of the picture, but leave the rest of the picture light. Having a sunset horizon in the picture is an example, or a wall or a building with a bright light in the background.
    Currently playing with my EOS 1V & 5D MkII + various L-Series, Minolta MC/MD, M39 RFs, assorted 70-80's fixed lens RFs and occasional MF TLRs

  • #5

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    Wow, shooting water with a wide aperture. That'll put your fore- and background out of focus and the water'll be motion blurred. That'll be a very specialised shot. Clever too; what's left will be the only thing left in sharp focus.
    Currently playing with my EOS 1V & 5D MkII + various L-Series, Minolta MC/MD, M39 RFs, assorted 70-80's fixed lens RFs and occasional MF TLRs


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