suggestions on filters

This is a discussion on suggestions on filters within the Filters forums, part of the Photography Tips category; I'm rather new to photography, but I like to use filters on my bridge camera in fully manual mode. I prefer using filters insted of ...


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  1. #1

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    I'm rather new to photography, but I like to use filters on my bridge camera in fully manual mode. I prefer using filters insted of editing the picture with photoshop.

    now,

    I already have a polarizer and an ND (2 stops), and a UV.

    I was thinking about getting the following:
    skylight,
    sunset,
    warming,
    cokin yellow/blue
    ND ( 3 stops).

    What do you suggest? do you think they are good choices?


  • #2
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    Skylight, warming and sunset filters is probably better done in post. I'd say go with the ND. they do make Variable ND filters using a similar principle to the Yellow/Blue.
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #3
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    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Lots of filters are optional because you can reproduce the effect of the filter in a photo editing program. But there are two filters that can't really be simulated after-the-fact and I always recommend these. They are:

    Do get the ND (3 stops -- sometimes called an ND8 or an ND 0.9). I also have a 2-stop ND filter.

    I would get a polarizer and if you use an auto-focus camera & lens than it needs to be a "circular" polarizer ("linear" polarizers frustrate the auto-focus mechanism but you could use them if you are manually focusing.) You really cannot digital remove the reflections off leaves, the haze in the sky, or reflections from glass surfaces such as windows.

    I used to like starlight filers (very fine cross-shape wires in the glass which causes every point of light to appear as a star -- very beautiful in candle lighting) and spot-diffusion filters (aka "misty" filter) -- some photographers would just wipe a thin layer of vaseline around the outer edge of a regular UV filter but leave the center clear to create the same effect (then just wipe clean afterwards.) Great with a film camera but with digital cameras you can do all of this with photo-editing software.

    Tim Campbell

  • #4
    Nikon Shooter
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    The problem with filters in general is that they apply their effect to the entire image (unless they're graduated- but you still lose a lot of control). Post processing gives you the power to apply an effect to only part of an image.

    I have a bunch of filters left over from my film days. But I'm not letting that discourage me from learning post processing. It's so much more powerful.

    Having said that, ND and graduated ND filters are important because they actually influence camera settings. The same for a polarizer. A skylight filter can be left on a lens (if you buy a good quality filter) to protect the front lens element.

    Sunset and warming filters can become gimicky if you use them too often. The problem is the effect is not really variable- it tends to make all your photos look the same when you use them. Again, here, you're starting to get into the realm of post processing where you have much more control to enhance the colors of a sunrise/set, IMO.

    Look at it this way also... if you buy a bunch of filters, which can cost upwards of $50-$100 each, you may wind up putting out hundreds of dollars for filters. Putting that same money towards something like Photoshop will give you much more power overall.

    But, the flip side of that coin- if you're not breaking the bank, buy some and have fun with them!

    Regards,
    Marlo

    Check out my blog! --- http://marlomontanaro.wordpress.com

  • #5
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    What do you like to shoot, and what do you think you need them for?

    Not trying to be a smart$$... just trying to understand the motivation.


    “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that,
    behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
    Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”
    (Albert Einstein)


  • #6

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    polarizer
    most other effects can be done digitally

    i have been interested in star filters & there are some very compelling reasons to consider some of the smoke filters (some leave the near subject untouched but haze the background...)

  • #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpa View Post
    What do you like to shoot, and what do you think you need them for?

    Not trying to be a smart$$... just trying to understand the motivation.
    thanks, well i love taking pictures of moving lights at night or dusk to get the continuous colored lines, and for that i got the nd. i got the 2-stop nd, and am about to get a 3-stop to be able to work a little better at dusk.

    in general i like skylines, sea, and nature pictures. not really fond of portraits.

    and i thought i needed them to make some small changes like warming up colors, or to make the sky, or sea brighter, or to make the sky a little to the red during sunset.

    thanks

  • #8
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    OK, thanks. These days the only filters I cary are a polarizer and a variety of ND filters. I'm afraid that I fall in the camp of making the other adjustments you suggest in post processing when appropriate. Although I must say, I am a fan of warm tones, and the Moose Peterson Warming Polarizer is intriguing to me.


    “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that,
    behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
    Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.”
    (Albert Einstein)


  • #9
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    PHOTO EDITING OK

    Practical approach to filters

    Haze filters have been shown to not affect haze so they are used basically to protect the lens. Rain spots or sand/dirt on a filter are easier to clean than the same problems on a lens. Yes, any glass in front of the lens degrades the picture but the question is by how much or is the effect close to meaningless?

    Camera filters affect the data coming into the sensor. Software filters affect an image that is one generation down from the original photo with therefore a little more noise and degredation.

    Camera filters to have would include haze filters, circular polarizing filters, ND filters: circular, split, and/or graduated, and perhaps some of the more advanced Singh Ray filters such as the warming polarizer or the VariTone which is a combination polarizer and ND filter.

    Most-used software filters include the polarizing filter, neutral density filter, sunshine filter, solarizing filter, graduated blue filter, sunburst filter etc.

    The fastest approach to selective editing via software and filters is with Nik Software: Viveza and Color EFX

    Cameron
    Last edited by Cameron; 02-09-2012 at 07:08 PM.


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