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08/14/2017 02:31:50 PM · #1
So I am going to be traveling a lot in the coming years and would like to have the ability to get some long exposures during the daytime along with some graduated filters for those landscape shots and such.

I don't know much about filters so this thread may contain lots of silly questions once I really dive into the world of filters.

Thanks in advance.
08/14/2017 04:04:54 PM · #2
I haven't cared for the graduated filters. Circular polarizers are wonderful, though I haven't used them for years. It's a huge oversight, though. Because they really do make a marvelous difference.

I do have some neutral density filters. I haven't used them enough to speak knowledgeably. But I was surprised how difficult it was too see through the +10.

Message edited by author 2017-08-14 16:05:07.
08/14/2017 04:15:19 PM · #3
As mentioned, circular polarizer should be your first choice -- it will make a big diffence in shots of sky and water.

The graduated BD filters are pretty much useful only for broad landscapes with a relatively level horizon -- these days you may well be better off shooting bracketed exposures and combining using HDR software.

If you stack two polarizers, you can combine their effect to varying degrees up to the equivalent of a 4-stop ND filter -- enough to smooth out a waterfall in daylight. I bought a second one used for about $10 just for this.
08/14/2017 05:09:50 PM · #4
A good C-Pol should definitely be your first filter. After that, ND filters. Long exposures during daylight means you need quite a bit of density. I have a 6-stop and a 10-stop ND, and that's adequate for up to about 1s during daylight. If I want longer, I take several shots in rapid succession and average them in post. Very close to a single-exposure result of the same total time.
Graduated NDs, as Paul pointed out, are of limited utility. I've seen some nice work done with them, but nearly always can just as easily and more flexibly be done with bracketing/post-processing. The only time that's not the case is when there is motion to the extent that the shot cannot be bracketed effectively. In landscape, that's rarely the case.
08/14/2017 07:22:48 PM · #5
Originally posted by vawendy:

... But I was surprised how difficult it was too see through the +10.


With an EVF you can boost the ev +/- dial to a high positive value (brightens what you see thru the viewfinder) to get focus, then dial the ev back down to capture the photo.
08/14/2017 07:25:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

So I am going to be traveling a lot in the coming years and would like to have the ability to get some long exposures during the daytime along with some graduated filters for those landscape shots and such.

I don't know much about filters so this thread may contain lots of silly questions once I really dive into the world of filters.

Thanks in advance.

ND filters are also good for shooting with that F1.4 lens in brighter lighting conditions ... allowing you to still get that shallow depth of field and controlling the exposure.

I do have some grad filters still (Cokin square - with holder) and don't use them very often. Last time was on a trip to the coast in New England when I knew I'd have some level horizons to work with. Otherwise, yeah, in post is easier nowadays.
08/14/2017 08:53:02 PM · #7
Circular polarized filter. Got it. Does price matter that much? If not I'll just get the 10 dollar one.

As for the nd filters should I get the kits? Or the ones that screw right into the thread of the lenses?
08/14/2017 08:59:03 PM · #8
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Circular polarized filter. Got it. Does price matter that much? If not I'll just get the 10 dollar one.

I am guessing it matters. From what I remember, there's not much of a range. It's either ~$20 or ~$100. I got a cheap one and it seemed ok, but I would always forget it's on there and not turn it properly for portrait oriented landscapes or use it indoors, so I just quit using it.

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

As for the nd filters should I get the kits? Or the ones that screw right into the thread of the lenses?

I'd recommend the threaded ones. I've used both and the threaded ones are easier to stack and less precarious.
08/14/2017 10:06:07 PM · #9
Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Circular polarized filter. Got it. Does price matter that much? If not I'll just get the 10 dollar one.

As for the nd filters should I get the kits? Or the ones that screw right into the thread of the lenses?


Get a quality filter, one that uses a good grade of optically flat glass and is multi-coated, not un-coated or just coated on the front.
08/15/2017 09:01:21 AM · #10
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Circular polarized filter. Got it. Does price matter that much? If not I'll just get the 10 dollar one.

As for the nd filters should I get the kits? Or the ones that screw right into the thread of the lenses?


Get a quality filter, one that uses a good grade of optically flat glass and is multi-coated, not un-coated or just coated on the front.


Nice, thanks for that. Does anyone have any input on which ND filters I should get? Brand? Number of filters? Etc?

08/15/2017 09:29:21 AM · #11
Here is a look at various multi-coated options in a single size (77mm). Note that prices vary wildly. If I were buying today, I'd probably select this one. Good quality, multi-coated, reasonably priced. Note that a similar product with "nano" coating is significantly more expensive.
Look at what your largest filter size is, and buy that size. If you need to use on lenses with smaller filter thread, use an adapter. I have mainly 77mm filters, and that works for most of my glass. I do have a 58mm polarizer; stepping up from 58 to 77 seems a little odd. If I didn't already have the 58mm polarizer, though, I would just buy the step-up ring.
08/15/2017 09:33:32 AM · #12
Originally posted by kirbic:

... Look at what your largest filter size is, and buy that size. If you need to use on lenses with smaller filter thread, use an adapter. I have mainly 77mm filters, and that works for most of my glass. I do have a 58mm polarizer; stepping up from 58 to 77 seems a little odd. If I didn't already have the 58mm polarizer, though, I would just buy the step-up ring.

Do people actually do that? Personally, I have CP filters in the common sizes I need. If you use a step up ring you can't add a lens hood then - at least not easily.
08/15/2017 12:14:57 PM · #13
I use a variable ND filter...goes from 0-10....LOVE this filter...does everything I want from fast to uber slow shutter speeds. I paid about $75 for mine Pro something...it's at home...😳
08/15/2017 01:58:06 PM · #14
Originally posted by Ja-9:

I use a variable ND filter...goes from 0-10....LOVE this filter...does everything I want from fast to uber slow shutter speeds. I paid about $75 for mine Pro something...it's at home...😳


I didn't even know this was a thing... Holy crap. Lol. Looks like I might have a winner here if I can find a good one at a decent price. 75 ain't bad either.
08/15/2017 09:54:21 PM · #15
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

Circular polarized filter. Got it. Does price matter that much? If not I'll just get the 10 dollar one.

I am guessing it matters. From what I remember, there's not much of a range. It's either ~$20 or ~$100. I got a cheap one and it seemed ok, but I would always forget it's on there and not turn it properly for portrait oriented landscapes or use it indoors, so I just quit using it.

Originally posted by mbrutus2009:

As for the nd filters should I get the kits? Or the ones that screw right into the thread of the lenses?

I'd recommend the threaded ones. I've used both and the threaded ones are easier to stack and less precarious.


I have both MARUMI and HOYA filters,both are reputable manufacturers had no problems either film or Digital
08/15/2017 10:30:22 PM · #16


I have both MARUMI and HOYA filters,both are reputable manufacturers had no problems either film or Digital [/quote]

I used Hoya back in the late 60's and 70's. I still have some colored Hoya filters from back then.
08/16/2017 03:56:51 PM · #17
What about these?

Decent price from what I've seen. Says multi-coated like previously discussed. Plus it comes with all kinds of filters. I already purchased a 10 dollar polarizing filter because I am a terrible impulse buyer. :( But if I get this I can maybe send back the polarizer I just bought or use it as a back up in case I mess it up or it gets gross and don't have a cleaning cloth on hand.

Also, I remember one time after getting a UV filter stuck on my lens that I needed to purchase a tool to remove it. Any recommendations for this, too? Or does a rubber band do the trick like I've seen on the interwebs?
08/16/2017 03:59:33 PM · #18
Also, I know there's math to be had here...

"ND8 | Gobe ND8 67mm 1Peak provides 3 f-stop reduction, allowing 12.5% of light to pass through your lens"

So forgive me here but why do they call it an ND 8 if it's only giving 3 stops of reduction?
08/16/2017 05:20:15 PM · #19
Perhaps because it is allowing 1/8 of the light to pass through? Much like stop values are often written just "5.6" when it's actually the denominator of a fraction f/5.6 ...

ETA: An actual 8-stop filter would allow 1/256 (2^8) of the light through.

Message edited by author 2017-08-16 17:21:57.
08/16/2017 08:06:54 PM · #20
Filter densities can be confusing. For the filters you link to, they are referring to the fact that it lets through 1/8 of the light, thus it could be called an "8x" filter since it has 8x light reduction. You also see ND filters rated in stops, so a 3-stop ND filter would be the same as the "8x" filter. Finally, you will see filters rated as to optical density, which is the log (base 10) of the ratio of light reduction. An ND 5.0 optical density filter lets through only 1/100,000 of the light; log10(100,000) = 5.0
So you need to know which measure they are referring to. Most all reputable ND filters are rated in stops or optical density. The price of the filters you linked makes me very suspicious of the quality, and the "spec inflation" in the rating does nothing to allay my fears.

Message edited by author 2017-08-16 20:07:45.
08/17/2017 08:18:41 AM · #21
Originally posted by vawendy:

But I was surprised how difficult it was too see through the +10.


So does this mean a 10 stop? Or an ND10? Because if I'm reading this correctly, this would be two different things?

And to make things more confusing I hear all the time for landscape long exposures I should be getting an ND10/10 stop filter... Now I have no clue which they mean?

08/17/2017 08:31:42 AM · #22
10 stop. Yes, it is very difficult to see through a 10-stop filter. For longer exposures in daylight, that's about what you need; you'll be able to get up to about a second under most conditions, more under some.
08/17/2017 08:45:31 AM · #23
Originally posted by kirbic:

10 stop. Yes, it is very difficult to see through a 10-stop filter. For longer exposures in daylight, that's about what you need; you'll be able to get up to about a second under most conditions, more under some.


Okay. This makes more sense now. I have always been confused about these things... They are so poorly named... :(
08/17/2017 08:46:25 AM · #24
Originally posted by kirbic:

10 stop. Yes, it is very difficult to see through a 10-stop filter. For longer exposures in daylight, that's about what you need; you'll be able to get up to about a second under most conditions, more under some.

This was taken with two stacked polarizers ... f/8 | ISO 80 | 4 seconds:
(resized only) Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_943135.jpg
08/17/2017 01:43:50 PM · #25
Another example, using a 10-stop filter on a mainly overcast day:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_881343.jpg

And 10 frames of the above scene averaged, for a total 100-second "exposure."
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_881344.jpg
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