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07/25/2011 08:30:35 PM · #1
Hey everyone,

I'm thinking about getting myself an ND Filter for landscapes mainly... I've noticed there's different gradations, just wanted to get some feedback on some of the ones people out there have used and which ones you think would be the best to look in to.
07/25/2011 08:48:35 PM · #2
My favorite for landscapes is a graduated ND sheet, which lets you filter bright skies and expose the ground and sky properly. They are big enough to handhold and move around in front of a big front element and knock down the bright part.
07/25/2011 09:04:12 PM · #3
I use mainly ND8 and ND400 for long exposures of moving water and clouds in the bright daylight. Both made by Hoya and bought on eBay (cheaper than any shop).
07/26/2011 01:20:19 AM · #4
First question is to make sure you already have a polarizer. If not, get that first. It works like a 2-stop ND filter but with so much more.

Grads are tough because you generally need a square filter and holder. I have/had one somewhere, but I haven't used it in years in favor of manually blending two exposed shots.
07/26/2011 10:31:45 AM · #5
Depends on your purpose. I recently bought a singh-ray vari-ND filter, but that was so I could keep my speedlites out of HSS (HSS brings a loss of 1 2/3 power), and still shoot bokeh at noon hour... But these won't work so well wider than 35mm (vignetting)...

I would try to figure out how many stops of reduction you need first. Then, if that's a constant, you could just buy a good filter of that density. Just watch out for the quality of the filter--cheaper ones "muddy" color. Here's a good post on the strobist
07/26/2011 03:06:54 PM · #6
Originally posted by Maver:

Hey everyone,

I'm thinking about getting myself an ND Filter for landscapes mainly...

For landscapes you probably want a "graduated neutral density filter" which fades from the dark area to clear -- typically used so you can achieve detail in the land area without blowing out the sky.

"Ring" filters usually have the change in tone about in the middle, limiting your compositional flexibility.

Sheet/holder filter systems allow you to move the position of the gradient around to match your composition, but are more expensive.

A "regular" ND filter, darkens the entire field evenly, and is used to achive longer exposures in bright conditions, e.g. to blur moving water.

You can achieve about 1-3 stops of exposure compensation by combining two polarizing filters; I already had a circular polarizer, and by adding a linear polarizer (used, $10), I was able to achieve reasonable exposures with times of 2-4 seconds in full daylight using this method.

2 seconds (edited) ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_943126.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_943126.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' 4 seconds (unedited) ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_943135.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/0-4999/1031/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_943135.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
02/15/2012 09:47:47 PM · #7
Bringing this thread back ... I've been reading a little on polarizers and ND filters ... and while I'm still figuring out what I like to shoot, I can already tell both would probably get much use if they were in my bag.

So my real question is this: Are there big differences in what you get relative to what you pay?

Being a relative newb, the manufacturers names really don't tell me much (outside of the major lens players anyway.)
02/15/2012 10:54:14 PM · #8
Originally posted by Stack:

Bringing this thread back ... I've been reading a little on polarizers and ND filters ... and while I'm still figuring out what I like to shoot, I can already tell both would probably get much use if they were in my bag.

So my real question is this: Are there big differences in what you get relative to what you pay?

Being a relative newb, the manufacturers names really don't tell me much (outside of the major lens players anyway.)


Personally, I wouldn't try to go cheap on filters if you're going to use one. It doesn't make sense to have a nice lens, just to throw a $20 filter on the front of it and ruin your shot. In my opinion, you do get what you pay for.
02/15/2012 11:42:49 PM · #9
Lets do an experiment. Here are some pictures taken with and without a UV and or ND filter. All images were taken with a 50mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/7.1 at ISO 100. This should be the sweet spot of this lens, so any errors due to the filter should be more noticeable.

First off, can anyone tell which one has the filter applied? For extra credit do you can tell me if the filter is in the low, mid, or high price range.

One shot has a .6 ND filter (4x), the other is a bare lens
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

One shot has a UV filter, the other is a bare lens
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2012-02-16 00:08:26.
02/16/2012 12:26:28 AM · #10
Originally posted by Stack:

Bringing this thread back ... I've been reading a little on polarizers and ND filters ... and while I'm still figuring out what I like to shoot, I can already tell both would probably get much use if they were in my bag.

So my real question is this: Are there big differences in what you get relative to what you pay?

Being a relative newb, the manufacturers names really don't tell me much (outside of the major lens players anyway.)


Yes.
There was a good deal of discussion on this in this thread. This talk is polarizer central. I've got a couple Tiffen filters (two polarizers and some UV that came on lenses I bought) and they are very much inferior to the Hoya's I normally purchase. The polarizers introduce a weird warmth and the UV filters flare much more. Sharpness I haven't really pixel peeped at enough, since the other issues were enough for me.
02/16/2012 12:27:17 AM · #11
What is the question you are trying to get an answer to with this experiment?

Originally posted by bhuge:

Lets do an experiment. Here are some pictures taken with and without a UV and or ND filter. All images were taken with a 50mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/7.1 at ISO 100. This should be the sweet spot of this lens, so any errors due to the filter should be more noticeable.

First off, can anyone tell which one has the filter applied? For extra credit do you can tell me if the filter is in the low, mid, or high price range.

One shot has a .6 ND filter (4x), the other is a bare lens
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

One shot has a UV filter, the other is a bare lens
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
02/16/2012 12:44:55 AM · #12
I think it was meant to be a comment on the cost of a filter and image quality. I'm not sure.
02/16/2012 01:15:16 AM · #13
I see a lot of people complain about cheap filters, but I find most can't tell the difference. Most things photography related scale proportionally with the price, but with filters I just don't see much of a difference. I'm trying to understand why someone would pay 20x (or more) for a high quality filter when you probably can't tell which of these images has a $10 piece of glass in front of it.

I will say that the nicer ones control flare much better, but that only seems to be an issue for me when shooting directly into the sun.
02/16/2012 01:29:24 AM · #14
The experiment was about filter vs bare lens in indoor shots. It would have been more interesting if it was about cheap filters vs expensive filters on landscapes.
02/16/2012 01:38:17 AM · #15
Originally posted by senor_kasper:

What is the question you are trying to get an answer to with this experiment?

Originally posted by bhuge:

Lets do an experiment. Here are some pictures taken with and without a UV and or ND filter. All images were taken with a 50mm f/1.8 stopped down to f/7.1 at ISO 100. This should be the sweet spot of this lens, so any errors due to the filter should be more noticeable.

First off, can anyone tell which one has the filter applied? For extra credit do you can tell me if the filter is in the low, mid, or high price range.

One shot has a .6 ND filter (4x), the other is a bare lens
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999185.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999186.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#3' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999189.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #4' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999190.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

One shot has a UV filter, the other is a bare lens
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999183.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999184.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
Same shots at 100% crop
#1' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999187.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' #2' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/125000-129999/128201/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_999188.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Ok I will put my neck out on the line here...
For the ND Filter comparison: #3 is the bare lens and #4 is the ND Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #3.
For the UV Filter comparison: #1 is the bare lens and #2 is the UV Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #1.
As for the question about quality I would only be guessing here but my guess is:
ND filter Mid quality
UV filter Low quality
How far off am I?
02/16/2012 01:47:15 AM · #16
Unfortunately it's dark out which fairly limits me in my choice of landscapes. But I would argue that bare lens vs cheap is better then expensive vs cheap. No matter how good your filter is, it doesn't improve image quality. The one exception may be polarizers, but that is more if a image mod then an improvement.

The experiment does address two of the three things I hear people complain about the most. Causing a soft image, and adding a color cast. The third thing I hear about is flare, which is the one thing I agree with.
02/16/2012 01:52:19 AM · #17
Originally posted by Silent-Shooter:


Ok I will put my neck out on the line here...
For the ND Filter comparison: #3 is the bare lens and #4 is the ND Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #3.
For the UV Filter comparison: #1 is the bare lens and #2 is the UV Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #1.
As for the question about quality I would only be guessing here but my guess is:
ND filter Mid quality
UV filter Low quality
How far off am I?


You are right about the ND filter, but you might have my kids to thank for that, The extra two stops gave it a 10 second exposure and my kids were running around shaking the floor a little :)

But you were wrong on the UV. #2 was the bare lens

The UV was a $10 Tiffen 58mm

The ND was from a $50 set of three Dolcia 77mm filters, so about $17

02/16/2012 01:57:39 AM · #18
Originally posted by bhuge:

Originally posted by Silent-Shooter:


Ok I will put my neck out on the line here...
For the ND Filter comparison: #3 is the bare lens and #4 is the ND Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #3.
For the UV Filter comparison: #1 is the bare lens and #2 is the UV Filter. 100% crop shows much more clarity in #1.
As for the question about quality I would only be guessing here but my guess is:
ND filter Mid quality
UV filter Low quality
How far off am I?


You are right about the ND filter, but you might have my kids to thank for that, The extra two stops gave it a 10 second exposure and my kids were running around shaking the floor a little :)

But you were wrong on the UV. #2 was the bare lens

The UV was a $10 Tiffen 58mm

The ND was from a $50 set of three Dolcia 77mm filters, so about $17

Well I am amazed!
Go and look at the 100% crop on #1 and #2.
To me #1 is much clearer - look at the gold writing on the right.
What were the shutter speed of those 2 shots? I assume it was on a tripod. Mirror lock up? Remote shutter release or 2 second timer?
02/16/2012 02:01:38 AM · #19
2 sec timer, but I forgot to do mirror lockup. The slight softness of the bare lens might also of be from the kids running about.

Exposure was at 2.5 seconds, yea my living room is dark :) Then again I was at f/7.1 100iso
02/16/2012 02:07:29 AM · #20
It should also be noted that cheaper filters are generally thicker and cause vignette much more readily on wide angle lenses.
02/16/2012 02:11:29 AM · #21
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

It should also be noted that cheaper filters are generally thicker and cause vignette much more readily on wide angle lenses.


That is a good point, and I worried about that when I got my ND filters, but thankfully my sigma 10-20mm does not show any vignette with the ND on, but it does at 10mm if I stack them. Fortunately I seldom need a 64x ND filter :)

Message edited by author 2012-02-16 02:13:06.
02/16/2012 02:52:56 AM · #22
Originally posted by bhuge:

2 sec timer, but I forgot to do mirror lockup. The slight softness of the bare lens might also of be from the kids running about.

Normally people blame the dog... but you put it on your profile pic and blame the kids :-)
02/16/2012 03:17:32 AM · #23
I know it not relevant to the op but using a nifty 50 is hardly amazing glass it's good but not mega I have to get lee or Collin Z 100mm square ones for 16-35 at 82mm front optic vignette central in full frame
02/16/2012 05:37:52 AM · #24
Yes, budget is important, but so is wasting money and repurchasing later.

Cheap filters are thin coloured film/gel resined between two pieces of glass. They tend to age very quickly, shift and discolour in time, especially if left in a hot car, I've experienced this with Cokin ND's and UV's going purple.

More expensive filters taint/tint the glass with the elements needed to create the effect desired. This cannot shift like Gel laminate and I've not heard of them discolouring.

This may be of insight/help
02/16/2012 06:14:31 AM · #25
just to add, i never did sell my Hoya 67 mm NDx8 Neutral Density Filter :)

used it on these two entries:

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