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Author Topic: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR  (Read 6885 times)

drralph

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Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« on: March 17, 2018, 11:04:45 am »

Is there still a role for graduated neutral density filters in this age of naturally rendered HDR?  I am looking to lighten my kit, and one idea is to ditch the square filters and filter holder, and go with circular filters (ND and polarizer).  The only thing missing would be the family of graduates.  Do folks still find the GNDs indispensable?

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 11:27:25 am »

Is there still a role for graduated neutral density filters in this age of naturally rendered HDR?  I am looking to lighten my kit, and one idea is to ditch the square filters and filter holder, and go with circular filters (ND and polarizer).  The only thing missing would be the family of graduates.  Do folks still find the GNDs indispensable?

Hi,

IMHO, the only benefit of GNDs is with lots of subject motion. Maybe another benefit comes from simpler postprocessing.

HDRI and good tonemapping, behaves much more like the human eye does, pupil contraction over bright parts (local darkening) of the scene, and pupil dilation over dark regions (local brightening). So if done well, it looks more natural.

Cheers,
Bart
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2018, 01:52:46 pm »

I still use the filters, being doing so for many years, no problem.

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 09:11:33 pm »

Hi,

I feel that modern cameras have an amazing density range so HDR is seldom necessary.

Best regards
Erik
Is there still a role for graduated neutral density filters in this age of naturally rendered HDR?  I am looking to lighten my kit, and one idea is to ditch the square filters and filter holder, and go with circular filters (ND and polarizer).  The only thing missing would be the family of graduates.  Do folks still find the GNDs indispensable?
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Simon J.A. Simpson

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 10:35:29 am »

It is possible to easily replicate the effect of a graduated filter both in Lightroom and Photoshop.

But some people get pleasure out of the business of selecting the right graduated filter and adjusting it on the camera, it's all part of the enjoyment of taking a photograph.
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ErikKaffehr

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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 12:33:49 pm »

Hi,

I think graduated filters have both advantages and disadvantages.

On the plus side:
  • They absorb some of the light falling on the lens. So it is possible they reduce flare.
  • Using graduated filters is adressing the cause of the problem

On the minus side:
  • The graduated filter may not match the area that needs to be darkened.
  • The graduated filter introduces extra glass in the optical path. High quality filters may have little effect, but I think I have observed degraduation of the image.
  • The holder needs to replace the lens shade. is it as effective than the purpose built lens shade.
  • We can pull a lot of detail from a DSLR. What can be done with graduated filters may be as well done using the highlight slider in LR.
  • Highlight and shadow sliders in Lightroom do local adaption, so they tend to keep subjective contrast.
  • Making an an additional exposure and doing simple HDR in say Lightroom is much more efficient. Fiddling to much with equipment may cause us to miss the picture.

Best regards
Erik
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:37:34 pm by ErikKaffehr »
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Erik Kaffehr
 

Cornfield

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 06:46:20 pm »

With excellent tools available for luminosity masking, I'm doing more brackets and using normally just two out of five frames.  Luminosity masking really is an excellent way to blend images.
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DougDolde

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 07:52:08 pm »

No longer need except for sunsets on flat horizons or ocean.
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JimT1

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2018, 12:07:18 pm »

I would say a good circular polarizer has a lot of value to my landscape work though.
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vjbelle

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Re: Graduated ND Filters vs. Brackets and HDR
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2018, 04:00:38 pm »

As a user of a 3100 which has lots of DR a Lee 2 stop soft grad is a staple for me.  I never want to burn out clouds and always prefer to bring down overcast skies to more match the landscape.  I use C1 exclusively which has wondrous abilities to bring up shadows so I rarely use HDR or Tone Mapping but appreciate skillful use....

Victor
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