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Author Topic: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.  (Read 1997 times)

paulrrulon

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New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« on: August 15, 2014, 10:51:35 pm »

I am fairly new to Landscape Photography as I have mostly Photographed wildlife . I currently have the nikon 24-70 & the nikon 14-24 lens & would like to get started with filter use. I also have a 24 mm 2.8 and a 50 mm standard nikon lens.
1. Could someone recommend a good filter system.
2. Are their any good books on the subject.
3. It seems confusing with all the different filters used how to determine what to start with would help.
4. Pros & cons of the different systems.
5. Good starting kit recommendations.

I guess my main concern would be a system that is well built , easy to use, gives top notch results  & has a good user manual . Top notch results
being the most important factor.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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NancyP

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2014, 11:48:54 pm »

1. Do you have your circular polarizer yet? That's priority one.
2. Do you want to make extra-long exposures to blur clouds, water, people, etc? You will need a 6 stop or a 10 stop neutral density filter. Also, it is handy to have a 3 stop ND filter for those situations when you are obliged to work in very bright light and need to tame it.
3. Google and other search engines are your friends. LuLa, many other photography sites and fora, and commercial sites have lots of information and links about filter use. Look at Lee Filters and SinghRay for video demonstrations and links to filter-technique articles by landscape photographers, respectively
4. Once you have a notion of what you want to do with filters and have some questions, come back to fora with specific questions.
5. When it came to actually buying my filter system (Lee), I got it from www.2filter.com because they were very good about answering questions and they have good stock and good service. Be forewarned - if you get the owner on the line, be prepared for a leisurely chat, he's a friendly guy.
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paulrrulon

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 09:12:33 am »

Nancy , Thanks for taking time out of your day to help its much appreciated. I will start by looking into a Circular polarizer .  I want to bring out more clarity in my photos & be able to darken the bright areas during the day. I will give Google a try & may get to the library in the next couple weeks for some books on the subject. Google is a great tip I will try that. I think I too will go with Lee as it looks like they have a complete system. Thanks also for the www.2filter.com they have a lot of good info.
Good Day
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rgs

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 11:12:56 pm »

Get a CPL and one or two solid NDs (I carry a 3 stop and an 8 stop). I prefer to use top quality glass screw-ins in the 77mm size with step rings for smaller lenses. Others prefer squares or a set of screw-ins for each filter diameter you have. My three filters and 4 step rings fit easily into one small belt pack. More filters or a square system will take up more space.

As to graduated NDs, they can be very useful but much of what you need them for can be done in post. Applying grad filters in post is more flexible than using a filter in the field because you can manipulate the grad line more precisely and/or use several in one image. It also allows you to keep you original file unaltered so you can make changes later as your skills of tastes change. Keeping your original file as unaltered as possible is, I think, very important.

Others will disagree, but I suggest you learn how to use LightRoom's grad filter (and other tools) very effectively before buying any ND grads for your lenses. That way you will have a much better idea of what you really need and what can be done in post.

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melchiorpavone

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 11:57:49 am »

I am fairly new to Landscape Photography as I have mostly Photographed wildlife . I currently have the nikon 24-70 & the nikon 14-24 lens & would like to get started with filter use. I also have a 24 mm 2.8 and a 50 mm standard nikon lens.
1. Could someone recommend a good filter system.
2. Are their any good books on the subject.
3. It seems confusing with all the different filters used how to determine what to start with would help.
4. Pros & cons of the different systems.
5. Good starting kit recommendations.

I guess my main concern would be a system that is well built , easy to use, gives top notch results  & has a good user manual . Top notch results
being the most important factor.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Why do you think you need filters? You buy them to solve specific problems, not just to have filters.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 01:15:47 pm by melchiorpavone »
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Paul2660

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 01:11:44 pm »

Why use filters?  Well good question, however if you are an outdoor shooter, and you like to shoot around water, I can see at least an ND and a CL-PL.  

CL-PL to both cut glare off water and foliage and it will also help in gaining a slower shutter speed.  I work around water as much as I can, preferring the slower shutter speeds, I need both the use of a CL-PL and solid ND.  No software I know of can cut glare off of water/rocks like a CL-PL can, the difference is important on sunny or cloudy days. 

Grads, I agree, that you can get a lot done in LR now.  Also grads are not going to work well unless you have a pretty even horizon line.  I do find the reverse grads a bit helpful at times, (by Singh Ray)

Your 14-24, will be a problematic lens to filter.  I love the lens, and carry on all my trips.  However the use of a CL-PL is not easy.  The only solution I have found is my own modification to a Lee SW-150 filter holder, so I can carry (1) 2mm and (1) 4mm.  The 4mm is a CL-PL sheet filter from Cavision out of Canada.  This will allow you to use a resin ND filter (so far I have not seen any image degradation in using a Lee resin filter on wides, with Nikon (D800e).  You can use the Lee kit that will allow you to use the SW-150 on normal lenses like your 24-70, however on that lens, it's a bit heavy and will make balance a bit hard.  The Cavision filter alone is around 400.00.  Schneider also makes one, however I find it much warmer than the CAvision version.  

The other issue you will have of course with the 14-24 and a CL-PL is that your sky can become problematic at times, since a polarizer on extreme wides will at times create a situation where the sky is much darker on one side than the other.  In a perfect situation you want to position the sun at 90 degrees or so to the filter but many scene won't allow that, so you might want to watch for this.  You can just rotate the CL-PL to where it's not polarizing the shot, but it still will work as a ND since most CL-PL's darken the scene by 1 to 1.5 stops.  This will not be as big an issue with the 24-70 unless you are in the 24-40mm range, but even then nothing as bad as it will be with the 14-24 at 14-18mm.  

Paul  
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Paul Caldwell
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 01:40:08 pm »

Hi,

I would agree on all points. Personally, I use a circular polariser and a ND filter. I have a variable ND (77 mm) and an ND 3X (three steps) for my 62 mm filter diameters. Personally, I find the NDs more useful than the polariser.

Best regards
Erik


Why use filters?  Well good question, however if you are an outdoor shooter, and you like to shoot around water, I can see at least an ND and a CL-PL.  

CL-PL to both cut glare off water and foliage and it will also help in gaining a slower shutter speed.  I work around water as much as I can, preferring the slower shutter speeds, I need both the use of a CL-PL and solid ND.  No software I know of can cut glare off of water/rocks like a CL-PL can, the difference is important on sunny or cloudy days. 

Grads, I agree, that you can get a lot done in LR now.  Also grads are not going to work well unless you have a pretty even horizon line.  I do find the reverse grads a bit helpful at times, (by Singh Ray)

Your 14-24, will be a problematic lens to filter.  I love the lens, and carry on all my trips.  However the use of a CL-PL is not easy.  The only solution I have found is my own modification to a Lee SW-150 filter holder, so I can carry (1) 2mm and (1) 4mm.  The 4mm is a CL-PL sheet filter from Cavision out of Canada.  This will allow you to use a resin ND filter (so far I have not seen any image degradation in using a Lee resin filter on wides, with Nikon (D800e).  You can use the Lee kit that will allow you to use the SW-150 on normal lenses like your 24-70, however on that lens, it's a bit heavy and will make balance a bit hard.  The Cavision filter alone is around 400.00.  Schneider also makes one, however I find it much warmer than the CAvision version.  

The other issue you will have of course with the 14-24 and a CL-PL is that your sky can become problematic at times, since a polarizer on extreme wides will at times create a situation where the sky is much darker on one side than the other.  In a perfect situation you want to position the sun at 90 degrees or so to the filter but many scene won't allow that, so you might want to watch for this.  You can just rotate the CL-PL to where it's not polarizing the shot, but it still will work as a ND since most CL-PL's darken the scene by 1 to 1.5 stops.  This will not be as big an issue with the 24-70 unless you are in the 24-40mm range, but even then nothing as bad as it will be with the 14-24 at 14-18mm.  

Paul  
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duane_bolland

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 03:39:30 pm »

Personally, I find the NDs more useful than the polariser.

To each their own.  I find a CPL to be far more useful than a ND.  Not only does it "cut glare off water and foliage", it seems to increase saturation warm the image somewhat.  I think a CPL gives landscape shots that special look that most people find appealing.
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Simon Garrett

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 04:16:42 pm »

To each their own.  I find a CPL to be far more useful than a ND.  Not only does it "cut glare off water and foliage", it seems to increase saturation warm the image somewhat.  I think a CPL gives landscape shots that special look that most people find appealing.

Agreed.  A circular polariser is the only filter I always carry in my bag (summer, anyway).  Darken blue skies, modify reflections...

An ND - occasionally

ND grads - as others have said, depending on your camera you may not need it much.  Many modern cameas have such a high dynamic range (in raw) that often you don't need an ND grad to darken the sky - the camera often captures the whole range from sky to shadow, and you can apply a grad in post if needed.  That way you can play with the graduated filter in softare until it looks right.  ND grads can give an unnatural look to the sky unless adjusted near perfectly, which is much easier in post. 
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rgs

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 05:43:39 pm »


ND grads - as others have said, depending on your camera you may not need it much.  Many modern cameas have such a high dynamic range (in raw) that often you don't need an ND grad to darken the sky - the camera often captures the whole range from sky to shadow, and you can apply a grad in post if needed.  That way you can play with the graduated filter in softare until it looks right.  ND grads can give an unnatural look to the sky unless adjusted near perfectly, which is much easier in post.  

Thank you! Everytime I say that, someone comes out breathing fire. So I try to say it as gently as possible. I am quite sure that, in most cases, the affinity for ND grads is a holdover from the film days.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 05:45:25 pm by rgs »
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stever

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Re: New to Filter use Not sure what to start with.
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2014, 11:15:42 pm »

amazed at what I can do in post with LR.

to maximize DR it's important to expose to the right in RAW and understand to what extent your camera's histogram says highlights are blown when they really aren't.

I admit to using UV filters in wet and/or dirty conditions so I can swipe them off with a microfiber towel - and sometimes I forget they're there and can't even tell the difference.  I like B+W.
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