View Full Version : Neutral Density Filters
23rd of April 2001 (Mon), 17:50
Wife and I are going on a Carribean cruise. Sunsets and sunrises from the ship I assume will have the potential to be dramatic as in ports. Will the ND filters, with maual adjustments, be a positive purchase or best left to manual adjustments alone? I am also looking at it's ability to allow me to slow down speed for shots where I may want motion (i.e. waterfalls). As of now, I have UV and polarizer only.
I guess I am looking for help on what filters should I have that I don't.
23rd of April 2001 (Mon), 17:59
I am trying to learn about filters also. Tell me how often, when and how, do you use your polorizer filter.
Are you satisfied with the results ?
23rd of April 2001 (Mon), 19:18
I use polarizer mainly to accent clouds or to remove glare from water, etc. I wouldn't be without one, tho I use it quite selectively. And by what I understand, it and the ND filters are the two that can not be duplicated through graphics programs.
24th of April 2001 (Tue), 07:26
If you are shooting sunsets and sunrises you want to achieve great depth of field. Since those are not the brightest times of the day you will either work with high iso (noise) or long shutter speeds (shake). By putting on a polarizer or ND filter you will further decrease the amount of light comming in and in the case of sunsets shadows will come out to be very dark (or black). I never saw anyone (and I haven't see everything yet :) ) using polarizers and Nd's in mixed (dark/not even/gradual) light conditions. I belive that bracketing will take care of your problem. I would save the Polarizer for daylight enhancment and glare elimination. If you feel that you must have a filter try one of the Tiffen Enhancer filters (blue shade, really cool) or color correction 30 magenta for those "dreamy looks".
24th of April 2001 (Tue), 10:15
While shooting sunsets from the ship can potentially give you great results, you have to remember that the ship will still be moving even if it's just a little bit. Long exposures can potentially show some motion blur that you're not expecting. Particularly if you have anything in the foreground. I would avoid the ND and polarizer when shooting sunsets from the boat. If you're going to be shooting from land and can't get a slow enough shutter speed to use a small aperture, then I would use the ND filter. Actually, you might also want to pick up a graduated natural density filter when you get a chance. It will allow you to photograph sunsets and sunrises without completely blowing all the highlights out of anything in the foreground.
When trying to slow down a shot (for waterfalls), both the ND and the polarizer will be able to bring your shutter speed down a couple of stops, but the polarizer gives you the added benefit of being able to remove glare from water and surrounding surfaces. Also consider what time of day it is and where the sun is. Days where the sun is directly overhead seem to be the worst times to shoot a waterfall. Wait for cloud cover or go back at another time if possible.
24th of April 2001 (Tue), 14:36
24th of April 2001 (Tue), 19:37
I use both a circular polarizer at times, and a ND at times, with both film and digital cameras. You will find the ND more useful in full sun than at other times, and I think you will find use for it in the Caribbean when 1/500 and f/8 is not fast enough. The ND will help you here without the polarizing effect, which might not be desirable. Both the polarizer and ND will reduce the light through the lens.
28th of April 2001 (Sat), 13:59
You can also avoid the expense of ND filters if you agree to post process your image... don't continue reading unless you're open to these "software processing"...
If you have a way to secure a tripod (pb on boat...) take two or three exposures or more of the same scene while bracketing heavily... use the software later to merge the objects that appear best exposed in every image.. using PS6, you could for example copy the images on different layers, and apply the layered mask (or eraser if you're not comfortable with masks) on areas to hide/remove.
This technique was described a couple of months ago in an issue of Outdoor Photographer.
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