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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 11 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 13:10
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Advantages of using ND (neutral density) filters instead of exposure compensation

 
AmitShinde0511
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Apr 11, 2012 13:10 |  #1

I have two Hoya ND filters ND x 8 (3 stops) and ND x 400 (9 stops). If ND filter is ONLY use to stop down light, can we use exposure compensation to do so instead of these expensive filters?
Can’t we achieve long exposure by decreasing f stops in exposure compensation?

What’s the difference between the two?
1) F8, ISO 100, 15 sec exposure, ND x 8 (-3 stops)
2) F8, ISO 100, 15 sec exposure, exposure compensation -3 stops

What benefit will I have using ND filters instead of exposure compensation?


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FlyingPhotog
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Apr 11, 2012 13:19 |  #2

ND allows you to hold back light without altering any settings.

In your scenario (assuming you need f/8 and 100 ISO), your minus three-stop exposure compensation comes at the expense of your 15 second shutter speed.

Exposure compensation doesn't happen in a vacuum. Be it shutter speed, aperture or ISO, Some parameter has to give


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Grimes
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Apr 11, 2012 17:47 |  #3

Jay pretty much said it. Even if you stop down a lot on a sunny day, at ISO100, sometimes you will still not be able to get "longer shutter speeds".


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Apr 11, 2012 18:08 |  #4

Exposure compensation puts a 'fudge factor' (more exposure, less exposure into what a METER suggests. It does NOT alter the amount of light which has to be captured to make a 'proper exposure', it only reinterprets the meter's suggestion (since it can be fooled by a bright subject or a dark subject).

ND filters affect how much light the filter (and the sensor) see, by blocking some of the light.


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Apr 11, 2012 22:51 |  #5

A common scenario for use of an ND filter is water that is "active", such as a waterfall or ocean waves, and you want to use a longer shutter speed to show some "blur". However, if you are in good light and if you just use Exposure Compensation then the slow shutter speed will likely "blow out" the whitewater and other highlights. Typically in a well-lit scene you just don't have the range using ISO and aperture to allow you to slow down much.

Another scenario is when people are shooting outdoor and maybe there is a sunset or something else in the background that is bright enough to adversly affect your shooting of a subject in the foreground. Sometimes people shooting things like portraits in a scenario like that will use an ND filter to "tone down" the bright background and a flash to illuminate the subject.


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Mashimaro
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Apr 12, 2012 14:14 |  #6

Another reason for an ND filter is if you want to shoot a large aperture lens wide open in broad day light.

when i shoot with my 85L at F1.2 in bright day light, even at ISO 100, i may be maxing out the shutter speed (8000). an ND filter will help me bring the speeds back down without blowing highlights completely :)


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brokensocial
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Apr 12, 2012 14:25 |  #7

Mashimaro wrote in post #14254717 (external link)
Another reason for an ND filter is if you want to shoot a large aperture lens wide open in broad day light.

when i shoot with my 85L at F1.2 in bright day light, even at ISO 100, i may be maxing out the shutter speed (8000). an ND filter will help me bring the speeds back down without blowing highlights completely :)

This is why we'd use them if we got them. I've got an FZ7 I use for personal work, and it's a nice little camera but the lens only stops down to f/8 and the shutter maxes out at 1/1000, which means that on bright sunny days, I can still run out of headroom.


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AmitShinde0511
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Apr 12, 2012 19:42 |  #8

Thanks to all of you. It seems like ND filters is worth and has it's own advantages.

After spend $$$ on my hoya filters, I will continue to use them with piece of mind.


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tonylong
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Apr 12, 2012 20:11 |  #9

Heh! Take good care of that "piece" of your mind:):)!


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AmitShinde0511
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Apr 12, 2012 20:28 as a reply to  @ tonylong's post |  #10

ha ha ha ... by all means :lol::lol::lol:


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jra
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Apr 12, 2012 23:47 |  #11

ND filters are also very useful when shooting portraits with strobes in the sun. You have to keep the shutter speed slow enough to allow sync.....ND filters allow you to do this while still allowing you to keep the aperture open enough to isolate the subject.




  
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ian_socool
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Jul 25, 2013 22:08 |  #12

jra wrote in post #14257456 (external link)
ND filters are also very useful when shooting portraits with strobes in the sun. You have to keep the shutter speed slow enough to allow sync.....ND filters allow you to do this while still allowing you to keep the aperture open enough to isolate the subject.

I needed this answer to justify my purchase today. Not all the time I will be in HSS. I can now use my off camera flash with backlit subjects with confidence.


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Advantages of using ND (neutral density) filters instead of exposure compensation
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