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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 28 Aug 2012 (Tuesday) 12:28
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Neutral Density Filters and Daytime Long Exposures

34 posts
Joined Jun 2012
Location: Michigan
Aug 28, 2012 12:28 |  #1

I'm hoping to get some long exposure shots of clouds and water during the daytime. Which type of ND filter do I need? (How many stops) I'm hoping to get some where around 30sec-2 minute exposures

Canon 60D, Canon EF-S 10-22 , Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 50mm F1.8 Sirui T-2005x tripod
Feedback: …=14674682&postc​ount=35412​photo (external link)

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66 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Aug 29, 2012 12:39 |  #2

You'll need a 9 to 12 stop ND filter for those exposure times. The Lee Big Stopper is very popular but expensive. For a few dollars you can improvise with welding glass, if you use the search facility you will find whole threads dedicated to this technique. I use the welding glass and I've had some great results with it.
Good luck.

3,719 posts
Likes: 36
Joined Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta
Aug 29, 2012 17:26 |  #3

I use a Fader variable ND that lets me dial in up to an 8 stop light reduction. Great for slowing down moving water. I believe you can purchase them from Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and other sources.

3,976 posts
Gallery: 14 photos
Best ofs: 4
Likes: 992
Joined Apr 2010
Location: New Zealand
Aug 29, 2012 22:12 |  #4

Fade/polariser ND filters dont work very well (at strong settings) on wide angles though.
A 9-12 stop filter is handy..

You can take a number of longish exposure shots (2seconds) and blend them in post using photoshop for a really long exposure look, takes a bit more effort. (external link) - (external link) - (external link)
Gear: A7r, 6D, Irix 15mmf2.4 , canon 16-35f4L, Canon 24mm TS-E f3.5 mk2, Sigma 50mm art, 70-200f2.8L, 400L. Lee filters, iOptron IPano, Emotimo TB3, Markins, Feisol, Novoflex, Sirui. etc.

125 posts
Joined Apr 2012
Location: California
Aug 29, 2012 22:44 |  #5

Some people also use smaller apertures to extend their exposure time, but of course you have to balance than with increasing diffraction and image quality issues.

30 posts
Joined Aug 2012
Sep 03, 2012 13:40 |  #6

Honestly I wouldn't go with anything other than Lee's Big Stopper 10 Stop filter + either Cokin P filter holder system or Lee's filter holder system. You'll also probably need a graduated ND filter to balance the sky with the water, I find the .9 soft GND by Lee is the best I've used. I've had Hoya and Cokin but Lee is the only one I have seen no colour cast with, the Cokin has the most HORRIBLE magenta cast that is nearly impossible to get out in post and the Hoyas are screw in which I don't like because it's less convenient than slide filters (you need to compose the shot before putting the filter on and it's easier to do with slides).

_______________​ianKebbe (external link)

Busted ­ Knuckles
109 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2011
Sep 03, 2012 15:45 |  #7

Variable NDs - do they replace a CPL?

If you see me with a wrench - call 911. 5d3, T3i, 17-55 2.8, 50 1.8, 70-200 2.8 L II, 24-105 f4. YN 565, Precision Lupe attached to hacked extended eyecup (no sticky frame) - old enough to have owned an original F-1

Senior Member
437 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Jun 2012
Sep 05, 2012 16:40 |  #8
bannedPermanent ban

ND's and CPLs do quite different functions.

Even if you aren't going to get Lee filters, their web site has excellent videos and information that explains (far better than I could) how they all work.

http://www.leefilters.​com/ (external link)

The main filter types in use for DSLR are Standard Grad ND, Soft Grad ND, Hard Grad ND, Reverse Grad ND and CPL.

To my knowledge, Reverse grad is the only type of ND Lee don't do. (Would appreciate confirmation on this, because one sales guy told me there is one, but I don't see it on the Lee site.)

Hope this helps,

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Neutral Density Filters and Daytime Long Exposures
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