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Thread started 10 Feb 2014 (Monday) 09:01
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Best "filter" for outdoors (UV or ND)??

 
Ralph ­ III
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Feb 10, 2014 09:01 |  #1

Would a Neutral Density filter be better for outdoors than a UV filter?

I typically use a UV filter when outdoors, especially beaches, but wondered if instead of a UV filter if I would be best served with a ND filter?

Insight please as I've never used a ND filter.

*An ND would be great as it allows for slower shutter speeds and/or larger Aperture, but what about late evening shots or if using a flash?

Thanks,
Ralph


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archer1960
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Feb 10, 2014 09:33 |  #2

You use an ND filter when you need its functionality; otherwise, leave it off. I would only use a UV filter in conditions where the lens needs some additional protection (like the beach you mention). Normally I don't use any filters on the front of any of my lenses, because I don't want to add a non-functional layer of glass in the optical path.


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gonzogolf
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Feb 10, 2014 09:56 |  #3

As mentioned above an ND filter has a specific purpose, generally to extend the exposure time, either to blur motion or lower the overall exposure to allow slow enough shutter speeds to sync flash. For a digital camera there is no need for a UV filter. It might offer some degree of protection in a sand storm or in sea mist but generally you dont even need one for protection. But you dont need any filter outside just to add a filter.




  
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mike_d
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Feb 10, 2014 11:15 |  #4

That's a little like asking "What's the best color paint?" Well, it depends on your needs.




  
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MCAsan
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Feb 10, 2014 11:52 |  #5

UV filters make great, if expensive, drink coasters. T

he only filters I carry are a good CPL, and a VND (for long exposures). If you want to protect the lens front element...that is why we have lens hoods.




  
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Feb 10, 2014 12:57 |  #6

If you are going to be in a dusty or wet environment, then a UV or clear filter will help seal some lenses. I have used UV filters to keep little fingerprints off the front element. Canon says that a filter is required to complete the seal on a few of their Ls.

A ND just reduces the amount of light reaching the film/sensor, allowing longer exposures.

In general, I don't use any filters. I sometimes find a CPL or ND useful depending on the subject matter.


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Ralph ­ III
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Feb 10, 2014 13:10 as a reply to  @ sawsedge's post |  #7

Well that's my point guys.

I've always used a UV filter for simple protection but I've never had an issue because I'm overly conscious of my gear and as I always use a lens hood.

I now just use a UV filter when at the beach because of the sand; so wondered if I would be better served in using an ND filter instead? That would allow me to use a slower shutter speed when "outdoors" which would work better with flash, correct?

Would you consider using an ND filter as such or would you still limit it to only certain specific shots?

Ralph


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gjl711
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Feb 10, 2014 13:16 |  #8

Though I am strongly in the no filter camp, the beach is one place I will use a filter especially if there is a strong off-shore wind. It's so much easier to clean off a filter than my lens.


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sawsedge
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Feb 10, 2014 13:27 |  #9

Ralph,

If you are using flash in bright light as fill, you can use ND to get within sync speed. I assume you want to use a lens wide open. You can also use high speed sync modes with some flashes. Lots of variables there, I don't think anyone can give you a hard-and-fast rule.


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gonzogolf
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Feb 10, 2014 13:48 |  #10

Ralph III wrote in post #16678872 (external link)
Well that's my point guys.

I've always used a UV filter for simple protection but I've never had an issue because I'm overly conscious of my gear and as I always use a lens hood.

I now just use a UV filter when at the beach because of the sand; so wondered if I would be better served in using an ND filter instead? That would allow me to use a slower shutter speed when "outdoors" which would work better with flash, correct?

Would you consider using an ND filter as such or would you still limit it to only certain specific shots?

Ralph

Only if you have a specific need to lower your shutter speed. And then which ND to get? Its like driving around with 300 pounds of sand in the back of your car year around for that one snowy day when you might need it. By all means if you need an ND filter get one, but dont do it with the assumption you will leave it on all the time.




  
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Ralph ­ III
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Feb 10, 2014 20:04 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #11

Thanks for the input guys!

I think I'm just going to keep the UV filter for the beach and then purchase an ND filter for those specific and desired shots. I was just trying to avoid having unnecessary gear but that's like attempting to get rid of a tool in your tool box, only to later need it.:oops:

God Bless,
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Charlie
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Feb 10, 2014 20:31 |  #12

3 stop ND at the beach has been very useful. Extends my shooting by half hour or more. If you're not into sunsets/beachscapes and dont shoot fast primes, stick with hoya HD UV filters.


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jt354
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Feb 10, 2014 21:30 |  #13

Ralph III wrote in post #16678872 (external link)
I now just use a UV filter when at the beach because of the sand; so wondered if I would be better served in using an ND filter instead? That would allow me to use a slower shutter speed when "outdoors" which would work better with flash, correct?

Would you consider using an ND filter as such or would you still limit it to only certain specific shots?

Ralph

In full sun at ISO 100, you would ordinarily need to use an aperture of f/11 to obtain a "flash-compatible" shutter speed of 1/250. A three-stop ND would allow you to open the aperture to f/4 while maintaining the same shutter speed, if desired. I'm guessing you're only occasionally shooting in full midday sun, so you may want less than 3 stops of neutral density. A circular polarizer may be a better choice, as it "darkens" the exposure by about 1.5 stops and can cut down on glare, enhance colors, etc. Whether you opt for an ND filter or C.Pol, definitely invest in B+W or a similar quality filter - it's worth it.


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Nathan
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Feb 11, 2014 09:56 |  #14

jt354 wrote in post #16679982 (external link)
In full sun at ISO 100, you would ordinarily need to use an aperture of f/11 to obtain a "flash-compatible" shutter speed of 1/250. A three-stop ND would allow you to open the aperture to f/4 while maintaining the same shutter speed, if desired. I'm guessing you're only occasionally shooting in full midday sun, so you may want less than 3 stops of neutral density. A circular polarizer may be a better choice, as it "darkens" the exposure by about 1.5 stops and can cut down on glare, enhance colors, etc. Whether you opt for an ND filter or C.Pol, definitely invest in B+W or a similar quality filter - it's worth it.

Another option worth mentioning is also the high-speed sync of the speedlite. That will allow the OP to use the flash for fill light and obtain shutter speeds greater than 1/250 even at large apertures. Then he could use FEC to compensate for flash output.


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Best "filter" for outdoors (UV or ND)??
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