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Thread started 23 Feb 2014 (Sunday) 11:16
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What additional LEE filters?

 
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Feb 23, 2014 11:16 |  #1

I am planning on purchasing the LEE Filter Foundation mainly for the neutral density capability but am interested in knowing what other filters I should consider. Most of the time I would be shooting water (obviously) and also general landscapes. I am thinking of getting a 2 or 3 stop neutral density as well as the big stopper. Would a graduated filter be a good addition and/or any of their color filters?

I did do a search for Lee and while there are many very good examples of images and some discussion, none that I found about ‘what to consider’ when starting.

Thanks,

Jerry


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MalVeauX
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Feb 23, 2014 12:42 |  #2

Heya,

I would get the following:

3 stop ND solid
6 stop ND solid
3 stop Hard Grad ND
3 stop Soft Grad ND

You can stack to get anywhere from 3 to 9+ stops. The filters are large enough that the grads can be used as a solid too. The big 10 stop stopper is great, if you want to use one filter.

I find 2 stop filters to be nearly useless. Starts to make a good difference at 3+ stops.

Very best,


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rgs
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Feb 23, 2014 14:25 |  #3

Before buying any ND grads, I would experiment with LR's grad tool. See if it meet your needs. If so, you've saved money. If not, you have a better idea of what you really need.


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Hogloff
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Feb 23, 2014 16:48 |  #4
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rgs wrote in post #16711273 (external link)
Before buying any ND grads, I would experiment with LR's grad tool. See if it meet your needs. If so, you've saved money. If not, you have a better idea of what you really need.

Places where you need GND filters LR's grad tool just won't do. You will have blown highlights. Using a GND filter on location will prevent you from guessing if the shot will be ok once it's in LR. I would not leave things to chance when a simple couple of GND filters would do the trick.

OP, I use GND filters but I handhold them as it allows me to jiggle the filter during exposure thus providing a nice seamless transition zone.




  
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rgs
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Feb 23, 2014 20:27 |  #5

Hogloff wrote in post #16711616 (external link)
Places where you need GND filters LR's grad tool just won't do. You will have blown highlights. Using a GND filter on location will prevent you from guessing if the shot will be ok once it's in LR. I would not leave things to chance when a simple couple of GND filters would do the trick.

OP, I use GND filters but I handhold them as it allows me to jiggle the filter during exposure thus providing a nice seamless transition zone.

This is not necessarily true. Most cameras have 2-3 stops of head room past the point they begin to warn of blown highlights (read Schwee's "The Digital Negative"). Using expose to the right techniques is likely to offer as much additional range as a 3 stop GND and the Lightroom tool is much more flexible because of options to use it multiple times on the same exposure.

Add in the other LR exposure manipulation tools and PS blending techniques and there are MANY more options than a simple filter can offer. There is also the advantage of not permanently altering a file in camera which leaves many chances to re-think the exposure and PP at leisure and thoroughly.

I did not suggest the OP should not use GNDs; everyone's work calls for different tools. I simply suggested learning the digital methods first will give a better idea of whether GNDs are needed and, if they are, what types.


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Mike ­ K
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Feb 23, 2014 23:16 |  #6

For GND I would start out with just a 2 stop soft or 3 stop hard Lee GND. You can get more after you try to see how they work for you.
As mentioned, the Lee are 6" long filters and half of that is dark. Thus you can use the dark half of it as a straight ND filter too,
Mike K


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Hawk's ­ Feather
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Feb 24, 2014 08:01 |  #7

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the advice.

Jerry


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Tareq
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Mar 04, 2014 11:36 |  #8

Sorry it is late, but i will start with those 2 or 3 filters if i have the budget:

0.9 [3-stops] GND
0.6 [2 stops] ND
CPL

I chose 0.9 for GND because the sky is sometimes not that much bright according to the earth surface or water, so 2-3 stops are enough, in another time, 0.9 is not enough and you need 1.2stops, but in all cases 0.9 is in the middle all around to use, and i recommend getting soft edge one first.

ND, well, with 0.6 you can practice on different exposures until you feel you need how much stop more than this one, but i know in many applications of waterscape or waterfall, doing more than 3 stops is overkill, and .3 [1 stop] is not much at all, so 2 stops to start with is good and you can increase later with 3-10 stops as your need.

CPL, well, it may be useful and handy for some landscapes, but you should know its feature so you know when and where to use it.


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shamlyn
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Mar 04, 2014 22:26 as a reply to  @ Tareq's post |  #9

Tareq: First of all, your pictures in your gallery are beautiful. Some of the images you have gotten are mind blowing. I plan on buying the B+W MRC 110 Filter, but my question to you is what Grad ND Filters do you use the most? 0.6, 0.9, 1.2?

As a first time Grad ND Filter buyer and user, I was thinking about going with the the following:

Also, I am planning on going with Lee Filters.

0.6 Hard
0.6 Soft
0.9 Hard
0.9 Soft

Should I also go with the 1.2 either the Hard or Soft Grad ND Filter? Which would you recommend.

Thanks

Scott




  
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Sirrith
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Mar 05, 2014 02:07 |  #10

Tareq wrote in post #16733879 (external link)
I chose 0.9 for GND because the sky is sometimes not that much bright according to the earth surface or water, so 2-3 stops are enough, in another time, 0.9 is not enough and you need 1.2stops, but in all cases 0.9 is in the middle all around to use, and i recommend getting soft edge one first.

ND, well, with 0.6 you can practice on different exposures until you feel you need how much stop more than this one, but i know in many applications of waterscape or waterfall, doing more than 3 stops is overkill, and .3 [1 stop] is not much at all, so 2 stops to start with is good and you can increase later with 3-10 stops as your need.

CPL, well, it may be useful and handy for some landscapes, but you should know its feature so you know when and where to use it.

I agree with the 0.9GND recommendation. Soft is a good place to start.

However, I don't think you should say >3 stops is too much for water. It doesn't depend on the strength of your filter, it all depends on your exposure time, and you can easily get the same exposure time with a 3 stop as you can with a 2 stop.
Fairly often when I'm shooting during the day, I'll find that 3 stops is the weakest ND I want for water, because any weaker and I'd have to stop down from say, f8 to f11, or from f11 to f16, which increases diffraction.
For a GND, 2 stops is appealing to me, but not for an ND.


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Tareq
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Mar 05, 2014 07:12 |  #11

shamlyn wrote in post #16735248 (external link)
Tareq: First of all, your pictures in your gallery are beautiful. Some of the images you have gotten are mind blowing. I plan on buying the B+W MRC 110 Filter, but my question to you is what Grad ND Filters do you use the most? 0.6, 0.9, 1.2?

As a first time Grad ND Filter buyer and user, I was thinking about going with the the following:

Also, I am planning on going with Lee Filters.

0.6 Hard
0.6 Soft
0.9 Hard
0.9 Soft

Should I also go with the 1.2 either the Hard or Soft Grad ND Filter? Which would you recommend.

Thanks

Scott

Thank you very much, Scott, i appreciate that.

Honestly speaking, in the past i was using 1.2GND soft a lot, maybe around 95%, but later i start to use 0.9GND soft more often, then tried 0.9 GND HE, i also have 1.2GND hard edge, but in fact that most one i was using was 1.2GND soft then followed by 0.9 GND soft, third was 1.2 soft edge, i go with 1.2 more than 0.9 because i wanted more dramatic sky even it is not that much stop between 0.9 and 1.2 [1 stop], in my country the sun is strong enough even with clouds.

All depend on where and when you shoot, i can shoot with 1.2 or 0.9 on same scene and i will not see much big difference in exposure, at the end i ending with correcting little with Photoshop, using 0.9 or 1.2 is to save details on the blown out sky, if you can do that with 0.9 or 1.2 or even 0.6 then this is the key, but i will tell you that 99% you will go with 1.2 and 0.9 for the sky, and 0.3-0.6 for the foreground or water, so i think if you want buy both, go with 1.2 GND soft and 0.6 GND soft, and when you combine both so 0.6 is bottom and 1.2 is bottom this will give you good balanced for the whole scene.

Sirrith wrote in post #16735525 (external link)
I agree with the 0.9GND recommendation. Soft is a good place to start.

However, I don't think you should say >3 stops is too much for water. It doesn't depend on the strength of your filter, it all depends on your exposure time, and you can easily get the same exposure time with a 3 stop as you can with a 2 stop.
Fairly often when I'm shooting during the day, I'll find that 3 stops is the weakest ND I want for water, because any weaker and I'd have to stop down from say, f8 to f11, or from f11 to f16, which increases diffraction.
For a GND, 2 stops is appealing to me, but not for an ND.

Well. in fact i was wrong that i didn't complete my post, but i was thinking that he might using ND with GND, so in this case he add that 3 stops for example to that 2 stops of ND, ending with 5 stops, 2 stops for foreground or some water surfaces are fine, i always use lowest ISO [50-100] with f8-f11 and can have slow shutter speed with only 2stop ND, and i said it should be a start, and many times it was enough, but i know some like you may be in situations where even 3 stops is not enough at all, just everybody should ask self how many times they are in situations where 2-3 stops are not enough at all.

Also, i bought cheap ND filters 4x4, i can buy even 5 filters of different stops of that cheap brand and still didn't waste a lot of money, i bought their 0.9 and 1.5 ND for less than $150, i will buy their 1.8 too and maybe something like 0.3/2.4 as well just to have collection, cheap, so if someone want to buy so expensive brand filter of ND then i will start with 0.6ND.

Yesterday i went out to the beach, i did shoot the see with 0.6ND and 1.2GND soft and CPL [ND and CPL are from LEE, GND is 3rd party], and the results were amazing fantastic, here is one of those results:

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the filters order from closer to the lens to further:

0.6ND[LEE] + 1.2GND soft[3rd party] + CPL 4x4[LEE]

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Mar 05, 2014 07:47 |  #12

Contrary to most of the advice above I would advise you not to buy a solid ND filter. Instead get a 3 stop hard GND and a 3 stop soft GND. You can use the GND upside down so that the ND part covers the frame and acts as a solid ND i.e. you could have a hard GND the correct way up to lower the exposure in the sky and the soft upside down covering the entire frame to increase your exposure time.

In addition I would recommend the Lee 4x4 CPL. My entire Lee kit is a 3 stop soft GND, 3 stop hard GND, 4x4 CPL and big stopper. I have never once found it to be lacking anything. The only thing I added that was non Lee was a Hitech 3 stop reverse GND


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Mar 05, 2014 08:40 |  #13
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xpfloyd wrote in post #16735826 (external link)
Contrary to most of the advice above I would advise you not to buy a solid ND filter. Instead get a 3 stop hard GND and a 3 stop soft GND. You can use the GND upside down so that the ND part covers the frame and acts as a solid ND i.e. you could have a hard GND the correct way up to lower the exposure in the sky and the soft upside down covering the entire frame to increase your exposure time.

And what would you do if you want both a ND to slow down your shutter and require a GND filter to hold back the sky? I am in this situation quite often when photographing seascapes.

Personally I would use screw in filters for both polarization and ND and handhold GND filters. Handholding allows much better control of the transition as you can wiggle the filter as you expose.




  
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Mar 05, 2014 09:02 |  #14

I am same Eddie, but now i am like 90% found my right exact filters i wanted, i have many resin filters from Hitech that i will sell, i ended up with glass filters, so LEE 0.6ND glass, CPL 4x4 glass, and bought from ebay 3rd party 1.2 & 0.9 soft GND both are glass, and to my surprise they are really so high quality, each costs me $190, so i never worry about resin again, and also i have Big Stopper which is glass too, I bought 2 ND glasses filters [0.9 & 1.5] from cheap brand but both are 4mm thickness.

So from above, the only missing glass filters i may add if necessary are:
- 0.6 GND [Soft]
- 0.9 GND [hard]
- 1.2 GND [hard]
- 0.3/1.8/2.4 ND [I may buy another 0.9 ND glass filter but with 1.5-2mm thicnkess, otherwise i better get another filter holder with 4mm thickness slots or buy those slots to add to the holder]

From yesterday shoot, i was using ND+GND+CPL all glasses i was so blown away of the quality, so slowly i will get rid of all or most of my resin filters, even LEE resin filters maybe, but the only resin filter i will keep is that SinghRay reverse GND one, i didn't find one made of glass yet.


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Mar 05, 2014 09:08 |  #15

Hogloff wrote in post #16735923 (external link)
And what would you do if you want both a ND to slow down your shutter and require a GND filter to hold back the sky? I am in this situation quite often when photographing seascapes.

.

xpfloyd wrote in post #16735826 (external link)
you could have a hard GND the correct way up to lower the exposure in the sky and the soft upside down covering the entire frame to increase your exposure time.

What I was meaning was if you had a hard and a soft GND it covers you for this. I personally cant see the point of buying a solid ND if you have 2 GNDs


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What additional LEE filters?
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