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Thread started 06 Nov 2014 (Thursday) 08:16
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Talk to me about filters

 
mamaof2
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Nov 06, 2014 08:16 |  #1

I am looking for a filter to shoot landscape..I guess it is a must have?

I shoot with a T4i..lenses I have are 18-55/ nifty 50 and buying a 55-250 stm. I just do this for a hobby so don't want to spend a lot on a filter, but want to make sure I get a pretty good one.

I have read that if you are going to buy a cheaper filter you might as well not buy one at all? Truth to this?


What should I get?

Thanks!


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Keyan
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Nov 06, 2014 08:38 |  #2

Not sure why a filter is required for landscapes, unless you are referring to a circular polarizer (CPL), which can make the sky more blue and cut down on haze.

So, yeah, we need a little bit more information about what you are trying to accomplish and such.


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mamaof2
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Nov 06, 2014 08:41 |  #3

Keyan wrote in post #17255561 (external link)
Not sure why a filter is required for landscapes, unless you are referring to a circular polarizer (CPL), which can make the sky more blue and cut down on haze.

So, yeah, we need a little bit more information about what you are trying to accomplish and such.

I don't know what I am looking for sorry. That is why I am asking the question. I guess people say use a filter to not get a washed out color look?

Maybe I don't need one?? Do you shoot a lot of landscape? Do you use one?


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sandpiper
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Nov 06, 2014 08:48 |  #4

mamaof2 wrote in post #17255526 (external link)
What should I get?

What do you want to achieve? If you can be specific about what you are wanting to do, we can give better advice about how to do it, and what you should get.

However, the 3 typical filters used in landscape photography are a graduated neutral density filter (GND) which help balance the sky and ground exposures. These come in various strengths and vary in the softness / hardness of the dividing line, you can also get reversed grads, where the darkest part is in the middle, rather than at the edge. When getting a GND always go for a square filter, rather than a round screw on one, as the round ones restrict you to a fixed position for the division. They can be problematic if the horizon isn't level, for example you have a church with the tower reaching well above the horizon line, as the upper half of the subject will be underexposed and darker than the lower half. This filter can be replaced by shooting two exposures (one for the sky, one for the subject) and blending in PS, or simply shooting raw and making two raw conversions from the same file, again one optimised for the sky and one for the subject, and blending. You will need to be careful with your original exposure though if doing the latter method.

The other two filters cannot be replicated in PS and so are most useful. Firstly I would recommend a CPL (polariser) as that will reduce glare from water, foliage etc. and bring out the colours better. It will also deepen a blue sky, but be careful with very wide angle lenses if there is a lot of sky in the scene, as the angle is so wide the effect will vary across the image, giving a sky fading from one side to the other.

The other filter is a ND filter, which is used for reducing the light and allowing longer exposures. Chiefly used for allowing flowing water to be smoothed out. These come in various strengths depending on what you need.




  
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mamaof2
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Nov 06, 2014 08:58 |  #5

sandpiper wrote in post #17255577 (external link)
What do you want to achieve? If you can be specific about what you are wanting to do, we can give better advice about how to do it, and what you should get.

However, the 3 typical filters used in landscape photography are a graduated neutral density filter (GND) which help balance the sky and ground exposures. These come in various strengths and vary in the softness / hardness of the dividing line, you can also get reversed grads, where the darkest part is in the middle, rather than at the edge. When getting a GND always go for a square filter, rather than a round screw on one, as the round ones restrict you to a fixed position for the division. They can be problematic if the horizon isn't level, for example you have a church with the tower reaching well above the horizon line, as the upper half of the subject will be underexposed and darker than the lower half. This filter can be replaced by shooting two exposures (one for the sky, one for the subject) and blending in PS, or simply shooting raw and making two raw conversions from the same file, again one optimised for the sky and one for the subject, and blending. You will need to be careful with your original exposure though if doing the latter method.

The other two filters cannot be replicated in PS and so are most useful. Firstly I would recommend a CPL (polariser) as that will reduce glare from water, foliage etc. and bring out the colours better. It will also deepen a blue sky, but be careful with very wide angle lenses if there is a lot of sky in the scene, as the angle is so wide the effect will vary across the image, giving a sky fading from one side to the other.

The other filter is a ND filter, which is used for reducing the light and allowing longer exposures. Chiefly used for allowing flowing water to be smoothed out. These come in various strengths depending on what you need.

Thanks for the info..I had no idea there were so many.

Do you yourself use a filter? If so out of all the ones you listed what do you use?

Reading what you wrote I am thinking CPL is the way to go first..then add the others later.


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sandpiper
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Nov 06, 2014 09:17 |  #6

mamaof2 wrote in post #17255589 (external link)
Thanks for the info..I had no idea there were so many.

Do you yourself use a filter? If so out of all the ones you listed what do you use?

Reading what you wrote I am thinking CPL is the way to go first..then add the others later.

The only one I use personally is the CPL, and I have 4 of them in 3 different sizes so I can have them mounted to two / three lenses at the same time. I often carry 2-3 bodies set up, so I can instantly switch without having to stop and change lenses in the field (not so important with landscape of course, as there is more time to play with usually).

CPLs are a "must have" for me, as they are so useful for reducing glare. Not just on water and foliage, but on windows in an urban scene, paintwork and so much more. I would certainly recommend one as part of any photographers kit (you can get one to fit your largest lens, and stepper rings to fit it to your other lenses).

I don't personally use NDs much, on the very rare occasion that I might set out with the intent to shoot long exposures in daylight I can always borrow a set from another photographer. However, that isn't really my type of photography. There are, of course, photographers who do count them as essential kit because they like to do a lot of that sort of work. As has been said, it depends what YOU are wanting to do.

GNDs are not my preferred way of working these days, I used them quite a lot back in the "olden days" when working with film but now prefer the "take multiple exposures and blend in PS" method as it is more controllable. Other photographers prefer the GND method, and it can be easier if there is nothing significant protruding above the horizon. There is no "right" way of dealing with bright skies, either method works and it is a matter of choice and what produces the results that you want in an image.

Whatever type of filters you decide to go with, you should always get a good one. Cheap ones of any of the above types can produce colour casts which can be problematic and, as with any filters, cheaper ones are more likely to cause flare, low contrast or softness issues.




  
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mamaof2
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Nov 06, 2014 09:21 |  #7

sandpiper wrote in post #17255627 (external link)
The only one I use personally is the CPL, and I have 4 of them in 3 different sizes so I can have them mounted to two / three lenses at the same time. I often carry 2-3 bodies set up, so I can instantly switch without having to stop and change lenses in the field (not so important with landscape of course, as there is more time to play with usually).

CPLs are a "must have" for me, as they are so useful for reducing glare. Not just on water and foliage, but on windows in an urban scene, paintwork and so much more. I would certainly recommend one as part of any photographers kit (you can get one to fit your largest lens, and stepper rings to fit it to your other lenses).

I don't personally use NDs much, on the very rare occasion that I might set out with the intent to shoot long exposures in daylight I can always borrow a set from another photographer. However, that isn't really my type of photography. There are, of course, photographers who do count them as essential kit because they like to do a lot of that sort of work. As has been said, it depends what YOU are wanting to do.

GNDs are not my preferred way of working these days, I used them quite a lot back in the "olden days" when working with film but now prefer the "take multiple exposures and blend in PS" method as it is more controllable. Other photographers prefer the GND method, and it can be easier if there is nothing significant protruding above the horizon. There is no "right" way of dealing with bright skies, either method works and it is a matter of choice and what produces the results that you want in an image.

Whatever type of filters you decide to go with, you should always get a good one. Cheap ones of any of the above types can produce colour casts which can be problematic and, as with any filters, cheaper ones are more likely to cause flare, low contrast or softness issues.

Your post helps me a ton! Thank you so much. When you say "cheap" what is cheap? I want to make sure I get a nice one but do not need the "best".


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Nov 06, 2014 09:21 |  #8

I like this article about filters:
http://www.clarkvision​.com …filter_quality/​index.html (external link)

With that said, I bought a cheap $20 polarizing filter for my 150-600mm. I posted a comparison a few months back. The photo taken with the cheap polariser at 600mm was blurry and unusable. Now I just use a step-up ring with a quality 82mm polariser and the results is decent, given that you have to use one.


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Nov 06, 2014 09:22 |  #9

snake0ape wrote in post #17255638 (external link)
I like this article about filters:
http://www.clarkvision​.com …filter_quality/​index.html (external link)

Thanks I will check it out!


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Nov 06, 2014 10:03 |  #10

mamaof2 wrote in post #17255634 (external link)
Your post helps me a ton! Thank you so much. When you say "cheap" what is cheap? I want to make sure I get a nice one but do not need the "best".

Well, looking at ebay I can see quite a few CPL filters selling at less than £5 (I am in the UK) brand new from traders, with lots more between there and £15. I would avoid those like the plague. Many photographers will say you need the high end B+W, Hoya, Marumi etc. filters, which range around £100 and up to £140 for a 77mm.

Like you, I want good CPL filters but without spending big money (particularly as I need 4 of the things). I went with Kood filters, they have a good reputation and a 77mm CPL lists at a little over £50, but can always be found on ebay for between £30-40 and some sellers are a little below that sometimes. I have had no problems with colour casts and my results have always been sharp, with good contrast and no flare.

I am not sure if Kood are available in the US though.




  
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mamaof2
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Nov 06, 2014 10:14 |  #11

sandpiper wrote in post #17255720 (external link)
Well, looking at ebay I can see quite a few CPL filters selling at less than £5 (I am in the UK) brand new from traders, with lots more between there and £15. I would avoid those like the plague. Many photographers will say you need the high end B+W, Hoya, Marumi etc. filters, which range around £100 and up to £140 for a 77mm.

Like you, I want good CPL filters but without spending big money (particularly as I need 4 of the things). I went with Kood filters, they have a good reputation and a 77mm CPL lists at a little over £50, but can always be found on ebay for between £30-40 and some sellers are a little below that sometimes. I have had no problems with colour casts and my results have always been sharp, with good contrast and no flare.

I am not sure if Kood are available in the US though.

After the election here in Wisconsin..I might be moving to Canada :lol:. I will check into Kood..

Thanks!


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Nov 06, 2014 10:50 |  #12

you can take plenty of landscape pictures without using filters...the only filters i would get are:

a ND filter if you want to use a slower shutter speed, for waves, waterfalls, clouds, etc.

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7360/8716221500_a7c36f6160_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ehdU​Z3  (external link)
to be totally honest, i may not have used a ND filter here, i can't remember
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2897/14245815963_26735a1252_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/nGRw​LB  (external link)

A circular polarizer if you want to cut down on reflections in the water, like if you want to show the rocks below the water
IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7019/13460474814_33c9199e8b_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/mvss​cY  (external link)

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3861/15036638941_1a778d79cf_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/oUJG​Tx  (external link)

aside from that, i don't use any...the graduated ND filter, i feel like i can do better with bracketed shots

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Nov 06, 2014 10:54 |  #13

Keep in mind the lenses you currently own have front elements that rotate. That makes it more difficult to use a CPL as you need to focus before you turn the filter to get the effect you want.




  
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Nov 06, 2014 10:57 |  #14

Love those pics! I need me a filter :)


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Nov 06, 2014 11:04 |  #15

Another consideration might be to hold off on purchading filters until you are certain that you have settled into the lens lineup you want. It doesn't make fiscal sense to pay $50-100 for a good filter for a $100 kit lens, especially if you upgrade to a better lens that will likely require a larger filter.




  
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