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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 04 Nov 2018 (Sunday) 10:53
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ND filters

 
firme
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Nov 04, 2018 10:53 |  #1

After looking online at videos.... I keep hearing the ND filters (neutral density, right?) mentioned. At first I did not pay much attention to this but after hearing and hearing more, now I am curious. I did read on this topic, perhaps not thoroughly but just to get an idea what it does/used for. I can imagine how different companies that make these and more stumped when I went online and they have different categories: https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …351?origSearch=​Nd+Filters (external link)

Is this something that is used quite often? I know different photographers may use them or not, use them for different purposes. Is this a "must" have or a good tool to have when needed? Did see where someone showed side by side comparisons at F16 and then to F4 with ND filter. I don't do long exposure and our sunny days are coming to a close with the fall/winter here.

Thanks in advanced.




  
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MalVeauX
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Nov 04, 2018 12:04 |  #2

Heya,

ND filters drop overall exposure by a specific amount of stops of light.

That has to be useful to you, to warrant using them. There's zero purpose using them day to day unless you're trying to drop the amount of light hitting the sensor for basically two reason: 1) long exposure to blur moving things (such as water, etc), 2) flash/strobe photography with fast focal-ratios (such as shooting with flash at F1.4 or F2, etc).

If you're not doing that kind of stuff, you really don't need ND filters for anything.

There are other creative uses, but that's a simple way to look at it. So unless you're blurring things on purpose with long exposure or using strobes/flash in daylight with fast focal-ratios, you don't need a ND filter.

Very best,


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gjl711
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Nov 04, 2018 12:15 |  #3

For me I rarely have a need for an ND filter. Maybe shooting a waterfall, ocean beach, fast moving river to get that soft water effect and I can think of a few other applications very few. Now a GND I have in my kit and use more often especially when landscape shooting at sunrise or sunset. But even those are getting left in the bag as I prefer to shoot bracketed and merge in post. I find I have a lot more control over the areas I want to adjust.


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firme
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Nov 04, 2018 12:26 |  #4

Thanks MalVeaux for the info.

Reason one, definitely not doing that.
Reason two, still need a lot of practice, probably a long way from that. I have done experimental shots at F1.8 with still objects at home (indoor) with flash and haven't experimented outdoors yet.

What is the cost of a filter that does well for the intended purpose? Is this one of those tools that is not advisable to go cheap on? Not saying that I will get one soon but if I ever get across this in some point in the near future. At least don't want to go the same route I usually go, which is spend on the cheap side. lol. Maybe I should stop doing this. I have a Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 50mm 1.8 and Tamron 17-50 2.8.




  
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MalVeauX
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Nov 04, 2018 12:30 |  #5

firme wrote in post #18743793 (external link)
Thanks MalVeaux for the info.

Reason one, definitely not doing that.
Reason two, still need a lot of practice, probably a long way from that. I have done experimental shots at F1.8 with still objects at home (indoor) with flash and haven't experimented outdoors yet.

What is the cost of a filter that does well for the intended purpose? Is this one of those tools that is not advisable to go cheap on? Not saying that I will get one soon but if I ever get across this in some point in the near future. At least don't want to go the same route I usually go, which is spend on the cheap side. lol. Maybe I should stop doing this. I have a Canon 85mm 1.8, Canon 50mm 1.8 and Tamron 17-50 2.8.

You don't have to spend a mint to get a good filter.

It's best to get a larger filter than will fit all your lenses and simply use step down rings to get them to the size to thread onto your smaller lenses. For example, get a 77mm threaded ND filter, and then use step down rings to go from 77mm to 72mm or 77mm to 67mm or 77mm to 58mm and so on. They're inexpensive little metal rings. Then you use the one filter for all lenses no problem.

I have a filter review for inexpensive but good quality ND filters by Haida, as the color cast is minimal, sharp quality flat glass with good coatings that handle flare/glare with examples:

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1452612

Very best,


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firme
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Nov 04, 2018 12:31 |  #6

Gjl711, what is GND? Was going to ask about bracketed but just read what it means. Interesting!




  
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firme
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Nov 04, 2018 12:53 |  #7

Thanks for the link MalVeaux, very nice pictures and info. At least for me does give me that feel to go out and do something similar to this. But never had a curiosity for landscape photography. Those pictures sure as heck make me change my mind though, lol. Did see the filter price you provided the link for Amazon. At least its good to know that it is affordable.




  
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ed ­ rader
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Post edited over 1 year ago by ed rader.
     
Nov 04, 2018 13:32 as a reply to  @ firme's post |  #8

I would also recommend Ice brand filters. they work well and are cheap compared to bigger brands like Hoya. I use ND filters quite a bit. you can also use NDs for portraiture when it's bright out or to make people disappear.

the use of NDs is one way to add interest to your images but like any technique it can be overused.


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gjl711
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Nov 04, 2018 13:32 |  #9

firme wrote in post #18743803 (external link)
Gjl711, what is GND? Was going to ask about bracketed but just read what it means. Interesting!

It's a graduated ND filter. (external link) One side of the filter has ND and the other side is clear and it transitions from one to the other depending on the filter type. It's useful when you are shooting a scene that contains a higher dynamic range than your camera is capable of capturing and where one part of the scene is bright and the other darker.


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firme
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Nov 04, 2018 19:17 |  #10

ed rader, they are cheaper thanks.

thanks gjl711 for the explanation.




  
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BigAl007
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Nov 04, 2018 19:19 |  #11

MalVeauX wrote in post #18743801 (external link)
You don't have to spend a mint to get a good filter.

It's best to get a larger filter than will fit all your lenses and simply use step down rings to get them to the size to thread onto your smaller lenses. For example, get a 77mm threaded ND filter, and then use step down rings to go from 77mm to 72mm or 77mm to 67mm or 77mm to 58mm and so on. They're inexpensive little metal rings. Then you use the one filter for all lenses no problem.


I just wish you could actually get reasonable cost ND filters in the larger sizes. Most of the ND filters in the sweet spot of price/performance only go up to 77mm in diameter. I could really do with both a one and a two stop ND filter for one of my lenses. I can find only one brand of screw in filter for sale in the UK, or EU for that matter, that comes in the required size. Interestingly they are made here in the UK and cost £250 each! Now I know there is more to it than just surface area, but to go from a 77mm diameter filter to the 95mm filter needed for my Sigma 150-600 C is only a 52% increase in surface area. Sigma make a well priced protective filter, and even a well priced CPL with the same strength features of the protective filter for the large diameter lenses, but no ND options. The Sport version is even worse at 105mm diameter for the filter.

I know it is unusual to need an ND filter for a lens with such a long focal length, but modern DSLR bodies are rather limited with ISO on the whole. If you need shutter speeds under even 1/200s on bright sunny days and want ƒ/numbers below ƒ/11, with minimum base ISOs of 100 you will need to be using one, two or even three stops of ND filter. Sometimes I need to get my shutter speeds to only 1/20s. Really hard to do with anything approaching a sensible aperture value, ideally I would be shooting at ƒ/8 since I won't need ƒ/11 for DoF. Given the native high ISO values that modern bodies can do, I would love instead to see a camera with two stops lower on the other end of the native ISO range at the expense of the current highest values. I never thought I would say it, but thanks to the cheapness of digital storage making shooting at slow shutter speeds viable, with low keeper rates, I kind of really miss having Kodachrome 25 around.

Alan


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ed ­ rader
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Post edited over 1 year ago by ed rader. (2 edits in all)
     
Nov 04, 2018 20:09 |  #12

BigAl007 wrote in post #18744140 (external link)
I just wish you could actually get reasonable cost ND filters in the larger sizes. Most of the ND filters in the sweet spot of price/performance only go up to 77mm in diameter. I could really do with both a one and a two stop ND filter for one of my lenses. I can find only one brand of screw in filter for sale in the UK, or EU for that matter, that comes in the required size. Interestingly they are made here in the UK and cost £250 each! Now I know there is more to it than just surface area, but to go from a 77mm diameter filter to the 95mm filter needed for my Sigma 150-600 C is only a 52% increase in surface area. Sigma make a well priced protective filter, and even a well priced CPL with the same strength features of the protective filter for the large diameter lenses, but no ND options. The Sport version is even worse at 105mm diameter for the filter.

I know it is unusual to need an ND filter for a lens with such a long focal length, but modern DSLR bodies are rather limited with ISO on the whole. If you need shutter speeds under even 1/200s on bright sunny days and want ƒ/numbers below ƒ/11, with minimum base ISOs of 100 you will need to be using one, two or even three stops of ND filter. Sometimes I need to get my shutter speeds to only 1/20s. Really hard to do with anything approaching a sensible aperture value, ideally I would be shooting at ƒ/8 since I won't need ƒ/11 for DoF. Given the native high ISO values that modern bodies can do, I would love instead to see a camera with two stops lower on the other end of the native ISO range at the expense of the current highest values. I never thought I would say it, but thanks to the cheapness of digital storage making shooting at slow shutter speeds viable, with low keeper rates, I kind of really miss having Kodachrome 25 around.

Alan


ever thought of using a filter system like Lee? I use 3, 6 and 10 stop ND filters you know you can vary the effect of the ND by adjusting your camera. my 3 and 6 stop filters are made by Ice so they aost 60 bucks each. 10-stop is a lee because you need a big stopper with a foam gasket to prevent light leaks. that big stopper was I think $110.

also for filter holders and adapter rings you can save 50 percent by using The Filter Dude bits. I have screw-on NDs as back ups and I didn't have any problem buying 82mm Hoya filters.


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5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

  
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