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Thread started 30 Jan 2007 (Tuesday) 18:55
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Polarizer that softens waterfall shots?

 
ScottNewMexico
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Jan 30, 2007 18:55 |  #1

I have reviewed the Hoya S-HMC and the Singh-Ray Vari-ND products. I think that the VARI-ND will suit my needs just fine, but it's really expensive! (I think I would rather invest 340 on or towards a great lense!)

Will the Hoya S-HMC work for shooting soft-looking waterfalls and streams?

Really need some solid advice on this, but I have perhaps been asking the wrong questions on polarizers.


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T.Hogan
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Jan 30, 2007 19:32 |  #2

For soft waterfalls and streams, try using a longer shutter speed.


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brunester
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Jan 30, 2007 19:33 |  #3

to shoot soft waterfalls you need a tripod, then you just set it for a really long exposure(like 2-4 secs).
polarizers block about 2 stops so they help in getting the really long exposure, they also enrich the color a little bit.
so yeh the hoya hmc will help :D


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René ­ Damkot
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Jan 30, 2007 19:41 |  #4

... But what you probabely are looking for is an ND filter (neutral density).
A polariser blocks polarized light: Have a read here (external link) for the basics.
A vari-ND is two polarisers behind each other, so in essention you can vary the amount of light passed through by rotating them relatively to each other.
For experimenting, there are a lot of cheaper alternatives, so you can try out what (strenght ND) you need, before buying some expensive, good quality filter.
As mentioned above: A tripod is needed.
The only reason you are going to need an ND, is to block enough light so you are able to use a slow shutterspeed, without overexposing the photo. (Since you are probabely shooting during daytime)


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Evan ­ Idler
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Jan 30, 2007 22:53 |  #5

Just use a Neutral Denisit Filter. Hoya for example made several different ones, to
reduce the amount of light that passes thru them, allowing longer exposure times.

ND2 = 1 stop
ND4 = 2 stops
ND8 = 3 stops
They also made a NDx400 = 9 stops

I have a NDx400 and in bright sunlight you can do 30 Second exposures.
I've taken pictures of streets, where people walking and cars moving
don't show up in the picture, because they weren't there long enough.

For water, I typically use an ND4 or ND8 to get what I want.

I assume this is the effect you want.

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ScottNewMexico
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Jan 31, 2007 07:52 |  #6

Yes Evan, that image hits the nail on the head. Very nice waterfall! So the NDx400 is 4 stops? Variable? Not sure how many stops this particular filter is, but it seems great. Let me know what you think is the best setup to buy to accomplish this. I would like to have sunshine show through pretty well with the water softening effect. I will be mounting to 70-200mm F4 L (67mm).


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Jon
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Jan 31, 2007 09:35 |  #7

ND400 is Nine stops. That'd get you down around 4 sec. in open full sunlight at f/16 ISO 100. If you've got a polarizer already (and you should, for other uses as well), you can stack it with an ND for a couple of more stops; in that case a 3-stop ND would be fine for most purposes.


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Evan ­ Idler
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Jan 31, 2007 13:05 |  #8

The NDx400 is 9 Stops, and on an average afternoon I can get 20 to 30 second exposures with bright sunlight,
if I set the lense to F12 or higher at ISO100.

I find that I don't use the NDx400 very much, but it's interesting to play with sometimes.

No, these filters are not variable, but you can get an idea of what you want from a couple filters such as
a ND4 and ND8 to see if you want to spend the money for the Sing-Ray Variable filter. You can buy quite
a few fixed filters for the price of one of them. And if you find a ND8 is enough to give you the 3 to 6 seconds
that you want for most moving water shots, why not spend the money on something else, like a
nice sturdy tripod or shutter release.

Also check out Hoya's Pol-fader http://www.hoyafilter.​com/products/hoya/oef-14.html (external link)
It may do what you want as well, and might be a good amount cheaper.

--Evan


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DavidEB
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Jan 31, 2007 14:53 |  #9

a CP will also allow you to minimize high-glare reflections from wet rocks. I've salvaged a couple of waterfall shots that way. ND filter doesn't have that benefit.


David
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Polarizer that softens waterfall shots?
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