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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk 
Thread started 14 Feb 2015 (Saturday) 15:13
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Is my strategy for buying square filters sound?

 
Masa ­ Yume
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Masa Yume.
     
Feb 14, 2015 15:13 |  #1

I don't do much landscape or hiking, but I often shoot cityscape, rivers and bridges at sunrise/sunset as I do a lot of city travel. I never really invested a lot in filters in the past.

Up until now, I've been fine with using 77mm circular filters (a cheapo CPL, B+W 10 stop, and a 3 stop ND). Most of my travel gear fits 77mm (Canon 16-35mm mk I, 24-70 mk I, and 85mm MK II with a 77mm to 72mm adapter). I've been doing grads in lightroom up until now.

So I forsee the day coming that I'll be using 82mm down the road (since the 16-35MM mk II and the 24-70 Mk II are both 82mm), and looking to buy square filters now.

I was thinking of the following:

Formatt Hitech Aluminum Holder
77mm + 82mm adapter ring

Lee Resin 4x6" .06 Hard Grad
Lee Resin 4x6" .09 Soft Grad
Format Hitech 4x6" Resin .09 Reverse Grad
Lee Resin 4x4"0.9 ND
Format Hitech Firecrest 4x4" 10 ND

And sometime down the road, add a (relatively) cheap 105mm CPL like the Sigma.

My thinking is that the firecrest price premium counts most on long exposure (the ND), and it seems to be getting a lot of supporters over the lee big stopper. For city, the .06 hard and the .09 reverse grad would be useful for distant horizons near sunrise/sunset, and the .09 soft would be useful for close horizons.

Is this sound reasoning? Since the dollar amount is so large, I wanted a voice of reason before I threw my money in.




  
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KoalaCowboy
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Feb 14, 2015 15:25 |  #2

In my opinion, the reverse grad isn't something I would see you using often. You could get the same effect buy simply putting your 0.9 soft grad in the filter upside down behind the CP filter.

As for CP filter, again my opinion only, I wouldn't skimp on that filter. Buying el-cheapo CP filters will give you less desirable results.

Yes, you will spend more, but the results you get when using higher quality filters will save you from buying el-cheapo to start, then buying better down the road.

My experience with Hitech filters was not so good (6 years ago), so I won't comment on current products.


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rgs
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Feb 14, 2015 15:51 |  #3

Some will disagree, but I find little need for grads. Lightroom's grad and other tools can do a much better job in most (but not all) cases and it's much more flexible since you don't have to do things in a straight line. RAW files from modern digital cameras have huge amounts of headroom. If you expose to the right, you can almost always do what you need in post without permanently altering your camera original. In my opinion, it's almost always best to alter camera originals if it can be done in post, you may change your mind later about how you want it to look, your processing skills will improve, or software may advance so that different processing is better.

I have three 77mm filter, 8 stop ND, 3 stop ND, and CPL, and some step rings. It makes a small kit that takes almost no room in my bag (or my pocket).

If you take time to learn LR's controls well before investing in grads, you will be better equipped to decide if you need grads and, if so, which ones.

My opinion, some will disagree, but it works well for me.


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rent
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Feb 14, 2015 23:29 |  #4

I'm with Richard, just CPL and NDs. Buy the largest size filters and use step-up rings for your various lenses. -alex


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Maxdave
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Feb 15, 2015 07:04 |  #5

Although I see the point is the statement above "In my opinion, the reverse grad isn't something I would see you using often. You could get the same effect buy simply putting your 0.9 soft grad in the filter upside down behind the CP filter."

This is not true. The "shading" of the RGND has the darkest section near the centre, and lightening at different rates toward either end. This is not what you will get with an upside own GND, where the darkest section will be at the bottom, lightening towards the centre.

I have a set of RGNDs and a set of GNDs. Their effect on a sunset/sunrise image is definitely different.

I would agree, however, that the RGNDs are a one-trick pony; but remember a lot of tools are quite specific in application and of limited use ...

Maxdave


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Tony-S
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Feb 15, 2015 09:40 |  #6

rgs wrote in post #17431841 (external link)
Some will disagree, but I find little need for grads. Lightroom's grad and other tools can do a much better job in most (but not all) cases and it's much more flexible since you don't have to do things in a straight line. RAW files from modern digital cameras have huge amounts of headroom. If you expose to the right, you can almost always do what you need in post without permanently altering your camera original.

My 5Dii is unable to capture the entire dynamic range of sunrises and sunsets, so that's when I pull out the GND. I don't think even the Nikon D6xx/8xx, Sony a99 or Pentax K3 could capture that amount of DR. You'd have to use negative film.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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Is my strategy for buying square filters sound?
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