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Thread: Neutral Density Filters and uses

  1. #1
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    Default Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Hi all,

    I am sure some of you guys already have some experiences in using ND filters in some of your works. Understand that some uses are that it cuts down light and enables slow shutter speeds to be used, to record movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars. Does this apply to Digital photography as well?

    Anyone care to share with the rest some pics with and without using ND filters?

    Also, how do you select whether to use ND2 or ND4 or other types of ND filters?

    Lastly, can anyone share some of your shutter and aperture settings using ND filters when taking waterfalls?

    Thanks for viewing!

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Go do a search in Google and you will find your answers in terms of the pictures.

    ND x 2
    ND x 4 is all a matter of number of stops it reduces. Go for the higher number if there is too much light and the lower one if there is just enough... Judge for yourself. Coz light condition always changes when you are outside.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    But CP cuts down light also right... thou CP does more than that.... Can it be a near replacement of NDs?

  4. #4
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    CP doesn't cut as much light as the stronger NDs.

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat
    But CP cuts down light also right... thou CP does more than that.... Can it be a near replacement of NDs?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    In short, yes it can.

    But if u need to cut down, say, 3 stops of light, then u'll have to go for an ND8

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    How then can one determine how many stops of light you need to cut down?

    BTW... newbie qn... how do you define a stop of light?

  7. #7
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat
    How then can one determine how many stops of light you need to cut down?

    BTW... newbie qn... how do you define a stop of light?
    Well, just look at the light metered off the camera. If you are already using ISO 100 and the shutter speed is still way above your desired setting (for example, you wish to slow down water movement, you may need as low as 1 - 3 secs) And your current metered level is at say 1/2 of a sec, so you can safely try out a NDX2 to reduce it by a stop and you should be able to get it to meter to about 1 sec or so. If you wish to slow it even further, then use a NDX4, it should reach 2 secs or more (provided the light condition did not change at that point in time)
    Michael Lim
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    So that means I can only determine what ND filter to use when only on site la... then how you know what ND to get before going? Must get both or is their one choice that most will get?

  9. #9
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat
    So that means I can only determine what ND filter to use when only on site la... then how you know what ND to get before going? Must get both or is their one choice that most will get?
    Well, as mentioned... you have to check the light condition at the point in time. But please use a tripod.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Help me out here...

    ND filters help to cut down the light so that we can use slower shutter speeds to capture the right effects. But cant you just manually set the shutter to say 1s for that similar effect?

    Is it because there is a corresponding limit to how small the aperture can reach when you decrease the shutter speed?

    Can share wat are the steps when taking a pic using an ND filter?
    What mode? (Tv or Av) and at wat setting?

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Ok, consider this. If you want to take a photo of silky water of a seaside may be around 6PM. Your camera's ISO is already the smallest you can set and the aperture is also smallest you can set (assuming that the depth of field is not a concern). But the shutter speed is still too fast to produce the desire silky effect. So what you can do is to slab in a ND filter to cut down the light. This will slow down the shutter speed.

    Which ND to use depends on the light condition and also the effect you want to get.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat
    Help me out here...

    ND filters help to cut down the light so that we can use slower shutter speeds to capture the right effects. But cant you just manually set the shutter to say 1s for that similar effect?

    Is it because there is a corresponding limit to how small the aperture can reach when you decrease the shutter speed?
    Correct... There is a limit to the smallest aperture setting. Often it is about f32 or f22, sometimes you are unable to achieve a long shutter speed with small apertures due to the high amount of light available at that moment. So you can either :

    a) wait for sky to get darker
    b) use ND filters
    c) dun bother with the shot...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Neutral Density Filters and uses

    Oic... thanks photodog and zac08! Will go and try!

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