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Thread: ND vs GND

  1. #1

    Default ND vs GND

    Hi all, really noobie question cuz I dont own one myself but what is the difference between a GND and an ND filter? Well obviously one is graduated like the gradient tool of photoshop but what does it translate to? Which one will you use to take ~gorgeous~ sunsets and landscapes with nice flowing water? Are they used for the same purpose?
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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Hi all, really noobie question cuz I dont own one myself but what is the difference between a GND and an ND filter? Well obviously one is graduated like the gradient tool of photoshop but what does it translate to? Which one will you use to take ~gorgeous~ sunsets and landscapes with nice flowing water? Are they used for the same purpose?
    I would use GND... cause if not either the sky would be overexposed or the ground would be underexposed... GND basically has a graduated such that one side is 2-3 stops darker than the other..

  3. #3

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Hi,
    Neutral density is uniformly grey throughout. Reduces light reaching the sensor, so need longer shutter speed at same aperture for exposure.
    Neutral density is usually used to lengthen the shutter speed. Useful for getting silky effect of moving water.

    Graduated neutral density is grey one side and clear the other. It is usually used to make a "bright area" in the picture darker so that it would not look overexposed compared to the darker part.

    Hope this helps

  4. #4

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    My point exactly, so the ND filter is only for taking a whole frame of water ie waterfall? It wont make sense to use with a Sunset / flowy river together right?
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    My point exactly, so the ND filter is only for taking a whole frame of water ie waterfall? It wont make sense to use with a Sunset / flowy river together right?
    Why not?

    GND affects exposure in one part of the image only, but you can put a ND to lower the overall shutter speed, then do HDR, which will give you a wider dynamic range than a GND filter would.

  6. #6

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Hi all, really noobie question cuz I dont own one myself but what is the difference between a GND and an ND filter? Well obviously one is graduated like the gradient tool of photoshop but what does it translate to? Which one will you use to take ~gorgeous~ sunsets and landscapes with nice flowing water? Are they used for the same purpose?
    do you understand light?

    if you have a foreground that is bathed in light, but is in no way going to be as bright as the sky, which is going to be more useful for balancing the exposure throughout the picture (albeit, admittedly artificially)?

    a gnd filter cuts out the light in the top portion of the picture. it is really not hard to visualise. the idea behind gnd is to balance exposure throughout the photograph.

    a nd filter cuts out light throughout the whole picture. it extends exposure.

    as for which to use, it really depends on what you want out of the picture, and the light. a muted overcast sunset can be beautiful, and the lighting conditions are startlingly different if you compare it to a naked sun sunset. the tools you might use are also slightly different. it is all about the light, and there is no one correct answer, so long as you get what you want.

    for 90% of shots pointing towards the sun direction (where the colors would be), a combination of gnd + stopping down to f/22 or so will give you flowy water and skies with details. you can *try* stacking a nd with gnd, but your image will degrade pretty quickly for one, and also.. if you use an ultrawide angle.. you will get vignetting.

  7. #7

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    My point exactly, so the ND filter is only for taking a whole frame of water ie waterfall? It wont make sense to use with a Sunset / flowy river together right?
    why not?

    sometimes, look away from the sun. the colors can be in the direction directly opposite it. in which case, you don't really need a gnd to balance exposure. and you might use a naked nd filter to extend exposure.

    it all depends on the conditions. after all, no one said that your photograph has to be in the direction of the sun just because it's a "sunset photo". sunset refers to the timing, not the presence of the sun setting.

  8. #8

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Err, ok apparently I phrased my question wrongly and have been relegated to a noob ever since. What I meant was for the GND and ND filters, what type of photos can they be used for? ie. creative photos with sunsets, afternoon suns, indoors with big flash perhaps et al. If you're gonna risk your ricebowl by telling me your secret/alternative methods of shooting, please ignore this, lol.
    Canon 40D, 10-22, 35, 70-200
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  9. #9

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Err, ok apparently I phrased my question wrongly and have been relegated to a noob ever since. What I meant was for the GND and ND filters, what type of photos can they be used for? ie. creative photos with sunsets, afternoon suns, indoors with big flash perhaps et al. If you're gonna risk your ricebowl by telling me your secret/alternative methods of shooting, please ignore this, lol.
    Both can be used for either... If you know how to use them.
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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Err, ok apparently I phrased my question wrongly and have been relegated to a noob ever since. What I meant was for the GND and ND filters, what type of photos can they be used for? ie. creative photos with sunsets, afternoon suns, indoors with big flash perhaps et al. If you're gonna risk your ricebowl by telling me your secret/alternative methods of shooting, please ignore this, lol.
    siao, can you tell me how many people shoot sunrise sunset for living??

    do you mind check out the site yourself??
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    If you're gonna risk your ricebowl by telling me your secret/alternative methods of shooting, please ignore this, lol.
    i tink u are thinking that there is some magic formula.

    but really, there is never any "advanced" techniques. jus basics, used proficiently by experienced ppl.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Agree.... no magic formula..... try experimenting.....

    I used a GND Grey stacked with a ND8 in front of the merlion near sundown.... end result, was silky waters put a nice orangey sky.

    I tried also stacking ND4+ND4+ND8 and got a super long exposure for a seascape shot.

    GND usually to even out the exposure if there's a chance that I'd lose details, for example, bright sky. ND when I need to slow down shutter speeds and have longer exposures.

    So, GND and ND a little diff. There's various "grades" of ND also, 2/4/8 namely.... differing in intensity of the shading.... GND also comes in various colours, grey, blue, amber, etc....

    I dont think there's a secret to this so no ricebowl breaking around here....
    Snap ?

  13. #13

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    Err, ok apparently I phrased my question wrongly and have been relegated to a noob ever since. What I meant was for the GND and ND filters, what type of photos can they be used for? ie. creative photos with sunsets, afternoon suns, indoors with big flash perhaps et al. If you're gonna risk your ricebowl by telling me your secret/alternative methods of shooting, please ignore this, lol.
    they can be used for anything.

    why do you think there should be a set of rules set in place for using tools?

    this is like saying that an 85mm f/1.2 lens should only be used to shoot portraits. there is a purpose for nd filters, that is to extend exposure, there are unlimited opportunities with regards to this, whether you wish to illustrate human movement in dance, streets; natural movements like water, wind, cloud trails; a lot of things move. and not everything needs to be captured in the spur of the moment sharply in focus.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Alright I was just considering the possibilities of its use before actually testing it out next monday (public holiday woots) so i was just curious what type of photos people actually use these filters for, before trying it out personally.

    nm86, okayzz thanks fy input, and the rest of you guys up there. do people actually use NDs for portraits/strobes in the afternoon sun? I think it will have a funky n lasting effect on the viewer, just that lots of sweat would be involved :dd
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  15. #15

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by munkey View Post
    nm86, okayzz thanks fy input, and the rest of you guys up there. do people actually use NDs for portraits/strobes in the afternoon sun? I think it will have a funky n lasting effect on the viewer, just that lots of sweat would be involved :dd
    Personally, NDs can be great fun. ND for portrait is something that I have not tried.... But here's something I tried....

    ND4+ND4+ND8 and a CPL in the afternoon sun along a normally crowded street, say Wisma Atria stretch along Orchard Road..... you end up with a pix with clear defined buildings.... and an almost empty looking street cos human and vehicle traffic are transient. Kind of odd really cos you know it's not supposed to be devoid of life at that kind of an hour..... there's some minor blur here and there but if you're lucky.... you got an effect...

    You can try long exposures via small apertures plus NDs at night as well. If you can get exposure to be like 2 mins, you can wear dark clothing, take a torchlight or a light source and "paint" with light. The effect is kind of amusing.

    Well, just 2 other suggestions that perhaps you can toy with. Like NM86 said, there are no rules, as long as u can think out of the box.
    Snap ?

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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by ianwurn View Post
    Personally, NDs can be great fun. ND for portrait is something that I have not tried.... But here's something I tried....

    ND4+ND4+ND8 and a CPL in the afternoon sun along a normally crowded street, say Wisma Atria stretch along Orchard Road..... you end up with a pix with clear defined buildings.... and an almost empty looking street cos human and vehicle traffic are transient. Kind of odd really cos you know it's not supposed to be devoid of life at that kind of an hour..... there's some minor blur here and there but if you're lucky.... you got an effect...

    You can try long exposures via small apertures plus NDs at night as well. If you can get exposure to be like 2 mins, you can wear dark clothing, take a torchlight or a light source and "paint" with light. The effect is kind of amusing.

    Well, just 2 other suggestions that perhaps you can toy with. Like NM86 said, there are no rules, as long as u can think out of the box.
    Eh? Why stack so many NDs? Just get a ND200 and be done with it.

    (I'm serious, it exists.)

  17. #17

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by calebk View Post
    Eh? Why stack so many NDs? Just get a ND200 and be done with it.

    (I'm serious, it exists.)
    Ha..... Haven't gotten around to buy one like that.... Right now, I think I need a camera with a shutter release capability more than the ND200 ! I can hold with my finger on the shutter release button for about 3 mins.... after that, cramp..... hahaha....
    Snap ?

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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by ianwurn View Post
    Ha..... Haven't gotten around to buy one like that.... Right now, I think I need a camera with a shutter release capability more than the ND200 ! I can hold with my finger on the shutter release button for about 3 mins.... after that, cramp..... hahaha....
    Why don't you just get a cable release with a Bulb Lock?

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    Default Re: ND vs GND

    then what the CPL filter use for?

  20. #20

    Default Re: ND vs GND

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmerlin View Post
    Why don't you just get a cable release with a Bulb Lock?

    D40x doesn't have this option ......
    Snap ?

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