Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: ND Filters

  1. #1

    Default ND Filters

    I'm considering of getting a ND filters to assist me in taking landscape photos or city pictures during a bright hot day. Came across ND +2 +4 +8 and GND. I wanna know how to determine which one is the best for me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: ND Filters

    u must understand, ND are used to achieve certain effects.

    in bright day, if u using DSLR, u just stop down, use low ISO or increase shutter speed. nobody mount on ND for day-to-day street photography.

  3. #3
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    SG
    Posts
    6,232

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Unless you are looking to shoot long exposures during the day or at very wide apertures ( or you are stuck with high speed film in your camera ), usually you will not need an ND filter.

    Anyhow, the type of ND filter that you best need will depend on how many stops you are looking to drop the exposure. Sometimes a 4 stop works for me, sometimes an 8 stop works for me.

    Ryan

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Get ND Grad 4.
    People say it for landscape only? Nope.

    It is basically if you have unbalanced brightness & extremely contrast subject where bright is over-exposed, so it is difficult to meter.

    Do remember, get the GRADUAL filter, flat one is normally of no use now with digital camera

    Sample with ND Grad filter (#4) - taken from Anime Festival Asia 2008 - this figure of Saber (from Fate/Stay Night) in French Maid costume was under a spotlight - with her blonde hair for sure cause overexposure, and if you correctly expose her head (face & hair) you will not get the body cos it is dark blue. I took his with Cokin ND4 grad + polariser to reduce glare, and I still have to set EV-2.
    I also flash so I get some detail from the costume.
    Some part of the hand and the hair is still overexposed but I can live with that. This I took on 2nd day coming prepared.
    Later using post processing I bring up the brightness of the shadow area a bit more and reduce a bit from bright area, and this is the result.


    Below pics I took on 1st day coming unprepared.
    Without ND Grad filter (best attempt). OK white balance a bit out but I cannot make it that better without resorting to spend hours with multi layer etc. You cannot see the legs after correctly exposing the face.

    Without ND Grad filter (feel the burn). This is the worst. Granted it is a bit blur due to hand shake but you can see how the detail is lost due to overexposure of the hair. I am trying to correctly expose the face.
    Last edited by aryanto; 30th November 2008 at 10:54 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by rEv09 View Post
    I'm considering of getting a ND filters to assist me in taking landscape photos or city pictures during a bright hot day. Came across ND +2 +4 +8 and GND. I wanna know how to determine which one is the best for me?
    if you have the interest, if you have the patience, if you have the drive

    get all of them

    all will be useful at one point in time or another..

  6. #6
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    SG
    Posts
    6,232

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by aryanto View Post
    Do remember, get the GRADUAL filter, flat one is normally of no use now with digital camera
    ND filter is pretty much non PSable, how come no use with digital

  7. #7
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    ansonchew.com
    Posts
    8,209

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    if you have the interest, if you have the patience, if you have the drive

    get all of them

    all will be useful at one point in time or another..
    Or you can always DI (or PS) your photo later.....

  8. #8

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    Or you can always DI (or PS) your photo later.....
    i would love to see you replicate misty water

    or controlled scenes where the sun is not blown out

    if you think nd and gnd filters are replaceable by photoshop.. the former is definitely not in most cases, and the latter can be done, but requires a lot of work in terms of blending.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East
    Posts
    11,755

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i would love to see you replicate misty water

    or controlled scenes where the sun is not blown out

    if you think nd and gnd filters are replaceable by photoshop.. the former is definitely not in most cases, and the latter can be done, but requires a lot of work in terms of blending.
    Use a D3, meter for the sky and bring up the levels later...

    surely go WOW
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Updated my post above with the 2 sample without ND Grad filter. Now you can see the difference.
    By the way I put the ND grad filter 4 (the darker side up - to reduce the over-exposure of the face) and the clear version below to correctly expose the legs.

    One other use of ND filter is if you want to use small F# (large apperture eg F1.6).
    If you want slower shutter speed to have the panning effect, or whatever effect you are after then the photo may be overexposed. So ND filter is still required.
    If the brightness is pretty much constant then no problem, but if there are bright spots then you are in trouble.
    Those will be overexposed with you correctly expose the shadow.
    OK you can do that with HDR but that is a lot of work and I am still using Photoshop Element 4 (dont want to spend money on software), plus HDR does not work really work with street-shot due to movement of subjects - wind etc.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Use a D3, meter for the sky and bring up the levels later...

    surely go WOW
    Cheaper camera + ND filter can also do that.
    Not everybody can afford D3.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Here's a thought. Why not get all of them? Because there's really no "better" ND filter... You'd just have to select the right one for that particular situation. But if you're cash strapped, I suggest getting the GNDs first. I use them more often that my ND filters. But then again, that's me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Thank you all for your help and feedbacks esp aryanto!! Guess i'll make do with the ND Grad filter first and see how can i proceed from there. Pocket alittle tight, saving for a holiday trip! Thanks once again!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by rEv09 View Post
    Thank you all for your help and feedbacks esp aryanto!! Guess i'll make do with the ND Grad filter first and see how can i proceed from there. Pocket alittle tight, saving for a holiday trip! Thanks once again!
    Good luck!

    Don't over buy filters.
    I find ND grad and gradual blue are my most used filters on top of polarizer, since I like taking pictures with sky, and took a lot of photo during overseas trips.

    My experience tell me the rest like star 6, star 8, starburst, etc are money down the drain. Fancy but not very useful and you will keep it more in the drawer than bringing it around.

    However if you are into portrait may be home made soft filter will be useful ( I was told to go buy stockings by a senior here )

  15. #15
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    East
    Posts
    11,755

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by aryanto View Post
    Cheaper camera + ND filter can also do that.
    Not everybody can afford D3.
    I know....

    I can't afford either, so have to do it the tedious way too.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  16. #16
    Member szhoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada, Singapore
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i would love to see you replicate misty water

    or controlled scenes where the sun is not blown out

    if you think nd and gnd filters are replaceable by photoshop.. the former is definitely not in most cases, and the latter can be done, but requires a lot of work in terms of blending.
    well said..

    digital or analogue, it is still photography..

    Digital manipulation kills photography.. just my humble opinion..

  17. #17

    Default Re: ND Filters

    i happen to stumble upon someone saying he used Cokin (Sunset) Filter. Anyone using it here? Care to share whether it will work better than the ND grad?

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by rEv09 View Post
    i happen to stumble upon someone saying he used Cokin (Sunset) Filter. Anyone using it here? Care to share whether it will work better than the ND grad?
    I think I have this, it is orange tint filter which make sunset when it is not orange enough LOL

    It is good if you are making silhouette effect.

    But it will turn everything to orange so you will not be able to have that bluish & orange sky.
    Not sure if there is a grad filter for this.

    By the way, if today's sunset is no good, try tomorrow, or the day after and so on

    I dont find tobacco filter is nice for sunset as it is actually brown.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    singapore
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: ND Filters

    By the way when you are buying filter buy a system where the filter is rectangular and it uses brackets where you can put a few filters like cokin. that way if you upgrade lense, and the size is different, you only need to buy another adapter (from lense to bracket).

    Er, also if it is just a colour filter, like that orange filter you can actually achieve that with photoshop.

    I am not sure if you can do that for some special filter like gold filter (brings out the really nice autumn leave colours), or gradual blue, but for sure ND grad filter cannot be replaced easily using photoshop, very difficult.

  20. #20

    Default Re: ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by aryanto View Post
    I think I have this, it is orange tint filter which make sunset when it is not orange enough LOL

    It is good if you are making silhouette effect.

    But it will turn everything to orange so you will not be able to have that bluish & orange sky.
    Not sure if there is a grad filter for this.

    By the way, if today's sunset is no good, try tomorrow, or the day after and so on

    I dont find tobacco filter is nice for sunset as it is actually brown.
    Haha.. But when we travel to places like Paris, photoshoot will not be the main focus so I would like to try to minimize the retakes. =]

    Quote Originally Posted by aryanto View Post
    By the way when you are buying filter buy a system where the filter is rectangular and it uses brackets where you can put a few filters like cokin. that way if you upgrade lense, and the size is different, you only need to buy another adapter (from lense to bracket).

    Er, also if it is just a colour filter, like that orange filter you can actually achieve that with photoshop.

    I am not sure if you can do that for some special filter like gold filter (brings out the really nice autumn leave colours), or gradual blue, but for sure ND grad filter cannot be replaced easily using photoshop, very difficult.
    Are you referring to a full set system that has the brackets and filters? May i know where to get them and roughly how much will it be?

    Thanks for helping me so much aryanto!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •