GND Filter: 2 or 3 stop?


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Aug 22, 2008
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#1
I have a cokin P series holder. Recently venturing into nature and landscape photography. and my old 1-stop cokin GND not enough to hold back the skies. Realized the usefulness of good GND filters to balance the exposures of the ground and skies. I am looking at Singray filters and they are not cheap. I may plan to get one first. Need advice whether a 2 stop or 3 stop GND more suitable for a start.

Or should I venture into affordably Tianya GND first? At the mass sales section, there are Tianya GND for sale but it is not stated how many stops is it. I PMed the vendor but received no reply. Anybody can shed some light?
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#2
No one filter works for all scenes, and is dependent on what you like to shoot. Personally I got a 2+ to start with , and invariably got +3 and beyond for other situations.

For film with a larger dynamic lattitude, a +1/+2 might be handy start. Some believe that +3 would be a good start for digital sensors.

Here is a summary I came up with.

Getting cheaper filters to try out might be a good idea as well to get a feel of using them.

Ryan
 

yyD70S

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Dec 25, 2005
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#3
You need both actually.

If you are going the Singh Ray route, and if you have a budget for two pieces,

purchase a 2-stop soft or hard GND & a 3-stop reverse GND.

You can read all about them at their homepage.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
it all depends on the light, don't blindly use. if i had a choice i would whack everything from 1 stop to 3 stops. maybe even more, along with reverse nd grad. you should see some of the photographs coming out of the reverse nd grad filters (from people who know how to use, of course).. for sun at horizon, really much more natural than the silly nd grads.

ryan (giantcanopy) has a nice writeup to demonstrate, but even then you have to imagine the light. it's simple really. if expose for sky and expose for foreground difference is x stops, then you need x stop nd grad, end of story.

tianya should be about 2 stops. but i'm not entirely sure. it probably varies from one grad nd to another too, their QC is erratic, but they're cheap, so go for as many as you can.. :)
 

Dec 10, 2006
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Upper Thomson
#5
what are the gnd brands i should be looking for? where can i get them? TCW, CP?? also, what are the price ranges like?

first timer trying out gnds. thanks.
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#6
Why not both? I'm pretty sure that both will come in useful.

Tian Ya filters are the only GND filters I've worked with. I'm alright with the performance so far.
 

Dec 10, 2006
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Upper Thomson
#7
how much did your tian ya filters cost? also, they are retangular filters which are attached on with an adaptor right?

is there signifcant deterioration in the IQ?

thanks!
 

Blur Shadow

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Sep 17, 2005
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#8
Ha.. Yup, they're the rectangular ones.

A friend got them for me... So it's slightly cheaper than the MO price. It was purchased a year ago, so there are a lot of factors explaining why I got them at a cheaper rate. (The cheaper RMB for one).

I do not see any IQ problems, although I must confess that I don't really like to dive into the pixels to check. So far so good. I know there's a few other CSers who use Tian Ya as well. Maybe they can provide you some insights.
 

Dec 10, 2006
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Upper Thomson
#9
thanks for the info!

just to check with you, the guy doing tian ya MO's in CS, his GND, is a how many stop one? (sorry, it seems a little queer asking you, i know) are tian ya gnds like fixed, +2?

oh, do the filters drop out easily? i read somewhere that it does leh. ha.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#10
thanks for the info!

just to check with you, the guy doing tian ya MO's in CS, his GND, is a how many stop one? (sorry, it seems a little queer asking you, i know) are tian ya gnds like fixed, +2?

oh, do the filters drop out easily? i read somewhere that it does leh. ha.
mine used with cokin wide angle filter holder has never dropped out, very secure.

i estimate about 2 stops. but with tian ya, you can never say for sure :devil:
 

Dec 10, 2006
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Upper Thomson
#11
mine used with cokin wide angle filter holder has never dropped out, very secure.

i estimate about 2 stops. but with tian ya, you can never say for sure :devil:
ha. i'm much inclined to the cokin setup. where to get in sg ah? and roughly how much?

aiyah, made in china what... one can't expect QC to pass that often right!
 

night86mare

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#12
ha. i'm much inclined to the cokin setup. where to get in sg ah? and roughly how much?

aiyah, made in china what... one can't expect QC to pass that often right!
it's still the best value for money and i have no qualms about bringing it everywhere and anywhere

might be a different story for singh ray

cathay used to sell it, i think they probably still do.
 

Dec 10, 2006
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Upper Thomson
#15
yup. i just found it. ha. praise the search function.

thanks for your help.

at CP:
77mm adaptor ring - $15
GND2 filter - $27
3 filter holder - $13

okay lah the whole set should be about $80 (2 filters).
 

night86mare

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#16
yup. i just found it. ha. praise the search function.

thanks for your help.

at CP:
77mm adaptor ring - $15
GND2 filter - $27
3 filter holder - $13

okay lah the whole set should be about $80 (2 filters).
i recommend you use the cokin holder/ring

and use tianya filters

tianya filters happen to be more neutral than cokin ones, which add a yellowish cast.
 

chalib

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2007
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#17
i recommend you use the cokin holder/ring

and use tianya filters

tianya filters happen to be more neutral than cokin ones, which add a yellowish cast.
Just curious, any diff between cokin holder and tianya holder?? :dunno:
 

night86mare

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#18
Just curious, any diff between cokin holder and tianya holder?? :dunno:
if you have ultra wide angle, if i'm not wrong, tianya filter holder is 3 filters

it will be thick

at 10-14mm you can probably see the whole filter holder in your viewfinder, and it will come out in your pictures

the cokin series has a wide angle version, one filter holder, thinner, no such problem
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#19
Get both a 2 stop and a 3 stop. You cannot have all scenes covered by just one filter. Having both is a good start, and stacking when really needed.

Cokin started off with several size filters, P being the more commonly used size. The other filter makers offer P size filters, and i believe Tianya filters are compatible.

Ryan
 

chalib

Senior Member
Oct 4, 2007
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#20
if you have ultra wide angle, if i'm not wrong, tianya filter holder is 3 filters

it will be thick

at 10-14mm you can probably see the whole filter holder in your viewfinder, and it will come out in your pictures

the cokin series has a wide angle version, one filter holder, thinner, no such problem
Ahh got what u mean.... maybe i will cut away 1 or 2 holders of my tianya, can be seen at 24 on 5D :think:
 

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