GND Filters vs. Photoshop gradient fill


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stonecow

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Feb 18, 2008
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#1
I've been considering getting a GND filter to darken the sky for my landscape shots. This question inevitably comes to mind: can Photoshop's gradient fill function reproduce the same effect, since GND simply darkens the sky? What are the differences?
 

Shawn

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Oct 19, 2006
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#2
Always right to get it right in the camera if you can in the first place, then later PP if you have to.

I recommend SinghRay GND Filters though:)
 

night86mare

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#3
I've been considering getting a GND filter to darken the sky for my landscape shots. This question inevitably comes to mind: can Photoshop's gradient fill function reproduce the same effect, since GND simply darkens the sky? What are the differences?
one is real details, one is fake details

which do you prefer, depends on the situation.

highlights blown, cannot be recovered, end of story
 

V

vince123123

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#4
I would say it also depends on how much you intend to darken by. If its -1 to -2 stops, shooting in RAW and later bringing it down in RAW/PS will yield good results. Also, in PS, you have greater control over which parts to darken and which parts to lighten. A gradient filter gives less control since the gradient is fixed, and the amount is fixed (unless you arm yourself with many many different types).

The point about the blown highlights can be mitigated by bracketing, such that in the end, you have usable shots which can be combined.

If the GND filter is of poor quality, it will yield lousier results than using Photoshop and RAW/bracketing, whether in the form of contrast/sharpness/image quality etc.

However the main difference is whether you want to spend more time at the site shooting (and mucking around with filters) or spend more time offsite in front of the computer.


I've been considering getting a GND filter to darken the sky for my landscape shots. This question inevitably comes to mind: can Photoshop's gradient fill function reproduce the same effect, since GND simply darkens the sky? What are the differences?
 

night86mare

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#5
If the GND filter is of poor quality, it will yield lousier results than using Photoshop and RAW/bracketing, whether in the form of contrast/sharpness/image quality etc.
a tianya filter which is admittedly cheap, compared to a singhray filter - the difference is visible, i give you that, but it has nothing to do with contrast/sharpness/image quality. not much anyways. even if you pixel peep.. ;)
 

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vince123123

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#6
And so what is the visible difference in your opinion?
 

night86mare

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#7
And so what is the visible difference in your opinion?
consistency of color.. :(

if you line up 20 tianya gnd filters in a row, none of them will look the same! :bsmilie:

and of course, singh-ray has options like reverse grad, and like you have mentioned already, more variability in stops. more choices.

based on zoosshh's opinions (since i have had no chance to get my paws on a singh ray myself).. it is also more durable and easier to clean.

after all, i guess one thing we can all agree on is that, quality comes at an exponential price.
 

Jul 26, 2002
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#8
I really need find someone who has a singh ray GND for me to compare to the Cokin ones "in the flesh". As it is, I find it really hard to justify the money for Singh Ray filters.
 

stonecow

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Feb 18, 2008
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#9
to me singh-ray filters are just too ex., especially for a GND filter which I'll use only sporadically...

anyway thanks for all the inputs. night86mare did bring up a valid pt that once highlights are blown, it'll be difficult to recover. just wondering, is there a reliable way to reverse the effects of a GND filter on Photoshop? PS noob here :sweat:
 

Aug 8, 2008
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#10
Like stonecow, i've been thinking of getting a GND filter as well.

Can anyone tell me what I should look out for or any brand/model (other than Singh-Ray) that is like mid-price ranged?

Is there also any specific thing to look out for when taking photos with GND filters?

Thanks!
 

night86mare

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#11
anyway thanks for all the inputs. night86mare did bring up a valid pt that once highlights are blown, it'll be difficult to recover. just wondering, is there a reliable way to reverse the effects of a GND filter on Photoshop? PS noob here :sweat:
REVERSE the effects? 0.o

very easy what, you just shot one frame with, one frame without.. :)

in the case that you decide you don't want, just keep layer duplicating and set layer type to lighten or screen, and erase to make sure the foreground is still ok. not that easy, not that hard either.
 

lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#12
I've been considering getting a GND filter to darken the sky for my landscape shots. This question inevitably comes to mind: can Photoshop's gradient fill function reproduce the same effect, since GND simply darkens the sky? What are the differences?
While I agree that nothing beats getting it right in the camera, one alternative is to bracket your exposure and then blend using Photoshop. You'll have to use a tripod, of course, and the scene has to be suitable. But you're using a tripod anyway, right?
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#13
Like stonecow, i've been thinking of getting a GND filter as well.

Can anyone tell me what I should look out for or any brand/model (other than Singh-Ray) that is like mid-price ranged?

Is there also any specific thing to look out for when taking photos with GND filters?

Thanks!
You can get the cheaper ones and try and familiarise with them since they work the same way. For all that you know, u might not like using them.

One of the things you need to know about using a GND is how to meter the scene ( and employing the appropriate filter accordingly )

Ryan
 

stonecow

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Feb 18, 2008
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#14
While I agree that nothing beats getting it right in the camera, one alternative is to bracket your exposure and then blend using Photoshop. You'll have to use a tripod, of course, and the scene has to be suitable. But you're using a tripod anyway, right?
Yeah i use my trusty slik for landscape shots. Don't have the habit of bracketing...... yet. I guess I'll start trying that, thanks :)
 

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