Question: Which Lens Filters Are Needed and Which Are NOT Needed?


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May 2, 2009
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#1
Considering RAW advantages and digital darkroom technologies, which lens filters are still needed, and which are in principle not necessary any more?
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#2
There are a few that are not duplicable post processing , but whether one needs it or not is up to what he shoots; what is necessary for one can be a total waste of money for another

Personally I still work with my GND, ND and polarisers when needed, ( and these are pretty much non duplicable )

Ryan
 

2evans

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Nov 8, 2007
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#3
Depends on your workflow? Do you like to shoot and fix / modify on your computer afterwards or do you attempt to achieve the shot you want in your camera?

Some filters like ND are needed for certain effects that are not achievable on the computer.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#4
As already mentioned, it depends on what you shoot/want/need to shoot, as well as approaches and such. What may be indispensible to a landscape photographer like GNDs and high-end Kasserman polarises that costs over 1K may be entirely useless to a sports photographer and so on. Some, like the polariser, cannot be simulated. Also, I suspect that certain color correction filters are difficult, but not impossible to replicate.
 

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ST1100

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Jun 18, 2003
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#6
I agree polarizer is non duplicable, but why GND filter?

http://www.jessespeer.com/making_the_image/2004_0712_chasm/ (I think with RAW, we don't even need to take two shots with different exposure, right?)
You need a GND when it's just way too bright. For example, trying to shoot a thin DOF flower shot in bright sunlight at f1.2, or trying to get a 10 sec flowing-water effect in bright sunlight. Even at the camera's base ISO, the picture can be overexposed to the point of wash-out. Digital recovery is not possible if the image was never captured in the first place.
 

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giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#7
I agree polarizer is non duplicable, but why GND filter?

http://www.jessespeer.com/making_the_image/2004_0712_chasm/ (I think with RAW, we don't even need to take two shots with different exposure, right?)
Unless ur single RAW has really high dynamic range to salvage from, a GND will prevent u from blowing out highlights such as the skies in landscapes where GND placement is applicable.

Have u not met times where u get frustrated by blown out ( supposedly colorful dramatic ) skies when u r trying to expose for the ground ?

You need a GND when it's just way too bright. For example, trying to shoot a thin DOF flower shot in bright sunlight at f1.2, or trying to get a 10 sec flowing-water effect in bright sunlight. Even at the camera's base ISO, the picture can be overexposed to the point of wash-out. Digital recovery is not possible if the image was never captured in the first place.
U r referring to ND filter rather than GND filter I assume ?

Ryan
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#9
Which grade of ND filter do you suggest, if I want to shoot that kind of long shutter flowing water effect under sunset/sunrise or daylight condition?
We suggest the filter that is necessary to achieve the required exposure settings :sweatsm:
Read up about the filters, they come in different types, reflecting the amount of light they block. Usual grades are 1, 2 or 3 stops. There are some for 9 and 10 stops. So you need the metering result of that scene and the target settings to achieve your desired effect - and the gap (in stops) tells you which filter to use.
 

rendition

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Jan 26, 2008
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#10
Considering RAW advantages and digital darkroom technologies, which lens filters are still needed, and which are in principle not necessary any more?
Hmm, I'd say none is 'needed' or 'necessary' if you don't see the need of using it. But definitely there are a few which are 'good' to have that may do justice to the type of photography you do. Like landscape photographers, woah lao, the amount of filters they have is probably as thick as some people's wedding album cuz the results some filters produce are just not replicable in digital imaging.

For me, I do zero landscape and just studio/on-location shoot and I find the circular polarizer to be the only filter I need for now. In fact, I have not even used it for getting-bluer-sky shots but rather to remove reflections and such which again is no replicable within photoshop. Also,there are times I use it to help stop down light transmission - acting like an ND filter.
 

soons

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Mar 22, 2007
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#11
There are a few that are not duplicable post processing , but whether one needs it or not is up to what he shoots; what is necessary for one can be a total waste of money for another

Personally I still work with my GND, ND and polarisers when needed, ( and these are pretty much non duplicable )

Ryan
2nd that.GND, ND and CPL are the filters I have, along with lens protector.

I personally not a fan of UV filters.
 

firstrazor

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May 2, 2009
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Singapore | Sengkang
#12
I like to shoot landscape. You guys are all telling the truth. But I would just like to start with one or two most frequently used ND filters.
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#13
I like to shoot landscape. You guys are all telling the truth. But I would just like to start with one or two most frequently used ND filters.
Then create a poll and ask this question there. But I doubt you'll find the answers helpful. Too much depends on the actual situation and light and you finally want to achieve. If you want a budget solution then get Tianya filters + holders. Check the Mass Sales for offerings. Tagotech Online store is another source. Since the size is standardized you can later also add filters of the same format from vendors like Lee or Cokin - and hopefully by then you know what you really need :)
 

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