Starting out with ND filters - thinking of a 4-stop & 10-stop


nathaniel

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Jun 18, 2006
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#1
Hi, I'm getting my first ND filter(s). I'm thinking of getting the B+W 77mm 4-stop and 10-stop filters. My question is: is this is a good starting point for moving into filters (at least in your experience)?

Also considered getting filter holders, but am thinking maybe not this time round. So, planning to use 77mm thread + step-up rings (as my largest lens is 77mm. Hopefully I won't be buying 82mm anytime soon, anyways the filters mentioned aren't available in 82mm thread--on the Amazon store at least).

What I'm using the filters for:
1. taking photos wide open at f/1.4 in daylight (with a Sigma 30/1.4).
2. taking scenes where there's a lot of people and a long exposure (e.g. 60 sec) would remove them.
3. taking the sea (beach), waterfalls.
4. taking the sun (eclipse, sunsets, etc.) - heard you need about 13 stops, so I'm thinking of stacking the two.

Notes:
1. I'm aware of the likely color cast of the 10-stop as mentioned in this link, but I think I can live with it (I'll shoot raw).
2. Reason for getting a 4-stop as it seems like taking the sea needs about 16x (link)
3. am buying from Amazon, so B+W is a little bit more affordable: ND110 is $125. ND1.8-64x is $102.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#2
the shots you mention will need 10 stops ND filter,
and the "taking scenes where there's a lot of people and a long exposure (e.g. 60 sec) would remove them." won't work, as people can stay there for more than a few minutes and the quality of final images are no good if too many stops cut down.


FYI, 10 stops ND filter is near opaque, you can't compose your shots with viewfinder, either you compose your shots without filter first or use live view.
 

nathaniel

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Jun 18, 2006
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#3
the shots you mention will need 10 stops ND filter,
and the "taking scenes where there's a lot of people and a long exposure (e.g. 60 sec) would remove them." won't work, as people can stay there for more than a few minutes and the quality of final images are no good if too many stops cut down.

FYI, 10 stops ND filter is near opaque, you can't compose your shots with viewfinder, either you compose your shots without filter first or use live view.
Thanks. Actually, the primary use of a 4-stop is to shoot my Sigma 30/1.4 wide open in daylight. My 550D maxes out at 1/4000 sec shutter speed (which sometimes isn't fast enough).
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#4
I'd get the 10 stop filter first. You.might find long exposure more immediately useful for landscapes n stuffs. If you later convinced yourself that you need a halfway house, then get the 4 stop.

I have a Vari-ND, a 4 stop ND n a 10 stop ND. I end up only bringing the 10 stop for holidays.

Ryan
 

wonglp

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Staff member
Jul 20, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#6
You can try mass order section for better prices or visit some shops like Tk or Artworkfoto, the nd filters price from Amazon is not that good. It's selling almost same price locally except different currency.
 

pinholecam

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Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#7
#1 requirement, the 4 stop will be more suitable (your camera can't do 1/8000?)
However, its also the most easy to do without as most times you can choose to place your subject under shade.

#2-#4, the 10 stop will be more useful to do those.
 

nathaniel

New Member
Jun 18, 2006
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Singapore
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#8
wonglp said:
You can try mass order section for better prices or visit some shops like Tk or Artworkfoto, the nd filters price from Amazon is not that good. It's selling almost same price locally except different currency.
Thanks, this is out cos I'm in still in the US. Still have some photos to take before I return to SG.

pinholecam said:
#1 requirement, the 4 stop will be more suitable (your camera can't do 1/8000?)
However, its also the most easy to do without as most times you can choose to place your subject under shade.

#2-#4, the 10 stop will be more useful to do those.
Unfortunately the 550D maxes out at 1/4000 :( well thanks for your advice--I'll try to take my subjects under shade and see if I can live without a 4-stop. Have ordered just the 10-stop for now.
 

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