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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Which ND filter ?...I have never used a Graduated ND filter before but I understand how they work, so thought I would get ...
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Old 15-07-2010, 23:26   #1 (permalink)
TheCrewDesigns
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Which ND filter ?

I have never used a Graduated ND filter before but I understand how they work, so thought I would get ONE

I say one as at the moment that's about all I can afford.

So I just wanted to ask if I buy one which grade should I get ?

Last edited by TheCrewDesigns; 16-07-2010 at 14:37.
 
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Old 15-07-2010, 23:57   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

I have Cokin P series ones, whilst the filters are relatively cheap you have to by lens adapter rings (for each different lens thread size) and a filter holder. Cokin seem to perform pretty good to me the only issue i have found is when using a couple at a time you can get some colour casting! I suppose the bonus about these slot in type's is once you have the adapter rings and holder you can add different filters over time to your collection and they will fit all your lenses! Cokin do a whole range of different filters from polorizers to infrared and everything in between.

I have never used screw in ND filters so couldn't comment on them!!
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Old 16-07-2010, 00:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

So is there a grade of filter that would be used most (2, 4 etc) ??
 
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Old 16-07-2010, 00:04   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

i suppose the one i use most is a 2stop one, which would be a ND4 and i use my graduated one more than my solid one!
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Old 16-07-2010, 00:08   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

here's a cokin ND chart http://www.cokin.co.uk/pdf/COKIN%20ND%20Chart.pdf
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Old 16-07-2010, 01:04   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

If you went for the square system rather than a screw-in one, you will be able to add grads in due course. The strength is going to depend on the usage. They are used to enable a wide aperture/slow shutter speed in bright lighting conditions.

I've also heard of the colour cast issues with the Cokin. There are other makes that have better quality control.

Stu's suggestion of a two stop one is a good one.
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Old 16-07-2010, 08:11   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

I guess it depends what you are going to use it for. If you want to balance a sky then a 2 stop grad is a good idea and that really needs to be one of the slot in systems. Screw in types exist but they give you very little control over where you put the horizon.

If you want to be able to use a slower shutter speed, wider aperture or (Very occasionally) a higher ISO then, if I had to choose only one, I would get a 4 stop ND ( A polariser can double up as a 1.5 stop ND). This can again be slot in which are more versatile, but screw in are more convenient if you can get the correct thread side.

As has been said, some makes give a colour cast Cokin is well known for this. With a vanilla ND that's not too much trouble, especially if you shoot in raw, as you can set up a preset in post production to remove it. With a graduated filter that can be more tricky so a different (And probably a lot more expensive) option might be an idea. Also the better makes have better coatings so less flare and ghosting.
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Old 16-07-2010, 09:50   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

Thanks everyone so an ND4 is the one to go for.

I want it for landscapes to darken the sky so its not over white all the time

On the round screw in ones can you not change the angle of the darkened area so when you shoot portrait landscape ( < thank sounds like gobbledygook)

So on ebay when I see ND Grey filters are these what I need ??? like THIS ONE

Last edited by TheCrewDesigns; 16-07-2010 at 11:38.
 
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Old 16-07-2010, 11:35   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

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Originally Posted by TheCrewDesigns View Post
I want it for landscapes to darken the sky so its not over white all the time
In that case you do not want an ND filter, but an ND graduated filter. These are also available in 1,2,3 and 4 stop varieties, but also in hard or soft transitions. Wider lenses need soft transitions, long lenses hard transitions. For average use the soft transition types are best.

Screw-in grads are more difficult to keep a straight 'horizon' than the square type.

SRB-Griturn do kits, or you can purchase individual filters - look around their site. You will need an inexpensive holder that will then need an inexpensive adaptor to fit your lenses. Buying a filter and holder to fit your biggest lens and then getting step-down rings to fit any other lenses is the best/cheapest way of using filters. The SRB own-brand are in fact made by Hi-Tech and are of excellent quality.

Don't forget that for landscape use, the sky should look brighter than the land, so you don't want to totally balance the light or your shots will look un-natural.
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Old 16-07-2010, 11:48   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

Thank you Graham

Yeah sorry I wrote it wrong at the beginning of this post, it is graduated that I want. To darken the sky a bit in landscapes.

I saw online someone just holding a square filter in front of lens and I understand you can manually move it around to get it where you want it

So I was thinking of buying This one on ebay

It says its optical glass so that would be OK for quality right ? ( High definition optical organic glass (CR39) )
 
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Old 16-07-2010, 12:12   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

Just because it says optical glass does not mean it is the best quality. It could still be a 'second' - especially on e-bay! It is also apparently manufactured by the seller, probably in China if this is anything to go by.

Essentially, you get what you pay for. Lee probably inspect all of their filters as well as using the best possible glass. Cokin (AFAIK) batch inspect so are able to reduce their prices.

Having said that, for about 6 delivered if it is a crock of s**t, it is not a big loss as the Hi-Tech/SRB ones are around 12 each.
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Old 16-07-2010, 12:29   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
Just because it says optical glass does not mean it is the best quality. It could still be a 'second' - especially on e-bay! It is also apparently manufactured by the seller, probably in China if this is anything to go by.

Essentially, you get what you pay for. Lee probably inspect all of their filters as well as using the best possible glass. Cokin (AFAIK) batch inspect so are able to reduce their prices.

Having said that, for about 6 delivered if it is a crock of s**t, it is not a big loss as the Hi-Tech/SRB ones are around 12 each.

Yeah very true, suppose 6 is not to bad if its rubbish so are the SRB filters good quality then ?
 
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Old 16-07-2010, 13:05   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrewDesigns View Post
Yeah very true, suppose 6 is not to bad if its rubbish so are the SRB filters good quality then ?
They are good enough for me I got their set of four grads for around 46. As a comparison, I think that SRB sell a set of three Lee grads for 136. B&W are also good, but I don't know how much they are.

I've been using SRB on and off for around 30 years. They are local to me (under 3 mies) and I've always found them to be very helpful. I've never been disappointed.
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Old 16-07-2010, 13:46   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

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Originally Posted by Dabhand16 View Post
They are good enough for me I got their set of four grads for around 46. As a comparison, I think that SRB sell a set of three Lee grads for 136. B&W are also good, but I don't know how much they are.

I've been using SRB on and off for around 30 years. They are local to me (under 3 mies) and I've always found them to be very helpful. I've never been disappointed.
Yeah makes me think maybe I should go for a 12 good filter rather than a 6 possible cheapo filter

So THIS is what I would want right ?

What does it mean by P or A size ?

I was just going to hold the filter in front of lens for now
 
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Old 16-07-2010, 14:06   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

The A size is smaller. You'll need to be able to cover your widest lens at its widest focal length, but if you are going to be holding the filter in your hand I think the P size will be easier to handle.
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Old 16-07-2010, 14:15   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Which ND filter ?

OK thanks a lot for all your help.....
 
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