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Thread: Filters

  1. #1
    bebles's Avatar
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    Filters

    My daughters want to buy me a birthday present. I don't want it to cost the earth but I would like to know which are the best filters for my Nikon D 90 with the Nikkor 18 - 105 mm zoom lens. I prefer landscapes but also like to take portraits and close ups of flowers and insects. I shall be moving to the South West of France where the light is strong and there are opportunities to take photographs of lightning.
    All advice gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by bebles View Post
    My daughters want to buy me a birthday present. I don't want it to cost the earth but I would like to know which are the best filters for my Nikon D 90 with the Nikkor 18 - 105 mm zoom lens. I prefer landscapes but also like to take portraits and close ups of flowers and insects. I shall be moving to the South West of France where the light is strong and there are opportunities to take photographs of lightning.
    All advice gratefully received.
    Hi Jim,

    If you're talking the screw in variety; UV, CPL, I'd say Hoya Pro-1 Digital in whatever size fits that lens.

    If you're thinking ND or Vari-ND, I have no experience, nor of the square sort that fit a holder (e.g. GND), but I think these are moving outside "reasonable" (to a non-photographer) prices

    Cheap kits (esp. off e-Bay) are usually a bad idea and best avoided.

    Hopefully others will chime in with suggestions.

  3. #3
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    Re: Filters

    I asked a similar question in another thread last week but have no responses, specifically:

    I'm pondering a polarizing filter for my D90 & stock 18-105mm kit. Can somebody help me withe the qualitative/purpose differecnes of these?

    http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...r%20Polarizers

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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Fit View Post
    I asked a similar question in another thread last week but have no responses, specifically:

    I'm pondering a polarizing filter for my D90 & stock 18-105mm kit. Can somebody help me withe the qualitative/purpose differecnes of these?
    Chris

    I'm not really in a position to advise on the relative merits of each of these filters. However, the fact that you are looking at Hoya is, I think, a good start. I believe they produce reliable filters. In terms of UV filters, I use the Hoya Pro1 range which I see is the filter at the bottom of the list on the page that you linked. I see that the reviews written about the $135 filter are very positive.

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    Re: Filters

    Hi Jim;

    I've used filters for decades in and with both film and digital, sooooo...

    looks like you'll need a 67mm polorizer and that about it. The lens is not really long enough to warrant a UV for long shots and for people shots you would not want a filter of any kind, OK

    I did a bit of USA research and
    http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?o...=67mm&sf=Price

    can be used and adapted to your local buying area.

    All I use is a polarizer on my 18, 35-100 +/- lens

    I live a simple life .... good pictures with a minimum of gadgets, the money I save I spend on my wife & children (a better investment for me)

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/for...mple=1#aboutme


    paul

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwilbur View Post
    I've used filters for decades in and with both film and digital, sooooo...

    looks like you'll need a 67mm polorizer and that about it. The lens is not really long enough to warrant a UV for long shots and for people shots you would not want a filter of any kind, OK
    I would differ in my opinion on that one, Paul. I am of the school that says you put a UV on everything and don't take it off, given its value as a protector. I think the debate about image degradation is now well and truly put to bed, unless one is an obsessive pixel peeper who looks at gigantic prints through a magnifying glass

    This is a point that's been discussed a number of times on here in the past - usually alongside the 'should I use a hood or not for lens protection' issue.

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    Re: Filters

    Hi Jim,

    With the exception of UV filters used for front element protection, filters are used for a "given effect" - so I think we really need to know more about what effect you're after.

  8. #8
    Fit's Avatar
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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Chris

    I'm not really in a position to advise on the relative merits of each of these filters. However, the fact that you are looking at Hoya is, I think, a good start. I believe they produce reliable filters. In terms of UV filters, I use the Hoya Pro1 range which I see is the filter at the bottom of the list on the page that you linked. I see that the reviews written about the $135 filter are very positive.
    Thanks Donald!

    I think I've learned enough to "but the best glass" i can afford so I think I'll head for the higher-end Hoya lines.

    Cheers!

    And PS- I WILL get that bio/survey to you

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    Re: Filters

    I agree with Donald on the protection and clarity points, though there are additional considerations about color and additional risk of lens flares - I have had some instances where a UV filter has created 'artifacts' or reflections on my images. This is not a huge deal since I delete 99% of my photos though it has led me to stop using UV filters. I have NEVER damaged a lens by scratching the front element. However, I recently purchased my first 'expensive' lens and find myself looking at UV filters again
    Whether you believe in the protective theories or not you can always use a polarizer! With modern software I don't know if any other filters are really valuable.

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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Whether you believe in the protective theories or not you can always use a polarizer!
    Well I've got 2 Heliopan super-expensive ones, and I don't use either

    With modern software I don't know if any other filters are really valuable.
    They sure are - vital in fact.

  11. #11
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    Re: Filters

    Colin, perhaps you could share with us the practical uses for filters? The only one I have found use for is the polarizer in specific situations. I would love to learn more about this.
    Thanks

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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Colin, perhaps you could share with us the practical uses for filters? The only one I have found use for is the polarizer in specific situations. I would love to learn more about this.
    Thanks
    Just in case you haven't read these:

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ns-filters.htm

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ng-filters.htm

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ty-filters.htm

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ty-filters.htm

  13. #13
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    Re: Filters

    Yes I have read those.

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    Re: Filters

    I have just arrived at the tail end of this discussion, for what its worth I shoot mostly digital and regularly use both polarizing filters and Neutral Density Graduated Filters.

    Polarizing Filter - to cut down on reflected glare and thus to enhance colour saturation.

    ND Grads - to balance the exposure in high contrast scenes.
    Most often this is to bring the sky down by a specific amount - 1, 2, 3, or even 4 stops and therefore bring the brightest part of the sky (not the sun) within about a 4 stop range of the darkest area of my composition (usually part of the ground). I nearly always use this technique when shooting sunrises and sunsets as I feel it gives me greater creative control over my image. Something similar is achieved by using HDR and in certain circumstance HDR is preferable but in my opinion balancing a scene using ND filters produces are more natural looking image and doesn't involve spending a lot of time sat in front of a pc processing an image.

    e.g.
    This image was taken using an ND Grad filter aligned with the horizon, from memory it was a 4 stop filter (1.2) and this image has almost no processing done to it.
    Filters

    I don't say my way is any better than any other way of capturing a scene but its a way I enjoy and the results it produces suits me.

    Regards

    Chris

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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Colin, perhaps you could share with us the practical uses for filters? The only one I have found use for is the polarizer in specific situations. I would love to learn more about this.
    Thanks
    Hi Brian,

    Happy to

    There are many different kinds of filters out there, and I only use a few, but of the ones I use ...

    Vari-ND - giving me up to 8 stops of attenuation, so I could turn this from a 1 second exposure into a 4 minute exposure, and thus blur the movement of the cloud and boat ...

    Filters

    The GND - allowing me to get a full 3 stops further from the noise floor for very clean foreground detail (some would argue that multiple exposures can be blended in PP and thus a GND isn't required; it sounds good in theory, but not always as easy in practice because (a) if there is movement through the transition zone, you're sunk (b) getting the transition zone right is a LOT harder than people think, if the image has to withstand inspection at 44 x 22 inches like this one has to, and (c) in this case those techniques were already being used anyway (for other reasons) so it would have made post-processing a nightmare).

    Filters

    Close-up adaptor (not called a "filter" per se, but at the end of the day, it's a screw-on thing - no different to a UV or CP that modifies the light passing through) - allows me to get shots like this without needing a macro lens ...

    Filters

    Some might argue that some of these filter used can be bypassed using alternate techniques; technically this may be true (just like technically a bicycle can be used to travel interstate instead of a car or an aeroplane), but in reality, getting it right in-camera often just saves a LOT of work afterwards. Case in point being the first shot above - yes - I could have taken 240 x 1 sec exposures, but who wants to do that when I can whack on a filter - set the timer - and walk around with my hands in my pockets enjoying the evening?

  16. #16
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    Re: Filters

    Cool shot Chris
    I can definitely see the advantage of a graduated filter. What would be a 'standard' graduated filter for sunsets?
    I think I need to get one of those.

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    Re: Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    What would be a 'standard' graduated filter for sunsets?
    I think I need to get one of those.
    3-Stop Reverse GND

  18. #18
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    Re: Filters

    Thanks for the info Colin. Very nice photos. I am in for some ND stuff. Vari I assume means variable? If you were going to have one GND filter would it be 3 stops?
    I guess I do use a 'filter' because I do have one of those Raynox things.

  19. #19
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    Re: Filters

    Hi Brian

    Its difficult to recommend just one ND Grad filter - I have a whole range from 0.3 (1 stop) up to 1.2 (4 stop), I have them in both hard edge and soft edge + I have 4 ND Filters too!

    I suppose it would depend what you would use it for - coastal landscapes I would recommend a hard edge ND Filter, for inland landscape a soft edge might be a better choice. You will also need a screw in adaptor and a filter holder, I use a system by a company called Hi Tech and my filters are 100mm x 150mm in size.

    I use my filters in conjunction with a Pentax Digital Spotmeter which helps me meter the scene and decide what strength of filter I need. Without going to this expense you could shoot using 'live view' and adjust your camera settings until you are happy with the image you see on the back of your camera.

    I hope you do give it a try, as I said earlier I do find it a very rewarding way to make images.

    Chris

  20. #20
    bebles's Avatar
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    Re: Filters

    Many thanks to all those who responded to my initial question. Some fabulous knowledgee and talent out there .... not to mention the humour.
    I now know the make, Hoya, the quality, Pro 1 Digital, and the type, Polarizing, in addition to the UV for lens protection that most agree is essential. I will also be looking at neutral density and gradual neutral density filters later as I can afford them and continue to feed the family!
    I shall also work throughthe tutorials as well.
    Once again thanks one and all.
    Jim

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