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Thread: A quick ND filter question

  1. #1
    davidedric's Avatar
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    A quick ND filter question

    Hi,

    I plan to get an ND filter with the main intention being to slow moving water. I've read the tutorials, and it seems that a 3 stop, ND8, filter would be likely to be the most useful. Could anyone please confirm, or not. FWIW my body is a 600D.

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    Hi Dave!

    I may not be understanding your intention here, but if you are looking to slow (as in slow down to the point of stopping or close to it) an ND is not going to give you that effect.

    In fact, just the opposite. It will allow slower shutter speeds so that you get the “silky” effect caused by allowing the camera to capture more movement (instead of less) of the water in the frame.

    To slow the water you will need faster shutter speeds rather than slower.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    I have two ND filters for this, a 5-stop and a 10-stop. The 5-stop works fine if I shoot on an overcast day or near sunrise or sunset. Later in the day, or if it is sunny out, or if I shoot in the winter (with lots of snow on the ground), I find that the 10-stop is required. The 3-stop would not be anywhere enough to give an exposure that is long enough. Depending on the flow rate of the water I look for a minimum of a 1/2 sec exposure, and up to 2 sec.

    I shoot at the minimum ISO my camera is capable of, on one body this is ISO 50 and the other ISO 100. I understand that Lee and Schneider (B&W) are having inventory problems with their 10-stop filter because these items are so popular for this technique right now.

    A quick ND filter question

    This shot is taken at ISO 100, wide open (f/2.8) and 1 sec exposure with a 5-stop filter a few momements before sunset.
    Last edited by Manfred M; 4th January 2013 at 12:15 PM.

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    I have two ND filters for this, a 5-stop and a 10-stop
    Thanks, Manfred, that's a good heads up. I certainly got that one wrong. Of course, I could always buy Singh-Ray Variable ND

    In fact, just the opposite. It will allow slower shutter speeds so that you get the “silky” effect
    Yes, that's just what I meant, Terry, but didn't explain it very well!

  5. #5
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Yes, that's just what I meant, Terry, but didn't explain it very well!
    Okay. Sorry Dave. I kinda thought that was what you meant, but I didn't want to jump to any conclusions and put my foot in it for once!

    You can't go wrong with Singh-Ray Variable. Top drawer quality, very versatile and up to 8 stops. It would give you a lot of choices.

    Nice piece of filter.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Of course, I could always buy Singh-Ray Variable ND
    I haven't used a Singh-Ray (or any other) variable ND. People seem to either love it (several users here, including Colin) or hate it (some people that I know that have used it). It won't give you the full 10-stops for sure, and so far as I know Lee and B+W are the only two filter manufacturers that put out a 10-stop filter. Prices reflect this limitation; these are not cheap pieces of glass.

    While I can use the 5-stop filter with my viewfinder, I find that with the 10-stop (remember 1/1000th of the light is getting through), this can be challenging. I will either set everything up and then put the filter in place (and close off the viewfinder) to take the shot or use live view to set up the shot.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    I think there is a common agreement that the Singh Ray Vari ND is the top-of-the-tree in terms of quality. But many people produce very successful images with, for example, the Lee 10-stop.

    The other option you have with the Singh-Ray, if you have a very, very deep wallet, is buy the 5-stop ND and then put the Vari-ND on the top of that, giving you up to 13 stops. Now, that's a lot of light blockage. I think some of the stuff you've maybe seen from Colin (Southern) on here has been done with that combination.

    I've got the Vari-ND but not the 5-stop.

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    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    Thanks very much, everyone.

    To be honest, the Singh-Ray suggestion was a bit tongue in cheek. At $350 plus $200 taxes and shipping (and no visit to New York on the horizon) I am nowhere near the kind of expertise that could justify it. I'm happy to leave that to the ones who can do it justice, like Donald. In fact, I don't pick up my tripod till next week!

    My first passion is wildlife, especially in Africa, but I can't do that everyday.

    However, I am lucky enough to live on an island with some of the most varied and photogenic scenery in the world - and I'm ten minutes drive from the Peak District, an hour and a half from Snowdonia, and two hours from the Lake District (a bit further to Caledonia, mind!).

    So my (undeclared) resolution is to try and learn landscape photography. I think that an ND filter will be a useful addition to my kit.

    Thanks again,

    Dave

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    Re: A quick ND filter question

    Since turning water into milk has been done so many times already you have to come up with something very unusual for it to be better than 'another load of milk'. Without knowing what you have in the way of editing programme I would have thought it money unwisely spent ... if you can tolerate some possible loss of quality there are cheaper makers of filters such as SRB-Griturn in the UK who sell both Lee and their housebrand. Then there is the combination of a linear and circular polarising filter to be considered if you are dead set on milk

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