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Thread: Advice on purchasing Filters please

  1. #1
    Dawn1's Avatar
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    Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Hi everyone,


    I am wanting to purchase some filters for my camera.

    1. Is there a filter that would be good for midday light ?(If on holiday one cannot always arrange things to happen in the "sweet light" hours especially if on a tour ).

    2. I also take a lot of sunsets over the ocean and I have been told that there are filters that will assist with the foreground detail in the image.

    what would you buy ? and why ? ..... any advice on this would be great!

    Many Thanks
    Dawn

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Whilst I would avoid midday and just enjoy the tour, but if essential then maybe a polariser and/or a ND (neutral density) filter for midday, whilst a graduated ND or orange filter for later on might be appropriate.

    Lots of info here:-http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn1 View Post
    Hi everyone,


    I am wanting to purchase some filters for my camera.

    1. Is there a filter that would be good for midday light ?(If on holiday one cannot always arrange things to happen in the "sweet light" hours especially if on a tour ).

    2. I also take a lot of sunsets over the ocean and I have been told that there are filters that will assist with the foreground detail in the image.

    what would you buy ? and why ? ..... any advice on this would be great!

    Many Thanks
    Dawn
    Hi Dawn

    Welcome to the forum. From your first post I see that you have a 450D with an EF 24-105L and an EFS 10-22. Both of these lenses have an inner focus ring so the front of the lens doesn't rotate with focus. This is good start for the use of filters ! And they both have the same filter thread size (77mm) which means you can avoid adaptors to allow you to use the same filters on the different lenses.

    As for your first question, I think your are referring to a polarizer. I've had mixed results with these so I'll leave it to others to comment. Some wouldn't be without one, others not so sure.

    With question 2, you would be referring to Graduated Neutral Density filters. These are usually square and fit in a holder that mounts on the front of the lens. One half of the filter is dark and the other half clear. There is a graduation between dark and clear in the middle. This transition can be either hard or soft. The link that Ian provided above shows some good pictures.

    The dark portion of the filter is classified by how much it reduces the light - typically 1, 2 or 3 stops. If you have say a 3 stop filter, this will allow you to increase the exposure of your image by three stops and hence the foreground by 3 stops.

    There is also a tutorial on this forum on these filters here.

    Typically I find myself using 2 or 3 stop hard grads mainly. I would recommend using the 100mm series rather than the 85mm series (which are cheaper) to maximize the usage options across different lenses. Vignetting can be an issue at wide angles. There are various good to high quality brands around. Lee filters are probably the Rolls Royce but they are expensive and apparently hard to get. Avoid ultra-cheap ones.

    Good luck with your research
    Dave

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Hello Ian
    Thanks for your response, and the link, much appreciated. Yes I hear you about avoiding midday sun when one is aiming for that perfect image. The Fugi S5800 I normally take on a trip has a great filter on it and can cope with all light "fairly well" for "snaps" . But we were to be at a good photographic location at sundown that day so I opted to take the Canon instead. I was hoping to be able to compromise with a filter in this case.

    [IMG]Advice on purchasing Filters please[/IMG]

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Hello Dave,

    Thank you for the welcome and the all this information you have posted I really am grateful for your answer. I really am boggled by the science with all this photographic technology so I appreciate you laying it all out in an easy to understand manner.
    Yes I guess that is what I was looking for in regards to the midday sun dilemma, a polarized filter of some sort.

    "Both of these lenses have an inner focus ring so the front of the lens doesn't rotate with focus. This is good start for the use of filters ! And they both have the same filter thread size (77mm) which means you can avoid adaptors to allow you to use the same filters on the different lenses" ........thank you this is really great to know. Would this lack of adapter apply to the GND filters for my lens as well ? or does it only apply to the polarized ones.

    Thank you your reply is much appreciated

    Dawn

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    An alternative certainly for the pictures you have already taken which maybe of interest is the NIK plug-in for your editing programme "Color Effect Pro 3.0" which was given to me as a Paint Shop Pro user awhile back and it has a Graduated Neutral Density option which tonight turned a fairly anemic shot [ on left] into a moderately interesting shot [right]. The NIK programme has a lot of other tools which I have not explored as yet but this one might be of interest.
    Advice on purchasing Filters please
    I call it 'Competing Codes' ... not happy with this shot but I was trying to compare one sport which has had 300 million spent on a new stadium for it compared to a nearby sport making do with scaffolding.
    The advantage of a filteer is that you get it withing the tonal range of your camera whereas in editing you may not have the material to adjust. The alternative option is bracketing exposures and using HDR to display the range of tones the several shots have captured. The filter option is an old one which may or may not have a place with digital. There is a problem that the Grad ND filter may not, pretty lucky if it does, suit the subject material. Sunsets over the ocean are probably the one situation where they do work consistently
    Only in exceptional cases can the editor do the polarising filter's job.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 15th September 2013 at 08:34 AM.

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Hi jcuknz

    Thanks for the information, I only have AP Elements 10 at this stage and even though I am told it is simpler to master than the full APS, I still struggle. ( I found the thread Christina started on Understanding Layers very interesting and valuable) ...so a lot of what you have said here has gone over my head unfortunately. But I do get your point and understand when you say.....


    "The filter option is an old one which may or may not have a place with digital. There is a problem that the Grad ND filter may not, pretty lucky if it does, suit the subject material. Sunsets over the ocean are probably the one situation where they do work consistently ".

    You mention the tonal range and HDR are you referring to editing the histogram ?? I do not want to tie everyone up into knots with my replies, just ignore this last comment if it is not in keeping with what you said ?
    I will look into the plug in you mention once I have more understanding of these things. Thanks none the less

    I find as an old dog teaching myself new tricks is not always fun !
    Dawn

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn1 View Post
    Would this lack of adapter apply to the GND filters for my lens as well ? or does it only apply to the polarized ones.
    Dawn with the GND filter system, you need an adaptor to mount the filter holder onto the ring on the front of the lens. But you would only need one of these for both lenses (77mm).

    Dave

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Thank you much appreciated !

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Dawn: Dave is correct, however I often just hold the GND filter with one hand in front of the lens and then using a cable or remote release in the other to take the image. With practice it works well, problem is if you need more stops it gets harder to hold two or three filters together. It is not uncommon to do this as I have seen may others along with myself use this method, also saves time and packing of equipment.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  11. #11

    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn1 View Post
    1. Is there a filter that would be good for midday light ?(If on holiday one cannot always arrange things to happen in the "sweet light" hours especially if on a tour ).
    One thing to be aware of is that a main problem with shooting at midday is not the amount of light (which filters will help with) but the direction of the light. Bright overhead light makes people squint unattractively. It also casts harsh/strong shadows which can work well if you are specifically trying to photograph shadows, but will be too harsh if you are not. Also because the light is coming from directly overhead, it makes background textures look flat, washed out an uninteresting. Filters won't help you with any of these problems.

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Allan, yes that would be be so much easier! I will remember this for the future.

    but I think in my case it may be better to 'start off' using the adapter and the remote release cable .

    Thank you
    Dawn

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    OK thanks Dan, I have taken note of your response ....I agree, yes I think I should just put the camera down midday, as nothing good can come out of it otherwise !

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Thank you everyone for your patience and advice !


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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    I use only three different types of filters:

    CPL or circular polarizer which I will use for many if not most of my landscape shots

    UV or protective filter which I will use at times when the front element of my lens might be compromised.

    Neutral density which I use when I need to slow down my shutter speed or utilize a wider aperture in bright light.

    I do own a graduated neutral density filter but, I seldom use this and have begun not even to carry it unless I know that landscapes or seascapes will be a large portion of my shooting for the day...

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    I think I should just put the camera down midday, as nothing good can come out of it otherwise
    I might take exception to that dawn...harsh light often lends itself to B&W conversions when contrast rules.

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Hi Richard ,

    It's great to hear and chat to someone who is using them.

    1. I discovered today searching on line one cannot buy any Lee filters over here, so that has kicked GND Lee filters into touch for me at present.

    they do have Kenko Pro ND filters available though ?.

    I have a Kenko UV/Protection filter on my lenses, at the moment. My Canon was a gift and it came with the filters already fixed to the lens.

    Would you recommend any particular make of ND filter or circular polariser, and/or any other advice I would be very grateful for !

    Thanks for your reply
    Dawn

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    I might take exception to that dawn...harsh light often lends itself to B&W conversions when contrast rules.
    Hi Chauncey,

    I somehow knew that wee judgement would get me into some kind of trouble

    I therefore hereby retract my statement and apologise to all the B&W conversion enthusiasts. Please do pick up your camera's again and enjoy the harsh light.

    It has also not only revealed my gross ignorance but taught me something about B&W conversions.

    Thanks Dawn
    Last edited by Dawn1; 15th September 2013 at 06:54 PM. Reason: add text

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    As far as polarizing filters go, you cannot go wrong with B+W (made in Germany by Schneider). They are expensive but, cheap filters can adversely impact image quality. The top-line multi-coated filters from Hoya are also quite decent. Hoya also has a new type filter out (new for me at least) http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rizing_HD.html

    It is expensive but, right in line with the B&W filters price wise. I was going to post a query on this type of filter but, you jumped the gun with your general filter question. I hope that anyone who has experience with these filters to chime in and give their opinion...

    As an afterthought: Calumet Photo's house brand of filters is made in Germany and I have been told (by a Calumet manager) that they are made by Schneider. They are not much less expensive (if at all) than the Schneider filters. I have one which was bought at my local Calumet brick and mortar store in an emergency and it has worked quite well.

    One filter that I do not like however is the Hoya Moose Peterson CPL + warming filter. I have one in 67mm for my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and that filter gives me somewhat muddy appearing results. This can be corrected in Camera RAW but, I am going to change this filter for a clear CPL soon.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st September 2013 at 12:12 AM.

  20. #20

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    Re: Advice on purchasing Filters please

    Dawn: go to the Lee filter site, you want camera filters, go to find a dealer, world map appears there is one in South Africa, just it is not in Cape Town.

    Cheers:

    Allan

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