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Thread: Square filters

  1. #1

    Square filters

    Hi,

    I recently bought myself a nice Panasonic GF1 with the 14-45 mm lens. I want to use it partly for landscape photography so I understand that some filters such as grey grads and a polarisor might be helpful. There are a couple of questions I could use some help with:-

    (a) do I really need them at all or can I do it all now in camera (or in PC)? I do hope to become proficient using software. I have just sent off for my free copy of Elements 9 that was offered by Panasonic as part of the deal and as I want to look as some gentle HDR am quite prepared to buy photomatix.

    (Is there a cheaper or even free alternative to Photomatix???)

    (b) if filters a rea good idea which ones. firstly what make. I know everybody raves about Lee but wow are they expensive. Then the bigger Cokin's are n't much cheaper. I could easily blow over 300 on just the holder/adaptor/3 grey grads and the polarisor!!

    (c) what size should I go for. I think most of them will be ok for the current lens but I do not if I might ever buy the 8-14mm and if I do ever find 900 for that then I'd rather not have to go out and repace all the medium sized filters I have bought. (I realise there is no screw thread to attach a filter holder to this lens but there must be a way to attach or hold filters in fornt of it somehow, so long as they are big enough for the sides not to be seen!).

    Many thanks,

    David

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Square filters

    Quote Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
    Hi,

    I recently bought myself a nice Panasonic GF1 with the 14-45 mm lens. I want to use it partly for landscape photography so I understand that some filters such as grey grads and a polarisor might be helpful. There are a couple of questions I could use some help with:-

    (a) do I really need them at all or can I do it all now in camera (or in PC)? I do hope to become proficient using software. I have just sent off for my free copy of Elements 9 that was offered by Panasonic as part of the deal and as I want to look as some gentle HDR am quite prepared to buy photomatix.

    (Is there a cheaper or even free alternative to Photomatix???)

    (b) if filters a rea good idea which ones. firstly what make. I know everybody raves about Lee but wow are they expensive. Then the bigger Cokin's are n't much cheaper. I could easily blow over 300 on just the holder/adaptor/3 grey grads and the polarisor!!

    (c) what size should I go for. I think most of them will be ok for the current lens but I do not if I might ever buy the 8-14mm and if I do ever find 900 for that then I'd rather not have to go out and repace all the medium sized filters I have bought. (I realise there is no screw thread to attach a filter holder to this lens but there must be a way to attach or hold filters in fornt of it somehow, so long as they are big enough for the sides not to be seen!).

    Many thanks,

    David
    David,

    a) FDRTools has a free HDR tool and will get you started but it has a limited tonemapping tool. Also, Picturenaut has a free tool also. Check out the Cambridge HDR forum for addtional free services.
    b)I only have one filter, circular polarizer, and I find it useless.
    c)Most are lens specific so check your manual for the correct size.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Square filters

    You've probably started what will be a raging debate on here once people pick up on the questions. So, rembering that you're likely to get wide-ranging views and that, at the end of the day, you will have to make up your own mind on this, my comments would be:

    (a) do I really need them at all or can I do it all now in camera (or in PC)?
    Yes, you need them. Of course, the sky is not going to come crashing down if you don't have them. But I am a firm believer in trying to give yourself the best chance of getting the exposure you need in one frame via the use of, particularly, ND Grads.

    As for a Circular Polariser - This where the debate will really start to hot up. Many people will swear by them and, indeed, never take it off the leans. I have one, but very rarely use it.

    I have just sent off for my free copy of Elements 9 that was offered by Panasonic as part of the deal and as I want to look as some gentle HDR am quite prepared to buy photomatix.
    (Is there a cheaper or even free alternative to Photomatix???)
    I can't comment on any of these as I don't use them. Please do study what HDR actually means and the different schools of thought about what it should be suwed for and what you want to achieve. If you need to blend images you can, once you gain experience in post processing, do so by using layer masks and paintbrush tools to blend diferently exposed frames in to one image. I feel I get along fine without any additional tools. You need to make up your own mind.

    Make?

    Well. Colin will tell you to buy Singh-Ray. But unless you're an awful lot wealthier than me, then you will probably not go down that road.

    I am debating whether to start buying Lee. At the moment I use Cokin. Cokin do, I find, give a colour cast to the Raw Image and this needs to be corrected. The fact that I shoot mostly for B & W means it is not such a huge issue (but I always correct white balance before converting to B & W).

  4. #4

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    Re: Square filters

    Adapters and stuff to fit filters to compact cameras can be got here. Filters too.
    http://www.srb-griturn.com/index.asp

    I'm sure there are other places too.

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