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Thread: Gradient ND Filters

  1. #1
    pono's Avatar
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    Gradient ND Filters

    I want to get a gradient ND filter for shooting sunsets/sunrises. I know there are different strengths but I don't know which one would be ideal. Can somebody please help me out?

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    David's Avatar
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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    Hi Shane - I'm not sure that there is an "ideal" grad filter that covers all circumstances. Usually, you would want a range to cover very bright to modestly bright differences. I guess in Hawaii you get some powerful sun so you might want something strong. I use the Cokin type and have 4 and 8 grad filters, although I also need a #2. If I had to choose just one it would be the #4.

    David

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    Hi SHane,

    Colin is obviously the expert, but for sunrises/sets, I believe he also often uses a "reverse GND" as well when sun is in shot, since that deals with the very bright bit on the horizon, but doesn't over darken the clouds above.

    You probably won't be able to afford these but this shows what they look like and when to us 'em ... http://www.singh-ray.com/reversegrads.html

    Don't know if anyone else makes them.

    Cheers,

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    Mike in UK's Avatar
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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    I was recently reading about doing a Graduated ND effect in Photoshop. Maybe worth a look by Googling for articles.

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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    That wouldn't give the same effect at all.

    The graduated ND filters for shooting are there to limit the dynamic range that is captured to something the camera can handle (no blown skies or black foregrounds), Photoshop graduated ND would 'just' lay a gradient over an existing picture, but can never bring back detail that was outside the dynamic range of the camera (the information just isn't in the file)

    Remco

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    pono's Avatar
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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    I'm probably supposed to know this but I don't. What is a stop? Is one stop higher than f3.5, f4?

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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    That wouldn't give the same effect at all.

    The graduated ND filters for shooting are there to limit the dynamic range that is captured to something the camera can handle (no blown skies or black foregrounds), Photoshop graduated ND would 'just' lay a gradient over an existing picture, but can never bring back detail that was outside the dynamic range of the camera (the information just isn't in the file)

    Remco
    Yes and no. One technique is to bracket a couple of exposures and then use a gradient mask in Photoshop to transition between them - and the technique is also useful for transitioning between two different versions of the same file (it can be easier than trying to accomplish the same thing with global adjustments like fill light and brightness controls).

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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by pono View Post
    I'm probably supposed to know this but I don't. What is a stop? Is one stop higher than f3.5, f4?
    Hi Shane,

    In generic terms it a doubling or halving of something. In terms of F-Stops they go F1, F1.4, F2, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8, F11, F16, F22, F32, F44, F64 etc.

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    Re: Gradient ND Filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Shane,

    In generic terms it a doubling or halving of something. In terms of F-Stops they go F1, F1.4, F2, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8, F11, F16, F22, F32, F44, F64 etc.
    ....and it doubles or halves the amount of light let into the camera and therefore allowed on the film or sensor.

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