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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:14 pm 
I've not long acquired a nice 500D, i love taking skyline/landscape shots etc.

I bought a sunpak CPL when i got the camera (only one in the shop) but i've no idea on the quality of it or whether it even makes a difference.


I know little of the CPL and even less of graduated ND filter, only that the affect they have on the pics is what i want.


Can anyone recommend if i need to look at another CPL? and maybe even help with the grad ND as what i want and need?

Many thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:34 am 
No one check in this section then? :)

Any advise?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
Posts: 6009
Location: The Netherlands
Try pointing your camera at an lcd screen, and rotating the cpl. The screen should go black. Same with reflections, they should disappear. ;)

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:56 pm 
An ND grad filter allows you to capture scenes with very high dynamic range. In that regard, it's very similar to HDR. However, many consider ND grad filters to produce more natural and better looking images. This seems to match my experience with ND Grad filters.

For a comparison of HDR and ND Grad filters, have a read of this article. It's by Singh Ray (who manufacture ND grad filters), but that doesn't mean what it says is not true ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:47 pm 
Yeah, i've had incredibly mixed results trying HDR, other people seem more adept at them and the pics can be nice. But i love the pictures the ND grads produce much more and that's the pictures i like taking.

With that in mind, can i get kits of the filter stuff for my 500d?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:12 pm 
Erm...what is HDR?? :oops:
EDIT. Nm. read the link above hehe.
Have to say the filter shots look better and seems to involve less work.


Last edited by slingshot on Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:16 pm 
HDR is high dynamic range, it tries to emulate what the human eye sees by combining pictures taken at different exposures, capturing the shadows, the mid tones and the highlights.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:18 pm 
MaDMaXX wrote:
HDR is high dynamic range, it tries to emulate what the human eye sees by combining pictures taken at different exposures, capturing the shadows, the mid tones and the highlights.
yeah I saw. Thanks for the reply and I'll try not be so quick to ask next time. :?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:29 pm 
Hehe no worries, and yes i agree, the filter shots look much better in my opinion.

I don't like PP work and love to get the shots correct at the camera, so the filter is my choice, i just need to pick one up now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:29 pm 
I use the Cokin P series. I was given this kit for my birthday, so that's an easy way to get into the ND grad filter system. While geeks moan about how Cokin filters may not be truly neutral and introduce a colour cast, I have yet to see this affect photos in practice.

Things you need is a filter holder, an adapter ring to connect your lens to the filter holder and filters. The kit came with 3 filters - 1 stop, 2 stops and 3 stops graduated. I've found the 2 stop one the most useful so if you're starting from scratch I'd skip the kit and just buy the 2 stop one. As for hard edge vs soft edge filters, they're down to personal preference. I have no experience iwth soft edge filters, but other photographers have complained about how hard it is to see the transition when using soft edged filters.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:48 pm 
Thanks PG, what's a hard and soft edge filter? I thought a soft grad would be what's pictured in that link you supplied, where as the hard edge would be a line, one side filtered, the other side not?

If other photographers have mentioned about not being able to see the transition, is that not a good thing?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:22 am 
You're correct about the hard/soft edge filters. The reason why hard edged filters can be better in practice is because the transition between the sky and ground in landscapes is usually a hard edge. You normally set the edge on the horizon, which is why a soft edged filter isn't going to be that useful. You either have the transition above the horizon, which means that part of the sky is going to be really bright or you'll have the transition below the horizon which means that part of the ground will appear dark.

In the article, the reason a soft edged filter was used is because the "ground" is a lake which reflects the sky, thus is going to be bright. Though this is not always a problem since the reflection in the lake is not going to be as bright as the sky so you could just as easily have taken the shot with a hard edged filter.

The P series filters are about £10 a pop so you could always get both kinds :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:54 pm 
Hmm, good points, yours appear to be soft edged filters, how have you found them?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:19 pm 
My filters are hard edged. I don't use them that much as I'm not a landscape shooter. When I have used them, they've worked as expected.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:09 pm 
The ones pictured in the link you posted appear to have a gradient on them, i assumed soft edged?


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