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 Post subject: ND Filters
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:59 pm 
I saw a previous thread regarding these but I have mose specific questions so thought I'd start a new thread (hope that's okay?).

I am looking to use them for daytime street shots (people and cars etc) so that I can slow down the shutter speed to creae a ghost-like effect while not overexposing the background/buildings etc.

I own a Canon 50mm 1.8 and a Canon 10-22mm and was looking at getting an ND filter for each. Someone here mentioned the Cokin filters so that you didnt have to buy 2 seperate filters to fit each thread size for both lenses. However on their website (http://www.cokin.co.uk/pages/filters.htm) they only seem to have 'graduated' filters. Does this mean that if I were to take photos of people then only their top half would be ghost-like and the bottom half would be overexposed? Do I need an ND filter that is not graduated?

I can see myself wanting a graduated filter for some nice landscape shots where there is a bright skiy and clouds so the graduated filters would also be useful at some point, but for people, I'm a bit confused.

Any suggestions/tips/product links would be a great help!

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Graduated are tricky I'd say... look for a ND thats not graduated if you are shooting streets and not skies/ sunsets.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:58 pm 
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You can always buy a 77 mm filter, and use a step-up ring for use on your smaller lenses. You can't use your lens hood that way though.

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 Post subject: get the cokin
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:20 am 
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I have the Cokin set-up and it is great.
Lightweight, simple and effective.
You'd want a solid ND like a P154 which will get you 3 stops.
Good luck!

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Last edited by jimmy_racoon on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:39 am 
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I have only round screw on ND filters - for street I'd say that they would be easier and less conspicuous - the only problem there is that if you want ghostly figures in scenes you'll be needing very slow shutter speeds, and therefore a tripod.

To get to exposures of around 1/2 - 1 second in bright daylight with a large aperture, you'll be needing 8-10 stops of ND. With that level of ND, you won't be able to see through the viewfinder and will therefore have to compose and focus first before adding the filter. Your camera might not be able to meter correctly when the filter is added, so you may have to switch to manual and adjust exposure yourself. Even if you're stopping down to F8, you're still looking at 5-8 stops required to slow things right down. As you can tell, in landscapes this isn't necessarily a problem but on a street you may well miss the moment.

An option which could be useful, inconspicuous and more versatile for your street needs may be a Singh-Ray vario ND, which gives you 2-8 stops of ND. You'd be able to adjust the level of ND just as you would a adjust a circular polariser, and depending on the light levels and level of ND you select you still may be able to compose and shoot handheld or using a monopod, which may also be more convenient.

The greater Depth of Field you choose by stopping down to F11-F16, then less ND is required and therefore you are more likely to be able to compose and shoot without locking everything down to manual, making things more instantaneous...

If you're anything like me, you'll be shooting at various apertures if you're shooting on a street, and therefore I think this is the most versatile solution. If you're shooting waterscapes/seascapes/waterfalls/fast streams then the Singh-Ray will be ideal as well. Have a look for some of Fallenember's posts in the Natural Landscape threads to get an idea of this effect.

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Last edited by dubaiphil on Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:45 am 
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And as previously mentioned - get a step up ring from your smallest filter size to your largest to add some versatility...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I see this is an old thread, revived...but since it's on a topic I enjoy, I wanted to throw in one other note:

Phil's mention of framing a shot with an 8-9 stop filter is true - the viewfinder would likely be completely blacked out, especially stopped down on the aperture. However, for those of you with cameras that have live view, try switching to this...live view significantly gains up and also shows the scene with the aperture wide open - making it possible to see perfectly through a 9-stop filter. Now, all live view systems are not the same - and fair warning if for some reason your camera doesn't gain up at all...but as far as I know, most do...so this is a nice way to solve the composing issue with heavy ND filters. Most likely, you'd want to be on a tripod anyway when shooting this type of shot, so live view is a natural.

I like to get shutter speeds in the 3-5 second range at least, to get some good ghosting effects. These were with an ND400 (8-stop filter):

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